Research questions and brainstorming: Be nimble and think through where some interesting questions lie.
Heart of the problem: What is really the main point, the kernel, of what you’re researching?
Rephrasing: What are the alternate ways of phrasing your search to find more material?
Wikipedia, Google, etc.: What can you glean from the general knowledge about your topic?
Keywords and synonyms: What are the simple phrases that best describe what you’re looking for?
Targeted searching: Determine the SUBJECT information on your topic to explore and dive deeper
Revision/trial and error: This is a multi-step process and will take a lot of revision. Usually rethinking keywords.
Read: The more you read, the more sophisticated your searching will become. This is a crucial step in finding material.
Analyze: Scrutinize and interrogate what you find. Does it hold? What questions do you have of the material?
Synthesize: Think through the author’s thesis and boil their work down to drill their work into your research. Be critical.
Where does your topic fit in with your field?: Make a case for your research and find its place. Revision is important.
ID related topics: Are there fields that can help you in your research? What are those? How far do you need to go?
ID related works and authors: Find the authorities in the field as well as subsequent or superseding work
Hypothesis and new research questions: With this round of research, where do you stand? What are your questions now?
Start again!: You now have a much more sophisticated understanding of your topic. Keep going!