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CMNS 112 - Professional Writing I - Amy Modahl - Fall 2016

Research Journal

Start a Research Journal that records information about the articles, books, and other information sources you discover. 

Record in your Research Journal:

  • keywords and keyword phrases used
  • names of databases
  • author
  • journal
  • book    
  • In addition, record publication information such as date, volume/issue, publisher name, place of publication.

You'll need this information to improve your searches, and once you finish your paper you'll need them to build your Reference List and Citations.


Success Strategy #1

Start with your Thesis Statement

When you write an essay (or research report), it typically centers around a specific argument often called your thesis statement. The reader of your essay expects to find a clear statement regarding the purpose of your essay. 

It's always good idea to draft a hypothesis or tentative thesis statement at start of your research project. When you start to plan your research strategy use your thesis statement as a guide to the type of information that you require.

Developing Your Search Plan

In developing your plan you should start asking yourself a number of questions:

  • What do I already now about this subject?

  • Where would I find the information I need?

  • Do I need a Book?

  • Do I need a Scholarly Article?

  • Do I need to interview someone?magnifying glass

  • Who else has written on this subject?

  • How much time do I have?

  • How will know if the information I discover is up-to-date and authoritative? 

Learning From What You Find

The are many information leads that you can pick up from the information you find.

  • Metadata : To identify other Keywords and Keyword Phrases.
  • Literature Review : Will provide title, authors and citation information to literature specific to the research being discussed.
  • Reference List : Good quality research articles are often cited by other scholars in the field.  Likewise, if the research being presented is of poor quality (i.e. if the methodology is questionable etc.) other scholars may publish research that speaks to these issues.
  • Methodology : Puts the information into context.

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