Tips for Students Writing
When you begin doing research, it is easy to become a glutton
at the library. Rather than greedily hoarding the books, articles,
and other treasures at the library, share and cooperate with
other students. Find out which students are working on similar
subjects. Then, pool your xerox copies and any materials from
the library together in one collection. Pass along tips about
good sources via the e-mail discussion list if your class
literary studies and most college disciplines, it is considered
amateurish to rely primarily on webpages for research materials.
Real scholars and college-level students rely primarily on
sources. If you are a student at Carson-Newman, most of
the scholarly journals we have access to are available from
the library webpages in electronic databases (such as JSTOR,
Infotrac, and so on). Sparknotes are not a scholarly source.
Cliff's Notes are not a scholarly source.
(3) Again, be wary of on-line
research. Because any monkey with HTML training can instantly
throw up a website, research on the net is a perilous wasteland.
Analyze your websites carefully, perhaps perusing one of the
following guidelines before you begin:
Print out copies of webpages that you cite. Because electronic
resources are ephemeral, the material you quote might vanish
in a few days when the webmaster grows bored with that page.
Proving that you did find the material on the web (or to prove
that you aren't plagiarizing your source) is impossible unless
you keep a printout.
(5) Make friends with your local
librarians. Woo them with candy bars, thank-you cards, and
a friendly demeanor. Get to know them on a first-name basis.
This is an investment in the next several years of college
study. It will pay off when you need that library book loaned
in less than four days, or when you need that article in Iceland's
National Library faxed to you.
(6) Acquire a copy of the guidelines
for research papers in your particular field of study. If
you ever publish a paper, it is likely the editor will want
you to follow that particular format. Even if you never publish
your work, it is likely that teachers in your field of study
will require that format for their particular assignments,
so you can save yourself heartache and rewriting by acquiring
a copy early and becoming familiar with that format. For English
students, this format will be MLA format
(Modern Language Association). In other classes, you may be
writing papers in Turabian, APA
(American Psychological Association), AP
(Associated Press), or Chicago Manual of Style.
You should examine a
list of appropriate formats for different fields of study
and ask your teacher which one to use if you are unsure.