This is the "Decipher Your Assignment" page of the "Research Basics" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Welcome to the Mabee Library. This guide will help you to learn the basics of research. This guide is based on information from the Western Oregon University Hamersly Library CLIP Project via Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Decipher Your Assignment Print Page

More Questions?

Have more questions about deciphering an assignment?

Contact a librarian! They can help you with these questions.


Deciphering Your Assignment

You’ve just been given an assignment and now have to figure out what to do with it. The difference between earning an A or a C can depend on how well you have read and understand the assignment sheet. This tutorial is going to give you a set of basic assignment components to look for as well as a few tips to help you succeed in completing an assignment without any surprises.

The first step is look for basic information: due date, type of assignment, length of assignment, citation style and formatting, and required sources.

Since assignments are generally based on concepts or information introduced in class, identify the assignment topic then look through your notes for related information.

Read over the instructions, looking for prompts and questions to be answered in your project.  Think about the assignment: If you can’t easily give a basic description of the task, revisit the assignment sheet and ask your instructor for clarification.


Research and Writing Process

Let’s take a look at the major parts of the research and writing process.  Some parts of this process are recursive, you will move back and forth between one or more steps several times. As an example, when reflecting on your first draft you may notice the need for an additional source to support a specific argument, you will move back to the finding sources stage to meet this need.

At some point in your assignment you will probably need evidence beyond the exploratory stage.  You may want to speak to a librarian first for help in formulating a search strategy and identifying appropriate tools and resources for your search. Always bring your assignment sheet with you when asking for help.

Ask your instructor to clarify any uncertainties or questions early on to avoid stress and rushed work later. When you get a final draft of the assignment finished, leave some time to reflect on your work.


Loading  Loading...