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BUS 410: Theory and Practice of Business Research

Course guide developed by your Librarians

The Research Process

Research is a life skill. You use it every day inside the classroom and out! Which smart phone should I buy? What college should I choose? Should I have this surgery? You apply the same modes of research in your coursework for papers, presentations, discussion posts, and more. It is crucial to know how to navigate through this linear research process. In doing so, you will gain lifelong skills of information literacy.

The details for each step of the research process will vary depending on the topic, available research, and assignment or research goal, but the main idea behind each step will always remain the same. By developing a research strategy, you will be better able to focus on your topic, organize your search, manage your time efficiently, progress from general to specific resources, and understand when you have researched your topic thoroughly or if further examination is needed.

Remember that the research process takes time and effort. You should not expect to complete all of these steps in only a few hours. By thoughtfully approaching your assignment you will be able to pick a reasonable topic, research the topic, and compose an organized piece of scholarly research.

The Research Process

Developing a good topic for research is a specific skill. These are useful steps to follow:

  1. Brainstorm for ideas
  2. Choose a topic that will enable you to read and understand the literature
  3. Check that the topic is manageable and that material is available
  4. Make a list of key words
  5. Be flexible
  6. Define your topic as a focused research question
  7. Research and read more about your topic
  8. Form a thesis statement

Before you start any research, you need to set back and take a deep breath and determine exactly what you want to accomplish and create a plan for doing so.  If you approach it is a systematic manner it will make the process much easier and allow for greater success in the long run.

  1. Be sure you understand your research assignment (review assignment and writing rubric).
  2. Choose a topic and relate it to your assignment. Be sure you understand the topic, can define, and spell it correctly.
  3. Determine concepts and keywords that describe your topic

Boolean operators are terms which help you search databases for specific information and assist you in getting what you need in an efficient and timely manner.

AND - combines terms or ideas and narrows your search

OR - expands your options and broadens your search

NOT - limits your search by excluding certain terms or ideas