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Night: Research Process

Guide for the book Night by Elie Wiesel.

Three Ways to Organize Research

Three Ways to Organize Research

Tips on thinking about the research/writing process if you are an "outliner", a "freewriter", or a visual organizer.

Research Process

The Research Process: an Interpretation of the Kuhlthau Model

This interpretation emphasizes research/writing or writing/research as an intertwined process.


Kuhlthau ISP Chart (Humboldt State University Libraries)

This chart from Kuhlthau's book, Seeking Meaning, adds actions and strategies to each step.

Kuhlthau, Carol Collier. Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services, 2nd ed. Westport, CT and London: Libraries Unlimited, 2004. ALEX Z711.K84 2004


Information Age Inquiry: Information Search Process. Danny Callison and Annette Lamb. 2005, 2007. Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

This site boasts an excellent presentation of the ISP and other research process models as well.

Not Sure When to Cite Something?

Not sure when you need to cite something? Check out the Plagiarism Guide and take the quiz.

Ideas about Documenting Your Sources

Use a Working Bibliography to Save Time  (Adapted from Miller 418-419)


A "working bibliography" is a list of the sources you found that you believe are most likely to give you the information you need. 


As you use the items, you can type in comments about each in a notes folder. Or, you can turn one copy of your working bibliography into your notes page while a second copy forms the basis of your bibliography or List of Works Cited page. With electronic documents, both of these variations and more are possible.


Organizing and Taking Notes to Avoid Plagiarism  (Adapted from Miller 419-420)


  • Make separate folders in your word processor or email account for each paper or project.

  • Document what you find as you go by sending references, abstracts (article summaries), and even full text to yourself as you discover them.  If you use RefWorks or another citation manager, export your items so that you keep track of everything.

  • Keep all your downloads, output from periodical indexes and databases, lists of sources, electronic documents, and notes you write for each project together in the same folder (Miller 419).

  • For your own protection, keep your searches, working bibliographies, note files, and versions of the paper until you receive your final grade for the course.

  • Take notes in a way that automatically avoids plagiarism. All you have to do is:


a) Key every one of your notes to a source and page number; and  


b) Differentiate clearly between the material you have quoted and your own words as you take notes.


Here is an example of a bibliography entry using a print periodical article in MLA 2009 format:


Miller, Kristin. "Developing Good Research Habits: Encourage Students to Create a Working Bibliography Online." College & Research Libraries News. 61 (2000): 418-20. Print.


Your notes page might look like this:


Miller, 2000 [source]


p. 419 "Using e-mail to collect citations allows the researcher to reformat them into a working bibliography on the computer and operating system that will be used to do the majority of the word processing." [Quotation, fact or even paraphrase and exact page number]


My note:  You should save your electronic searches in your email, even if you print them out somewhere for convenience. [These are your own words and thoughts about what you have read. Invent your own code if you wish, but be sure to label your own words to keep them separate from what you have read. If you used a paraphrase/explanation in your own words, you would still give it an in-text citation, just like the direct quotation.]


What Needs to Be Cited  (Reformatted from an unpublished lesson by Dr. Carter Daniel, Rutgers Business School)


"You must acknowledge not just


  1. Direct quotations, but

  2. Paraphrases of what somebody else said even though you've re-phrased it in your own words,

  3. Ideas you've picked up from a source, and even

  4. Any fact that isn't common knowledge.


In short, you have to acknowledge everything you've gotten from a source." 


List of Works Cited


Daniel, Carter A. Personal interview, 8 Dec. 2009.

Miller, Kristin. "Developing Good Research Habits: Encourage Students to

Create a Working Bibliography Online." College & Research

Libraries News. 61 (2000): 418-20. Print.

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