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Research Steps: Home

Research Project Steps

Use the Research Steps Template that is attached below.

1. Read the Assignment

  • Read the Assignment  - don't lose points for not following directions.
  • Read the Rubric - know what you will be graded on
  • Underline the type and number of required sources and keywords
  • Identify essential questions
  • Identify the appropriate writing style

2. Search for Information

  • Create a list of questions about your subject, keeping in mind the essential questions
  • Create a list of  keywords from the question list (topic words, synonyms, words with similar spelling)
  • Use Google Advanced Search Techniques:  click gear icon then choose advanced search, or go to  
  • Use search engines, databases, ebooks, print, video
  • Check topic with your teacher  

3. Evaluate and Analyze Sources

  • Accuracy: copyright date, last update, sources verified, quality of source material, range of dates for source material, links work
  • Bias:  both sides equally presented, no facts omitted, not a parody
  • Credentials: authors' credentials, contact information, sponsor or publisher of website, domain (see domain key below)
  • Decide: based on the assignment requirements and the accuracy, bias, and credentials of the site, is it a good source to use for your research? 
  • Primary source:  created during the time period you are researching (for example, a diary, newspaper article from that period, etc)
  • Secondary source: created after the time period to analyze or report on the time period.
  • Answers essential questions?

4. Organize and Write - use Noodle Tools, and Turnitin

  • Take Notes
  • Outline the Paper
  • Write a Thesis Statement
  • Incorporate Source Material
  • ReflectCompare and Contrast, use original thinking

 5. Cite Your Sources

  • Avoid Plagiarism
  • Use MLA 7 format

ABCD: Evaluate Your Sources

ABCD:  Evaluate your sources.

Source Citation:


Copyright date __________
Latest Update: __________
Sources listed? ___________
Number of Sources: _____________
Range of dates for sources _________
How many dead links?  ______________

Both sides of an issue fairly presented? ________
Facts omitted to bolster one side of an argument? __________
Objective advertising? _____________


Author’s credentials :___________
Contact information: ___________
Publisher or Sponsor name and contact info:  __________
Domain and meaning:  _______________  (ex. edu, educational institution)

Based on the assignment requirements and the accuracy, bias, and credentials information above, is this a good site to use for my research?  Why?

Primary or Secondary Source _________________

Teacher approval ____________

Primary Sources

Also check the databases -  most databases have a primary source tab that will find primary sources for your topic.