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Why do reseach?
“Engineers solve problems. The way they solve problems is probably the distinguishing feature of engineering.” The problem solving process includes the search for information. “In the real world, engineers often research technical literature to see how other engineers have addressed the problem….” (Source)
Develop a research plan.
1. Define the paper or project requirements — make sure you fully understand the assignment. When in doubt ask your professor. This will enable you to determine:
a) How much information is required?
b) What level of information is needed – elementary, scholarly or technical?
c) What types of information sources are allowed?
d) How best to plan your time?
2. Locate information — search using keywords from your clearly defined topic. If new to the topic, first find background information.
3. Evaluate your sources — quality information = quality paper.
a) Seek informed sources.
b) Seek impartial sources.
c) Cross-check sources.
4. Cite your sources — give credit where credit is due.
Are you stuck? Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of your research, Research Base Camp can help! These brief videos will provide you with key concepts in research and presentation skills.