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101 Research Basics

Your Assignment

Always read the assignment first! 

Before you choose a topic make sure you understand your assignment. Carefully read and analyze the assignment.

  • What is the purpose of your paper/project?
  • Who is your audience? Is this a presentation to the class or a paper just for your professor?
  • How many and what types of sources do you need?
  • What are the logistics of the paper?  When is it due?  How long should it be? What citation format are you using?

Understanding your assignment will help you select a workable topic and lead to a successful research project.

If you don't understand or have questions about the assignment, check with your Professor.

Be prepared to explain your assignment to someone else if you need help and have the assignment handy so others can see it.

Assignment Sources

What kind of sources are there?

  • Books
  • Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Magazine Articles
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Websites
  • Statistics
  • Visuals
  • Interviews

How many of each source do I need?

Are there specific/suggested sources you must use?

Other source requirements?  

  • Publication dates
  • Articles cited by another author
  • Length of article
  • Type of article....Review. Original, Empirical, Research, Study