The graphic to the left lists the different stages of the research process. "Research" is a concept with a broad range of definitions. This graphic presupposes an active component, where a researcher does original work in the field (steps 4 and 5). Particularly at the undergraduate level, not all coursework involves such a component -- much of your coursework will ask you to review the literature on your topic, and then discuss, interpret, and add your own thoughts to this material. Coursework of this nature may be considered "research" too, and the graphic can accommodate this form of research in addition to research with an active component. When this happens, omit steps 4 and 5, and instead proceed from step 3 to step 6.
Proceeding step-by-step through each yields the following structure:
Also referred to as the publishing cycle or the information lifecycle, this timeline highlights the different types of media that will report on an event in the different timeframes after the event happens. The elapsed time between an event and the media reporting it has an effect on they type of content and level of analysis that will be present in the reporting documents. The following tutorial will examine a variety of information types and materials regularly used for academic research.