One of the major challenges writers face in research writing is to effectively use sources in their papers. A writer who relies too heavily on sources might have an essay that is overrun with citations and contains few of the writer's ideas. A writer who does not know how to skillfully paraphrase or summarize may fill the essay with long quotations. A writer who uses unreliable or uncredible sources will weaken the argument or analysis.

Integrating Secondary Sources

Integrating sources (a UWC-created video overview)

Evaluating sources

Balancing outside source material with analysis: this one-page resource offers a strongly worded reminder that quotation and description should serve your analysis, which in turn should serve your larger point

Deciding when to quote, paraphrase, and summarize

Summarizing effectively

Specific Kinds of Research Writing

Research proposal A research proposal is written to establish the merit of your planned research on a specific question. The audience for this proposal can be an academic committee, supervisor, or an editor.

Additional Resources

Check out our "Research Strategies" page before clicking on the JMU Libraries' "Ask the Library" website to chat online with a JMU Librarian.

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