MSU Libraries is here to help.

See a guide to using the library for teaching, classwork, and research during the coronavirus outbreak:

Mississippi State University Libraries Mississippi State University Libraries Mississippi State University Mississippi State University

Today's hours:

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.

Helpful Tips:

Create a writing calendar

Planning well before you start writing can save time and energy later. Use a calendar to plan your research itinerary well in advance.

Break your schedule into blocks

Identify the tasks involved in writing your paper, and then break them up into easily manageable groups.

Chart a timeline

Gantt charts make it easy to create a timeline of tasks from beginning to end. Tom's Planner is a free and easy way to build Gantt charts.

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.

Helpful Tips:

Use scientific methods

Clearly defined steps can help you proceed in a logical way and make your paper easy to understand.

Use a KWHL chart

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.

Build a mind map

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.

Ask A Librarian  We can help at every step!