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Research Process

A general guide through the process of writing a researched paper or putting together a project that involves background research.

The Assignment

Read the research assignment that your faculty member has given you. Read it when you receive it. Look for these common parts:

  • a one- or two-sentence introduction
  • a list of thought-provoking questions or ideas
  • key verbs that indicate what you need to do
  • tips for success
  • information about format and logistics

As you read the assignment, ask yourself a few basic questions and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

  • Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?
  • What kind of writing style is acceptable?
  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Ask your faculty member questions about anything that you don't understand.

Understanding Assignments - UNC Writing Center