ADVANCED WRITING: The Research Process

Uploaded by iLearningServices on 23.06.2011


Research is the process of gathering information, evaluating it, and applying it
to a question or problem.
Topic development grows out of reading background information.
Add to your favorite sites these library resources
as you begin your research.
Through the use of online general encyclopedias, pro/con issue databases, and indexes
to specialized encyclopedias you can quickly
access information to answer the basic
Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? questions of your topic.
For additional general information on topics,
use E-Reference resources, such as
Biography Resources, Census Data, or Statistics.
Subject specific background resources are
also available by clicking on the Subject Guide
most relevant to your topic.
The Subject Guides
pull together all the best resources in each field both online and in print
in one easy to find place. The specific
content varies from one Subject Guide to another.
Here is the Communications Subject Guide.
Find background resources for this subject by selecting the Reference tab.
Let's do a search in the
International Encyclopedia of Communications for Social Networks
This article provides definitions
keywords and phrases
and recent research and challenges in the field
Pay attention to people quoted in the article, and identify recommended books and articles
for further reading in the article's bibliography.
Bibliographies found in reference or background
sources provide a rich source of
research materials on your topic.
All of these clues will help you focus your research.
Follow up on background research by checking
to see if the library has books listed in
the bibliographies.
In the Books & More Basic Search box enter
the title or author of the book.
Click on the title of the item to see details, including the call number.
To see if the library has an article listed
in a bibliography, click the "Journals" tab in the
"Journals & Databases" box on the Library
Home Page.
Enter the title of the Journal in the box.
The Journal Finder provides links to print
and online access.
Navigate through the links to access the volume and pages for your article.
You can place a Hold on a book and request
books and articles which are not accessible
through BYU, through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan,
the process of borrowing books
and articles from other libraries, is a free service to enrolled students, faculty,
and staff. Log in with your Net ID and password and register for your free account.
With the information you have gleaned from
background resources, choose the focus
for your research.
Check with your professors and subject librarians as you get started, and remember
that you will better recognize a good topic
in your subject area as you read and write more in that field.