College Term Paper Bibliography
Here are some good places to look for reputable sources: As you read, analyze your sources closely, and take good notes.
Jot down general observations, questions, and answers to those questions when you find them.
Look for primary sources, such as journals, personal records, or contemporary newspaper articles when you can find them.At the very least, skim the section on your general area of interest. They’re probably more than happy to point you in the direction of a possible research topic.Of course, this is going to be highly dependent on your class and the criteria set forth by your professor, so make sure you read your assignment and understand what it’s asking for.As you’re starting your research, create some kind of system for filing helpful quotes, links, and other sources.I preferred it to all be on one text document on my computer, but you could try a physical file, too.If you feel the assignment is unclear, don’t go any further without talking to your professor about it.Say it with me: a research paper without a thesis question or statement is just a fancy book report. Every good thesis statement has three important qualities: it’s focused, it picks a side, and it can be backed up with research.Once you have a sizable stack of research notes, it’s time to start organizing your paper.Even if you normally feel confident writing a paper without one, use an outline when you’re working on a research paper.In this text document, I start compiling a list of all the sources I’m using.It tends to look like this: Remember that at this point, your thesis isn’t solid. If your research starts to strongly contradict your thesis, then come up with a new thesis, revise, and keep on compiling quotes. Depending on how long your paper is, you should have 3-10 different sources, with all sorts of quotes between them.