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How To: Begin Your Research


Getting Started

Research is a process and requires a plan. Let's get started!

But first, make sure to read your syllabus and the assignment prompt carefully so that you understand:

  • Whether this is a group or individual project
  • When the project is due
  • What kinds of evidence or sources you are being asked to provide
  • What you will be graded on (especially if there is a rubric)

How to Select a Topic

What should you consider before choosing your topic?
  • Choose something that interests you
  • Think about how long the paper or presentation must be
  • Think about how much time you have to complete your research

If you're not sure how much time to devote to the different pieces of your research, try using an assignment calculator (such as this one from the University of Minnesota).

Tip:  Do some background reading before making a decision!

If you don’t know much about the topic that you're considering, try searching Credo Reference and using their mind mapping tool.

SingleSearch is a great place to begin!

Here are some popular databases that will help you get started!

Very Short Introductions

Introductory texts on all manner of subjects. Here is but a sampling!