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The Research Process

A guide to start you on your research journey!

The Research Process

During your time at Goodwin University, you will likely have to complete a research project or paper. This Research Starter seeks to demystify the research process.


There are several basic components of a research project/paper. You will:

  • Choose and refine a topic
  • Conduct background research
  • Develop a research question and generate keywords
  • Search, refine keywords, and search again
  • Evaluate results and sources
  • Write
  • Edit
  • Cite

The research process is not linear and you will likely jump around between stages throughout your project!

Before You Begin

As you begin your research journey, it's important to make sure you have a few things in order first:

  • Time Management - Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to research, write, and revise before the due date. The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be.
  • Understand the Assignment - If you are unsure of any aspect of the assignment, ask your instructor before you get too involved in your project.
  • Resource Requirements - Check to see if certain types of resources are required or not allowed.
  • Topic Selection - As you begin to think about your topic, choose something that you find interesting. You will be spending a great deal of time with your topic, so it is best to choose something that you are actually interested in. 
  • Flexibility & Patience - As you begin your research, your topic may change and that's okay! Don't be afraid to change your direction after you begin your research. The research process is not totally linear. You will likely search, read, write, revise your keywords, and search again. It's all part of the process, so be patient with it!