The point of absorbing new information is the possibility of changing our mind.
We should end up in a different place concerning the question:
The final synthesis, the paper we write, reflects our growth in understanding. It shows we have changed.
Infographic by Sara Lowe, Associate Dean for Educational Services, IUPUI University Library.
A logical approach to an information need yields better results.
1. Define the information need. Figuring out a workable topic is itself a process.
2. Start looking for general info in places you are used to looking: Google, textbooks, Wikipedia. We call this Presearch.
3. Now look for usable academic resources: articles, book chapters, reliable news.
4. Ruthlessly Evaluate each source. Allow only authoritative writing into your synthesis.
5. Stay organized. Adopt a system, like Zotero, to track your sources.
Research is seldom a straight line; it's recursive, iterative, frustrating