Creating keywords will help you focus in on your topic Explore Google’s more search tools when searching your topic Before you begin searching create a list of words that describe you topic State your topic as a question to help you find more broad information
Finding information about your topic is the most important part of a research paper There are many sources you can use as background information The following slides will talk about the sources you can use( slides 4-9)
When you are starting your research, search the online catalog by subject for broader results Check for both reference and circulating titles Search the catalog using your keywords One of the most common sources Books include encyclopedias which can be very helpful sources
Databases are accessed through the internet and some require a subscription Databases have newspapers, magazines, journal articles and reference books You will not find the same information through Google or other search engines
Look for advance search options Use quotes to search phrases or two words next to each other Add additional descriptors, such as such as aa year or specific type of information , to your keywords e.g. "2009", "articles", "news" "statistics"
Be aware of bias in reporting’s Newspapers, journals and magazines are good research tools. Searching current world newspapers will help you broaden your understanding as you find various viewpoints on an issue or topic.
Most blogs have not been fact-checked and contain information that probably would not be considered “authoritative” by professors or scholars Blogs can be used to help determine the popular responses to current events or modern culture Some blogs include links to resources or articles they are commenting on. Be sure to follow these back to the original source of information
"A collaborative website which can be directly edited using only a web browser, often by anyone with access to it. Wikis are not usually considered “authoritative” or “scholarly Wikis allow people to share their knowledge and expertise this is a good thing – but the down side is that people can also invent facts or pass off ideas as facts on a wiki
Narrow down your sources to the ones that have the most important and most overall information that you can use in your paper Highlight or make notes of the information that you are going to use for your paper Create an outline, the purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.
Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief
State your thesis and the purpose of your research paper clearly. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic.
This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i.e. find 3 supporting arguments for each position you take. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.
Restate or reword your thesis. Summarize your arguments. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.
Give credit to the sources you have used Create a bibliography using either APA or MLA which will cite your sources (cites that will help you with this are easybib and refworks) Cite your sources throughout your paper using either the APA or MLA format (go to Umass.edu then click citing sources for help with this)
Citing Sources: MLA and APA Style Guides." UMD Web Site - UMass Dartmouth. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www1.umassd.edu/specialprograms/info_lit/cite.html>. "Citing Sources: MLA and APA Style Guides." UMD Web Site - UMass Dartmouth. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www1.umassd.edu/specialprograms/info_lit/cite.html>. "The Seven Steps of the Research Process | Olinuris.library.cornell.edu." Olin & Uris Libraries | Olinuris.library.cornell.edu. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/skill1.htm>. "Top 10 Tips for Effective Research." The University of Chicago Library. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/using/instruct/tips.html>. "Top 10 Tips for Effective Research." The University of Chicago Library. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/using/instruct/tips.html>.