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8 Research Tips To Help You On Your Next Paper

#1: Pick something interesting to you.

Researching is much more fun when you like what you are learning about. Choose topics that interest you.

#2: Interviews are great primary sources.

Find someone who is knowledgeable about the subject you are researching. Listen to what they know and ask lots of questions! They can have great sources and stories you may not have considered.

#3: Don’t rely on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for research, but can give you a head start for some sources. Most Wikipedia pages have a list of sources at the bottom of the page. Check these out and see if there is some useful info.

#4: Define your search.

Stay on subject while searching for sources. While having a broad range of sources is good; getting specific, useful sources works better.

#5: Don’t forget about books.

Sometimes with the Internet, we forget about how helpful books can be! Get some books on the subject and browse through them. While it may not be as instant as the web, you can find some great unexpected information to help with your paper!

#6: Always cite your sources in notes.

All to often we get to the end of the paper and forget where we got a quote or fact. Always write down websites that were helpful (or not helpful) and keep thorough notes on where information came from.

#7: Ask someone to proof your work

Always get someone to check your work. Ask other students or teachers to read material and take notes on what they think. There are also great resources online to proof papers before turning them in.

#8: Use what is available to you! 

Check out bookstores, research centers, and libraries in your area, like the Anderson County Museum Research Room! We have staff and volunteers that are willing to help you with your next research project.

Learn more about the ACM Roper Research Room here.