1. Getting started- Planning

Fail to plan, plan to fail!

Define your research

What are you looking for?

If you have been asked to research, for example, the Gothic era, you have to have a clear idea of what kind of information you might need. It is difficult to find something if you do not know what you are looking for.

If unsure, clarify with your teacher or other students first. Alternatively, start at the beginning with a dictionary definition of a keyword e.g. 'Gothic' to see if this sheds light on the type of information you should be gathering.

Research is Like Cooking

How to narrow the search

Given that you are studying English literature, how helpful was that last link to the definition of Gothic? Right. You must evaluate all the information you come across for quality and relevance to your research.

So, in order to clarify your search, you now have to think of more relevant keywords to get the information that you want, for example, Gothic era literature.

Better, right?

Now you should have a clear idea of what the Gothic era is to point your research in the right direction.

Now that you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, what next?