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What is a good online resource for a student who doesn't know how to write a research paper? Content I would like to see included in such a resource: how to use library databases, what a thesis statement is, how to distinguish reliable online sources from unreliable ones, how to write a bibliography, how to cite sources in the body of the paper, etc.

The target audience would be first-year undergraduates, although to be honest something written for K-12 students (particularly middle school and high school) would probably be very useful, too.

Edited to clarify: I do not mean "research paper" in the sense of "original research", but rather "Find sources about topic X in the library or online and write about them." This is a fairly common type of assignment for undergraduates (and, for that matter, high school students) in the United States in, for example, the social sciences and the humanities.

closed as off-topic by Coder, Shake Baby, scaaahu, Federico Poloni, Buzz Jul 23 '17 at 23:09

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  • Do you distinguish between STEM and Humanities? – svavil Jul 22 '17 at 20:16
  • @svavil The kind of paper I have in mind seems (in my experience) to be more commonly assigned in the social sciences and the humanities, but if there are good resources designed for STEM students I would be happy to see them. – mweiss Jul 23 '17 at 19:47
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First-year undergraduates are rarely taught to write research papers; in my experience, the skill set you look for is taught to Master's students and PhD students. Look for self-help books intended for PhD students. To name a few,

  • Umberto Eco's How to Write a Thesis is a brilliant insight into the subject, dealing with questions such as "I am a student of some obscure subject in some distant town in the middle of nowhere, how do I start?".

  • How to write consistently boring literature by Kay Sand-Jensen is more of a style guide and a check list, but it's definitely a valuable extra reading.

  • The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research by Marian Petre and Gordon Rugg walks aspiring PhD students through every aspect of their new lives, from working with a supervisor to writing all sorts of articles to delivering a viva.

Please make use of resources in these answers: Learn to write scientific papers in medicine, Are there resources for learning how to write a scientific paper?

  • I do not mean "research paper" in the sense of "original research", but rather "Find sources about topic X in the library or online and write about them." This is routine for undergraduates in the United States in, for example, the social sciences and the humanities. – mweiss Jul 23 '17 at 19:44

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