The librarians at Seattle Community College have come up with a very good tutorial on the research process that can help you understand how the process is intuitive and flexible. They say, in part:
"Whether you are seeking existing information or exploring new or complex questions, research builds on knowledge and information that others have created. ... A puzzle is one way to visualize the phases. Each interconnected phase represents a piece of the whole puzzle."
When you learn a few basics of library research the pieces of the puzzle can fit together more easily. Take a look through their tutorial if you have time.
The "Reflect Learn Connect" graphic is part of Seattle Community Colleges Library IRIS (Information & Research Instruction Suite) tutorial here: http://seattlecentral.edu/iris/overview/research_process/process.shtml