Research logs and plans are very personal to your method of thinking and workflow. The important part is to document! This will help you organize your thoughts and make searching more efficient.
View your music librarian's sample research log and plan on Google Docs. The sample topic is:
What is Lady Gaga's religious identity, and how is that expressed in her music videos?
An important part of this process is keeping a research log. Some research assignments are short, and you likely already naturally keep some sort of log in your head as you do your library searching in an afternoon or two. However, longer research assignments will stretch out over multiple days or weeks, and you are busy! It is more efficient, and helpful for future research, if you keep a written log.
Research logs help you to:
The log can be kept in whatever form makes the most sense to you! See this example log from the University of Connecticut Library
The first several rounds of searching for sources will be more broad and generalized as you refine your topic and formulate your research question.
Later rounds of searching for sources will be more targeted and specific, as you will begin to formulate a thesis statement and answer your research question. You will need both a) pieces of direct evidence that support your answer and b) sources that are from other researchers that discuss your conclusion or provide different conclusions for context and discussion.
Make a list of the types of sources you need to find. Add additional parameters to those sources, such as date range or geographic limits, to document what would best fulfill that need. Some questions to ask as you make your list:
For each source, make a plan on where you will search for that source. Library databases and websites provide a different mix of sources, so it is best to plan out where you are going to search. Ask your librarian for advice on recommended databases for different source types, and explore the Music Research Guide for suggestions.