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Beginning and Organizing your Research

Where do I start?

The steps that you take during your research will evolve as you become more comfortable with the research process and find what works best for you. Before you start your research, I recommend answering the following questions:

  • What is the research outcome? Is it textual (research paper) or an art project (music score, documentary, painting, etc.). 
  • What are the requirements?
    • Is there a minimum number of sources you must use?
    • Are you required to use certain types of resources such as books, articles, or exhibition catalogs?
    • Do your sources need to be academic?
    • If you are writing a research paper, how long does it need to be?
    • When is the due date?
  • Topic requirements: can you create your own, has your instructor given you a list to choose from, or has your instructor assigned you a topic?