Get lengthier and more specialized research help with our book an appointment service.
Online tutorial on the research process, including how to start your research and how to search and find sources.
In-depth guides on research terms and techniques and citation styles.
Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.
Visit the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Library for help.
1. Read your assignment and highlight important details (Due date, format etc)
2. Figure out:
a). The Purpose – The essay will provide information, argue, analyze, or discuss a topic?
b). Who is the Audience? What is he/she expecting?
c). What Sources are needed?
1. Read the assignment the entire way through once. This gives you an overall view of what is going on.
2. Mark (highlight) the portions that you absolutely must know. This information may include:
How many sources, what types of sources
Format (MLA, APA).
3. Mark (highlight) important phrases. Does your professor repeatedly use specific words in class? If these are in the assignment, you know your professor wants you to use them in the assignment.
4. Think about how you will address the assignment. The assignment contains clues on how to write the paper. Your professor will often describe the ideas s/he wants discussed either in questions, in bullet points, or in the text of the assignment.
Ask your professor questions if you have any.
Now Can You Answer the Following Questions?
1. What is the purpose of this assignment? Is my purpose to provide information without forming an argument, to construct an argument based on research, or analyze a poem and discuss its imagery?
2. Who is my audience? Is my professor my only audience? Who else might read this? Will it be posted online? What are my readers’ needs and expectations?
3. What resources do I need to begin work? Do I need to read a specified source, conduct library research, or do I need to conduct empirical research, such as a survey or an observation? How many sources are required?
4. Who – beyond my professor – can I contact to help me if I have questions?