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Getting Started with Research: Home

This guide helps you get started on the right foot with a research assignment.

Questions to Ask Yourself when Analyzing an Assignment

Make sure to read your assignment description carefully. These questions can help, but if you're confused - ask your teacher! 

  • What are the assignment parameters? Such as word count, audience, format?
  • What type of research do you need to complete for this assignment? Do you need to access any outside sources, like a book or use library research?
  • What's the purpose of this assignment? Is it to learn to find research? Analyze sources? To formulate an argument?
  • How is the assignment being graded? Is there a rubric? Does your professor grade for grammar/punctuation/formatting, or is it more content and organization based?

Figure Out Where To Research

Searching isn't always a one stop shop. Your purpose or where you are at in the process can determine where you need to go. The chart below can help you connect with resources that might help!

Purpose/Step In the Process Source(s) Notes
Just starting out?

Google; Search Engines


This can help you choose a topic and find some introductory information about your topic
Gathering background information? Encyclopedias; Biographies; Books. Background info is key to establishing context and understanding your topic! NOTE: books take a while to be published so if your topic is very recent you might need to rely on newspapers
Current Events Newspapers; Popular Websites Newspapers are usually published daily or weekly and are therefore the quickest way to get to the most recent information on a topic
In-depth information Books; Scholarly Articles Books are the most in-depth option while articles usually present new research
Government Information Governmental Websites or Repositories Most government information is digitized, but sometimes you will have to visit a library for a physical copy
Statistical Information Statistics These are scattered across the web but can provide good information to back up your argument. 
Scholarly Articles Databases These often require library access



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Subjects: Research Tips