Research Guide

(Click to expand each step)

This might be only one step in the Research Process, but it's a very complicated endeavor that will likely take up a ton of your time.  Whether you're writing a paper, putting together a presentation, or creating something entirely new, focus your product on TEACHING and always ask yourself what your audience will need or want to know about your topic.

Here are some suggestions to help your project go smoothly:
  • Study non-fiction texts to learn different writing styles and techniques
  • Think about your reader and what they will want to learn 
  • Write your first draft without looking at your notes! 
    • Look at visuals to help you set the scene and remember what’s important 
    • Use your writing to teach readers about your topic 
    • Include narrative elements in your research writing 
      • Choose 1 or 2 facts 
      • Create a character and setting 
      • Describe small step-by-step actions 
    • Teach your expert vocabulary 
      • Pick the most important words to include 
      • Find ways to make definitions flow seamlessly into your writing 
  • Look for missing or questionable info as you write 
    • Don’t stop writing! Just jot down a question or what info you’re missing and then come back to it 
  • Re-read your writing to see what specific information is missing 
    • Specific names 
    • Specific numbers 
    • Specific details 
  • Search for information to fill in the holes 
    • Check notes 
    • Check book indexes 
    • Check website/database 
  • Select visuals to support your text 
    • Choose images with care 
    • Cite your image sources 
    • Use CC or public domain images

Want a step-by-step plan to follow?  Need help getting organized?  Confused about the research steps?  Print off your own copy of the Research Process Workbook and keep it with you throughout your research project!

Research steps developed from the Pitts/Stripling Research Model & Christopher Lehman's Energize Research Reading & Writing