Beginning Essays and Finding Research


When beginning an essay, first you must fully understand the prompt.


*I usually take a few minutes to make sure I understand what has been given to me by highlighting the prompt and taking notes when the instructor is explaining what he wants and doesnít want in this paper.


Usually a sample essay is given and it is best to analyze the essay and make sure you understand the concept and outline of the essay.


*I usually highlight the thesis, main points, key examples and sources so I can see how another student outlined his paper and made it flow.


After finding research it is good to read though it and decide which information you will use in your writing.


*I highlight the information and compile it with other sources with the same info. Then decide what is useful for my paper. The more research the merrier!


When it is time to start writing remember to paraphrase, quote, summarize, and cite correctly so you do not plagiarize the sources you use!


Definitely use NOODLEBIB to help create your bibliography; it will save your life! J


Some Doís and Doníts when it comes to Research Papers:


Do spend your research time efficiently

Use words such as Ďandí Ďorí and Ďnotí to limit your searches

Choose your search words carefully

Do use credible sources only (if you donít know what is credible, research the author in depth and ask a professor for their input)

Do take full advantage of the library online databases

Do understand that research takes time and a lot of searching to find good information

Click scholar if applicable when using research engines

Start out easy, take your time and just see where youíre lead to

Ask a librarian for help finding credible books for research

Do use actual books, newspaper articles, journals and online research in a good combination


Donít use Wikipedia (unless for simple facts or interesting information) Unfortunately Wikipedia is not as credible as students believe it is, most professors will NOT accept Wikipedia information

Donít use whatever pops up first on Google or Yahoo

Donít forget to ask for help

Donít use encyclopedias (unless for biographical or simple information)

Remember, website is usually a commercial site. .gov is government based. .edu websites can be useful educational information and, org websites are usual promoting a charity/foundation or some education benefit. Just search around!


When in doubt try these research engines:




Google-scholar (be as informative as possible when searching for information-you never know WHAT can pop up on the internet)

Annals of American History Online

ProQuest Newspapers


American Memory from the Library of Congress


Online Writing Lab-a great website with useful information (a good read!!                                                                                Net Library


CQ Researcher                                                                     Anything from the FC library online databases


Lesson Plan