You may want to create a timeline using the University Libraries helpful Research Project Calculator tool to budget your time effectively.
Acquaint yourself with the ethics of writing using Penn State's Academic Integrity Training modules. Learn how to avoid plagiarism, cheating, and other academic integrity violations.
The Research Process
Focus on peer-reviewed sources for an academic research paper. With peer-reviewed publications, articles are evaluated by scholarly reviewers with the objective of upholding high editorial and quality standards. With sources such as Wikipedia, anyone can write or edit the information that is published.
Need instructive videos on the individual components of the research process (i.e., researching, selecting, and synthesizing information)? Check these out primarily from your Penn State University Library.
Getting Started with Research: - choosing a topic, narrowing a topic, and more.
Sources of Information - types of sources, how to read scholarly materials, etc.
Searching for Information - choosing keywords, selecting appropriate databases, etc.
Evaluating Information - authority, bias, fake news, etc.
Synthesizing Information - Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
Citations and Academic Integrity - plagiarism, citation styles, etc.
Missing pieces: How to write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information
Need a quick citation style guide?
Need help locating scholarly and respected information? Get started with these.
When working on extensive research projects, you will need to collect, organize and format all the various materials (articles, books etc.) that will be used in the final project.
Citation Managers are free tools that help you keep track of, and organize, this personal research library. Learning a specific citation manager is an investment of time, but it will pay off in the long run!
Below are basic how-to guides for the citation managers we support at Penn State.
Penn State also has access to a "lite" version of Refworks, but it is not recommended because of a lack of the advanced functionality needed by graduate students and researchers.