Quick Links »



Share this Page

Research and Writing

How to Research

How to Research


Select a topic or general area of interest.


Gather general information.


Focus your topic.

  • Browse through the books and articles you've found.
  • Do some preliminary note-taking.
  • Look for repeated themes or ideas.
  • Select one area to use for your assignment.

Do more in-depth research.

  • Use the Library catalog and databases to find addtional information on the specific topic.
  • Evaluate the quality of each of your sources:
    • Is it current?
    • Is it reliable?
    • Is it written by an authority on the subject?
    • Does it have an unbiased point of view?
  • Read through the materials and take notes.
  • Determine the appropriate citation style for your project and get ready to cite each of your sources.

How to Write a Paper

How to Write a Paper



  • Develop your thesis statement, or the main point of the paper.
  • If you are writing a research paper, look through your notes to see if your information supports your thesis.

Outline your paper.

  • Your paper will need:
    • An Introduction, which includes your thesis statement
    • Body paragraphs, each with one main idea
    • A Conclusion to tie your arguments together and give readers something more to think about
  • Decide what the main topic for each of the body paragraphs will be.

Write the rough draft.

  • Include citations if needed.
  • Follow your outline.
  • Just write. Remember, it's a rough draft. Get the ideas out on paper and fix them later.

Get feedback from others.

  • Have someone else read and critque your paper. You can ask:
    • Family members
    • Friends
    • Your school writing lab

Proofread and Revise.

  • Read your paper out loud.
  • Also try reading it backwards; this helps you focus on individual words and sentences, rather than the whole paper at once.
  • Look for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.
  • Decide if the paper flows logically and if the points support the thesis.