Top Tips:

  • Start early

    Writing a good research paper takes time. Many students underestimate how much time the research process alone can take. Reduce procrastination and start early. Use our Task Breakdown tool to help you plan your assignment and schedule your time more effectively.

  • Find the best research

    The quality of your research paper will depend on on the quality of the research you do. Since there is so much information available online and through the Library, you need to begin with a good research question to help keep you focused. The Library also has resources to help you search for materials.  To help ensure that your sources are reliable, use the Library's CARS Evaluation Tool

  • Read research materials with a critical eye

    Once you find materials, you need to read carefully and critically. In a research paper your job is not typically to summarize your research, but to respond to it. Use the SQ5R method for reading journal articles to help you get the most from your reading. Understanding a journal article's format can also help you navigate your way through an article. Improve your skills in critical thinking by taking this Keys for Success workshop

  • Cite and reference all research

    Make sure you track where you found information using our tracking your sources document to save time later. Make sure that your research is effectively integrated into your paper using proper quotations and paraphrases, and check that all evidence is cited and referenced. Check out APA @ Conestoga if you need help citing and referencing. Avoid plagiarism and properly acknowledge sources! 

  • Review before you submit

    Never hand in a paper before reviewing it. Check the instructions and rubric to make sure you have actually completed the tasks your instructors asked you to. Read through the paper to make sure your ideas make sense, you aren't repeating yourself, and you aren't leaving out any important information. Proofread for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. While computer tools such as spellcheck and grammar check can be helpful, they do not catch everything. Its a good idea to print your paper and proofread a hardcopy as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I develop a thesis statement?

All research papers need a thesis statement. See Types of Thesis Statements to help you develop your thesis, and make sure that your thesis is parallel. If you want to see how your thesis relates to the rest of your essay, take a look at Thesis Statements and Essay Structure.

How do I find good research?

You can access the library's online database through their homepage. The library's Research Help Guide has tutorials to help you through the research process. 

How do I read and understand my research materials?

Learn about the SQ5R method to help you with your reading comprehension. Reading a journal article can be challenging. Reading a Journal Article: SQ5R has tips for understanding this type of resource. Understanding the Journal Article format can also help you navigate through the common sections of a research article.

How do I include research in my paper using APA @ Conestoga?

You can integrate research by quoting or paraphrasing the original source.  To avoid plagiarism, make sure you cite and reference the source whenever you include someone else's words, ideas, or images. See our APA @ Conestoga Website for more information.