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Information Literacy Guide: 3. Documenting the Research Process

A guide to support faculty in incorporating General Education Learning Goal #4 into the curriculum.

The Research Log

Researching any topic is complicated by the volume of information and the number of possible information sources available.  Conducting research is often a circular process where intial search strategies evolve into revised strategies and research steps must be retraced.

The research log is a tool for recording the research process or activities.  It prevents:

  • repetition of searches and
  • duplication of effort

The research log assists with:

  • assessing choice of sources & research strategy
  • organization of research time
  • documentation of sources
  • planning for future research

Asking students to record the process they went through to conduct their research:

  • communicates that the instructor values that process and
  • recognizes that when students have acquired good search skills, they will find better, more relevant sources and produce a better product.