College Level Research

This tutorial explains research, assignments, and library help at the college level.

Research at UW-Madison

  • UW-Madison is a world-class research institution.
  • There are thousands of people on campus who perform original research and create knowledge in a variety of subject areas.
  • UW-Madison students are part of this culture of research.

What is College Level Research?

  • Rather than stating facts or reporting what others have said, college level research involves asking interesting questions, drawing original conclusions, and creating new knowledge on a topic.
  • Previously, you might have used sources like Wikipedia or search engines like Google to complete your research assignments. To be successful at UW-Madison, you’ll want to perform more in-depth research using a variety of information sources.

College Level Research Assignment (Example)

You need to think of a scientific question that does not have a definitive answer, come up with a hypothesis, and carefully read the scientific literature in order to compare several studies.

  • You will be working with a group to complete a meta-analysis of a scientific question that has not been definitively answered.
  • You will need to evaluate five primary research articles and clearly state:
    • A research question and hypothesis
    • The biological rationale that leads you to your hypothesis
    • Examples of uncertainty in the literature
    • A clear, consistent metric
    • One or more x variables, preferably reflecting differences in methods between studies
    • The basis for comparison among studies you chose

The UW-Madison Libraries

As part of a major research library network, UW-Madison Libraries have access to millions of books, articles, primary sources, and other materials you will need for research and assignments. Many of these sources are not available through the free internet, but are accessible with your NetID through the library website.

Library staff at UW-Madison Libraries are another excellent resource. We help with access, use, and evaluation of the books, articles and other resources needed to produce research and class assignments.

Video Version of Tutorial

Research at UW-Madison video
Research at UW-Madison