Advanced Search
Reader Bar Color:
User Guides
Reading Tools


Develop Presentations Using Appropriate Research Methods

Writing a research paper doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. The key is to choose a topic that interests you, and then to use effective research techniques. If you do this, you will have plenty of material and enough creative spark to make your paper interesting to others and fun for you.

When you are choosing your topic, consider what resources are available. If you have a mountain of information available on your topic, it may be too hard to condense and interpret it all for your paper. On the other hand, if you only have one source of information, you'll only have one perspective to write about. You need to choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow.

After you select your topic, you'll start to determine a central idea. Let's say you are writing a research paper on the aftermath of the Civil War. You could look at this topic from various perspectives. There are many sides to your topic, and you should think critically about them.

To begin your research, write down three to seven questions to answer first. Trying to answer these questions will open up other questions in your mind. Your central idea will help you select questions. However, you should not let it guide how you arrive at answers. You want objective answers to your questions, not the ones you may think are correct before you do your research.

When you research, you should use primary and secondary sources.