Basic Research Process
Research is an iterative process. This means that research does not follow a linear "beginning, middle and end" process, and many steps in the research process are repeatable.
Research takes time. You may need to go through various steps of the process many times in order to find relevant results, make sure you've done a comprehensive search on your topic, and to ensure the best quality results.
The research workflow can sometimes look like this, where at any point in this cycle you can jump to different steps and repeat actions:
After doing some background research you should be able to:
Tools for conducting background research include:
►Google - Google your topic and see what comes up. What types of websites appear (educational? governmental? news headlines? personal pages?)
►Wikipedia - The Wikipedia entry/article on your topic is not an academic or reliable source and cannot be cited in your assignment. However, the references at the bottom of a Wikipedia entry can be viewed by you and judged on their own merit. Sometimes they link to credible websites such as for organizations, governments, white papers, etc.
►Library Search - Doing a quick search in Library search can be useful at the background research stage. Take note of the types of resources are coming up in terms of the amount of results and how current they are.
►Encyclopedias and Dictionaries - Online general and specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries may also be a useful tool, depending on your topic. Here is a list of Seneca Libraries' online encyclopedias and dictionaries.