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Getting Started on a Research Paper
- Read your assignment guidelines carefully before beginning your research. Decide what kinds of resources you need and where you might find them.
- Search databases to find articles from journals, magazines, newspapers, and other media which is usually found behind a paywall. The library subscribes to databases and provides access to you at no extra cost!
- Read journal articles, which are found in scholarly publications written by researchers and experts in the field. Journals and their articles can be found in databases. You can usually search for ones that are "peer reviewed" by other experts.
- Evaluate websites before using them as resources in your paper. Find out when, by whom, and for what purpose the information was written. Yes, sometimes you have to do research on your research!
- Cite your sources. Find out whether you will need to use APA or MLA style to cite sources in your paper, and be sure to keep track of your sources so people (yourself included) can find them again.