Research as Inquiry
"Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field." (From: ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education)
This activity from Lane Wilkinson proceeds via Socratic questioning. The goal is to have students explain the common stumbling blocks they encounter as they look for information and as they write papers (if they have). The role of the instructor is to facilitate the discussion by providing a contextual framework for student experiences. By showing students that their research process follows a common pattern, they can make better choices about how, when, and where to look for information (e.g., not jumping straight to peer-reviewed articles when they can barely define their topic)
This lesson plan from Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, edited by Patricia Bravender, Hazel McClure, and Gayle Schaub and contributed by Robert Farrell, provides students with a practical analogy for scholarly inquiry using an example they are all familiar with, crime scene investigation.
The lesson from Joelle Pitts helps students learn how to determine the scope of their investigations by creating an appropriate research question. This lesson introduces the first step in a research process and criteria used to refine a topic into an appropriate research question.