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× The Libraries will be closed for Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 19th. Enjoy the holiday!


× Sherrill Library will be closed from May 18 - September 2 due to construction. Services by Appointment: Research Consultations, Library Instruction, Pick Up appointments

Moriarty Library will be open May 28 - August 16, Monday - Thursday from 10am-6pm, Friday from 9am-noon. Closed weekends and holidays.

As always, our web resources are available 24/7. Questions? Our Chat and Ask Us! services are available Monday-Thursday, 10am-6pm and Friday 9am-noon.

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I Need Help To Understand My Assignment

Reading your assignment carefully can make a huge difference. Here are things to look for in the assignment instructions:

  • Purpose of the assignment. What should your research project accomplish? What is the role of research and of information sources in the assignment? This will help you determine your research process and timeline. (If you still have questions after closely reading the assignment, ask your instructor.)

  • Topic guidance and suggestions. Some instructors offer specific suggestions, while others provide guidelines to help you choose a topic yourself. Check for points and questions the instructor wants you to address in your assignment. For help, visit Choosing a Good Topic.

  • Type(s) of recommended sources for supporting your research. Think about where you might need to look for the recommended sources. Some will be available through the Lesley University Library, and some may be freely available on the Web. For more information see Deciding Where to Search.

  • Due date. This will help you determine when you need to start finding sources, reading and analyzing them, and developing your paper or project. Some assignments have different parts due at different times, so check all the due dates. Try the Assignment Calculator for help managing your time.

  • Length of the assignment. This will help you determine the scope of your topic.

  • Style and formatting information, such as font size, spacing, and citation style. This Cite Sources guide can help with this.

Highlight or underline the elements that are key to understanding your assignment. If you cannot describe what your assignment is about to someone else, re-read the assignment sheet or talk with your instructor.