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Reference Department


FAU Libraries Reference Department

Building LY 3, 1st Floor East
Boca Raton Campus

Reference Office Phone:
(561) 297-3785

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Research Checklist

Choose a Topic Search for Information Evaluate Information Compose Need Assistance?
STEP 1: Choose a Topic
STEP 2: Find Resources
STEP 3: Evaluate Information
STEP 4: Compose an Assignment
Need Assistance?

Read the Assignment.

The first thing to do is to understand the assignment and its requirements. Here are some points to consider:

  • What are the assignment requirements?
  • How long should the assignment be?
  • What types of resources should be used? Does information need to be from specific formats, such as books or journal articles?
  • When is the assignment due?
  • What is the purpose of the assignment? Does the assignment intend to be informative or argumentative?

Select a Topic.

Some assignments may provide a topic, while others may require students to choose their own. Try some of these steps to select a topic:Select a Topic

  • Review the assignment requirements. Choose a topic that is appropriate for assignment requirements, along with its intended purpose.
  • Recall your experiences or area of expertise. Think about what you know or what interests you, and if it fits with your assignment.
  • Look at materials from class or other information sources. Review notes or handouts, including class discussions. Consult with encyclopedias, almanacs, or other reference sources. Ideas may be generated from exploring these.

Write It Down.

Once a topic has been chosen, write it as a full phrase or sentence. You may save time and effort in doing your assignment when your topic is clear and focused. To keep track of the steps done for your assignment, you may want to keep a written research log and note your progress.

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