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The Research Process: Step By Step

The following guide can help you navigate the research process using resources at the FIU Libraries

navigating the library

looking for help with some of the basics of navigating the library?  
visit the new researchHOW walkthrough.  

REVIEW & DEFINE

I have to give a speech, do a project, present a paper, write a report or write a term paper, now what...?

Review your class assignment, looking for keywords or terms that can help you define your topic. Use these keywords to search the library catalogs and databases. Also note what types of sources your instructor requires, for example: book chapters, newspaper articles, magazine articles, or peer-reviewed journal articles.

If you have the freedom to choose your own topic, be sure to choose a topic that will sustain your interest. Additionally, the topic should be one you can research sufficiently in the time allowed, research using the tools and resources readily available to you, read about in a language you read well, and that your professor deems suitable for your assignment.

Start with a broad topic area (this might already be decided for you as a requirement of a course) and narrow this down to select a specific topic for your paper so that you don’t waste time wading through too much information.

Deciding on a topic you'd like to write about and defining the parameters of your research is one of the most challenging and important aspects of the research process. If you need more help with this step, consult your professor or look for ideas in the research guides which have been prepared by the subject librarians.

STEP 4: WHERE CAN I GET HELP FINDING A TOPIC?

Need help coming up with a topic?  
Use these resources to help generate some ideas: