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Smart Student Research Guide


Step 2: Research Basics
Skip to Step 3: Choosing & investigating a topic

owl This may seem like common sense but double-checking your due dates is always a good idea. Different professors will have assignments due at different times so keep track of what assignment is due when. And be sure to...

...Give yourself plenty of time. clock The sooner you start your research the more time you will have to complete and review the project prior to handing it into your professor. If you wait too long, you may not have enough time to properly develop your topic or to choose a topic that interests you.

Also, some students may need to use the same library materials as you; if you wait, it's possible the materials you need may be already checked-out to someone else. You also want to be sure you have adequate time with the materials to get as much information as you need to complete your assignment.

While the library has thousands of online full-text database articles, not everything we hold is available full-text. If you find that one article that is perfect for your paper but we do not have access to it we can get it for you -- but it may take some time. Therefore, research early to ensure you have the best resources for your project.

owl Research assignments will vary depending upon the program of study, the instructor, and the level of course-work. Your instructor will usually give you detailed instructions about the assignment, such as what information to include, the length and formatting of the paper (and do not triple-space or/and use large fonts -- professors can tell!), what your research topic might be, etc., which is often found in the courses's syllabus. Knowing this information before you begin can save you from wasting time from the start. If you have questions about the assignment or are unclear about any aspect of your project, please talk with your professor before you begin.

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