1,000 Ideas for English Term Papers , 4th Floor Book Stacks, PR35 .F3
Write down two or three ideas you like instead of going with the first thing you think of.
What does your professor require you to do?
What possible thesis could you use?
What are some search terms that might apply?
What kinds of resources might have the information you are looking for?
Get an overview of your topic, an understanding of it.
Online catalog and library shelves (browsing)
General reference works written by experts
Discussion with a knowledgeable person
NEVER cite a Wikipedia article in your Bibliography or Works Cited unless your professor says it’s OK.
Exploratory sources like encyclopedias give you a good overview to start your research but are not the only sources cited in your paper. Professors usually want to see more in depth research .
Be careful of unintentional plagiarism .
To sum up your exploratory research, it is a good idea to create a concept map or an outline.
This YouTube video provides a good example of concept mapping
Choose an aspect that interests you.
Think of a question about your topic that your paper can answer.
Consult specialized reference works.
Evaluate, refocus topic, revise thesis
Make sure you know whether you are writing a report or a research paper.
Report - Gather information and report it to your instructor. Summary of facts.
Research Paper - Gather information to help you form an opinion or conclusion of your own. State a thesis and give an argument in support of that thesis.
Although the report is more common in high school, college level work usually requires a research paper.
Report Research Paper Many soldiers died in the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War. New treatments are being developed every day to cure Alzheimer's disease. The government should invest more money in Alzheimer’s research. A history of Montessori education Montessori education is a beneficial method for the development of social skills in early childhood.
If I pour one gallon of water into a bathtub and one gallon of water into a sink, which of the two will be deeper?
Broader topics will result in shallow papers while narrow topics will result in deeper papers
Broad Topics Narrowed Topics The economy Government bailout of General Motors The Civil War The significance of the Battle of Gettysburg Nursing Caring for patients with cystic fibrosis
Where will you find information?
Library catalogs for books and other library owned items
Online indexes/databases for periodical articles
LibGuides from the Library website OR NOW Facebook .
As you look for information, make sure what you are finding is appropriate to your task. Ask yourself:
Are adequate sources available?
Are they :
Create an outline or a concept map
Match quotes or information to specific sections in your outline.
Write your paper
Organize and format your bibliography
Steps in the research process
The Research triangle
Report vs. Research Paper
Bathtub vs. Sink topics
Your homework assignment is to claim the topic you would like to use for your bibliography project on the discussion board (5pts).
Everyone needs to research something different since some assignments involve finding specific resources. The first to post the idea gets to use that idea.