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WSE 242: Society and Gender in Science and Engineering: Home

Writing Research Papers

Purdue OWL Writing Lab provides helpful information on Genre and Research Paper.

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Off-Campus Access

Use your NetID and password to access library resources when off-campus.

Research Process

  • Select a topic that interests you.
    • Brainstorm ideas: use concept maps and identify keywords and synonyms
    • Define and refine your topic: not too narrow or not too broad
  • Formulate your research questions.
    • Factual questions - You may need to investigate some factual questions before you begin your research.  For instance:  What does hydraulic fracturing mean?  
    • Research questions - What do you want to know about your topic?  Is your question researchable and answerable?
  • Develop a focused thesis statement.
    • State the purpose of your paper
    • Present your arguments
  • Identify type of resources that you need for your paper.
    • Journal articles, books, encyclopedias, World Wide Web
      • Primary sources vs. Secondary sources
        • Primary sources - original works or first-hand information recorded at the time of an event
        • Secondary sources - discussions or reviewed materials after the event took place
      • Academic vs. Non-academic
        • Academic - peer-reviewed articles or reviewed articles
        • Non-academic - newspaper articles, editorials or letters to the editors
  • Find information on your topic using library resources.
    • Subscription databases
    • Catalogs
    • EDS (EBSCO Discovery Service)
  • Conduct the search.
    • Keyword
    • Subject Heading: Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH)
    • Boolean Operators: to limit or broaden your search
      • AND, OR, NOT
    • Quotes " " - search for an exact phrase
    • Parentheses ( ) -  combine multiple search terms
    • Asterisk * - add to the root of a search term
  • Evaluate and identify materials that support your paper.
    • Appropriateness
    • Credibility
    • Reliability
  • Cite your sources.
    • Properly quote, summarize, or paraphrase the original sources that you use in your paper.
      • In-text citations
      • List of references

Science Librarian

Clara Tran
CS1-E, Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library
(631) 632-1331

SBU Librarian Profile

Getting Help

If you have questions on your research, you can email me or call me.  Please see contact information above.

In addition, you can contact us through the following channels:

  • Email us at
  • Chat with us
    • Click on the "Ask Us" red tab located on the top right hand corner of each library's web page
  • Visit us at the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room
    • M-Th 9-5 and F 9-3
    • Library Assistants are available when the Central Reading Room is open.
  • Call us at (631) 632-7110.