Guiding Your Students through the Research Process

Doing Research

Doing ResearchStudents struggle the most during the early stages of the research process*. The Doing Research website and its companion tool, the Assignment Calculator, are designed to guide students through the entire research process, with particular emphasis on the early stages of research.

Doing Research is an outline of the general research process. We understand that research practices vary by discipline. Please feel free to use and modify this in any way that supports your own course goals.

For our purposes, the research process is described in these broad components:

  1. Identify topic - 5%
  2. Brainstorm - 10%
  3. Gather background information – 15%
  4. Focus your research – 30%
  5. Write your paper – 40%

Percentages based upon suggested amount of time spent on each step in the research process.


Assignment Calculator

Assignment CalculatorThe Assignment Calculator allows students to use start and end dates to generate an action plan that breaks their research and writing process into manageable steps. For each part of the research process, students are directed to supporting information on the Doing Research website.

Using this tool, students can email their personal research plan to themselves and quickly arrange a research appointment with a Reference Librarian for personal help.

To link to the Assignment Calculator in Moodle (or elsewhere), please use this link: /library/research/doingresearch/


Your Students

These tools have been developed to help your students understand the research process. They expand the array of research support services already offered by Musselman Library, such as Reference Desk service and Research Appointments.

If you are interested in exploring ways to use Doing Research or the Assignment Calculator in the classroom, please feel free to contact the librarians in the Reference and Instruction Department or your liaison librarian.

You may also be interested in our guide to Integrating Information Literacy into Course Assignments.

*This is shown by research such as Project Information Literacy, as well as by our own experiences helping students at the reference desk and in classes.

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