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Get It Done Guide to Undergraduate Research

Got a research assignment coming up? We're here to help.

Developing a Research Topic

Getting Started

Before you dive into databases and researching a topic, make sure you take a look at the assignment guidelines. Do you need to use a certain number of sources? A certain type of source, like a book or article?

If you have any questions regarding the assignment, now is the time to reach out to your professor and get clarity on the requirements of the assignment.

Topic Development

Professors may assign you a research topic or you may get to choose your own. Choosing a research topic shouldn't stress you out!

When choosing a research topic, consider what your thesis statement or research question can focus on. It can be helpful to do a quick dive into databases with your topic and make sure there are sources that fit your assignment guidelines before you start writing. 

If you need more guidance in developing a research topic, check out our steps to topic development.

You can also use our concept planning worksheet to explore potential research topics.

Research Keywords

Before you can dive into researching and developing your topic, it's important to make sure you're using the right keywords to research your topic. Using the “right” keywords can make your research process go smoother, while using the “wrong” keywords can create a frustrating research experience. 

Learn more about how to develop keywords for your research topic and how a librarian can help.