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Research Process

This libguide walks the reader through the Information Search Process as outlined by Dr. Carol Kuhlthau.


  • Organize your thoughts and ideas
  • Check the assignment again for specifics
  • Format and cite your paper correctly
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • Don't plagiarize!  

Step 6 - a deeper explanation

  • Create to communicate
  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts - interpret and extend

After students have gathered enough information to construct their own understandings, they are ready to organize their learning in a creative presentation during the Create phase.  Creating a way to communicate what they have learned about their inquiry helps students to articulate what is important about the subject and requires them to integrate the ideas more firmly into a deep understanding.  The Learning Team guides students to go beyond simple fact finding and reporting and summarize, interpret, and extend the meaning of what they have learned, and create a way to share what they have learned.

Create sessions are designed to guide students to reflect on all they have learned about their inquiry question, construct their own understanding, and decide what type of presentation will best represent the engaging ideas, controversies, and theories generated through the inquiry for a particular audience.  The Learning Team guides students in creating a meaningful, interesting, clearly articulated, well-documented presentation that tells the story of what they have learned in the inquiry process.

Kuhlthau, Carol Collier, et al. “Guided Inquiry Design Framework.” Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century, 2nd ed., Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara, CA, 2015, pp. 57–58.