Welcome to the guide for HONS 201: Time! This guide was created to help students navigate, locate, and understand the resources they will need to use in order to complete their paper. In this guide, you will find information on useful reference sources, the scientific research process, finding books and articles, and citing sources. The research process can be difficult, but librarians are here to provide assistance and answer any questions along the way.
Begin with general sources, and narrow as you learn more and need to probe specific ideas. General sources include Scientific American, Nature, Science, and other general interest journals, as well as encyclopedic sources, which give an overview. Find books that cover aspects of your topic, to gain a solid background. [Go to the library! Do not choose your resources based on whether they are electronic.] You do not need to read the entire book. The introductory chapter and one or two other chapters may contain relevant ideas. When you have a good foundation and a grasp of relevant terminology, you may find recent journal articles that enhance your study and give quality examples to support your paper. Do not start with journal articles. You can not write a coherent paper by stringing together examples. You need a solid understanding and your own structure for the paper. Aim for at least ten sources for research papers (about five for fictional works). They should cover the range of types of sources listed above.
Consult/read/review at least five sources related to your topic to inform your writing, so your work is credible.
Your goal should be to learn about your topic sufficiently so that you can explain the ideas in your own words, with your own organization, in the paper. Outlining the paper is usually helpful before beginning to write. Avoid quoting information that you should be able to explain. Quotations can be used if the author’s wording conveys particular nuance or emphasis. Otherwise cite the source of your information, but summarize or paraphrase. The paper may be 10-20 pages long. For a writing credit, it should be at least 4000 words (which is about 15 pages). You should aim for at least ten sources, with a full range of types, as discussed above.