Diamond Bar High School

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Research Paper Hot Tips

                                          the RESEARCH PAPER
 
As you navigate through the maze of information on your quest for a stupendous report, these 
HOT TIPS will help you locate what our library has to offer, suggest alternatives and hopefully provide you with some tools to go beyond our walls and shed light out into the vast space of knowledge.
 
 
 
Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.                --- Gene Fowler
 
General Research Paper Information:
 
Purdue OWL: Research Papers -- most teachers will refer you to this site to help you "put it all together".
 
Internet Public Library's Research and Writing -- following this site's detailed instructions on everything from choosing a topic to citing sources will keep you and your paper on track.
 
Choosing a topic:
 
This is usually the hardest part of the research paper. Remember at this stage your "topic" can change and shift depending upon what information you can or cannot find. It is always good to have two or three ideas to start with and then as you "browse" for information on these topics you can choose the one that information is readily available.
 
Proquest database - this is a service we offer to our students.  Please ask library staff for user name and password.  Go into database and click on "TOPICS" tab.  You can then choose different study areas to get ideas. Example: History (to) Military History (to) Genocide & War Crimes  -  OR -  Science (to) Earth Science (to) Acid Rain.
 
You can also browse your textbook's "table of contents", "chapter headings" and "subheadings" for ideas.
 
Digging up the information:
 
"Pathfinder"s are great places to start.  Our library staff has taken several subjects areas and designed "cheat sheets" to help you on your way in locating information not only housed at the DBHS library but at other sources as well.
 
Taking notes:
Find a system that works for you.  There are many different ways in keeping track, note cards, outlines, mapping, and many more.   
 
Citations :
 
While you are taking notes  . . . REMEMBER TO SHOW WHERE YOU GOT THE INFORMATION! 
It is much harder to go back and "find" the information you used and to cite it if you never made a note on where it came from.  Write it down.
 
If you use ProQuest Database, all entries are already cited for you  . . . you just need to cut and paste that information on to your Work Cited page.
 
The following sites will make your citation for you  . . . just fill in the blanks.
  
Plagiarism:
 
DON'T DO IT!!  It's better to get a late grade or partial credit than to be caught plagiarizing.    Teachers are very good at figuring out what you did and did not write.