Beyond the search process: Exploring the affective stages in developing a research proposal


  • Dana Aladem Kuwait University
  • Sajjad Rehman



Information Search Process model , Carol Kuhlthau , Affective stages, Research proposal, information searching, information seeking behaviour


This research aims to investigate the affective stages developed in the Information Search Process (ISP) model developed by Carol Kuhlthau. The purpose of this study was to understand how feelings relate to the six stages of conducting a research proposal. Feelings experienced by information seekers include optimism, clarity, confidence and satisfaction or uncertainty, confusion, frustration, and disappointment. This work specifies how feelings affect the various phases of the research process. A qualitative methodology was used for this study. Twenty Information Studies (IS) graduate students from the Social Science department at Kuwait University, who had taken the Research Methods course, were selected for the study using purposive sampling. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in order to collect feelings, perceptions, and views of the participants. Data collected were analysed using the narrative approach of the interviews. The results showed that the feelings of students changed during the different stages of Kuhlthau’s ISP model. The study indicates significant implications for research on information behaviour. It may help students and teachers to be aware of the affective role at different stages of their research proposal writing. It also assesses the possible contribution of intermediaries in helping students during the research writing process.






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