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MU Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest: Research Process Statement

Research Process Statement

Tell us, in 1 or 2 pages, how the MU Libraries assisted you in the research process. Include a description of the research process, what type of resources and services you used, difficulties encountered, and what you learned about research during the process of creating the project.  You will need to tell us the specifics about your growth in understanding and use of information tools and resources in the discipline appropriate to your project. The review panel is interested in your application of independent information-seeking beyond the use of course textbooks and reserve readings.

As you develop your research process statement, consider the following questions and suggestions. You do not need to systematically answer each question, but use them as a guide to develop your statement.

Developing a research topic:

  • How did you think about and refine your preliminary research topic? Reflect upon the process of adapting your interests to the scope of the project, the time you had available for research and writing, the required length of the project, and the nature of the information you found.

Developing research strategies:

  • What specific strategies did you develop for finding and using relevant information?
  • What did you discover, either by chance or through planned search strategies?
  • Highlight how you used your sources in supporting your project.

Finding and evaluating information:

  • What specifically did you discover about tools and techniques for research?
  • What are the primary research databases and other finding aids in your topic area? “Finding aids” refers to bibliographies, catalogs, reference books, subject experts, online discussion lists, web sites, etc.
  • What did you learn about finding and evaluating information on your topic or in your discipline?
  • Did you have trouble finding some kinds of information? Describe your decision-making process for solving this challenge.