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Beginning Research: Introduction

Help for beginning research on your essay, paper or thesis.

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The Research Cycle

Welcome to the Beginning Research guide for students at the University of Melbourne. This guide will help you through the research process.

An diagram of the 5 steps in the research cycle.

Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate through the guide.


Getting Started With Research



  • Plan how you will tackle the research.
  • Identify possible resources to use such as: journal articles, books, newspaper articles, or websites.
  • Locate resources in the library and online.
  • Evaluate the resources you have found critically.
  • Document the details of the resources you use.

Repeating the Research Cycle

You may need to revisit some of the steps as you complete your research.

For example:

  • After locating some resources and reading about your topic, you may think of better search terms to use.
  • You may find a list of references in resources you have located and use these to locate more resources.
  • Once you start planning the outline of your project, you may find gaps in your research and identify more resources to fill the gap.