5 Steps of the Research Process

It can be hard for some students to find the path to start working on their research process. This step-by-step guide will help you in starting your research process.

What is a Research Process?

The research process entails a number of organised steps that a researcher must take in order to provide knowledge that will be valued by the project and concentrate on a suitable topic.

Steps of the Research Process

Step 1: Choosing your Topic

The first step you take to start the research process is to select an interesting and manageable topic considering your limitations. If the topic you choose is too broad, then narrow it down. You should spend a suitable amount of time selecting your topic. Carefully analyse the available sources and consult your supervisor before choosing a specific topic. You don’t want to be midway in your dissertation to realise that there isn't enough content on a topic. Browse our topics library here!

Step 2: Formulate the Research Problem

Once you have chosen a topic for your research, the next step would be to determine the exact problem your research would address. It is vitally important to define a research problem to give purpose and focus to your research. Try and solve a practical issue that is of critical importance to a specific group, organisation, or society.

Step 3: Develop Research Questions

Next, write research questions based on the problem statement. The purpose of the research questions is to inform the readers of what you want to investigate. Research questions can be formulated by enlightening, assessing, equating, and describing the research problem. Depending on your research topic, you may also have to develop a hypothesis and a conceptual framework.

Step 4: Formulate a Research Design

A research design is a practical framework to demonstrate how to find answers to the research questions. It includes decisions about what type of data you will need to gather and methods of analysis suitable to your needs, keeping in mind the time and monetary constraints.

Step 5: Write a Proposal

The final step is to write a research proposal if you are working on a larger project, such as a dissertation or a thesis. The research proposal provides a plan, purpose, relevance, and context to your study and involves a literature review and proposed methodology.


There are various stages in the research process, which makes it simple to accomplish the research successfully. The above-described steps in the research process are interdependent. Hence the order must be followed. If you want your research to be impactful, you must follow these steps in the research process.

Frequently Asked Questions

The research process is the step-by-step procedure followed to work on the research. It varies according to the fields of knowledge. Research methodology, on the other hand, is the analysis of the methods used to conduct the research.

Many sources can assist you in choosing the perfect topic for your research. You can consult your supervisor so that they can narrow down the context of your research. You can also look at the huge database of Research Prospect’s free topics. If you still cannot find a topic, you can consult one of our specialists.

A research process mainly consists of 5 steps.

  • Choosing your topic
  • Formulate the research problem
  • Develop research questions
  • Formulate research design
  • Write a proposal

The steps may vary according to the institution’s demand.