During your first semester, or four semesters into your college education you may find yourself riding the struggle-bus as you start a research paper. One of the best attributes of college is the opportunity to study new areas of interest. Especially at Mount Holyoke, you are in the position where you must write a paper that is outside your normal field.
Whatever background you have in research paper writing, LITS has the most amazing webpages to help you find sources and get started on your research paper. In my case, I had zero research paper experience. The AP style essay was the only form I came to Mount Holyoke with.
Introducing: LibGuides ~ A fantastic starting place when you don’t know where to begin.
LibGuides are created by LITS staff members from the department of Research and Instructional Support who specialize in different areas of research. You can start your research by finding your subject page.
My first experience brought me to the Music LibGuide. Never having written a research paper, let alone a music paper, using this guide to find resources made researching much less overwhelming.
What you will also find helpful on the LibGuides are the Writing & Citation tools. Citing sources properly and in the correct form is a very important part of writing a good research paper. Each subject guide has a different citation page because not all subjects have the same citation format. Before I came to Mount Holyoke, I did not experience citing sources such as journals. On the LibGuides, you will find instructions, formats, examples, and citation tools to ensure the proper citation of materials. LibGuides make researching and citing easy!
If you are still having trouble organizing your research paper, or you’d just like some help, don’t be afraid to reach out to the liaisons! They are here to help you! When I wrote my first paper, I emailed the subject liaison so I could talk with her one-on-one and get my questions and concerns resolved in person. After meeting with a liaison, you will feel organized and most of the anxiety about writing a research paper will be gone. Doing the actual work is up to you, but you will be equipped to do a wonderful job.
The next time you find yourself unable to make progress on your research assignment, take advantage of this wonderful tool tailored to your needs by our fantastic LITS staff.