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Getting Help with Writing: Getting Started with Research Papers

Need Help?

Use the Message Us button above to talk to a librarian right now. They can help you with finding or focusing your topic, finding articles and other information sources, citing sources properly, and more.

About Printing

Printers and copiers are available in all libraries. Cost is 11 cents per page for black and white copies.

You will need to have money on your OneCard to print. You need to swipe your OneCard at the printer to print.

You can email your document to a printer or download a print driver to your laptop to print directly to a library printer in the library.  Go to for more information.


Getting Organized

There are lots of great free online tools available to help you get organized for any research paper or project. Here are some to try:

Getting Started - Research Topic Guides

Just don't know what to write about? Use one of our research topic guides to help you browse and select a topic you are interested in!

Brainstorming and Mindmapping

Once you have selected a general topic, you can use a mindmap to get started in narrowing your topic by detailing subtopics, identifying what you already know, and finding gaps in your knowledge that will require additional research. Here are a few free apps to help.

Finding Scholarly Articles

Do you know the difference between a scholarly and popular article? This short video shows you the visual clues that can help you select the right type of article.

Have you ever used a library database to search for articles. Using a database is way more efficient than searching Google, plus they connect you right to the full-text or our free Interlibrary Loan order form right from the search results. Learn more about using databases here.

Summon is the library's discovery system. You can use it to search almost all of the library's online and print resources all at one time. Find scholarly articles, books, book chapters, videos and more.

Apps to Find Full-Text

Here are some apps to use to see if you can find an article in full-text online from your internet search results.