In both high school and university, you will be required to write research papers. Yes — papers in the plural. This is a daunting, even intimidating task, one that many people would prefer to circumvent altogether. There are literally hundreds of topics from which to choose, and it can be problematic to know where to begin.
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It's absolutely essential to develop a research question that you're interested in or care about in order to focus your research and your paper unless, of course, your instructor gives you a very specific assignment. For example, researching a broad topic such as "business management" is difficult since there may be hundreds of sources on all aspects of business management. On the other hand, a focused question such as "What are the pros and cons of Japanese management style? How do you develop a usable research question? Choose an appropriate topic or issue for your research, one that actually can be researched Exercise 1.
Whatever image you create, it's a sure bet that you're envisioning sources of information--articles, books, people, artworks. Yet a research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of the literature in a field. A research paper analyzes a perspective or argues a point. Regardless of the type of research paper you are writing, your finished research paper should present your own thinking backed up by others' ideas and information. To draw a parallel, a lawyer researches and reads about many cases and uses them to support his or her own case.
The objective of this guide is to teach basic skills for doing research and information literacy skills to find, retrieve, analyze, and use the information effectively for lifelong learning. Learning these skills provides access to the ever expanding universe of information and knowledge. The guide consists of a series instructional sections that are designed to teach the basic concepts of library research.