Research Writing

Research Project/Paper

Some general helpful hints for completing your research paper smoothly, efficiently and correctly.

You may use any one of the style manuals as a guide for correctly formatting your research materials and sources, but the APA style is preferred. (
(Note that the APA style uses References for Bibliography.)

In your bibliography:

  1. Cite the source
  2. Indicate how the source proves the thesis. Put down what part of the outline the source will be used for.
  3. Indicate where you found the source

You can access articles and abstracts pertaining to your topic through the Pacific Library by following this link:

It is very possible that your paper would qualify for presentation at one of the undergraduate research conferences. Refer to this link for more information from the Pacific Office of Undergraduate Research.

NOTE: It is sometimes extremely helpful to use a Thesaurus first to pick accurate descriptors to enter in the search area. Not all descriptors that you feel are relevant to your subject will yield the same quantity or quality of search results. Try different ones using the Thesaurus as a guide for choosing.

FORM of the Paper

  1. Thesis Statement, a sentence which states what you will prove
  2. Discuss how the data was collected, how transcribed, do not be personal (e.g. I did this, etc.) It is better to use the passive voice to put the focus on what was done rather than who did it.
  3. Discussion of the data providing the proof of your thesis statement. You need to display the data/examples.
  4. Development of the topic. This is the main body of the paper. Connect the facts, examples to your thesis.
  5. Summary/Conclusion
  6. Add bibliography (References if using APA style)
  7. Put raw data in an appendix


  1. Do not pick a thesis that makes so many claims that it is impossible to prove in a short paper.
  2. A paper is usually too short not because the thesis statement was too brief, instead it is usually because the writer did not give enough examples or more typically, not thoroughly discussing the examples given.
  3. Use the correct voice. Don’t be too informal. You must take the stance of a researcher reporting on an experiment. Avoid the personal.
  4. Explain the examples thoroughly.
    Don’t force your readers to do your analysis for you.
  5. Thesis Checklist (

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated Bibliography simply means that each reference citation includes a brief paragraph following it that includes the following information.

  1. One or two sentences summarizing the contents of the article or book.
  2. A sentence indicating what part of the thesis this source will help you prove.
  3. An indication of where you found the source.