February 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

Advising Tip: How to Write a Research Paper

By Sara Berens
College of Arts & Sciences Academic Adviser

At some point in your college career, you will have to write a research paper. Why? Because research helps us to explore the world through an academic lens and form our own thoughts on a topic. And while you will build writing skills in ENG 1510, you will always need help with writing no matter where you are in your education (hopefully my grammar isn’t horrific!).

Sarah-BerensThis week I wanted to provide you with some resources to help you think of a topic, find related articles, and above all else, avoid plagiarism in your research paper. The first resource, “The Research Process,” is offered by none other than, Alden Library. Gotta love the stacks on the sixth floor. This page will assist you with choosing a topic, learn about different types of sources, as well as how to evaluate and cite them.

The second resource is Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab). I have to admit that this site really helped me out on many late nights. It helps to explain the various types of research papers and provides quick reference guides for citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. This site is great because as a college student you are expected to know how to avoid plagiarism, and learning how to cite correctly is a crucial step in that process.

Lastly, you should always have someone else read over your papers before you turn them in. Always. Thankfully we have the Writing Center at Alden which is conveniently located on the second floor. These helpful folks will assist you in any stage of the writing process. Their page also includes a link to many online writing resources. It looks like they love Purdue’s OWL, too.

Graduating Seniors, what advice would you give to your fellow students? Send your words of wisdom, as well as your first name and major, to I will be collecting advice all semester to be included along with the Advising Tip of the Week.

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