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Resources and Sustainability Research Paper: Summarize and Present Information

This guide was created with the intention of pointing you toward steps and resources for developing an effective research paper about the science, economics, history, ethics, sociology, politics, and future trends within resources and sustainability.

How to Use This Page

Putting everything together coherently while supporting your statements is perhaps the hardest part. Make sure your thesis is clear from the beginning, so if you introduce rebuttals, it is clear where you stand. Write an outline or write the first topic sentence of each paragraph; every sentence in each paragraph should branch from that first sentence or idea. 

A lot of information means a lot of citations. If you're in doubt about whether you need to cite something, you probably should. "But what if my paper is nothing but a bunch of paraphrases and quotes?" That doesn't mean you've done too much citing; that means you need to add your own commentary and conclusions about what you're citing. A word of advice: the earlier you organize your works cited, the easier this will be. Don't save it till the end or rely on your memory to recall where you got what information! False citations are also plagiarism. 

It's hard to be critical of your own work. Apply the same skills you use when reading academic literature to your own paper--support your ideas with evidence and check facts. Make sure at least the writing tutor, Claire Reinke, reads your paper, if not others.

Examples from OWL Purdue

Choose APA or MLA and use it consistently.

APA

Book:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Online periodical and online document:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from 
http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. In Title of book or larger document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Journal:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

In-text Citation

(Jones, 1998, p. 199)

MLA

Book:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Full website and web page:

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

"Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.

Journal from database:

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.

In-text Citation:

(Wordsworth 263)

 

Citing Sources is NOT DIFFICULT and It's More Than Just Avoiding Plagiarism

- You always need publisher, author, date, and location information, but only their treatment (order, punctuation, capitalization) differs from style to style.
- You cite so readers know where you're basing your conclusions.
- You cite so readers can examine sources for themselves.