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Communication: Home

The Research Cycle

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Explore Your Topic

Before diving in, it's a good idea to explore background information to place your topic in the context of the broader discipline that you study, reveal useful search terms, and - best of all - stimulate questions that inspire your writing.

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Develop & Refine

Remember, the shorter your paper, the more specific your topic. The more specific your topic, the more likely you’ll need journal articles to answer your question.

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Find Materials

You know what you want: verifiable, solid information to inform and support your argument. Library databases provide it.

For some excellent search tips, have a look here.

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Read & Evaluate

While you're reading, compile the most pertinent information (and where you found it) as relates to your topic. In other words, pull out support material to build your argument, and drop it in a sandbox document of notes, quotes, and paraphrasing.

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Write & Document

Now it is time to sort those (already cited) facts & quotes into an argument or outline to guide and shape your writing. Once you've arranged these points in a progression that makes sense to you, all that's left to do is to connect the dots with your own words.

More Research Guides

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