Research and Paper Writing

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: Citations by Format
Shows how a citation looks depending on the format of the source (book, audio recording, website, etc.).
OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Detailed explanation of MLA format from Purdue University’s Writing Lab.

Citation Tools

Chrome Extensions for Citation

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 Licenses

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.

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Web
Over 100 free online tutorials on critical thinking, logic, scientific reasoning, creativity, and other aspects of thinking skills.
The Fallacy Files
Logical fallacies – what they are and how to recognize them.
Five simple strategies to sharpen your critical thinking video
Is the sky really blue? That might seem obvious. But sometimes things are more nuanced and complicated than you think. Here are five strategies to boost your critical thinking skills. From the BBC Ideas YouTube channel.
A List of Fallacious Arguments
Describes several common fallacious arguments. Here you can learn to avoid using these false arguments yourself and to recognize when your opponant is using them.
Spot the Flaw in a Politician’s Argument With This Guide to Logical Fallacies
Our political beliefs are also skewing our perceptions, but to counter this, it’s helpful to know common fallacies in arguments so you can make better, more rational decisions about what to believe…. Below are the common logical fallacies that many politicians use in their arguments with tips on how to spot them.
Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies
“A logical fallacy is usually what has happened when someone is wrong about something. It’s a flaw in reasoning. … Don’t be fooled! This website and poster have been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.”
The Ultimate Cheatsheet for Critical Thinking (infographic)
Want to exercise critical thinking skills? Ask these questions whenever you discover or discuss new information. These are broad and versatile questions that have limitless applications!

Essay and Paper 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.
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.
Recipe for Research: A Six-Step Process (PDF)
Throughout high school and college, you will be asked to complete research assignments for many of your classes. Your final product might be a paper, a project or an oral presentation. This guide offers a six-step process for acquiring and organizing information for a research assignment, with emphasis on writing a paper.
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: Overview
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. (2015)

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.
Four Moves and a Habit (pdf)
Handy infographic of four steps to take when checking unknown sites or dubious claims. Also available as a graphic file.
ICYouSee: T is for Thinking
A tutorial on using critical thinking when evaluating Internet resources.
Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers
This … practical guide … supplements generic information literacy with the specific web-based techniques that can get you closer to the truth on the web more quickly. Instead of checklists, this guide emphasizes four moves – strategies which can be used with any source.


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.
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.
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.
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