Landman Library

Iteration and Refining your Topic and Search Process

You may have noticed that we mentioned getting background information on the page about choosing a topic, and vice versa. This is because these processes work together! As you learn more about your topic, you are able to ask more refined and specific questions, which can point you in a direction to learn more about your topic! 

As a result, you may find yourself toggling back and forth between the task of articulating your topic or research question and learning more about your topic. This is good.

Research is not a linear process! You do not progress neatly from idea to reading sources to writing your paper. Instead, research is iterative. You may change your initial question as you learn something about your topic that shapes your interest. You may begin writing and realize that there is an aspect of your topic that you do not have enough information about, and need to find new sources. Research can be messy. That's okay! A librarian can help you if you get stuck!