Skip to main content


The Research Process

The process of research can be quite daunting at times, whether it's your first research project or your hundredth. 

Learning to research is a vital skill for Business majors, especially for future marketers. Many of your research assignments mimic future job tasks, such as creating a marketing plan, performing market research, finding and analyzing datasets, and more. Refining and honing these skills now will help you while you're here at ISU and in your post graduate career. 

It's helpful to think of research as a circular process, rather than a checklist of steps. You may get to the "end" of your research and discover you have even more questions to answer - or your professor might ask you to elaborate on a topic. 

Generally, the steps to researching are:

  1. Deciding what to research and developing your research question.
  2. Planning your research.
  3. Searching and refining results. 
  4. Evaluating source credibility and appropriateness. 
  5. If necessary, determining a new, related, or follow-up research question. 

And, through all of this, you need to record your sources and avoid plagiarism. 

Planning Your Research

Once you've defined your topic, you'll need a plan to start researching. The exact steps will differ between projects, depending on your starting point, the deadline, the nature of your project and more. Generally, you need to identify what information you need to find and match that need up with where to find it.

Some common sources include:

  • Scholarly Articles
  • News Articles
  • Company Information
  • Industry Information
  • Market Research
  • Demographics, statistics, and other datasets
  • Books

Questions? Contact me

Danielle Futoran Turos's picture
Danielle Futoran Turos
Email me:
Call me: 309-438-5891
Visit me: Milner Library, room 418
Please contact for in-person appointment.