Writing a research paper for college? Of course you are. College professors love research papers, and they are happy to assign them generously. The further along you get in your college career, they better you’ll be at writing them. But particularly in the beginning, they can be quite challenging. Here are some great online resources for research papers that every college student should bookmark now.
If your research paper needs to be written in MLA style, don’t worry about trying to remember all the rules yourself. Purdue University hosts a great resource for MLA style at Owl.English.Purdue.edu/Owl/Resource/747/01/. It has a complete style guide, and it tells you how to do everything from formatting quotations to creating tables. You can learn how to create a works cited page and how to cite every type of source. You can also view a sample paper and bibliography written in MLA style. There is also a link to a video on Purdue’s YouTube channel that shows you how to set up an MLA paper in a Word document.
It turns out that Purdue University has some amazing resources for just about any research paper you might have to write. If you professors prefer APA style, Purdue also tells you everything you need to know about it at Owl.English.Purdue.edu/Owl/Resource/560/01/. It includes all the same information as the MLA style section, and it also has an APA video on its YouTube channel.
It’s not quite as common as MLA or APA, but you could have to write a research paper in Chicago style (Chicago Manual of Style, or CMS), too. If you do, guess where you should go for all your Chicago style needs? That’s right – Purdue University. Find everything you need to know (but sorry, no YouTube video this time) at Owl.English.Purdue.edu/Owl/Resource/717/01/.
General Research Paper Information
The website AResearchGuide.com may not be the most attractive website out there, but it’s full of helpful information that can apply to just about any research paper. It contains tips on how to research, how to write a great paper, and how to present your paper. It also contains links and information on everything you need to know about formatting, citations, abbreviations, and more.
If you’re writing a scientific research paper, it differs in many ways from other research papers. One good resource for general information and tips on scientific papers is Ruf.Rice.edu/~biolabs/tools/report/reportform.html. It is written by a professor specifically for his students, but it contains a lot of good information on writing scientific papers that can be applied universally. If you need help understanding the different sections you need to include, start here.
Sometimes the hardest part of writing a research paper is thinking of a good topic. You have to be interested in your subject matter, or writing it will be even more torturous. The website Midway.edu/library/topics has a interesting list of one hundred different research paper topics. Start with one idea or subject, and then get some inspiration for how you can write a paper about it.
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and writing fanatic who loves to blog and help students survive their college experience. He often covers anything from basic college survival tips to advice on writing great college essays.
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