Research Tips

Pointers for working on your research:

  • Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to verify your ideas and thoughts at the beginning stage of your research. Encyclopedias may provide you with the background information on the topics of interest to you and may help further your research pursuit. Both tools can also help build the vocabulary in your subject area. In turn, you will be able to conduct literature search more effectively.
  • Consult with your advisors and discuss with your peers often, which may help narrow and refine your ideas. But, keep in mind that searching for research topics as well as refining your ideas sometimes is a long and stressful process.
  • Use a citation manager to store and organize the citation information of the books and the articles you have consulted when conducting literature search. Tools with note taking and citation-generation capabilities are best as you can write your review summary and save it for later use and output a group of selected citations in the style you want as well. Zotero is one of the best such tools and free.
  • Outline how you want to organize and present your research findings in your paper when you get to the writing stage. Consult and discuss with your advisors. For more information about citation styles, consult the library's Citation Style Guides.
  • Always give credit for the images, graphics, and charts that you will be using for your papers. Be copyright conscientious! When the original authors cannot be reached, contact the publishers for permissions for use .
Happy researching and happy writing!

Useful Research Tools


Helps you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources, and lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

Visit The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) for funding opportunities.

Virtual Commons

View BSU undergraduate research on Virtual Commons: