Organizing Your Materials to get Started on Your Research Paper Help
What Materials Do You Need to Start Your Research Paper?
To write a good research paper, you need the right materials. In this lesson, you'll learn what to have at your finger tips so that you'll save valuable time throughout the research process.
Before you walk into a library and ask questions or log onto the Internet, it makes sense to be prepared. What essential tools or equipment do you need to start your research paper? The basic materials are easy to get your hands on and are surprisingly simple. To be prepared you will need:
- a current library card from a local or city library
- a highlighter
- a plastic or metal index card holder
- lined index cards
- a folder with pockets
- access to Internet facilities or equipment
Getting a Library Card
Almost every town and city has a public library, museum, or cultural institution that is open to everyone free of charge. If you don't live near a public library or your community doesn't have one, you can usually join and have access to a college or university library. Getting a library card and reading card at any one of these institutions will provide you with access to all kinds of invaluable books, magazines, maps, reference materials, rare collections, and most important of all, knowledgeable librarians who can personally assist you in your research. While most library cards are issued within a few days, it is a good idea to get one before you start your project. If there is any waiting time, it won't interfere with your work or your deadlines.
In most cases, you are not able to take out reference books from a library. Sometimes, you can use and read books from a collection for a specific period of time before they have to be returned. If you need to take home the information, you can photocopy or print out computer listings of the material available to you. A highlighter allows you to go through a lot of printed information quickly and highlight those page numbers, titles, or chapter headings that you don't have time to read at that moment but that you might want to return to later.
Index Card Container
A chapter devoted to note taking comes later in the book. You'll learn how to take notes from all kinds of materials quickly and thoroughly by using a note card system, also known as an index card system. However, before you begin that process, it is a good idea to have a place to store all your index cards so they don't get lost and scattered. Also, if you need to visit several libraries and institutions while you are gathering your materials, you can take your index card holder with you wherever you go so that it becomes your personal traveling desk. In this way, you will never be without your work and you can easily refer to what you've done because your note cards are all in one place.
If you've never used index cards before, don't worry. They are an efficient and user-friendly way to take down valuable information. Like taking your note card holder with you, it is also important to keep a full stack of index cards with you at all times so that you don't run out. There is nothing worse than finding an ideal book or source and not having an index card with you to jot down those important thoughts and ideas. Index cards are also light, and you can spread them out in front of you at any desk or on any surface. Lugging a large notebook with you is too cumbersome.
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