Two excellent comprehensive
web sites on writing are Purdue University's Owl
Writing Lab and the Writing
Center at Colorado State University
assigned to write a research paper. Now what? Here are some suggestions
to help you through the process.
Define and refine your
Need an idea?
Take a look at the book 10,000 Ideas for Term Papers,
Projects, Reports and Speeches (third edition, 1991)
in the Stewart Library Reference LB 1047.3 .L35 or try these
suggestions from Rivier College.
Another good source for ideas is CQ
Researcher, available at the Reference desk and online to
WSU students. This weekly magazine covers topics of current interest
and often controversial issues.
Use our Research
Tips and Techniques Guide to learn about search strategies
Get background information
Reference books such
as encyclopedias and handbooks can provide good background information.
Check the Stewart
Library Catalog for information on your topic or ask
Reference staff for assistance.
For argumentative papers or information
on current, controversial issues use CQ
Researcher for background on your topic.
For background information on an author,
Find periodical articles
(newspapers, magazines, journals)
Use our guide for Finding
articles to get started. Stewart Library subscribes to many
some with full text articles which may be read online. Most of
our databases may be accessed at home
by WSU students and staff.
Some professors will
require that you use scholarly journals. Some databases, such
and PsycInfo, include only scholarly sources. Some, like Academic
Search Premier, allow you to limit your search to peer reviewed
or refereed sources (which are generally considered scholarly).
See our guide on scholarly vs.
popular articles. Need help? Ask Reference staff for assistance.
Search the Internet
isn't the only search engine you can use to find information although
it is probably the best known one. Be sure to take a look at their
search tips for more effective searching. Stewart Library's
guide on search engines offers
some additional options.
Read and Evaluate
the information you have found. Use these criteria.
Organize, Write and Cite
Documenting or citing
the sources you have used is a critical part of the research process.
Without properly citing your sources, you run the risk of plagiarism.
a Thesis or Thesis Proposal
Some good online
guides to writing a thesis proposal may be found using Google.
Although written for specific schools, general guidelines in each
may be helpful. WSU's
botany department also has guidelines.
To find theses or master's
projects written for Weber State University, search the Stewart
Library Catalog using the general keyword option and the search
terms <master's project weber state> or <thesis weber