Research projects can be intimidating, but it helps to have a plan of action in place. Breaking it down by steps, even if you go back and forth between the steps a few times, can make the process seem much less overwhelming.
To the right is a basic list of the steps involved in a general research project or paper for your class. Click on the steps to get some brief information about what that step entails.
Before starting an assignment, make sure that you have read it through completely and asked your professor for clarification on any parts that may be confusing. Create a "plan of action" or "To Do" list with dates to make the assignment less overwhelming.
Make sure that the Author and Work that you choose is….
Being by looking up your author in Biography in Context. Look for any defining information that information their work. Then you can use this to hone in on a specific area of focus. If you are having trouble thinking of a topic for your project, we also have several reference books that provide general overviews of the works and a sampling of primary themes that emerge in each. The themes are also accompanied by a short explanation of how it emerges in the work. Click on the "Reference" tab above to view these books.
Use materials to learn about a topic and to write or present about the topic. Use materials in your writing by citing directly using quotation marks, paraphrasing sentences or paragraphs; or by summarizing the entire item. Always make sure to use an in-text citation after each quote, paraphrase, or summary of an item, then have the full citation for the item you used in your Bibliography to avoid plagiarism.
Evaluate each resource that you come across, including websites, by asking the following questions:
Current? Is current to the subject.
References? Supported with citations.
Applicable? Applies to your research question.
Authority? Known, expert author.
Purpose? Written for scholarly purposes, not for profit.
This is where you combine your own ideas with what you have learned from the resources/materials you found on your topic to tell the story of the issue or topic. A great way to start this step is to create an outline, using the information you gathered from the resources, of what you would like to write about or present on the topic.
A great resource for students having trouble writing, is our on-campus Tutorial Center.
You must cite the sources that you use to avoid plagiarism. All direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries must be cited. In other words, all ideas or facts taken from some other writer, even though in your own words, must be cited. All creative works are copyrighted material, so it is PLAGIARISM if you use ideas from a resource without citing that resource
For each source collect…
*Not all sources will have all of these elements & some sources may need additional elements, but this should be enough to get you started in Noodlebib or to at least be able to track down your source.
View our Citation Help Library Guide for more information on citing and the different styles