An essay, more commonly referred to as a research paper or more simply paper, is a short formal piece of writing focused on a single topic. Every type of essay, albeit with slight variations, has the same basic structure consisting of three parts--introduction, body, and conclusion. Before writing an essay, it is necessary to investigate the topic to establish the facts required to arrive at a conclusion. Involving several different skills, the research process can be complex and confounding. The tutorials, practice exercises, and library resources included in this instruction module will assist you in navigating the research process. To provide you with step-by-step instructions, a flowchart has been created that accurately reflects the nonlinear nature of the research process. Using the flowchart, you can acquire the necessary skills to compile the information needed to write all parts of your essay.
The flowchart identifies the steps and decision points commonly associated with the research process. Steps in the process are designated with blue underscored text and the decision points with black text. To access instructional materials, each step has a corresponding sub-tab listed under the main tab "Overview of Research Process." Each sub-tab will provide a brief instructional video or videos and if applicable a practice exercise and/or a list of recommended resources to consult. An interactive version of the flowchart is provided if you prefer to access the instructional materials directly via the flowchart.
Additionally, instructions on how to access books and articles as well as remotely access library resources and services is provided. Where to find help with writing is also provided.
Two practice exercises--one for exploring your topic and the other identifying keywords for your topic--are to be completed before the scheduled library instruction session. The remaining practice exercise, research log, will be completed during the scheduled library instruction session.
Finally, links to some de-stressor activities are provided for when you wish to take a break from studying.
Please start your instructional journey with "Select a topic" and end with "Submit paper."