|What it is • Helpful Strategies • Citation Practice • Resources • References • Style Guides|
OK, so this won't be news to most people, but it really is worth doing because it makes a huge difference in your writing process.
• Start your research early and keep careful notes on all the resources you use. Include library call numbers and note which electronic database you obtained a work from. Make clear notation about whether you are copying quotations or paraphrasing materials. Having this information all in one place can save you a lot of time and uncertainty later when you create your reference page and cite sources in the text.
• Start your writing early-even if it's just a notebook you carry around full of ideas about your topic. Start to write before you finish your research. This allows you time to identify additional information you might need.
• Get help when you need it-from your instructor, teaching assistants, or librarians. Learning when and where to go to get help or feedback is part of the research process. The services of the Writing Center on campus are free to students. (Their web page is listed in the Resource page at the end of this tutorial.)
What an Early Start Gets You:
• You have the best chance of getting access to a wide range of materials on your subject.
• You'll have time to identify resources that are most useful to investigating your topic or supporting your argument.
• You"ll have time to read from a number of resources. This gives you the opportunity to develop your own analysis which reduces the risk of inadvertently claiming someone else's conclusions as your own.
• You will have time to consider which faculty, staff, or students can be of most assistance. Most successful writers rely upon some kind of support system or network of colleagues.
Remember, most students experience fear and anxiety when faced with writing assignments. But, giving in to fear can prevent you from taking those first important steps toward gaining the skills you need to succeed at writing research papers. The longer you wait to start, the more your fear is magnified. Plagiarism is never more than a short sighted solution to the problem of what to turn in to your professor.
The next two pages offer suggestions about how to deal with some of the situations that come up for student researchers. See what you think about them. Do they sound familiar? Can you think of other approaches that might be helpful?
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