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Library Databases

Picking Your Topic IS Research!

Identify Information Need: Understanding the Foundation of Research

Identifying your information need is the crucial first step in the research process. It serves as the foundation for all the subsequent stages of research, setting the direction and scope of your investigation. In order to determine your information need, you must first have a clear understanding of the topic you are exploring. This involves conducting a preliminary analysis of the subject matter, identifying key concepts, and recognizing any knowledge gaps or unanswered questions.

Once you have a grasp of the topic, the next step is to define the specific type of information you require to address your research question. This can range from basic facts and statistics to more in-depth analyses or expert opinions. The nature of your research question will dictate the kind of information you need to seek out. For instance, if your research question revolves around the impact of a particular policy, you may require data on policy outcomes, expert opinions on its effectiveness, and case studies that showcase its real-world implications.

Finally, with a clear understanding of your topic and the type of information you need, you can frame a well-defined research question. A focused research question will guide your search and help you stay on track, ensuring you gather relevant and useful information. Keep in mind that a good research question is specific, manageable, and open to investigation. It should allow you to explore various perspectives and sources, encouraging a comprehensive and balanced understanding of the subject matter.