Before you settle on a topic, it's a good idea to do some background research first. The library is a great source for background information!
2. Refine Your Topic
Now that you've done some background research, it's time to narrow your topic. Remember: the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be.
3. Search For Sources
After you've refined your topic, it's time to start searching for sources. Do you need books, articles, or something else?
4. Evaluate Your Sources
It's always a good idea to evaluate sources before using them in your assignment. Do you need to have scholarly sources or the most recent research? Are your sources credible? Are they relevant to your topic?
Pull everything together to share your argument and your evidence. Tie ideas from your sources together with your own thoughts and analysis to make a compelling case.
As you write, you may find that you need more information, or that some of the information you had found is actually not useful. This is normal! Researching is not a straight line. Determine what other information you need - then search, evaluate, and write again. Repeat as necessary until you have a polished, completed research assignment!
This guide is adapted from Kennesaw State University's "2018 Blueprint Example Guide" (except where otherwise noted), with permission from the authors.