Dear Amy: I have been assigned my first research paper. I was wondering if you have any tips about how to proceed. — Samuel C., Portland, Oregon
Dear Samuel: Research papers can be fun to write if you get organized and follow some simple steps. Begin by bookmarking a few good websites to help you do research. Check out Kid Safe Search Sites, sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/kidsafe, for a useful list. You should also plan to visit the library to find materials about your topic. A variety of sources will ensure you have enough information once you begin writing.
The next step is to select a topic that interests you. Research is always more fun when it’s on a subject you care about. Once you have a topic, phrase it as a question and focus your research on it. For instance, a paper on George Washington could ask, “How did George Washington’s early life prepare him for the presidency?”
Next, begin gathering information. Keep track of your sources so you can cite them properly. If you have questions about how to cite a source, EasyBib, easybib.com, can help you with the right format. For more tips, visit Research Papers: A Writing Workshop, tinyurl.com/gtgbgnc.
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