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WSMS Virtual Learning Commons: Research Process

Discover. Create. Share.

The Research Process

The Research Process

The Research Process

Define Your Search

  • Brainstorm possible topics for research
  • What is your research question?

Plan Your Search

  • What do you already know? (Try a KWL Chart)
  • What keywords / phrases will you use to search for information?
  • What are some topics related to this question that might help you find your information?

Search & Evaluate

  • Print sources
    • Library catalog
    • Use the index / table of contents
    • Magazines
    • Newspapers
    • Encyclopedia
  • Digital sources
    • Reference databases
    • Badgerlink
    • Google Advanced Search
  • Keep track of your search terms used - which ones helped you find the best information?
  • Use the CARRDSS method to evaluate your sources along the way. Your project is only as good as the resources you used. 

Take Notes 

  • Scan to find the most useful information, then read that information carefully!
  • Put it in your own words
  • Venn Diagram
  • Note sheets from your teachers
  • Note cards
  • Compare / contrast 
  • Create an outline

Create & Share

  • Back up your thesis / make a conclusion
  • Direct a video documentary
  • Create a podcast
  • Write and perform a skit
  • Write a persuasive essay


  • Did you use evidence to support your thesis?
  • Were any parts of your argument confusing or unclear? How could you communicate these better?
  • Use feedback from your audience to improve your research, refine your question or support your thesis better.