Skip to Main Content
Frequently asked questions
Introduction to academic research
Use our assignment calculator to help you manage your time, plan, and organize your research.
The calculator breaks down the research process into steps and provides you with tips, advice and resources to help you through your research and writing. It also provides suggested deadlines for each step to help keep your work on track.
Tips for developing a research topic
- Brainstorm: Use a concept map like the one shown below to generate all the ideas you can about your topic. You can continue to add to your concept map as you learn more about your topic.
- Share: Discuss your topic ideas with classmates, friends, instructors or a librarian.
- Browse: Browse encyclopedias and dictionaries in McPherson Library's Reference area or on the UVic Libraries website.
- Understand expectations: Be clear on the expectations of your assignment. Read your assignment closely and look for key instructions that might help you decide which topic is most suitable.
- Keep it interesting: If permitted, select a topic that interests you. The easiest topics to work with are ones you find exciting and keep you motivated to learn more.
- Tolerate uncertainty: Tolerate some uncertainty at this early stage of your research; you will not have all the answers now, but work with what you have. Pick a topic and move forward with your research process. You can always make changes later.
- Formulate a question: Try formulating a research question by completing the following in one sentence: "I want information on..."