Skip to Main Content

JHHS Library: Research

For information about databases, visit the Databases & Research page

ProQuest Research Companion

Images & Photo Tools LibGuide

image For information on using images and photos in your research, refer to the "Images & Photos" Guide.

“Google is not a synonym for research.” 
                                                          Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol


Systematic investigation or inquiry aimed at contributing to knowledge of a theory, topic, etc., by careful consideration, observation, or study of a subject.

eWISE Research and Inquiry Model

Be eWISE when you research:

  • evaluate throughout the process
  • Wonder
  • Investigate
  • Synthesize
  • Express

eWISE model developed by the Wake County Public School System

evaluate throughout the entire research process

In each of the WISE steps:

  • check your progress
  • review the assignment rubric
  • ask your teacher questions
  • peer edit and revise
  • improve your work
  • reflect on your learning

"Search vs Research" by McMaster Libraries, 2016

  • EXPLORE new ideas 



What do you already know about your topic?

What do you want to know / learn?

What SOURCES will you use to find information?

evaluate: Are you prepared to INVESTIGATE to learn more about the topic?

  • No?: continue to WONDER
  • Yes?: Begin to INVESTIGATE

"Choosing a Research Topic" by Utah State University Libraries, 2017

  • LOOK FOR ANSWERS to your research question
    • Use a variety of keywords and phrases in your searching
  • LOCATE RESOURCES: use a variety of credible sources (from databases, print sources, websites, etc.)
    • Evaluate sources for credibility
  • GATHER INFORMATION from sources
    • Discover facts and build meaning from the information you gather
    • Determine relationships between ideas
    • Paraphrase and record information in your own words
    • Information that will be needed to create a final "WORKS CITED" and/or Bibliography (this validates your research and honors intellectual property rights)

How will you find information and answers to your research question(s)?

evaluate: Are you prepared to SYNTHESIZE the information you have gathered about the topic?

  • No?: Continue to INVESTIGATE
  • Have more questions?: return to WONDER
  • Yes?: Begin to SYNTHESIZE

"Choosing Keywords" by Utah State University Libraries, 2018

"Evaluating Sources" by University of Utah Libraries, 2017

  • SYNTHESIZE and ANALYZE the information you have gathered
    • combine information from other sources to make something new
      • organize your information
      • connect and compare information from a variety of sources
      • resolve conflicts with information gathered (consult additional sources)
      • draw conclusions
      • use evidence from your sources
      • summarize

How will you make something from the information you gathered?

Does your evidence answer your research question?

Does your evidence support your thesis?

evaluate: Are you prepared to EXPRESS what you have learned about the topic to others?

  • No?: Continue to INVESTIGATE and SYNTHESIZE
  • Have more questions?: return to WONDER
  • Yes?: Begin to EXPRESS


"Research Synthesis" by University of Utah Libraries, 2019

  • EXPRESS what you have learned
    • Communicate the main idea and supporting points of your findings
    • What format will best communicate your findings?: essay, visual presentation, video, website, performance, etc.* 
    • Use feedback from others (peers, teachers, etc.) to improve your final product
    • Give credit to your sources in a WORKS CITED or Bibliography *
    • Use others' creations, ideas and information ethically
    • Evaluate your process and your product

How will you show and communicate your new knowledge?


  • What were your strengths throughout the research process? What areas can you improve next time?
  • What were your strengths in the final research product (what you created)? What can you improve?

* Check with your teacher for assignment guidelines and requirements

What Exactly IS Research?

Research is:

  • Driven by a question or problem that then guides the process
  • Seeking information with a clear goal in mind
  • A process, which works best when done step- by-step. The steps may need to be repeated, as the process is reiterative
  • Collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem or answer the question
  • Going beyond facts and old ideas
  • Taking a new look at the information and taking a stand

Research is not:

  • Copying and pasting information you find through a Google search
  • Combining a paragraph from one article with a couple of paragraphs from websites. That's plagiarism.
  • Writing a "report"
  • Rearranging facts
  • Rewording each phrase and citing each source. That's just a summary of facts with someone else's name on them and still can be classified as plagiarism.

Words for the wise student:

Netcaster. David Douglas Duncan, Mexico, 1937. Photography Collection.

  • Remember, begin with a "wide net" in your search and then narrow your search results from there. You will generally find more information than with a very narrow search.
  • Don't wear "blinders" as you look for information on your topic. If you only look for specific information to answer a specific question, you may miss many opportunities to broaden your understanding of your topic.
  • Allow for surprises- you may find your views on your topic will change and take you in an entirely new direction.
  • Remember that research is searching again and again (re - search).
  • In the process of doing research, you will be looking at information that others have looked at before, trying to see something that they have not seen.

[Special thanks to Meg Omainsky for permission to adapt her research guide]