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Ashley High Media Center: English Research Papers

What is Research?

Research is: 

  • Driven by a question that guides the process.
  • Seeking information with a clear goal.
  • A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated.
  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem.
  • Going beyond facts and old ideas.
  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand.

Research is not:

  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search.
  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
  • Rearranging facts
  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.

Words for the wise student: 

  • Remember, begin with a "wide net" and then narrow your search results.
  • If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding .
  • Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction.
  • Remember that research is searching again and again.
  • In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen.

Recipe for Research: A Six Step Process by Ebsco

Library Research Tutorials: Austin Community College

Tutorials were created by Austin Community College Library Services for their students. Most of the information is applicable to all library users.

After you work your way through the short tutorials, you can take a quiz and review your right and wrong answers.

Tutorials: Choosing A Topic, Identifying Keywords, Finding Background Information, Finding Books & eBooks, Finding Articles, Demystifying Research Articles, Building Research Papers, Evaluating Information, Finding Scientific Information