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This blog and its resources are here to assist all students throughout their college years and into their careers. Blog is moderated by a Certified Professional Career Coach and Master Tutor Trainer. Site moderator, Neil O'Donnell, is an EOP graduate of Buffalo State College and can be reached at odonnenp@buffalostate.edu.

Research Tips for Papers/Classes

Research Tips for Papers/Classes

Every student needs to complete a research paper at some point.  How do you get motivated to completing a research paper or project?  How do you go about researching a topic?  This article will give you some guidance.



Getting Motivated: Put your interests in when possible

1) Put your interests in when possible.

Discuss with your professor ways to tie in your own interests into the assignment (if possible).  If you can select your own topic, that’s easy enough.  If the professor determine the topic, this might be difficult.  However, speaking with the professor early on can make a difference in this regard.

2) Ask professor to go over your thesis as early as possible to make certain you are on point.

Having a solid Thesis statement can help a student to stay focused and establish good direction for her/his research.  Asking your professor to look over your these as soon as possible will better insure that you are on point while also providing you with confidence as you begin your research.



Research: Finding Sources

1) Ask professor and/or librarians for guidance to acceptable and applicable resources.

The library is stocked full of journals, books and online databases, which can provide suitable information for each major.  Asking for a professor’s or a librarian’s assistance could help you get right to those important volumes/resources immediately.

2) Use ‘REFERENCES CITED’ pages and bibliographies for direction.

If you find a journal article or a book that provides good information, look over that source’s list of references for further direction.



Research: Getting it Done!

1) Start as early as possible

The longer you wait to start a paper, the less time you’ll have to conduct research.  Likewise, if you start early, you can spread the research effort over a greater amount of days and adjust your research to better fit your class and work schedule.

2)  Ask professor to read over a draft/outline before completing the Final version of your Research Paper

To reduce the risk of getting off topic, ask your professor to look over an outline of what you plan to do and/or your first draft.

3)  Get your paper proofread by a tutor


Even the best writers struggle to proofread their own work.  It’s a good idea to have someone read over your paper for you.  Better yet, have a tutor or a friend read the paper out loud to you.  An outside perspective can help you identify typos and areas that got off point.  Tutors have an advantage helping in this situation, because they will have a stronger background in proper grammar use (an advantage in seeking out mistakes in papers/projects).

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