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Research for International Students

The ways research is conceived, approved, conducted, and reported in the U.S. may differ from how it is done in other countries. This guide describes those processes and some of the context for them.

This guide is about ways in which research in the U.S. might differ from research in other countries. U.S. laws, standard procedures, and underlying assumptions may not match what you are used to.

If you don't find what you're looking for or have any questions, contact your librarian!

What is Research?

People in the U.S. use the word "Research" in two ways.

Library Research / Research Papers

Sometimes, you will be asked to write a research paper or to do "library research." You will find articles, reports, and other sources about your topic. You will synthesize what you find. In this type of research, you decide what is important from those sources. You arrange that important information to make new meaning or to make overall conclusions.

Research Studies

Sometimes, you will collect and analyze your own data as part of a research project. Sometimes, you will analyze someone else's data as part of a research project. You will still find articles, reports, and other sources about your topic. They will help your readers understand the context for your project. They will help your readers understand why your research is important. Your results are new knowledge. The way you connect the results to the information people already know is also new knowledge.

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