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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 3
USING A RESEARCH PROCESS
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Research, which involves several overlapping and intersecting activities, is undertaken in all realms of life -- academic, personal, and professional. It helps people make connections between information and ideas, as well as broaden their perspectives on the world.

This unit was created to help you understand the activities that make up the research process and to help you develop strategies by which you can pursue research in a timely and efficient manner.

OVERVIEW:
The components of this unit discuss and illustrate the following activities, which are typically part of the research process:

•  defining information needs,
•  selecting types of information,
•  choosing search (finding) tools,
•  searching for & locating research materials, and
•  evaluating research materials.
The last parts of this unit offer activities related to Unit 3 topics and a review.

GOALS:
After completing this unit, you should have strategies by which you can
•  analyze an assignment/project to determine information needs,
•  identify types of research materials best suited for specific needs,
•  choose appropriate research tools for locating materials,
•  create and use effective search strategies,
•  locate research materials (online, in the library, and using library services), and
•  evaluate research materials (the information and its sources).

image of detective   Remember that it takes time to locate good information. Be patient and start early.

If you have difficulties with your research, contact your teachers and/or reference librarians at your library. They have experience using research tools, selecting and locating research materials, and evaluating sources. Take advantage of their expertise.

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Updated 7/2004