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For Students: Write

In this guide, you will find help for all stages of the research process, including selecting a topic, finding materials, and using sources in your writing.

OWL at Purdue

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab General Writing Resources page offers comprehensive information and examples to help students with all stages of the writing process. 

Other recommended college writing centers include:

Writing About...

Each discipline has its own conventions for writing. Knowing what other academics in your field consider standard will help you write to your audience.


Research papers are about more than just your sources! Your professor wants to know what you're thinking and how you understand the subject. When writing, you should strive to add value to your research by making connections, evaluating, and analyzing, a process called synthesis

Tips for Planning & Writing..

Different types of papers require different strategies. Try to identify what kind of writing your assignment calls for.

Constructing Your Paper

Integrating Sources

1. Introduce the source: answer the following questions as appropriate to create a context for your source.

  • Who? (author)
  • What? (title)
  • When? (date of publication)
  • Where? (ex. publisher/city/country/university/journal)
  • How? (research method)
  • Why? (thesis of source)

2. Quote/Summary/Paraphrase of source: be sure to include the page number, if possible.

3. Translate the source: define any key words your audience might not know, and restate the main ideas of the source in your own words to demonstrate your understanding of its meaning and bring your reader up to speed on the subject matter.

4. Analyze/Critique/Interpret the source: this is where your ability to persuade comes into play. You control the conversation! Explore the source, dissect it, take it apart to see what makes it tick. Propose your unique perspective on the source’s meaning and significance. What is it really saying and how is that meaning conveyed? Why does it matter?

5. Synthesize the quote: by combining the source and your own ideas, you should now be able to create new knowledge that connects back to your own thesis and adds your voice to the conversation established by your source. How does this source fuel your argument? Why does your argument need this source to succeed? Connect the dots! 

Adapted from HPU Libraries.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Acknowledge Your Sources in 3 Easy Steps:

1. If you use another author's words verbatim, even just a few, put it in quotation marks.

2. Any time you make use of an outside source, whether by quote, paraphrase, or summary, acknowledge it with an in-text citation or footnote.

3. List the full information for any sources used as a citation in your bibliography.

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