The Research Journey
There are 5 steps to the research journey, see the diagram below for a brief explanation of each step. These steps are not always done in order or in isolation which is why the diagram below is a circle. Sometimes you may plan your essay structure before you read in depth or you may do referencing as you read and write.
At the centre of research is prayer and community. When you do research you’re not doing it in isolation. Continue to talk to God and talk to the community around you as you do research. Reflect on what you have been learning and apply it to your life, be transformed by God’s word as you dig deeper. Chat to other students and faculty about what you have been discovering. Grow and learn together.
Don’t rely on your memory, have a system for keeping track of resources and your notes on resources. It’s best to do this as early as possible and not wait until you start researching for your assignment. A good research system should do the following three things.
There are multiple ways to do the first two points, work out what works best for you. It could be using a notetaking software, a word document or excel, there are infinite possibilities. Talk to other students about what they do to get ideas.
As you read record both the authors most important arguments and your most important evaluations – and make sure that you clearly distinguish between their quotes, their ideas, and your own ideas. This could be done with colours or text formatting like italics and quotation marks.
As you search for resources keep track of what you find and make a note when you have looked at them.
Set up referencing software, like Zotero, to help with footnotes and referencing when writing your assignment. See the Assessment resources page for help on how to do this.