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Research Strategy Secrets

Are you doing a research for an assignment or school project? Research is the most difficult part to start with, but there are a few basic steps  that you can follow to help you develop your research skills.


Identify the main concepts or keywords in the question
  • Exactly what I have been asked to do?
  • What is the purpose of my research? Is it to inform?
  • Is it to argue a point of view?
  • Is it to test an unfounded assumption?
  • What do I already know? Write down as much as you can about the subject.  Begin with what you know and  "brainstorm" the topic for further ideas.
  • What do I need to find out?
  • What do I have to do with the information?

  • Where do I begin?
  • What sort of information do I want?
  • Where can I find the information?


  • What do these resources tell me about what I want to know?
  • Does it really answer my question?
  • How relevant  or credible is the information?
  • What information do I really need to use?
  • What information can I leave out?
  • How will I record the information I need?
  • Is the date of publication appropriate?
  • What are the author's qualification? (educational background, past writings, experience?)
  • Are the author's conclusions or facts supported by evidence?

  • How can I put the information together to answer the question to support my argument?
  • How can I best use the information?
  • Do I have enough information?
  • Have I cited what I've found?

  • What will I do with this information
  • How can I best present this information
  • Have I included all important information? (check what I have been asked to do)
  • Do I present it as an essay? A report? A talk? A debate?
  • Do I need a diagram? maps? graphs/ illustrations? audio visual materials?
  • Have I included a Bibliography of resources?
  • Is my presentation original (in my own words) concise and accurate?

  • How did I go
  • Did I fulfill my purpose?
  • Did I find all the relevant information?
  • Am I satisfied with the end results?
  • Am I satisfied with the way I got there?
  • What went well and what went badly in the research process?
  • Do I need more skills to make it easier next time? If so, which ones/
  • What new skills did I develop?
  • Which skills do I need to improve?
  • How can I improve them?



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