2: The Research Process:
Section 2 of 6, OVERVIEW, page 1 of 1.
Understanding the assignment
It is vital for the researcher to know exactly what is expected of him or her. Any questions in this realm should be resolved right away, between the student and their instructor.
What is due, when ... topic, thesis statement, outline, list of information sources, draft(s), final version.
How the paper should be formatted and how the information sources should be documented. Formatting pertains to the layout of the title page, the headings, page numbers, and margins. Documentation refers to elements like citations, references, foot notes, and bibliographies. Module 8 of this tutorial covers these topics in detail.
For virtually all classes at TROY, the style prescribed by instructors for formatting and documentation is Modern Language Association (MLA) style; American Psychological Association (APA) style, or, to a lesser extent, Turabian style.
If you are not highly familiar with the subject matter, read a general article or introduction. Depending on the topic, your textbook may be a good place to start. For example, if you were doing a report on the country of Malta, you might also read the entry in Encyclopedia Britannica (a database provided by the Library); visit the official Web site of the government of Malta <http://gov.mt/>; read the entry in The World Factbook <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mt.html>; or visit the Background Notes publication <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5382.htm>.
How am I supposed to know how to find stuff like that
You are certainly aware of what encyclopedias are, but you may not know that TROY provides access to them via its Library databases. This tutorial will show you how to use them.
Likewise, you know that there are useful sites on the Internet, but may not know how to find ones that are not only well-suited to your research topic, but that are also acceptable for use in a college research project. This tutorial will show you how to find information sources of all types and will provide you tools to help you evaluate what you find.
Most of all, we want you to be aware that regardless of what or where you are studying with TROY, the TROY library staff is available to assist you.
END OF SECTION: OVERVIEW, Understanding the assignment
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