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  • How extensive should your final product be? For a paper, how many pages should it be? For a presentation, how long should you speak?
  • How many resources are you required to use? Are there specific types of resources you must use (for example, scholarly sources, or articles from peer-reviewed journals)?  Are there resources you have been asked not to use (Wikipedia, Web sites)?
  • Have you been assigned a specific topic? Is your project on an assigned topic or do you need to come up with a topic on your own? If the latter, what questions will you explore? How specifc will you need to be in focusing your subject?
  • Who is the audience?  Is the audience for your paper knowledgeable in this area? Or are you writing for a non-expert audience?
  • Ask questions! If there is anything you are unclear about in your assignment, ask your instructor about it now. Being clear on his or her expectations will make the rest of the research process much easier!

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