Determine Information Needs

When we research, we often have a specific final product in mind. Chances are you're working on a research assignment right now. If you have already defined and refined your topic, you might think you are ready to scour the web and your library's resources for information; however, your research process will be more efficient, producing more relevant information and less stress, if you think about the types of information that will best support your product before you begin actively researching your topic.

The following sections will explain the cycle of information, define a few common broad information types or categories, and help you identify your information needs. Remember, your information needs will vary depending on assignment requirements, your topic, the type of product you will produce (written, oral, visual, multimodal), the purpose of your product, and the audience to which you will present your research.

Information Cycle

Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources

Scholarly, Professional or Trade, & Popular Sources


Continue to step three, Find Information

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