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Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering: MME 448 / 449 | Senior Design Project

Research Process

The research process is a repeating cycle, both for individuals and for communities. It's very much like the scientific method.

Origin ► Planning & Design ► Data Gathering ► Data Analysis ► Results ► Reporting ► Origin

  • Origin: come up with an idea
  • Planning and Designing: develop strategy for conducting the research
  • Data Gathering: locate or collect data or information, including previous research
  • Data Analysis: look at collected data to see what it reveals - may decide to do more data gathering
  • Results: compiling data analysis and begin the writing process
  • Reporting: writing process fully underway, remember to cite sources

Keep in mind as you move through the research process that it's not rigid. Things don't always go smoothly or as expected, and that's fine; sometimes researchers need to go back to previous stages and revise things or search for more data or sources.

Literature Reviews

Simply a review of the body of published work which record ongoing conversations over time.

Purposes: confirmation of need, establishment of focus, identification of specific subject and context, identification of theoretical base, and identification of methodological base.

Examining the literature almost always leads to some reassessment of the research question.

Identifying Search Terms

This is a three step process, which begins with articulating your topic in a few sentences, then breaking it down to main concepts, from which you’ll devise related terms. 

Describe your topic in a few sentences


Main concept 1 Main concept 2 Main concept 3
Synonyms / related terms for main concept 1 Synonyms / related terms for main concept 2 Synonyms / related terms for main concept 3

You now have keywords to start searching with, which can be combined in different ways to pull up results relevant to your research. You might discover additional terms during your searching.


MME Librarian

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Kristen Adams

If you have questions or need help with research, please contact me at

To schedule a meeting, please email me and let me know your preference for day/time and for in-person or virtual.

209 King Library