Research Process

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been collecting research for my thesis project for 5 weeks now and have established a pretty good routine for tracking key facts that I find. I track down my materials via the Internet using simple Google searches and the more academic Google Scholar. My primary source has been the IUPUI catalog and book and article databases. After a general search for content I use Google Scholar to identify more items and track them down in the IU system. General searches in the IU catalogs have also yielded decent results.

If I have a physical version of the source is found I skim the table of contents to see what jumps out. Sometimes that leads me to sections inside and other times I just start reading. I do a lot of skimming until I find topics of interest. Once I find that I focus my reading and use sticky note tabs to mark important sections, noting on the tag why I have marked the page.

After getting a number of tabs established I then transfer the facts onto note cards, reading the sections again to determine relevancy and to review the fact. On the note cards I’ve noted the author, speaker, article and/or book.

If the source is digital, I use a similar process, only I sometimes take screen capture photos of content as well. I have these files all saved in one folder for easy access when needed.

I now have a few nice stacks of cards with key facts on them that are helping me keep my momentum going forward and helping me synthesize and understand the huge amount of information I’ve gathered.

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