Before you begin work on any research paper, examine the assignment closely for any requirements.
Q. How long is the paper?
This could be a page length, a page range, a word count, etc.
Q. How many sources?
How many total sources does your instructor ask for; are they all outside sources or does your textbook count as one of your sources?
Q. What kind of sources?
Does your instructor specify certain types of sources? Are there other requirements such as how current/old the sources can be, or where the source should come from - the library, a database, a book/ebook, a peer-reviewed journals, etc.?
Q. How do you cite sources?
Most instructors will ask you to use MLA format for your citations, but double-check to make sure. You may want to remind yourself what information you need to create the MLA Works Cited page and in-text citations. If your instructor has asked you to use the APA citation style, we have APA format help too.
Q. What is due?
You may have to do a paper or possibly a presentation. Make note of all the assignment requirements, such as page length and formatting, and create a checklist to make sure you don't leave anything out. Make note of any other requirements on the assignment sheet, and ask your instructor for clarification on any parts you're not sure about.
How long do you have to work on this paper or project? Is there one due date for everything or are there multiple due dates for different parts of the assignment? Plan out your time, so you don't get stuck doing all the work at the last minute. Plan extra time in case you have problems or get stuck.
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