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Science Communication in Earth and Mineral Sciences

Guide to help identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use information to communicate science

Writing a Research Paper

Getting started

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 peewrite revise edit repeatr-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 

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

Beyond Google - Finding research information

Help; Support/Advice; and Guidance/Assistance displayed as a street sign  Need help locating scholarly and respected information? Get started with these.

See the following topical guides for more suggestions on places to search for information within your discipline:

 

See also this list of all Penn State's  topical guides for more suggested places to search within your discipline or the master list of special databases at Penn State.

Managing Citations

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.