Research Paper Tips

Students can get help from Oakton’s librarians at any point in the research process. Librarians can help you select or narrow a topic, find articles and books, make sense of citations, and more. Get in touch with a librarian for help getting started on your assignment today.

To get started on your own, follow these steps:

1. Select a topic.

2. Narrow your topic to a workable thesis.

3. Go to the library and schedule a Research Paper Consultation for help in finding resources, or attend a Library Workshop focused on citations.

4. Prepare a working bibliography or source cards. Ask your instructor if he or she prefers the Modern Language Association (MLA) or the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

5. Prepare a working outline; begin this process by reading and taking notes

6. Write a final outline and a clearly defined thesis

7. Write the first draft on the computer with footnotes, endnotes, or in-text documentation

8. Revise paper and proofread several times carefully. Type copy and proofread at intervals as you did previously.

9. Arrange source cards in alphabetical order and complete the Works Cited/Works Consulted (MLA) or references (APA) page(s). 

Other Sources: