Staying on Track
Think about how your assignment is going so you can adjust your plan before it's too late.
- Do I really understand the assignment?
If you have any question at all about whether or not you understand the assignment, talk to your professor as soon as you can. Professors set aside time each week for office hours, so that students can ask questions and get in-depth help. Take advantage of office hours so that you can avoid wasting a lot of time going in the wrong direction.
- Am I spending too much time researching?
Remember that you still have to get the assignment done. Don't leave analyzing the information and writing the paper or constructing the project until the last minute. Besides, part of being a good researcher is knowing when you've found enough - know when to move on.
- Am I completely lost and can't find any information?
It's easy to get lost or feel overwhelmed when there's access to so much information. Sometimes the library can seem like a chaotic labyrinth, but it's probably one of the most organized places that you'll ever come across, which makes it easy to find stuff - really, it's true. Becoming familiar with how information is organized in the library and on the library web site will save you time and frustration. A few ways that you can get help with library research is by speaking with a librarian at the reference desk, by making an individual research appointment, or by using the Ask a Librarian service.
- Is my paper or project starting to come together?
As you get closer to your deadlines, are things starting to gel? If not, find someone to bounce ideas around with like a classmate, a friend, a family member, a tutor, or a TA. Go to your professor's office hours or e-mail him/her, but don't wait until the last minute to ask for help!