Building a Research Paper
Step 1: Plan Your Schedule
Step 2: Establish Your Topic/Thesis
Step 3: Gather Your Sources
Step 4: Organize Your Information
Step 5: Create Your Outline
Step 6: Draft Your Paper
Evaluating Your Sources
• Should be relevant
• Should be authoritative and stable
– not Wikipedia... good starting point, not authoritative
• Must be current
• Should be comprehensive
• Should provide links
What Must be Cited?
• Words, ideas, concepts, graphics, format/design,
• direct quotes (from one word to full length quotes)
• restating an idea, thesis, or opinion
• paraphrased information
What Does Not Have to be Cited?
• COMMON KNOWLEDGE
– Information that is widely known and
• i.e. Biographical info
• Information found in dictionaries
• Statistics/information that can be
easily found in several sources and
are not likely to vary from source
Formatting the Body of the Paper
• 1 inch margins on ALL • ALL sources must be
sides cited in the body of
paper and on Works
• Double-spaced text
• In upper corner: your
• Easy-to-read font name, teacher’s name,
– Size 10 or 12 class, date, and page
• Left-aligned text
• Short Quotations: (1-2 lines) put
quotation marks before and after
quote, but do not indent
• Long Quotations: (3+ lines) indent
but do not put quotation marks
before and after
• There are 2 places where you must
indicate a resource used in your paper:
– In a parenthetical directly following the
sentence in which the info is used
– On the Works Cited Page
• DO NOT END ALL PARAGRAPHS WITH INTERNAL CITATIONS!!!
Your thoughts and ideas should be most prominent and the
research should support what you are saying. Do not let the
research be dominant!
• Whatever is listed in the parenthesis of the internal citation should
match the ﬁrst words in the Works Cited line.
– Long, David. Abraham Lincoln. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2001.
– (Long 24)
• If there is duplicated first words, use first words and next
different word in parenthetical
• Never, never, never use the Internet address as the internal
Examples of Internal Citations
Postman, George. “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the
Age of Show Business.” New York: Penguin-Viking, 1995.
One historian argues that since the invention of the television “our politics,
religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into
congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much
popular notice.” (Postman)
Postman points out that since the invention of television “our politics, religion,
news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial
adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular
Postman argues that television has changed virtually every aspect of our culture
into a form of show business. (Postman)
Works Cited Page
• Begin each entry flush with the left margin. Indent each line that follows.
– Hanging indents
• double spaced
• alphabetical order
• All citings begin with the author’s last name. If there is no author, then
use the source title.
• If there is more than one entry by the same author, then alphabetize those
entries by the books’ titles.
• Instead of repeating the author’s name each time, type 3 hyphens followed
by a period and then the title. (---. Leaves of Grass.)
• Italicize titles of larger works (books, plays, films)
• Use quotation marks for titles of smaller works (poems, songs, etc)
• When listing the date- Day Month Year (10 April 2005)
MOST COMMON CITATIONS
– Author’s last name, first name. Title. City:
Publisher, copyright date. p#.
• Internet Source:
– Author’s last name, first name. “Title”. Website
name/title. Publication date. Page or section or
paragraph. Access date.
– Author’s last name, first name. “Title”. Name of
Periodical. Publication date: pages, volume, or
Carr, Sara. "Closely Watched Unext Rolls Out Its First Courses. Chronicle of Higher
Education 12 May 2000: A50.
Clayton, Mark S. "Click 'n’ Learn." Christian Science Monitor 1 Aug. 2000: 15.
Hartigan, Rachel. " Smart New Degrees Take Center Stage." Graduate Schools.
Special issue of U.S. News and World Report 28 Oct. 2002:6-10
Jones International University. Home page. 1 Apr. 2004
Sample Keegan, Desmond. Distance Training: Taking Stock at a Time of Change. London:
Mangan, Katherine S. "Buyers, Be Wary." U.S. News and World Report 15 Oct. 2001:
- - - . "Top Business Schools Seek to Ride a Bull Market in On-Line MBAs. " Chronicle
of Higher Education 15 Jan. 1999: A27-28.
Shea, Rachel Hartigan. " So Where's the Beef? " U.S. News and World Report 15
Oct. 2001: 44-50.
Willis, Barry. Distance Education: A Practical Guide. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educ.
Technology Publ., 1993.
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