Step 1:Explore the Databases and Print Resources Familiarize yourself with primary and secondary sources, as well as the variety of print, non-print, and electronic resources. Understand how to locate these resources and how to use them responsibly and without plagiarism.
Step 2: Select a Topic Choose a topic and then find a specific angle or approach to that topic that is reasonable to cover in 5-7 pages. It should be specific enough that you will be able to find enough information without being overwhelmed.
Step 3:Conduct Preliminary Research and Begin Taking Notes Begin your research by using our databases, print resources and the Internet. If you collect information that will be used later in the project, be sure to keep careful track of each source so that you can cite it later.
Step 4: Determine Your Thesis Statement Formulate your thesis statement. The thesis statement is the statement of belief or introduction around which the entire piece will be structured.
Step 5: Create a Preliminary Outline Brainstorm possible subtopics or questions appropriate to the theme or topic of the piece. You can arrange and rearrange subtopics into a logical sequence. A finished outline should reflect your thesis statement, anticipated body, and conclusion of the finished piece.
Step 6: Organize Information and Take Notes Organize your information that was gathered in the research step into the outline noting any areas still in need of more information or closure. Conduct further research if needed.
Step 7: Write Your First Draft Using your outline and notes for guidance, begin with the thesis statement and add supporting details making sure to cite sources when appropriate.
Step 8: Reread Your Work and Revise as Needed Read first for content. Make sure your thesis statement is clearly stated in the introduction and that details are provided to support the work. Read the work a second time to check for grammatical mistakes. Use the COPS strategy as a guide (Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, Sentence Structure).
Step 9: Prepare the final paper for production Finalize your paper, proof read, peer edit.
Step 10: Prepare the Works Cited Page and Annotated Bibliography Students should prepare the works cited or reference page using the sources that were used in the paper. Double check the citation forms and punctuation conventions.
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