Once you have chosen a good topic, and created your research plan, it's time to start researching for scholarly sources using the library's Summon search, and/or specific databases, and/or relevant and credible government and non-profit resources.
The second step is how you use the information in your writing. In this step you will:
* Find & evaluate sources: Your actual research begins here and continues throughout the process. Once you have your information needs defined, you should have some idea of where to start looking for information, or even have some books, articles, or web resources in mind. Be sure to evaluate every source, especially those you find on the open web. Ask yourself objective questions about the source: Who published it? Why did they publish it? When and where was it published? How did you find it? Visit the Finding Sources tab and the Evaluating Sources tab above to view some of the best research databases you have access to as an MU student and the steps for evaluating these and any other sources you may find online.
* Use information ethically and appropriately: You must use your resources ethically. This means that you must cite any information you get from another source even if you put it in your own words! It is against academic policy to present the thoughts, words, or ideas of someone else as your own. Learn more by clicking on the Citing Sources tab above.
* Synthesize and evaluate: Finally, you cannot simply restate the ideas of others, even if you cite them correctly. You must take the information that you find and combine it with what you already know to come out with an entirely new product or idea. This is the most advanced stage of the research process and will use all of your critical and creative thinking skills. It is also the most beneficial to your academic and professional career. To view best practices for analyzing sources, visit the Assignment Types Help Guide.