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InfoBits: Understand Your Assignment

What You'll Learn

InfoBits - Build your research skills

  • How to figure out your assignment
  • Determine what is required
  • Key points to consider

Important Terms

Understand Your Assignment

Understand Your Assignment - Decode your research assignment to save time and effort.

When your instructor gives an assignment, it is important that you understand it.

Once you are clear about the requirements and what your instructor wants, you'll be able to focus your research efforts and save time.

Figure Out Your Assignment

Take the time to review the requirements as soon as possible. Do you really understand what is expected? If not, check with your instructor.

What is the purpose of the assignment?

  • To show cause and effect
  • To take a position or persuade
  • To provide information
  • To review a film, book, music, etc.

Look for verbs that describe what you need to do such as:

  • Argue
  • Explain
  • Compare and contrast
  • Analyze

Focus on the Details

Consider the resources and types of information you need.

  • Must you use specific resources such as library article databases, books, or websites? 
  • How many resources are required?
  • Are there limits to each type of resource?
  • Is Wikipedia an acceptable resource?

Check for due dates related to your:

  • Selected topic
  • Thesis statement
  • Rough draft
  • Final project

Be aware of other requirements including:

  • A required citation style
  • The layout of your paper

Build Your Skills

Complete the "Understand Your Assignment" section to determine the purpose and requirements of your paper.