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Information Literacy Instructional Toolkit: Frame 4: Engaging in the Research Process


"Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field " (ACRL, Research as Inquiry).


Relevant learning concepts:

  • What is already know about the topic, and what needs to be explored further?
  • What is the dialogue or debate surrounding the topic?
  • Think about the ideal source. Who might produce this information?
  • When research goes down an unexpected path should you modify your direction?

Source:  Bucknell University

Teaching Resources

Title: Developing a research question
Description: 4Ws of who, what, when and where. Examining factual information in order to construct an initial research question that allows for academic discussion.
Resource Type: Classroom activity
Original Author(s): Chelsea Van Riper, Principa College
Added: 05/15/2017 By:
Frame(s)​: Engaging in the research process, Participating in scholarly conversations


Title: Design Your Own Research Project
Description: Present a hypothesis to students.  Divide class into 2, and have each brainstorm the basic steps in a research project that would test the hypothesis.  Each group presents to the other, and solicits feedback.
Resource Type: Classroom activity
Original Author(s): Vicky Duncan
Added: 05/31/2017 By:
Frame(s)​: Engaging in the research processParticipating in scholarly conversations


Title: Research is a Process (Research 101)
Description: This video introduces the concept of research as process and getting started by gathering background information and developing a research question.
Resource Type: Video
Original Author(s):University of Washington Libraries
Added: 05/31/2017 By:
Frame(s)​: Engaging in the research process


Title: Picking Your Topic IS Research
Description: This video focuses on the non-linear nature of doing research. It presents a research cycle model demonstrating how a topic is tweaked throughout the process. This video would appeal more to undergraduates than more senior students.
Resource Type: Video
Original Author(s): NCSU Library
Added: 05/31/2017 By:
Frame(s)​: Engaging in the research process


Title: Political Internet Literacy
Description: To help students find research articles about current events and politics; help them understand there are differences between articles written in general magazines, articles written in scholarly journals or for partisan political purposes, & help them understand the research process.
Resource Type: Lesson plan
Original Author(s): Jennifer Schwartz, DePaul University
Added: 05/15/2017 By:
Frame(s): Evaluating authorityUnderstanding the information lifecycleEngaging in the research processParticipating in scholarly conversationsSearching effectively


Title: Pass the Problem
Description: Students provide feedback on each other's database selection and keywords.
Material Type: Classroom activity
Original Author(s): Carolyn Caffrey Gardner
Added: 05/31/2017 By: Vicky Duncan
Frame(s): Engaging in the research processSearching effectively