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A procrastinators guide to research


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Mastering research papers

By|Domanique Crawford

We are about two weeks from finals and despite your major, I know you have a research paper of some sort due. Your professor has been warning you for weeks now that the paper is due soon and like the typical procrastinator, you have decided to wait the last minute to write four or more pages of research.

But hold on, you realize you can’t BS this paper like you have done all of the others. Research papers have built-in BS detectors. Parentheticals, citations, works cited, and those pesky little things called annotated bibliographies keep even the sturdiest of procrastinators on their toes.  To those of you who think you still have time to finish the complete, grammatically clean research paper, you are fooling yourselfs.

Have no fear; I am going to share my secret tips with you that well help you at least BS as much as you can before actually having to dig deep and produce real work.
You know how the professor will casually mention the librarians and how they can help your research? And then they actually bring in a librarian to show you how to use the database and answer any questions you may have.

You go through this every semester.  You sit there, half listening to the conversation, wondering why you have to go through this same presentation in every class that requires a research paper.

Well… that’s cause you need to pay attention. No. No. Actually, listen. My number one tip is to utilize those Liberians. They really know what they are talking about. Not only will they help you refine your topic to perfection, but they will also introduce you the library database. The database pops up legitimate sources instantly. Usually with the citation already laid out on the side in MLA, ALA, and Chicago, which you need to take advantage of because these new budget cuts to the library are no joke. These lazy boy tactics might not be so readily available in future semesters.
I don’t know why people always hype up noodle bib as the go to citation generator. Yes, noodle bib provides a template, but you have to type in the information manually. Don’t nobody have time for that.

Let me introduce you to tip number two. Eat, drink, breathe Son of Citation Machine. Lets face it, nowadays most of our sources come from the World Wide Web. Son of Citation Machine lets you put in the URL and will generate the source for you. If you don’t actually know that a parenthetical is, don’t worry Son of Citation Machines has your back on that as well. For the old school book users, it’s all good. The site includes all forms of media citation. Just plug in the ISBN number and Wala! A citation is made.

Do you get confused about fragmented sentences, overuse of commas, or which, which, is witch? Don’t even waste your time trying to figure it out. Tip number three is a free handy tool called Grammarly.com. If you are anything like my brother who can comprehend the most complex mathematical formulas but is stuck taking a GRE class for credit that requires grammatical proficiency that just seems to escape him, then Grammarly.com will be your best friend. Not only does it point out the mistake and how to fix it, but it explains the error and how to correct it in the future.   

Ummm … Who was it that said think smart, not hard?

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