Research Process‎ > ‎

Exploration

Exploration is the third stage of the information search process. During this stage you carry out further research about your topic.  You need to be taking more in-depth notes and remember to record the information about where your sources came from for your bibliography. While you are researching you may start to find conflicting information about your topic. This may lead you to feeling  confused about the inconsistencies. Use this conflicting information sheet to help decide upon the most reliable sources of information.


There are a number of different types of sources that you can use at this stage, remember that you are still scratching the surface of your topic. Often people like to use Wikipedia at this stage. Wikipedia is a resource that students often try to use but it should be approached with caution because users of Wikipedia can change information contained in an entry. Wikipedia can be useful as a jumping off point to help you find other resources and to gather general information, but always cross check it with other sources that have not used Wikipedia as a source. You will need to have a good strong process to evaluate a Wikipedia entry. The Wikimedia Commons provide a PDF booklet to help you understand the validity of entries and a Wikipedia editorial team entry on how entries are graded for their reliability.

The fourth stage in the process is called Formulation.