There are basic steps to follow in order to do effective research and write a well-researched paper.
1. Choose a topic. Find some background information on your topic. Encyclopedias and handbooks are a good starting point. Most encyclopedias will include a topical outline which helps you identify all the important aspects of your topic.
2. Create a Search Strategy. A simple search strategy often consists of the following steps:
Formulate a research question.
Identify important concepts or ideas within that question.
Identify key words or terms that describe the concepts or ideas that you wish to progress.
Consider synonyms, acronyms, and variations of the terms you just identified.
3. Find information. Search the Library Catalogue for books, videos, and DVDs. For the most current information on your topic, search the Library article databases.
4. Make notes as you go along. Write all the relevant information of your sources. You will need this information for your references that you attach to your paper.
5. Write your report. Write a draft, and be sure to (or ask a friend) proofread before you hand in your report. If you need help on how to make notes and proofreading, The Learning Centre staff can help you.