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The Place to Start

Your guide to Research, Plagiarism, Copyright, Citation, Style Guides, and Writing Guides

Introduction to Research Projects

The Assignment


What's on this page?


Need more help?

A picture of a student working.

If you need more help than this page provides, check out Augsburg's Writing Lab, on the main floor of Lindell Library.

They can help with all parts of a writing assignment, including:

  • Understanding assignments
  • Analyzing a topic
  • Constructing a thesis
  • Writing style and formatting
  • Punctuation and proofreading
  • Citation questions
  • and more!

Understanding the Assignment

So, you have an assignment...


Before you dive in, take a moment to step back and...

Make sure you understand your professor's assignment.

This might not be as simple as it looks. Imagine yourself summarizing it for a friend or roommate.

Can you re-write or say the assignment in your own words?

  • Does the assignment describe the outcome in detail?
  • How many pages should it be? How many minutes should the presentation run?
  • Does it specify what kinds of sources you should be drawing from?
  • Does it give a style guide, like MLA, for you to follow?

Figuring this out now will save you a lot of time and effort later.

Finding Sources

Next, find some sources!

 

Is that Web site a good source?

 

Now it's time to start finding the sources you will read to get information for your paper or presentation.

Don't just head to Google!

Academic work requires strong, authoritative sources, not just any random thing you find on the Internet.

Having trouble searching?

Talk to a librarian!

  • Find us at the Reference Desk
  • Call, email, or chat with us

Our job at the library is to supply you with the scholarly books, articles, and curated web resources that you will need for your research.

You can find several different types of sources here at the library:

  • Books
  • Articles from scholarly journals
  • Articles from newspapers
  • Web sites, including statistics and government reports
  • Videos
  • Audio files

No full text? Click the Find It! button by the article to get it elsewhere, or to order it.


Search Augsburg

  • Books at Augsburg | Scholarly articles from a selection of our databases
Lindell library Search


Search Journals

  • Scholarly articles in specific databases

Search Newspapers

  • Newspaper articles in specific databases

Search Videos

  • Videos at Augsburg  |  Online Video Collections
Lindell Library Video Search

Assembling a Bibliography

The Bibliography


Toward the end of your project, you'll start assembling your sources into a bibliography, a list of all the sources you used in your project. This is usually written down according to the rules of a style guide, like MLA or Chicago.

Check the assignment, or ask your professor, to find out which style you should use.

No matter where your information is from, whether a scholarly database or even your personal interview with a source, it's important to document it thoroughly.

You'll find more information on citation styles and why they are important in the next few pages.

Using a consistent style reassures your professor, and anyone else who reads your paper or sees your presentation, that your information and opinions are trustworthy.