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English 101: Process Memo

Resources to help students complete their assignments in English 101.

Search Process Infographic

Include in your Memo

Remember to include each step of your research process. Here are some questions and things to consider as you write.

1. Start with the big picture

  • Define concepts and terms
  • What reference works will you consult? Where will you find them?
  • Which websites would be appropriate for finding general information about your topic?

2. Narrow your topic (this may be iterative)

  • How did you decide what area to focus on? (or what slice of the issue)?
  • What was your process in narrowing your topic to something manageable?

3. Make a research plan

  • What keywords and booleans did you use?
  • What were your search expressions?
  • What tools did you use? How did you pick them?
  • How did you decide they were the best tools for your information needs?
  • What revisions did you need to make in order to find appropriate information?

4. Research

  • What did you consider when evaluating your results? Is the research you found credible? Does it help make your point? How do you know?
  • What revisions are necessary to your plan (step 3) to find the information you need?
  • How did you select articles and sources from the myriad results available?
  • How did you synthesize your research? What are your articles saying? Do they agree or disagree with each other? How do they support your research question?

5. Form an opinion

  • Synthesize and decide
  • How did you get to your thesis statement?
  • Has your opinion of your topic changed since you started researching? Has has your understanding of it increased or decreased?


Formatting a Memorandum

Remember that your Process Memo needs to be in proper memo format. Find out what that is below.