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Research 101: Comprehend Assignment

A guide on how to conduct academic research.

Comprehend Assignment

Before you begin your research assignment, the first step is understand what is exactly required of you. The research assignments you encounter during your studies will more than likely be worded and arranged differently.  However, there are certain parameters in your assignment that will be established.  Listed below are some questions you can ask yourself when beginning your research assignment:


What is the topic for this assignment?

  • Is the topic already provided or do I have to develop my own?
  • Is the prescribed topic rather broad or fairly narrow?
  • What subject do I have to develop my topic around?

What kind of sources are required of me to use?

  • Do the sources have to be scholarly in nature, e.g. peer-reviewed?
  • Is there a required number or limit on how many sources I must use?

Where can I find this information?

  • Do I have to use sources found in the CSU Library?
  • Can I use the internet, i.e. search engines, to find sources as well?

How old can the information be?

  • Does the source have to be published within four, five, or ten years?

How long should the article be?

  • Is there a minimum to how many pages an article must be?