Composition Writing Studio

The Research Paper

A research paper is a “long essay that presents your own thoughts, supported by the words and ideas of others who must be given credit through the use . . . parenthetical documentation and . . . a list of works cited” (Dawson College). 

Your task is to present and support a claim about your chosen topic. Your thesis must be debatable – in other words, it cannot be fact-based or so obvious that no reasonable person would disagree. You should have an introductory paragraph with a thesis that you then support in your paper. Don’t limit yourself to just the positive aspects of your issue—consider the negative also, and discuss and refute the counter-argument(s). Some parameters that your paper will be evaluated on are the following: Is the thesis clearly stated? Is it adequately supported with your research? Are the supporting paragraphs coherent? Do they transition into each other in a logical manner? Or, could they be randomly rearranged? (Not a good thing!) Are quotes integrated within your own sentences and properly cited?



Web Resources:  Textbooks, Chapters, and Articles

Web Resources:  Websites

Web Resources:  Citation

Visual Sources


  • ArticleSearch:  Free App that allows for multiple searches of scientific papers, journals, articles, and other publications
  • Questia:  Ability to search through 75,000 books, 9 million articles, and 7,000 research topics
  • Ilaro: A research note taking and citation database; useful for organizing notes and tracking citations.
  • Essay Starter:  Program that allows for transfer of information from PDFs to notes and/or essays



Last Updated: 6/27/22