Steps on How to Research a Topic
Researching information on a topic is fundamental to understanding it, which is key for getting a high-grade on your assignment. If you have ever wondered how to research effectively, this research guide will teach you how to do research, and which tools to use for your success in studies and at work.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Is Research?
Research is a careful investigation of a study with regard to a particular concern or problem using scientific methods. Research usually involves either inductive and deductive methods.
You will need to use inductive research methods to analyze an observed event. Also, it is vital to use deductive methods to verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research, while deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative research. There are many ways to research information, including doing research, online or offline. The objectives for conducting research can differ as well. You may simply need research for collecting information, validating sources, or creating a bibliography for your paper. Interested in finding out some good ways to research any information? – Then read our article! The following are the 5 steps for how to make research.
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Steps for How to Research
There are several ways to research information. Even still, there is a general structure that can make the whole process easier to follow. Read these steps to help you conduct research in an efficient and organized way.
Step 1: Pick a Topic
When choosing a topic for your writing project, you should consider these ways to do it:
- Work Within the Assigned Parameters
To get the best grade, follow the assignment’s instructions for what you should write about. However, if you weren’t given rigid limits, stick to the five-paragraph essay format as a safe bet.
- Select a Topic of Personal Interest
If you force yourself to research a topic you have no passion for, you’re likely not to have the enthusiasm needed for doing in-depth research. The quality of your paper will reflect this, and the result will not reflect your best work.
- Find a Question to Answer Through the Research
While researching, you should be asking yourself questions about the material. If you end up with an unanswered question, you’ve found your topic. These types of questions are usually those that you can find being discussed among experts in the field. Quite often, they might cover them in a lecture on YouTube, in a TED Talk, or a university campus debate.
The questions you should be asking yourself begin with:
For example, if you picked researching the current pop culture preferences of North American teenagers:your “Who?” are teenagers;
your “What?” are pop culture preferences;
your “Where?” is North America;
your “Why?” is probably Market Research;
and your “When?” is in and around the current year.
Therefore, when you research, you will ask yourself if the data you find is connected to the answers to those parameters for questioning.
Step 2: Are There Enough Sources?
Try to pick a topic that will be easy to find research for. Topics that have plenty of sources are your best bet. If there aren’t enough sources, it’s possible that the topic will not be fully backed by scientific consensus. Having limited sources will also mean that the statements you will make in your paper will be limited. The number of sources needed to support your topic sufficiently will depend on the length of your paper. For an essay, you may simply need 3-7 sources, but for a dissertation, for example, the number of sources can reach several hundred.
When researching, it’s tempting to dive straight into the first exciting thing that you find, but you should try to start as broad as possible. Otherwise, you might miss some fascinating information and end up with a poor understanding of your topic.
This is why you should try to find a lot of information on your topic; more than you think that you’ll need. A good way to start broad is to search Google for general terms related to your topic. If you’re researching the difference between sunflowers and tulips, then you should learn a bit of information about each flower before diving deeper.
An example of a good topic to do research on is emotional intelligence. The first item in a Google search on this topic offers a list of the 26 best books. Immediately, you have a subject with in-depth research available to you. Because the field now has a neuroscience backing, each author is presumed to base their findings on accredited data, provided by actual scientists.
An example of a bad topic would be to argue in favor of the flat-Earth theory. The sources for that subject are people with no credentials to talk about the subject. All sources discussing the flat-Earth theory, from everyone except their proponents, agree that the Earth is not flat. There are mountains of evidence that make this an open and shut case: the debate is over – the Earth is round. No credible sources are available to back up the topic.