What is research?
Research is a form of inquiry, in which the researcher asks questions, often of increasing complexity, in order to investigate a particular issue or problem. Many scholarly research questions originate from gaps in current knowledge or from disagreements and debates within a field. In academia, this process is collaborative as researchers build on each other's findings to extend knowledge in their field. Research can occur outside of academia as well and can focus on professional, personal, community, or greater societal needs and/or interests.*
Research takes time and perseverance. As you begin, you will want to gain a basic understanding of your field. Do background research. Read encyclopedias, articles, books, academic blogs, and the leading publications in your field. As your understanding of the field grows, your research topic will likely evolve. That is okay! You can always revise or refine your research topic. Good research will open your eyes to new areas of inquiry. It is all a part of the research process.
Need help picking a research topic? Ask a librarian for help.
Below are resources and videos that can help guide you through your research process.
*“Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.” Association of College and Research Libraries, 24 May 2018, www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.
The books below can help guide you through your research process. You can find them at the Miller Library.