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The Research Process

Re-evaluate, review, repeat

It is important to remember that research and writing doesn't happen in a single, step-by-step process and, as you go along, you will most likely have to revisit and review some of the steps. You may need to re-define the the focus of your assignment, change your mind about the best place to find information and which keywords/search strategies to use, re-evaluate whether a source is useful, and re-write parts of your assignment.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Keeping notes as you go along will make the process easier. Keep track of the keywords / search strategies that you have used, so you don't repeat something that didn't work.
  2. Keeping notes about where you got your information will also make it easier to cite your sources and avoid accidental plagiarism.
  3. Don't be discouraged if you need to try something differently. This is perfectly normal.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Your instructors and librarians are happy to meet with you, and want you to succeed



Before Handing In Your Essay...

The folks at Grammarly suggest you use this checklist.

  • Is your thesis statement clear and concise?
  • Is your paper well-organized and does it flow from beginning to end with logical transitions?
  • Do your ideas follow a logical sequence in each paragraph?
  • Have you used concrete details and facts and avoided generalizations?
  • Do your arguments support and prove your thesis?
  • Have you avoided repetition?
  • Are your sources properly cited?
  • Have you checked for accidental plagiarism?
  • Is your language clear and specific?
  • Do your sentences flow smoothly and clearly? (Hint: Read your paper aloud to help you catch syntax problems.)
  • Have you avoided filler words and phrases?
  • Have you checked for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

(Herzberg, 2017)



Hertzberg, K. (2017). This is how to write an effective research paper [weblog post]. Grammarly Blog. Retrieved from