Here are some tips for planning and doing a research project.
Step 1: Define Your Research Project
What is your purpose in doing the research?
What do you need to find out - and why?
How much time do you have to do the research?
Step 2: Make a List of Specific Questions
These are the questions that you will answer in doing your research. Prioritize them.
Step 3: Develop Your Research Plan
Who is most likely to know the answers to your questions? Go to those resources first.
Think about your resources broadly - include people and libraries. Speaking with someone who has already done your research is the fastest way to get an answer.
Use a search engine as a last resort, not as a starting point.
If you are doing research with a group, assign research questions so that you are not duplicating efforts.
Step 4: Research
Keep your priorities in mind. If you are having a hard time finding an answer to a particular question, ask yourself how important it is to answer - before you spend lots of time researching it!
Step 5: Review Your Findings
Have you answered your questions?
How will you use the information you have found?
Did your research raise additional questions?
How important are they in relation to your purpose?