Good Research

15 Steps to Good Research

  • [1] Define and articulate a research question (formulate a research hypothesis).
  • [2] Identify possible sources of information in many types and formats.
  • [3] Judge the scope of the project.
  • [4] Reevaluate the research question based on the nature and extent of information available and the parameters of the research project.
  • [5] Select the most appropriate investigative methods (surveys, interviews, experiments) and research tools (periodical indexes, databases, websites).
  • [6] Plan the research project.
  • [7] Retrieve information using a variety of methods (draw on a repertoire of skills).
  • [8] Refine the search strategy as necessary.
  • [9] Write and organize useful notes and keep track of sources.
  • [10] Evaluate sources using appropriate criteria.
  • [11] Synthesize, analyze and integrate information sources and prior knowledge.
  • [12] Revise hypothesis as necessary.
  • [13] Use information effectively for a specific purpose.
  • [14] Understand such issues as plagiarism, ownership of information (implications of copyright to some extent), and costs of information.
  • [15] Cite properly and give credit for sources of ideas.


Adapted from the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries "Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction", which are more complete and include outcomes. See also the broader "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education."





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