Research Paper

1. Select Your Topic

  • Define your task. State your topic as a question.
  • Identify what kind of information you need.

2.  Create a Mind Map for Your Topic

  • Brainstorm all possible keywords and concepts.
  • Think of synonyms and related terms.

3.  Find Information

  • To get an introduction or overview of your topic.
  • To help identify keywords, synonyms and cross-references.
  • To get bibliographies for further information
  • Sources to use to locate ideas, information, and get an overview:
    • Almanac- basic ideas or timeline on topic
    • Encyclopedia- gives a good overall summary.
    • Indexes and Table of Contents for keyword bank
    • Books (use the online catalog or browse the shelves using the Dewey Classification System to find your subject)
    • Find periodicals using Electronic Resources or print resources (e.g. Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature, National Geographic Index).

4.  Evaluate What You Have Found

  • Select materials appropriate for you information needs by examining:
    • Who wrote the information: a known scientist, or a student?
    • Is the information up-to-date?
    • Does it fit your topic? Do you have enough to support both sides?
    • Do you have factual information?
    • Do you have all the resources required? (e.g. Book, Periodical, Reference, Website, etc.)

5.  Color-Code Your Graphic Organizer

  • Highlight each question you want answered on your graph, and color the  top right edge of the note cards that relate to that question.

6.  Organize Your Notes

  • Present events in the order in which they occurred.
  • Discuss important events or problems, and what resulted.
  • Give a few solutions or ideas that could have changed the outcome.
  • Discuss similarities or differences between things, or events.

7.  Write Your Paper

8.  Cite Your Information

9.  Proofread, then type the paper.

10. Proofread what you typed and make corrections as needed.