Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Homepage: Inquiry process

Navigation layout disabled by the site-wide Look & Feel settings.

Inquiry Cycle @FLC (you may have seen this graphic around the College?)

Inquiry Cycle explained

This is where you define, or identify, your question. What is it that you are trying to find out? 

You may need to do some background research to help you get started.

Background research maybe as simple as using the index in your textbook to locate a few pieces of information, or keywords, to get you started.  

This is also a good time to jot down any keywords, or words that you keep seeing, while reading.

Reflect: Do I understand the question? Do have enough general information to begin the explore phase?

This is where you start to explore your topic.

Using your keywords or search terms from the define stage investigate databases for journal articles, newspaper articles, reports, data sets, and websites. 

Use the library catalogue to see if there are books to help your investigation. Remember you may not find a book with everything you need, there may be a chapter or page with useful information. If you are not finding books to help answer your exact question you may need to keep your search general at this point. For example if you were researching traditional dress of the samurai you may need to look for books on samurai and see if they have a chapter on dress styles.

Wikipedia is also useful. Yes, you read that correctly. The reference section, found at the very bottom, of a well researched Wikipedia entry can be a great source of research material. Click on these links and read the sourced information yourselves to see if it helps answer your question.

Again, keep a look out for other keywords that may help with research. 

Reflect: Do you need to change your question slightly to be more specific, to focus on a particular element or smaller part of the topic?  Do you need to find other keywords because you are not finding information on your topic?

This is where you begin writing your draft.

Plan your response using TEEL paragraphs.

Ensure you have primary and secondary sources for a balanced assessment.

Include a reference list on the last page.

Reflect: Am I answering the question? Do I need to do more research?

Review feedback on your draft and make changes to your final piece of work.

Check that you have:

  • understood and acted on feedback from draft
  • primary and secondary sources for a balanced assessment
  • checked punctuation and spelling
  • checked your reference list

Reflect: Is this the best I can do? Is this my best effort?

Submit and CELEBRATE!