Step 4: Design Research Strategy

Design Your Research Strategy

Now that you have your topic and a thesis statement to get you started, the next step is to develop a research strategy. Research involves the investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to find facts, information, and ideas to support your paper. Before beginning research, you will want to develop a research strategy:

  • How many research resources, if any, do you need? Do you need 2 sources, 5 sources, 10 sources? Many writing assignments indicate approximately how many outside resources (such as books, etc.) you will need to use for researching your paper.
  • What type of sources will you need? Sometimes, your writing assignment will list what types of research materials are required. For example, some writing assignments require you to use at least 1 book, 1 journal article, and 1 website source for a paper. Sometimes, an assignment requires you to use peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.
  • Where will you go to do your research? The library is a good place to start your research, as it has many books, journals, and other sources available.
  • How will you organize your research sources and citations? Take notes of ideas or quotations you may want to cite in your paper (it can be useful to write notes on index cards or in a notebook, making sure you also write down where the information came from: author, title, source).
  • For more help, see Research Help: Design a Research Strategy