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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Research Process

Walk through a simplified research process to get started on your research projects.

How to Use This Guide

This guide is designed to walk you through the research process, from choosing a topic to evaluating and managing sources. The following pages will introduce you to Mable, a persona who will help demonstrate the various phases of research. Alongside Mable's journey, key information about background reading, searching, and navigating library and web resources, among other topics, is presented. 

Although the guide is set up linearly, it's important to recognize that research is nonlinear and iterative (repetitive). There may be times when you feel the need to return to background reading, even if you've already found a number of relevant sources, to get a better understanding of some aspect of your topic. Or there may be times when, as the result of sources you've found and read, you'll need to return to topic development and take your research in a different direction. 

You may find it most helpful to read through the full guide, even if you only need help with web searching, for instance - reading through an example of the research process from start to finish can help ground you in your own process and provide context. If you'd like assistance with the research process, or if you have questions about this guide, see the library's Research Help page for information about contacting us.