These are the main components of research:
Identify your topic. Think of the key concepts/words that you will use to search for information, and think of alternative terms or synonyms. Work out how much information you need - is the information for a short report or large assignment?
What type of information do you need? Do you require background or current information, or both? Will you need statistics to back up your research? Will you need illustrations?
Use the Library Catalogue to find books and DVDs on your topic. Use the Online Databases to find encyclopedic and journal articles about your topic. Use the Internet to find government information, or information from appropriate organisations that relate to your topic. For more information about using these search tools see the appropriate tab in this guide.
Ensure that the information that you have gathered is relevant, current, reliable, accurate, objective, and is not biased.
How you present your information is very important. Check the assignment guidelines to ensure that you are presenting the information in the correct format. Eg. As a speech, a report, an essay, or a short summary.
Remember to keep track of the references or sources of information you have used for your assignment. These references often need to be listed in a bibliography and cited correctly. To find out how to reference your assignment correctly, see the tab above with the title 'Referencing and Bibliographies'.
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