Five Awesome Tips for Writing Research Papers:
- Give yourself enough time to work. You’ll need time to select your topic, properly research, then write AND edit your paper. Start early!
- Discuss your proposed topic with your instructor. Selecting a topic that is too broad or too narrow will only lead to weeks of frustration and a poorly composed paper by the end. Take the time to meet with your instructor to see if your proposed topic is one you could actually do, given what you know and what there is to know.
- Start by looking at reference resources first. It’s often best to start with broad resources that provide an overview of the subject you’re researching. This will help you understand the larger concepts at play and also the scope of your topic. If your topic is too broad or narrow, reference sources can help you find a related topic that is more acceptable. For more on the difference between reference sources and research articles, see our post on finding resources.
- When you find a resource you really like, look in the footnotes and bibliography for direction to further sources you might read. Additionally, many of the EU library databases will give you “similar” or “suggested” articles for further reading.
- Cite your work as you go. It’s much easier to cite your resources as you write your paper than it is to try to remember where you got all of your information from after you write it. For tips on APA citation and references, visit our FAQ page.
Questions? Suggestions? Contact your librarians! We’re always happy to help.