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An Overview: The Research Process

The research process is complex and multilayered. This tutorial provides an overview and some practical strategies you can use.

Citing Sources

When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Open Web to support your ideas. Building upon the ideas and knowledge of other people is the way we as individuals build and contribute to the knowledge around us. When you integrate other peoples' ideas and work into your own, it is important to give those authors credit for their hard work.

Tips for researching and citing:

  • Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas.
  • Write down the complete reference information for each item you use.
  • Take advantage of source management tools.
  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
  • Always credit original authors for their information and ideas.

When to Cite

1. If you quote a resource, cite it.

2. If you paraphrase someone else's idea or statement, cite it.

3. If you're unsure, cite it.

4. If you state a fact that is not common knowledge, cite it.

Burke, A. (Project Lead), Dorafshar, D. (Animation), Langdon, K. (Narrator), Orphanides, A. (Script), & Duckett, K. (Team Lead). (2014). Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction. NCSU Libraries. Video retrieved from