The Research Assignment
Before selecting a topic or starting your research, make sure you understand your assignment and its requirements. Consider the following:
- Have you been assigned a topic or can you pick your own?
- How many pages/words do you need to write? How long is your presentation?
- Do you need to include specific types of sources? (e.g., scholarly journal, book, government document)
- When is the assignment due? How much time do you have to do your research?
- Is currency of information important?
When in doubt, consult your instructor.
Can’t think of a topic to research?
- Scan your textbook for broad topic ideas.
- Peruse current magazines and newspapers to see what catches your eye.
- Browse encyclopedias.
- Discuss potential topics with your instructor, a librarian or a classmate.
Head Librarian - Shaver Engineering Library
Shaver Engineering Library Graduate Assistant