A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Research Paper Tips

G. Giodano, NMS UNIV.

How to write a paper efficiently and learn a lot at the same time.

Select a Topic:

Find 10 or more references

Locate and Survey Articles:

Write a 3-sentence summary. (Write 3-sentence summary of each article; use separate cards for each)
Note questions your paper can answer.)

Critically Read the Most Convincing Article: 

Take notes on 3x5 cards (You will spend the most time with the article which is most convincing, and which covers the arguments of your a topic most completely.)

What THESIS can your Paper Answer?: 

Write INTRODUCTION (What questions can your paper answer, based on the information you have gathered?  Write out these questions.  What thesis can you prove based on these articles?  Write out your thesis statement, then write an introduction to the paper stating the point that will be supported/proven.)

AGREE or DISAGREE with each article ( + - ):

Organize Body of Paper (Survey each article; does the author argue for or against your thesis?  Organize your paper by sorting cards into piles, based on agreement or disagreement with your thesis, then sort each pile into categories, if any.  Use these sorted piles to organize the body of your paper; write an outline.)      

Write Body of Paper:

Find quotes from your articles to support points. (Support all points by citing from your sources.  Except for quotations, STATE THINGS IN YOUR OWN WORDS.  Make sure to footnote properly.)

Write a Summary:

Turn original questions into a statement.

Write Your Bibliography:

(Cite references used in your Paper)