Phases of Academic Research Process – 10 Things You Must Know

Academic research process spans from the selection of a unique topic to writing and proofreading. The process of conducting academic research is not a sequential one in which you must finish step one before moving on to steps two or three. You do not have to wait to start drafting your composition until you have collected all of your data. In fact, you might want to start writing right away and then edit as you go along with the research to refine your inquiry, research problem, and writing. This article will tell you about the phases of academic research process that are essential for any research.

What Are The 10 Most Important Phases Of Academic Research Process?

Phase 1: Identification and Development of a Topic

Topic selection is the most difficult part of academic research process. It necessitates deliberation and contemplation because it is the most vital stage, and you must do it right. Here are a few tips for topic selection:

  • Choose a topic that fits the requirements of the task. Your instructor will frequently provide specific instructions on what you can and cannot write about. If you do not follow these instructions, your instructor might find your submitted work to be inappropriate.
  • Choose a subject that intrigues you personally and discover more about it. If you are writing about a topic you are interested in, the research and writing will be more pleasurable.
  • Pick a topic that has a reasonable amount of data available. Make a preliminary search of available information sources to see if they will suffice for your purposes. You might need to narrow your topic if you find too much material, and you might need to broaden it if you find too little.

Phase 2: Develop a Research Question

When you have condensed the topic to a reasonable size, it is time to create research questions regarding your issue. Create challenging, open-ended, and discussion-prompting questions. The question you choose as your principal research question should be the one that best addresses the problem that concerns you. You can divide the question into primary and secondary questions. Get dissertation proposal help if you are facing any issues.

Phase 3: Develop a Research Problem

Developing a research problem is a crucial phase of academic research process. It requires devising a coherent statement that clearly defines your stance on the topic. A research problem must be logically consistent and one that sparks a discussion. A research problem is not a value judgement or an opinion but a logical statement that you can support with evidence. It is important to remember that researchers often devise a working research problem. You can refine and edit the research problem as you start gathering evidence.

Phase 4: Select a Research Design

This step focuses on developing a research strategy or overarching strategy to how you will address the stated issue or problem. A research strategy or approach is a structure or design for carrying out research. It describes the steps required to get the essential information. Its goal is to conduct research that will test the relevant hypotheses, find potential solutions to the research problems, and present the data required for making decisions. Choosing an appropriate research design encompasses the following steps:

  • Decide whether you want to conduct research using primary or secondary data
  • Decide the research approach, whether it is quantitative or qualitative
  • Choose data collection methods such as interviews, questionnaires, observations, and focus group discussions
  • Select an appropriate sample size
  • Develop mechanisms to ensure data validity and reliability
  • Choose procedures for measuring the variables and testing the hypotheses
  • Develop a questionnaire
  • Create a plan for data analysis

Phase 5: Search the Web

Conduct an initial search to see if enough material is available to suit your needs. It will also help you establish the context for your research. Search your keywords in the relevant dictionaries and encyclopedias, book catalogues, online databases for periodicals, and search engines on the Internet. You can find more perspective in your course materials, books, and assigned readings. Depending on the resources available, you might need to change the topic’s primary focus.

Phase 6: Evaluate the Sources

The next phase of academic research process entails the evaluation of sources after finding the relevant sources for your research. It is essential to ascertain the credibility of sources because you must gather reliable information for your research. You can evaluate the sources by assessing the author’s credentials, the journal’s prestige and by assessing the motivations of the people who collected the data.

Phase 7: Make Notes

Academic research process entails making notes for your research from the gathered sources. Examine your chosen sources and make a note of the data that will be relevant to your work. Even if there’s a chance you won’t utilise a certain source, make sure to record all the ones you read.

Phase 8: Write your Paper

Start by arranging the data you have gathered. The write-up is the next step, in which you put your concepts on paper without giving them a final polish. This phase will assist you in organising your thoughts and choosing the format for your final paper. After that, you should make as many revisions to the draft as you deem necessary to produce a finished work that you can submit to your instructor.

Phase 9: Keeping Track Of Sources

Keeping track of sources is an important phase of academic research process. Cite your sources and provide appropriate acknowledgement where credit is due. Giving due credit to the creators of the materials utilised by citing or documenting them serves two purposes: it enables readers of your work to replicate your research and find the sources you have mentioned as references. If you do not cite the sources properly, it will result in plagiarism, so it is imperative to cite every source. The standard citation formats are APA, MLA, Harvard and Chicago styles.

Phase 10: Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading your completed work is the last stage in the procedure. Check for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation issues as you read the text. Make sure you correctly cite all of your sources. Make sure you have clearly articulated the point you want the reader to take away from reading. Hire a dissertation editing service if you still feel any issues in your research work.


Academic research process is not a linear process. It is not essential to follow the above-mentioned steps sequentially. You can refine and improve the steps as you start conducting the research. Therefore, research is a recursive process, and ideas become clearer and more coherent along the way.

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