Skip to Main Content

Philosophy & Strategy for Christian Ministries (CMI 421)

This guide provides resources to help support the CED 421 course and assignments.

Beginning the Research Process

Beginning the Research Process

I have to do research—now what?

Research success necessitates organization and a research plan:

  • Good notetaking is vital, including an organized way to capture the information needed to cite your sources properly.
  • Your credibility as a researcher is related to your ability to plan and organize your work.
  • Good notetaking helps to prevent plagiarism.

Once you have your research question(s) and topic, it is important to find sources to build your background information:

  • Tertiary sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) are very helpful in building your background knowledge of a topic.
  • Background knowledge means taking note of the specialized vocabulary, people, places, and dates associated with the topic.
  • This knowledge is how you will best build relevant keyword and subject searches.

The research process is emotional and cyclical!

  • At the beginning you might feel excitement about your topic or uncertainty in your abilities or a little bit of both.
  • During the process you will have highs and lows, successes and frustrations, as you search for sources and really dig into the material.
  • The highs and lows will come and go throughout the process—this is all perfectly normal.
  • Even at the end, especially of a big project that you have spent a lot of time on, you might be excited to be finished, nervous about your grade, or a bit unsure of what do to with all your free time.
  • It's all normal!

Background Knowledge Builders

Gale eBooks

Scholarly ebooks and specialized encyclopedias. Great place to start your research.

Oxford Reference

Broad selection of books for reliable, brief entries on many subjects.