Britannica Research Guide

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Learn to become an independent researcher and confident inquirer!

You research all the time, probably without even thinking about it or realising you are doing it.

Maybe you checked the internet to find the latest sports results, or you looked up the biography of a musician you really like? Every time you put in keywords for an internet search or looked up something in a book or magazine, you were doing informal research!

For a research project, you conduct formal research. This means using resources to answer a question, solve a problem, or find out something you want to know. You’ll be like a detective, using your research skills to dig out the facts, organise them and draw conclusions from them.

This guide presents a five-step process to get you from start to finish in your research. Once you learn these steps, you’ll have a vital skill you can apply throughout your life.