Plan your research schedule to coincide with your assignment deadline. Even though your plan might change due to circumstances, other assignments, or a change in your research interests, writing down your plan will help you follow through with your research objectives.
Planning well before you start writing can save time and energy later. Use a calendar to plan your research itinerary well in advance.
Identify the tasks involved in writing your paper, and then break them up into easily manageable groups.
Plan your research process by mapping out where you'll go and how you'll proceed to find the information you're looking for. Planning your research also helps you keep track of your research, and it helps you come up with new ideas for research avenues.
Clearly defined steps can help you proceed in a logical way and make your paper easy to understand.
Chart out what you Know, what you Want to know, How you will find information, and what you Learned from what you found.
Forget about your paper's topic for a while--focus on the problem. Brainstorm freely, without censoring or evaluating your thoughts. Ask yourself questions. Think about your readers and the people, creatures, or situations your topic might affect.
Mind maps are visual representations of information. Colors, images, and connecting lines help stimulate your memory and creativity. Mind maps are easy to sketch out, and there are free tools online to generate them as well.
Chat, email, tweet, or text us your questions, and see frequently asked questions.
Meet with a librarian to talk about library resources and search strategies.
Get research tips and lists of resources for a variety of subjects.
Cite sources in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and other styles.
Watch tutorial videos on research strategies, database searching, and software tools.
Take a class on research, scholarship, academic integrity, or software.
Find sources for your paper in our collections.
Store, organize, and format citations, images and graphics with EndNote.
Use Mendeley to create a personal database of references that can be inserted into documents created with Word.
Zotero, a free cloud-based citation manager, automatically senses and imports content in your web browser and allows you to add it to your personal library, all within a single click! Zotero also has a Word plug-in to cite-while-you-write.
Get writing help in person or online. Tutors are available in Mitchell Memorial Library during Fall and Spring semesters, Sunday - Thursday, 6pm - 9pm.
MSU's writing quality enhancement plan seeks to improve undergraduate student writing by implementing a writing across the curriculum model, using writing-to-learn strategies and formal writing instruction.
This list of books can help you to write a successful research paper.