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Research 101

This is a resource to help users begin the research process at the college level.

Step 2: Make a Research Plan

Beginning research can be daunting!

Especially for a final project that's worth a large percentage of your grade. Try to take the pressure off:

  • Re-frame the experience.
  • Pick a topic you're interested in.

...then you're more likely to be genuinely invested in finding more high-quality information about the topic.


Below is a visual of how to map a research strategy.

Feel free to copy and paste the content in this Research Strategy Google Doc on your own document

and use it to make tracking your research easier. Feel free to make changes!

Here is the same Google Doc with some guiding tips and comments.


Deciding on Keywords to Use for Searching in a Scholarly Database

Here is a helpful video on selecting keywords from the Kimbel Library:

Note: Finding high quality sources to support your research thesis, or argument, does take time. If you're able to pick the first five sources you find, you might need to narrow your topic. Your research thesis should ideally be saying something new to bring into a scholarly conversations. Therefore, finding sources can sometimes feel like putting a puzzle together.


Video above by: J. Watts et al., Kimbel Library, CC License: