How To Find Sources for Your Research Paper

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The daunting part in research paper writing is in finding the actual research material and sources. The available amount of sources makes a person overwhelmed, so taking specific instructions regarding the availability of information are mandatory. Acquiring the best information should be ensured in the most efficient way.

• The foremost things required to find sources for your research paper are a library and internet access.
• You should keep it simple so that your research does not go out of control.

• The first step to find sources for your research paper is the library. University libraries have great resources, especially the research based campuses. Initiate your research in the journals and books relating to your topic. It is must to look for scholarly journals so that your professor or teacher understands that you have put good effort and time in your search. Using recent works that is relating to recent 5 years than referring to something relating to past 20 years. Make it a point to find at least 5 or 6 written sources for an assignment of 5 page research paper.
• Take detailed notes and write down ideas and specific quotes to be used. Ensure you get all the information required for your research paper. This is essential so that you need not go back or refer the source again. On writing down the required information, write the work citation as well. Noting down each will save time by the time you are completing the research notes as all the citations are ready.
• On finding written sources, research online databases for scholarly journals electronic copies. Databases contain lots of information relevant to your topic and these databases are available through your university or local library as they are subscribed services. These are the best sources for your research paper. Though, initially it may take some time, you will find relevant sources in abundance.
• For additional sources, dig the databases and the links mentioned. You are sure to find abstracts of articles and full text articles. The information available in these is identical to the databases information.
• The final place that is appropriate to acquire sources for your research paper refers to the general search sites in Google or Yahoo. There will be sites that are apposite to form your source list. You can also include the available statistics and articles to augment your paper. However, ensure that the websites you are referring have credibility, so check for websites ending or .gov, so that they are accurate than .com ending websites. You can also verify the information before including it in your research paper.


• Avoid rushing over the research topics. The more time spent on searching the sources, the better will be your conducted research.
• Avoid sites that lack scholarly credibility such as personal websites, Wikipedia or even sites that sell or advertise something.
• Ensure to cite each source properly as improperly cited sources lead to plagiarism.

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How to make an eye catching title page for a research paper

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You might have given your best effort in researching for your research paper and would have drafted a great one too! However, your examiner wasn’t much impressed by it. Why did it happen? Quite possibly, the title page that you would have given in it was not up to the expected standards. If the title page for a research paper isn’t impressive, the whole effort spent in drafting that can go down the drain.

Importance of title page for a research paper: It is common to see students ignoring the importance of the title page. As the saying goes, ‘first impression is the last impression’ and when an examiner is going to go through your report, the first point that will be noted is its title. Thus, if you want to impress the examiner, you ought to give due importance to it.

If you follow the below mentioned steps, you can certainly attain your purpose.

  1. Contents of title page for a research paper: As per the universally accepted guidelines, there are certain elements which should be present on the title page including :
    1. Page header
    2. Page number
    3. Title name
    4. School, college or university name, as applicable.

These elements need to be arranged neatly by giving margins of one inch between the different lines. Moreover, if you put numerous elements on a single page, it might get clumsy and would not look professional.

  1. Title: The title of research paper is as important as the content itself. It needs to be placed on center of the title page for a research paper. It should enable the reader to have an insight into what you are going to present in the research paper. It should be around ten words as too short or too long titles tend to put off the readers even before they start reading anything.
  2. Information about author and examiner: You need to provide your name, examiner, title of the course for which the research paper is being presented and date in proper format. These should be provided in separate lines and need to be double spaced.
  3. Font and formatting: The most preferred font style for writing title page for a research paper is Times New Roman. The size can be either 10 or 12, but the preferred one among them is size 12. The two different styles, MLA and APA, differ in the formatting of text. While MLA style requires left justification for text, APA style mandates use of central justification for the text.

Some mistakes that need to be avoided while drafting the title page:

  1. You shouldn’t place various elements unnecessarily. These should be used judiciously as over use can reduce the effectiveness of title page.
  2. The number of fonts being used in it shouldn’t be more than two. Users tend to include numerous font types to make their text appealing. This approach can be counter productive.
  3. Avoid using complex sentences and try to keep the content as simple as possible.
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How to cite resources in a research paper

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How to cite resources in a research paper

At the time, while you are composing your research paper, always keep in mind, the fact, that it is extremely significant for you present your resources well, even when you are summarizing, paraphrasing or quoting the composition of a different writer. The manner in which you should cite resources in a research paper is by means of adding cross-references or annotations at the end of every sheet of your paper or else by introducing parenthetical citations at the side of the extracted passage.

Resource citation is the method to present a connection to your resources of passages, summaries and quotes. Quoting resources also is considered to be the channel to grant acknowledgment to the writers whose earlier creations have facilitated you in producing your very own individual research paper. Cite resources in a research paper will also assist you in avoiding breach of copyright. You should also remember to add a bibliography at the finish stage of your paper.

Different citation styles

There are quite a lot of style manuals to cite resources in a research paper. From time to time your lecturer will mention the citation style, which he would prefer you to apply. At other instances, it will be left entirely to you to apply a style, which you are at ease with as well as feel happy in availing yourself of.  The layout of your research paper citations mainly is determined by your own selected citation style. The different ways to cite resources in a research paper are briefly mentioned below along with where and how to use them.

1. The most widely used citation styles, which have been worked on tend to be the Modern Language Association of America also popularly referred to as MLA, American Psychological Association citation style also known as the APA and Chicago Manual of Style, widely referred as the Turabian Style Guide or as the Chicago Style Guide.

2. The MLA citation style is frequently brought into play when the study paper speaks regarding issues with reference to arts, literature and humanities. In support of research papers that deal with social sciences, it is always better to make use of American Psychological Association or APA citation style guide, whereas the majority writers for subjects pertaining to history have a preference for applying the Chicago Style Guide.

3. All of the three common citation style guides mentioned above only possess slight variations between themselves, in the way they are presented in the research paper. It is always advisable for you to go through all the information mentioned inside the published guidebooks for better understanding of these three different citation styles.

There are additional set of laws for you to follow in order to cite resources in a research paper, for instance, the correct way to layout the complete research paper, citation of online publications and printed articles. Determine which particular style suits you the most and try to retain it all through your writing. Uniformity of citation style is among the important features that your lecturer will search for once you submit the research paper.

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How to Outline a Research Paper

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Every student is required to write research papers during their college years in order to score good grades. Just about every field of study will consist of a research project as section of its syllabus. But majority of the students do not know how to outline a research paper properly. After carrying out detailed study, the most significant feature of effectively writing of a research paper is the planning or outlining stage. When you outline a research paper you need to expand an argument as well as scheme your most important points. Correctly accomplished, an excellent outline will definitely cause the writing phase to be much graceful and produce a more striking research paper. The below mentioned guidelines will help you to outline a research paper appropriately.

Tips on how to outline a research paper

Composing a research paper entails judicious foresight.  Make use of the rough draft stated below to offer an outline for your research paper.  This framework might not exhibit every part of the study that will get counted in your ultimate paper; however it will give an idea that an adequate amount of research has been carried out by you and also that you are well acquainted with the key subject matters and secondary subject matters, which you are going to make use of in your research paper.

An outline a research paper is supposed to contain the following elements:

  • Heading
  • Explain the main objective behind writing the research paper
  • Introduction
    • Give details concerning the problem
    • The reason behind you considering this study to be a suitable one
    • Why you consider the problem to be a significant one
    • The extent of the appraisal
    • How you will apply the consequence of the appraisal
    • Pinpoint the questions that you wish to resolve
  • Methodology
    • Distinguish the process used to detect and trace sources
    • Clarify the justification used for choosing the resources to research
    • Elucidate the proceedings to be utilized for examining the resources
    • Single out the decisive factor for assessing the facts retrieved
  • Evaluate and Discussion
    • Put forward facts and thoughts from resources
    • Conceptions are structured by secondary subject matter
    • Resources are categorized by conceptions rather than private entities
    • Categorization might be associated with research questions.
    • Legality of resources is affirmed to defend your decisive resolutions to your problems.
    • Quote every statement of yours by means of presenting the number(s) classifying the reference(s) that defend your statement.
  • Conclusions and Suggestions
    • Recognize and blend findings
    • Methodically respond to your questions
    • Offer reference for
      • Upcoming research
      • Educational procedures and policies,
      • Syllabus revisions, or
      • Additional necessary situations
  • References

o Catalog each and every reference of yours by means of APA layout

o Number every reference in order that you can quote your substantiation within the Evaluate and Discussion segment.

  • Submit
    • Present your outline by the scheduled date.

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Strategies for Writing a Research Paper

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A good research paper is only as good as the effort that’s put into researching its content. The reason for assigning research papers is to judge a writers ability to search for relevant pieces of writing and incorporate that content and its understanding in the writer’s own paper. Research paper assesses the abilities of a writer to find out pertinent materials that could expand the writer’s research and would contribute in supporting and building an understanding of a subject.

Strategies for writing research paper include proper research using effective researching tools such as literary databases on the internet or from the library. The most important step in writing research paper is to collect valuable pieces of information. Literary pieces and essay alone don’t qualify for research material. Referring to periodicals, newspapers, magazines, and other informational guides can direct considerable amount of information. Consulting past case studies and periodical reviews adds prominent value and quality to research paper as their evaluation provides a keen insight in producing ideas and content of your own.

The next step requires finding relevant and effective material that would provide substantial content which contains accurate details that would help a writer construct a plausible and evidence-based paper.

Once the information is sorted out, the next step is to plan out the research paper. This step requires strategic and sequential placement of the researched information within the paper so as to construct an effective essay with proper flow of idea and information. Placing information in chronological order would help develop a constant flow of ideas in the research paper.

Surfing through various pieces of information could side track writers from the original objective of the paper. Hence before collecting information it is necessary to establish whether the selected research contributes to support the idea behind the constructed research paper or undermines it.

Research papers require establishing viewpoints with respect to the information that they represent. It is essential in this case to know that information appended with the paper generates the proper effect for the writer to establish his perspective in accordance with it. It is better to adopt certain precautionary methods before constructing the final draft of the paper by producing secondary drafts in order to rectify any mistakes that might have occurred in the process of writing. The secondary drafts should be reviewed thoroughly to nix unimportant and unnecessary content that hampers the flow of the essay. Once the review is complete, it is safe to construct the final draft.

Effective research papers are also determined by effective analysis of the data that is provided with them. Research papers don’t only require research and inclusion of external data but also require the analysis and interpretation of the research data. This is an important part of the paper as it assesses your ability to manipulate information gathered from your research in a constructive manner in order to support and establish the writer’s perspective. Through this process writers can learn to use researched data in order to establish a rhetorical piece of writing that interprets and recognizes the relevance of the data that is collected.

Hence, the above mentioned strategies can assist writers in preparing quality research papers that features relevant and considerable amount of information that can be elaborated and incorporated to improve and support the writer’s point of view.

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