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EN1120: College Composition II Research Guide

Online reference materials

Creating a Research Plan

Research Diary

What is it? A research diary is a log of the steps and thought processes researchers go through as they conduct their research.  A research diary gives students the opportunity to reflect on the research process as they discover more information about a topic.  

  • Date and time of each search session 
  • Name of resource(s) used: List the library research databases, search tools, and finding aids used (e.g. library catalog, Academic Search Complete) 
  • Search terms used (keywords, synonyms, related terms, subject tags/descriptors) 
  • Search strategies used (could include keywords, search construction, subject tags/descriptors, limiters (e.g. peer reviewed), cited references, physical browsing, etc.) 
  • List the number of results you got with each search.
  • List the materials you found that were relevant to your topic and that you plan to read. Be sure to print or email to yourself any articles/citations that seem relevant
  • Problem solving you did to adjust your search strategy based on the relevancy of search results and identified gaps in the information needed
  • Reflect on the resources you used. What was easy about them? Difficult?

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