Research Papers and Paper Writing

About Citation (Giving Credit)

How Do I Cite Sources?
An article to take you step-by-step through some general guidelines for citing sources.
MLA Style Center: Works Cited: A Quick Guide
Describes the core elements of a citation and offers several examples.
OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Detailed explanation of MLA format from Purdue University’s Writing Lab.

Copyright & Fair Use

10 Big Myths about copyright explained
An attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication. While this article is very old it still has some valuable information.
Copyright Basics
A short general overview from the Purdue University Library.
Copyright Frequently Asked Questions
Short overview of what copyright is and when it applies.
Legally Reusable Media
Discussion of Fair Use, Open Educational Resources, and Citing Sources ending with a long list of media sources (by type of media) with detailed information on finding legally reusable items from each source.
Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Overview
Part of a set of pages from Stanford, the overviews contain clear readable explanations of the basic principles of copyright and fair use.
Understanding Fair Use
Fair use is an important part of copyright law that provides some flexibility for users and new creators. At its core, fair use ensures that there are some kinds of uses that do not require permission or payment. But there are no easy rules for fair use – if you want to take advantage of its flexibility, you have to understand its complexities!
Welcome to the Public Domain
Discusses public domain (non-copyrighted) materials, how works enter the public domain, as well as copyright is and how long it lasts.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons Licenses
Do you want to let other people use your work, but still give you credit? Maybe you’ve seen a “Creative Commons” license on something and want to know what it means? Check this site for the answers
Get Creative (video)
Video from Creative Commons about copyright, fair use, and creative commons licenses both for users and producers.
A Shared Culture (video)
An explanation of Creative Commons using work licensed under Creative Commons licenses.
Wanna Work Together? (video)
Great short video about how CC licenses promote sharing and creativity.

Evaluating Sources

Critically Analyzing Information Sources
From the Cornell Library, a guide to how to determine the relevance and authority of a given resource for your research. Should be taken together with the companion page Evaluating Web Sites.
Evaluating Resources
The questions on this page should help you explain why a particular source is a good fit for your research project. From Berkeley University Library.
ICYouSee: T is for Thinking
A tutorial on using critical thinking when evaluating Internet resources.
Seek and Ye Shall Find: How To Evaluate Sources on the Web
So how do you divide the wheat from the chaff? … Here’s a basic evaluation checklist that you can use for any site you find on the Web:
Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers
This is an unabashedly practical guide for the student fact-checker. It supplements generic information literacy with the specific web-based techniques that can get you closer to the truth on the web more quickly.

Paper and Essay Writing

10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Paper
Use this checklist for 10 tips to help make that paper perfect.
Essay writing skills
This section will help you figure out what your essay question is really asking, and then break the question down into easy tasks.
The Five-Paragraph Essay
A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay. It is not the only format for writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind…
How to Write a Research Paper . . . and Get an A+
Here, we’ll walk you through the most important aspects of making a paper, from beginning to end so you won’t have to whip up a paper in an afternoon, plagiarize, or neglect to do the assignment.
Paper Rater – Free Online Proofreader is a FREE resource that utilizes Artificial Intelligence to improve writing.
Questia’s 9-Step Wriring Guide
Questia’s 9-step writing guide can help keep you focused and guide you down the path to a successful research paper.
Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing
Explore 3 different ways of including the ideas of others into your assignments.
Purdue OWL: Online Writing Lab
Explanations, exercises,a links about research skills and writing papers.
WikiHow: How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay
Luckily, five-paragraph essays are really easy to write if you know the expected format and give yourself the time you need to write it.
Wordcounter ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. Use this to see what words you overuse (is everything a “solution” for you?) or maybe just to find some keywords from a document.
The Writer’s Online Toolkit
From Marywood University, some general writing advice along with information about some tools and apps that can help, from apps for taking notes to grammar checkers to tools for professional writers.
The Writing Center: Tips & Tools
Advice from a university on how to write for college. Be sure to check out the College Writing page for a discussion of the differences between writing for high school and for college.
Writing a Paper
A thorough yet easy to follow guide through the steps of writing, from describing the steps of the writing process to prewriting and outlining to how to make logical arguments to revising and proofreading.
Writing in College
This short textbook both explains the purposes behind college-level writing and offers indispensable advice for organization and expression.


College Guide to Preventing Plagiarism
From Marywood University, a very complete guide to the various kinds of plagiarism, with suggestions for avoiding accidental plagiarism, and links to detection tools.
This handout explains what plagiarism is and outlines steps students can follow to avoid plagiarizing.
Plagiarism Game
Test your knowledge of plagiarism with this game from Lycoming College. (Requires Flash.)
Plagiarism Tutorial
A tutorial from the University of Southern Mississippi with information about plagiarism and citing sources, plus quizzes and a self-check test.
Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism
Test your knowledge with this quiz from Cornell.
Understanding Plagiarism
This tutorial will help you to understand and recognize plagiarism. From Indiana University’s School of Education.
You Quote It, You Note It
Short interactive tutorial about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. (Requires Flash.(

Research Skills

How to Conduct Research Online
Offers a step by step process from finding a topic and refining it to various kinds of information you might look for.
How to Select a Research Topic
The ability to develop a good research topic is an important skill. …When deciding on a topic, there are a few things that you will need to do…
Introduction to Research
Research needs and requirements vary with each assignment, project or paper. Although there is no single “right” way to conduct research, certain methods and skills can make your research efforts more efficient and effective.
Learn to Research Videos for Secondary
A series of animated videos from the Oregon School Library Information System.
Purdue OWL: Research and Citation Resources
These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.
Research 101
A guide to help you develop good research skills! Outlines the steps to use when doing research.
The Research Safari
The Research Safari is designed to help you navigate your way through the ‘jungle of information’ to help you create a dynamic assignment. Includes downloadable Research Planner with a step-by-step guide through your project.
Steps in Writing a Research Paper
This site from SUNY Empire State College leads you step by step through the research and writing process with plenty of explanations and examples.
The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia
Wikipedia provides Internet users with millions of articles on a broad range of topics, and commonly ranks first in search engines. But its reliability and credibility fall well short of the standards for a school paper….To help you develop such an understanding, we present 10 reasons you can’t rely on information in Wikipedia.
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