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Getting Started


Getting started can be the hardest part of the research process. You might be feeling intimidated by the project, confused about what's expected of you, or uncertain about how to start. That's OK. Try using this research guide to help you make sense of things. Just remember to start early, work often, and ask for help when you need it!

Make a plan.

Think about what the project requires from you and make a plan for how you will meet these requirements. Some students find it helpful to set a series of smaller deadlines for themselves in order to stay on track. If you want some help with this planning process, check out the Research Project Calculator, a free tool designed to help student researchers stay organized and on track.

Read through the instructions.

Chances are, your teacher has given you written directions, a guide, a rubric or other resources. It's a good idea to spend some time with them now. Make sure you understand what you're being asked to do and how you will be graded. If you have any questions, set up a time to meet with your teacher and get some clarification.

Also note the due date of your project. Sometimes there will be just one due date for everything and sometimes there will be a series of due dates for different parts of the assignment. Mark these in your planner or calendar app now. There's nothing worse than forgetting about an assignment until then night before it's due.