The research process is not a linear process in which you must complete step one before moving on to step two or three. You don’t need to put off writing your paper until you’ve gathered all of your sources, in fact, you may want to start writing as soon as possible and adjust your search, thesis statement, and writing as you continue to work through the research process. For that reason, consider the following research process as a guideline to follow as your work through your paper. You can (and should!) revisit the steps as many times as needed to create a finished product.
source: IvyTech Colleges
topic: Burial practices
WHO are the people involved with my topic? Are you looking at members of specific faiths? Jewish, Hindu, Catholic, etc.? Or specific roles and their accompanying responsibilities, such as an undertaker, mortician, or priest?
WHAT are some examples of this topic? Sky burial? Embalming (or not)? Cremation as an alternative?
WHEN? What time period(s) are appropriate to this topic? Mummification was historically practiced in Egypt, but is it still? Have practices, regulations, rules around disposal of bodies changed over time?
WHERE? Is your topic tied to a specific country, state, city or geographic area? For examples, how does cremation for Hindus living in Nepal differ from Hindus living in the United States? Why are graves above ground in New Orleans? What is the importance of place to my topic?
WHY is this topic/idea important –to others, and to me? At the most essential level, we all die, but why else?