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Using The Internet To Write A Research Paper


Web Resources





General Research Considerations & Evaluating Information
Copyright and Intellectual Property
A concise guide to copyright issues and considerations of interest to anyone working with information. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Critical Thinking Skills
Learn to ask questions and evaluate information.
Hamilton College Style Sheet
This college website provides a variety of helpful guides:
Also available:
How to Write a Research Paper
Leads you step by step through the process.
How to Write a Research Paper in 10 Easy Steps
Tips and ideas from enotes.com.
Infowrite
Topics include Research and the Research Paper, Grammar, the Writing Process, Special Kinds of Writing, Modes of Exposition, and Critical Thinking. From Cengage Learning.
Planning and Writing a Research Paper
Sections include: Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic; Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources; Grouping, Sequencing, and Documenting Information; Writing an Outline and a Prospectus for Yourself; Writing the Introduction; Writing the Body; Writing the Conclusion; Revising the Final Draft. From The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin. See also their Common Types of Writing Assignments page for more tips and ideas.
A Research Guide for Students
Includes many styles such as MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, Columbia Guide to Online Style, and others.
Researchers
Overview of services and resources available to researchers at Middletown Thrall Library. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Urban Legends
Learn about urban legends and consider the possibility some "information" you encounter might be a rumor, lie, or a hoax.
Writing a Research Paper
Choosing a Topic, Identifying an Audience, and more tips. From Purdue University.

Citations & Style Guides
APA Citation Examples
From the University of Maryland University College.
The Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide
A concise guide from the publishers of this popular style guide for writers and researchers.

See also:
New Questions and Answers
From the Chicago Manual of Style Online.
Citation Guides
Includes citation guides for APA, Chicago, EasyBib, Endnote Basic, MLA (7th edition), MLA (8th edition), and Zotero. Several guides are color coded. "For instance, authors are in blue, book titles in pink, etc. making it quicker to identify each part." From Long Island University CW Post.
CiteSource
"Find citation examples for information formats in a variety of citation styles. Learn how to document information in your field of research. Read about copyright, intellectual property, and how the Web shapes information use." Includes links to PDFs for Chicago, MLA, APA, ACS, APSA, ASA. Also includes Intellectual Property and Rights and Licenses."
Citing References in Your Paper
Sections include: Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources, APSA (American Political Science Association), APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago/Turabian, CBE (Council of Biology Editors), MLA (Modern Language Association), Numbered References. From The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
Online edition of the classic writing guide complete with rules of composition and tips for improved writing. Provided by Bartleby.com.
Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style
"These FAQs will help clarify frequent areas of confusion." From the American Psychological Association.
The MLA Style Center
Includes a quick guide to the 8th edition, teaching resources, formatting a research paper and more. From the Modern Language Association.

See also:
Ask the MLA: FAQ
Noodletools
An integrated note-taking and documentation program with both free and subscription services. Fill in your specific source data and one tool will format it in MLA or APA style.
The Purdue Owl: Research and Citation Resources
Citation Resources for citaion in APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style. From Purdue University.

See also:
APA Style
Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Turabian Citation Guide
"These styles are essentially the same as those presented in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, with slight modifications for the needs of student writers." Based on Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers.
25 Best Free Online Citation Generators
Includes a description of the styles, access, functionality, and extra features for each citation generator. From Smart Study.
Online Research (Internet / Web / Electronic)

General Considerations about Online Research
Copyright and Intellectual Property
A concise guide to copyright issues and considerations of interest to anyone working with information. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Critical Thinking Skills
Learn to ask questions and evaluate information.
Research Paper Topics
From eNotes.
SourceWatch
"SourceWatch is a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. A primary purpose of SourceWatch is documenting the PR and propaganda activities of public relations firms and public relations professionals engaged in managing and manipulating public perception, opinion and policy. SourceWatch also includes profiles on think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests. Over time, SourceWatch has broadened to include others involved in public debates including media outlets, journalists, government agencies, activists and nongovernmental organizations."
Search Smarter, Better
Some helpful hints and other information to consider when searching or typing your keywords into a search engine. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Urban Legends
Learn about urban legends and consider the possibility some "information" you encounter might be a rumor, lie, or a hoax.
Using Primary Sources on the Web
Topics include: What are Primary Sources, Finding Primary Sources on the Web, Evaluating Primary Source Web Sites, Citing Web Sites. From the American Library Association (ALA).
Web Checklist
Things to think about when doing any kind of web-based research. Document provided by Middletown Thrall Library. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)


Current Events Sources
Current Interests Center
A directory of major news media, government, and other sources on currently hot topics. Directory provided by Middletown Thrall Library.
Special Coverage Center
In-depth coverage concerning a variety of major topics in the news. Provided by Middletown Thrall Library.


Research Databases on the Web
Databases: What They Are and Why You You Should Use Them
(PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Databases: Literature and Literary Criticism
Need to find some information, criticism, or interpretations on a major literary work? Or do you need information about an author or her or his writings? Check out these databases.
Databases: General Research
Use these when researching topics not covered by any of our specialized databases, encyclopedias, or Virtual Reference Library items.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Great for researching various positions on a certain hot topic or controversial subject.



Virtual Reference Library
Middletown Thrall Library's Virtual Reference Library
Items in the Virtual Reference Library are owned by Thrall and are an electronic (web-based) equivalent of the actual book as it was published in print. Categories of available information include: Arts, Biography, Business, Environment, History, Law, Literature, Medicine, Multicultural Studies, Nation and World, Religion, Science, and Social Science.



Websites - Finding & Evaluating
Critical Thinking Skills
Learn to ask questions and evaluate information.
Information Guides
From Middletown Thrall Library. If you specifically need web-based information when doing research, please try our guides first before resorting to any search engine. Also consider using our free Ask a Librarian service on the web to ask for more websites and information on your research topic.
Web Checklist
Things to think about when doing any kind of web-based research. Document provided by Middletown Thrall Library. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Search Smarter, Better
Some helpful hints and other information to consider when searching or typing your keywords into a search engine. (PDF format - view with Adobe Reader)
Urban Legends
Learn about urban legends and consider the possibility some "information" you encounter might be a rumor, lie, or a hoax.




Writing a research paper? See also:


Writing a research paper poses challenges in gathering literature and providing evidence for making your paper stronger. Drawing upon previously established ideas and values and adding pertinent information in your paper are necessary steps, but these need to be done with caution without falling into the trap of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is the unethical practice of using words or ideas (either planned or accidental) of another author/researcher or your own previous works without proper acknowledgement. Considered as a serious academic and intellectual offense, plagiarism can result in highly negative consequences such as paper retractions and loss of author credibility and reputation. It is currently a grave problem in academic publishing and a major reason for retraction of research papers.

It is thus imperative for researchers to increase their understanding about plagiarism. In some cultures, academic traditions and nuances may not insist on authentication by citing the source of words or ideas. However, this form of validation is a prerequisite in the global academic code of conduct. Non-native English speakers face a higher challenge of communicating their technical content in English as well as complying with ethical rules. The digital age too affects plagiarism. Researchers have easy access to material and data on the internet which makes it easy to copy and paste information.

Related: Conducting literature survey and wish to learn more about scientific misconduct? Check out this resourceful infographic today!

Guard yourself against plagiarism, however accidental it may be. Here are some effective tips to avoid plagiarism.

1. Paraphrase

  • Do not copy–paste the text verbatim from the reference paper. Instead, restate the idea in your own words.
  • Understand the idea(s) of the reference source well in order to paraphrase correctly.
  • Examples on good paraphrasing can be found here (https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase.html)

2. Quoting

Use quotes to indicate that the text has been taken from another paper. The quotes should be exactly the way they appear in the paper you take them from.

3. Identify what does and does not need to be cited

  • Any words or ideas that are not your own but taken from another paper need to be cited.
  • Cite Your Own Material—If you are using content from your previous paper, you must cite yourself. Using material you have published before without citation is called self-plagiarism.
  • The scientific evidence you gathered after performing your tests should not be cited.
  • Facts or common knowledge need not be cited. If unsure, include a reference.

4. Manage your citations

  • Maintain records of the sources you refer to. Use citation software like EndNote or Reference Manager to manage the citations used for the paper
  • Use multiple references for the background information/literature survey. For example, rather than referencing a review, the individual papers should be referred to and cited.

5. Plagiarism Checkers

You can use various plagiarism detection tools such as iThenticate or eTBLAST to check for any inadvertent plagiarism in your manuscript.

Tip: While it is perfectly ok to survey previously published work, it is not ok to paraphrase the same with extensive similarity. Most of the plagiarism occurs in the literature review section of any document (manuscript, thesis, etc.). Therefore, if you read the original work carefully, try to understand the context, take good notes, and then express it to your target audience in your own language (without forgetting to cite the original source), then you will never be accused with plagiarism (at least for the literature review section).

Caution: The above statement is valid only for the literature review section of your document. You should NEVER EVER use someone else’s original results and pass them off as yours!

What strategies do you adopt to maintain content originality? What advice would you share with your peers? Please feel free to comment in the section below.

If you would like to know more about patchwriting, quoting, paraphrasing and more, read the next article in this series!



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