Organization is the Soul of Research Papers

So you’ve read your class syllabus a realize how much work you have to do. Get a jump start on your class by keeping your work organized. Here are some tips you may find helpful:

1) Did you know you have access to FREE versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint via your Maricopa Gmail account? Simply login to your account, click on Drive and then Create at the top of the screen. The best part: you can share your documents with fellow students, group members etc., and it will automatically keep track of revisions.

2) While researching, get in the habit of saving articles, websites, etc. to a flash drive, or email those items to yourself, and keep them in a folder that best reflects the contents, (e.g.) ENG102InstructorName. Also, your Canvas account works as a virtual drive. You can upload files there to use later. Read all about it here.

3) It’s obvious, but it’s best to get started early. That way, if your topic is too obscure and there’s not much material to base your paper on, you’ll have time to choose a new topic. It also allows you time to focus on writing, which is the most difficult part of the process.

4) As you find research sources you might use for a paper, start a Word or Google doc and keep a running list of works cited or references for your paper. You can find article citations in library databases. They aren’t 100% accurate, but they require minimal clean-up for your works cited.

Best advice: communicate early and often with your instructor and get to know your friendly librarians. We love working with students and research is our strength.

Have an efficient and productive semester!

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