Gather Information

Now that you have your research topic in hand, you can start to gather information.

  • Remember that you may have to modify your topic as you discover what information is available. Stay flexible.
  • Go back to your assignment and review its requirements.  Did your teacher specify the number or type of information sources? Do you need recent or historical information?
  • Keep your list of concepts and keywords handy and be ready to change them or add to them as you go along. Take the time to review your search strategy before you start your research.

Not all of the information you find will be useful. Conduct a preliminary evaluation of each information source before selecting it:

  • Is it pertinent to your topic?
  • Does the publication date fall within the requested time frame?
  • Is it an academic publication or an authoritative source (written by an expert in the field)?


  • Keep track of which quotes you want to use and what you would like to paraphrase.
  • Make note of all the relevant information you find identifying each of your information sources: author, title, publishing information, page numbers, date, etc. Also write where you found your sources: database name, URL, etc.
  • If you’re concerned a relevant web page could change or be taken down, print it out or save it to your computer.

To know when and how to use a particular type of information source, click on the items on the sidebar at the left of the page.

If you feel ready to keep moving through the research process, click the button below.

Continue to the next step