Writing a Research Paper

Use this guide to help you write your paper.

Library Research Guide

Create a Mind Map

Mind mapping is a tool you can use to develop a research question or topic you want to explore in greater depth. For example, after creating a mind map about genetically modified foods, you might ask: 

  • Does eating commonly modified foods create adverse health affects? 
  • Are genetically modified foods important in expanding the world's food supply?

After doing more research on your topic, your thesis statement will help you talk about specific points you're exploring in your paper.

Mind map for genetically modified foods 

Mind map created with bubbl.us

There are many mind map tools out there on the internet. Below are a few of those tools that have a free version--all free versions will have some use limitations. 

Select Your Topic

Watch this K-State Libraries video (4:34) to get help choosing your topic.

Video transcript

Developing a Research Topic (K-State LibrariesCC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Find Background Information

Databases, reference books, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, and certain websites are all good starting points for finding background information, and can also help you narrow your topic. 

Develop Your Thesis Statement

Use the following sources to help you write your thesis statement: