Your college-level academic papers should be filled with facts, so it's important that you do a lot of research before you begin writing. A lot of people get stuck on the research part of their papers. It's not enough to do a cursory Google search; you need to find in-depth, quality information to support the arguments in your essays and papers. It's also important that your essays and papers are grammatically correct, have good structure and flow, and have the right voice. This guide will show you the best writing resources and academic resources to help you write your college-level expository essays and academic papers.
The library is an excellent resource for information. However, because selection of books and electronic content is so vast at the library, it's easy to become overwhelmed. You may not know where to find the information you need. Fortunately, the following resources at the library can help you:
Librarians are educated on research techniques. They know how to wade through vasts amounts of information to zero in on the specific information needed. Take advantage of this specialized training and ask a librarian to help you with your research. A librarian can help you find and select books, articles and scholarly journals that cover the information you require for your essay or paper. You may also be able to find a subject librarian who specializes in the specific subject you are doing research on.
Your librarian can only devote so much time to you. After all, you're not the only one who needs assistance. This is where library workshops fit in. Most libraries offer workshops that teach you how to do the research yourself. During library workshops you can learn about the research process; how to evaluate sources for quality; how to use library catalogs to find books and other library materials; how to search periodical databases to find journals, magazine articles and newspaper articles; advanced Internet search techniques (Internet search tools and subject directories); and how to properly cite information to avoid plagiarism.
College and university writing centers are valuable resources for essay and academic paper writing. These writing centers often have paper handouts and staff that can help you improve your writing processes. Through writing centers you can learn how to evaluate and understand your assignment, choose a good topic, learn about college-level expository essays and academic papers, essay structure, how to develop a thesis, developing counter-arguments, making an outline, editing and revising techniques, grammar, punctuation, and style tips. Often times, you can sign up for one-on-one time with writing tutors.
Ask your professor or the teacher's assistant for help with your essay or paper. Some people fear going to their professor or TA for help, but this is a silly attitude. These people are there to help you and really, who better to get advice from than the people who will be evaluating your final piece? You can ask your professor or TA for suggestions on essay topics and research sources or ask them to look over your paper and give you any advice they may have. Ask your professor or TA if you can schedule a time to go over your essay or paper with them before the due date so you can make any final edits to improve your work before it is due.
Never underestimate the value of your peers when it comes to getting help with your essay or paper. It can be helpful to talk over your ideas with your peers. They may have some good suggestions and input. You can also ask your peers for help with research or ask them to be second pair of eyes to help edit your paper.
It takes some time to utilize these writing resources, so the earlier you start writing your college college-level expository essay or academic paper, the better. Your extra effort will help your essay or paper stand out above the rest.
Check out our articles on editing papers and blasting through writer's block for more help!
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