main steps in a research process

The research process is really not as mysterious as it may seem. In just a casual online search for "research process," it seems as if the process is anywhere between 5-7 steps. For example Cornell's Olin and Uris libraries, Nova University, and Baltimore Public Schools (actually my favorite) all offer some ideas. If you visit the sites, you'll notice that the steps aren't really that different; they only differ in how far along they go in their research process and what type of research process it might be. Fundamentally, the steps are:
  1. Identifying a topic of interest, refining it
  2. Conducting some basic research to see what's been written about it (maybe this will help you come up with some hypotheses, theories, etc...)
  3. Developing a proposal including planning, designing, and clearly stating how you intend to find the answers to your research questions and topic
  4. Carrying out your research project
  5. Analyzing your data
  6. Reporting your results
At this point, it's worthwhile to keep Babbie's diagram of the research process in mind: 
The next post will deal more specifically with a writing a research proposal. Meanwhile, you may wish to have a look at some of the links from the pearltrees link on this website.