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Lansing Community College Library

Research Process: Research Process

A guide to the research process.

Research Process

Research process brainstorm search research evaluate

LCC Library Research Tutorials

SIRS Issues Researcher: Research Guides


Brainstorm  about your topic. Write down what you know about the topic and questions you have about it. You can use concept maps to help you and to  generate keywords you can use in your search.

Remember to think about synonyms too.  For example, "global warming" and "climate change" are both useful search terms for that topic.


Search using the most obvious terms. Use some of the keywords from your brainstorming. 


Re-search is when you use search strategies to get more, fewer or more relevant results.

Too many results? Try using AND, subject headings or phrase searching

Too few results? Try using OR, synonyms, related words or truncation

 Tip:  Use the first good article you find to help you find better ones.  It can give you some new search terms to try and subject headings.

CRAAP Test - Evaluation Criteria

Evaluate your information using the CRAAP test. Based on what you discover, go back, brainstorm, and do more research.

How new (or old) is the information? 
Is the information out of date for your topic?
Does the information address your topic, thesis and supporting arguments? 
Is it at an appropriate level (i.e not too elementary or too advanced?)
Who wrote the information? Individual or institution? Are they credible?
Are the author's credentials or qualifications given?
Is there author's contact information?
Is the information consistent with other sources? 
Does the information seem biased?
Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
Why was the information created? To persuade? To educate? To sell something?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
Are there political, cultural, institutional or personal biases and opinions?