In this study, graft copolymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone (N-VP) onto starch was carried out in an aqueous medium using azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) as initiator. The variables affecting the graft copolymerization, such as monomer and initiator concentrations, reaction time and temperature, were thoroughly examined. In general, grafting of N-vinylpyrrolidone onto starch increased with the increase in time and monomer concentration up to a certain value and then leveled off. Similarly, increase both in initiator concentration and temperature first favored and than impeded the grafting reaction. Optimum conditions established for grafting were as follows: N-VP = 0.7 M, AIBN = 1.5 x 10(-3) M, T = 70 degrees C and t = 5 h. Structural changes of the grafted starch were followed by FTIR, intrinsic viscosity and water absorption capacity studies.