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Student Research Guide

Select the right tools to find the information you need.

Tips for Working on Research Papers

PPCC Library Tips for Working on Research Papers:


Write a topic overview: What do you already know about your topic? Write it down. This will give you a place to begin and an idea of how much work is ahead of you.

Define your tasks: What are the requirements of the project? What is necessary for you to successfully complete this paper? Think about the steps you need to complete, like fact finding, information analysis, and your argument.

Formulate questions: Make a list of research questions that will give your project direction and use your questions to make a list of keywords. Develop your thesis statement and refer back to this as you go through your research.

Set goals: Use a calendar to chart your steps and your progress. NoodleTools is a good tool to use.

Select your resources: Review the databases and figure out what will work best for your topic. Other resources include books and ebooks. Also dictionaries, newspaper and other magazine articles may be useful.

Gather and evaluate your information: Look at what you have gathered and decide if it will help you to complete your paper. Does it answer your questions and prove the points in your thesis?

Coordinate your information and produce your paper: Organize your information and begin a rough draft. As you finalize your paper, have someone help edit your draft. The Writing Center is a good place to go for help.

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