Chapter 3: The Writing Process 2: Researching

Learning Objectives

  1. Determine the appropriate research methodology that meets the needs of the audience.
  2. Distinguish between formal and informal research.
  3. Quote source text directly with accuracy and correct punctuation.
  4. ENL1813 Course Learning Requirement 4: Use effective reading strategies to collect and reframe information from a variety of written materials accurately.
    i. Separate main ideas from subordinate ideas in written materials (ENL1813ABGHMPRST CLR 4.1)
    ii. Identify the organizational structure of a variety of written messages (ENL1813ABGHMPST CLR 4.2)
    iii. Read with a purpose to identify needed information (ENL1813BHMRST CLR 4.3)
    iv. Paraphrase, summarize, and reformat information collected from written materials (ENL1813ABGHMPRST CLR 4.4)
  5. ENL1813 Course Learning Requirement 5: Locate, select, and organize relevant and accurate information drawn from a variety of sources appropriate to the task.
    i. Select and use databases to find information (ENL1813ABMRST CLR 5.1)
    ii. Locate prescribed sources of information (ENL1813BGHMST CLR 5.2)
    iii. Distinguish between primary and secondary sources (ENL1813BGMPST CLR 5.3)
    iv. Evaluate the relevance and validity of information (ENL1813ABGHMPST CLR 5.4)
    v. Assess and choose information sources appropriate to the purpose and task (ENL1813ABHMPRST CLR 5.5)
    vi. Compile and organize information (ENL1813BGHMPST CLR 5.6)
  6. ENL1813 Course Learning Requirement 6: Integrate and document information using commonly accepted citation guidelines.
    i. Credit other’s work or ideas to avoid plagiarism (ENL1813ABHMPST CLR 6.1)
    ii. Incorporate research information in written materials and oral messages (ENL1813ABHMST CLR 6.2)
    iii. Use strategies to identify and avoid plagiarism (ENL1813ABGHMST CLR 6.3)
    iv. Identify acceptable citation guidelines (ENL1813ABHMST CLR 6.4)
    v. Cite sources correctly (ENL1813BGHMPRST CLR 6.5)

Once you’ve identified your purpose for writing, profiled your audience, and selected the appropriate channel (Stage 1 in the writing process covered in Ch. 2 above), next you must gather the information that your audience needs. From the shortest informative email to the sprawling analytical report, most professional messages involve relaying information that was looked up—that is, they involve research. Employers value employees who are resourceful, whose research skills go well beyond Google-searching on the internet and focusing on the top few results like anyone can do. Whether such in-demand employees get the needed information from a print book in a library, a manual from a database on a company intranet, an article from a subscription database on the internet, or simply by asking a reputable authority such as a veteran co-worker, they prove their value by knowing where to find valuable information, how to use it appropriately, and how to document it if necessary.

1 Preparing, 2 Researching, 3 Drafting, 4 Editing                  2 Researching, 2.1 Selecting a Methodology, 2.2 Collecting Sources, 2.3 Using Sources, 2.4 Crediting Sources

Figure 3: The four-stage writing process and Stage 2 breakdown


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