Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Critical Thinking & Academic Research

This guide is created to aid you in your development of critical thinking skills and in your ability to conduct research using library resources.

Step 1- Investigating Before Starting Research

Investigating starts with understanding your assignment, finding a topic to research, identifying a problem, and establishing a thesis statement when necessary before starting to search for resources. 

Tips for Investigating and Before Starting Your Research:

1- Know the type of paper you are writing. Check with your classroom Professor's guidelines and requirements. 

Examining each assignment carefully will help you choosing research resources accordingly.

Types of papers: Report - Usually descriptive, Analytical Paper- Involves comparisons, Argumentative Paper- Involves persuasion and evaluation

2- Identifying a topic is an essential part of the preparation. Avoid choosing a topic that is too broad if you are just required to write a concise paper. Always adjust your topic with the length of your paper and be flexible with your topic. 

3- When choosing a topic, identifying a thesis statement will guide you throughout the research process and help you avoid wasting time on unnecessary resources. If you have a strong thesis statement, it is like a road map guides you to the relevant resources you will need to support your statement. 

4- Make an outline of your paper, know what resources you need according to your structure.

5- Create an annotated bibliography or summary of resources while gathering your resources. 



G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University