16 Introduction

Research as Inquiry

Module Introduction

Students often approach research without much thought or planning, but experienced researchers are familiar with the inquiry process (Burkhardt 36). This module will help you understand the difference between search and research. You will also learn how to narrow a topic and restate that narrower topic into a research question.

Research is an iterative (repetitive) process that begins by building on an initial question or idea. One question leads to another. “Research involves asking new questions and seeking answers by combining and recombining facts and information pulled from a variety of sources” (Burkhardt 34).

Most students find it most difficult to begin the research process. By developing a research question first, you will better determine the scope of the investigation (Pitts, NLA). The subsequent steps to conducting research will be driven by the question. Therefore, your research will stay focused on the topic. (1)

Learning Outcomes

This module aligns with Learning Outcomes 3, 5, and 6.

Module Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Construct a research question and search strategy.
  • Differentiate the terms search and research as related to the inquiry process. (1)

Required Readings

Teaching & Learning, Ohio State University Libraries. Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research. (CC BY 4.0.)

Chapter 1: Reseach Questions

Note: External links and videos embedded within Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research are supplemental in nature.

Learning Unit: Research as Inquiry

Assignments and Learning Activities

  • Complete Readings
  • Complete Research Questions & Sources Assignment
  • Participate in Module 4 Discussion
  • Read the Annotated Bibliography Assignment Introduction (due in Module 7)


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