Research 101: Getting Started On Your Research Project

Understand your Assignment

STEP 1: Understanding Your Assignment

As your instructor assigns you a research assignment, the first thing you will want to do is take note of all the elements related to the research process. 

Look for the following elements of your assignment: 
Type of Essay (Persuasive, Informative...) 
Scope of Topics (Can you choose your own topic, or choose from a focused area of study) 
Citation Style (APA, MLA or Chicago?) 
Length of Essay 
Number of Sources 
Required Source Types (Use of library databases, Books, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles) 

Your assignment will be uniquely created by your instructor and may or may not include elements listed above. Consult with your instructor for clarification concerning the required elements of your essay. 

Knowing your assignment’s requirements will help keep you focused throughout the research process.