Newly updated in 2017, the second edition of Writing a Research Paper is an excellent guide for students in high school and beyond. While it begins with an expectation that students will be doing much of their research at a library, at least initially, it also addresses the shift to internet-based research. For example, it explains the traditional method of creating note cards for sources and specific notes from those sources, but it also discusses the pros and cons of creating those notes digitally (on a computer or other device rather than on physical cards).
Since there are so many specialized sources available at libraries and experienced librarians to assist students, they really should learn how to utilize physical libraries as explained in this book. In addition, students are likely to discover that it is easier to identify the most valid resources at a library in contrast to sorting through the possibilities on the Internet.
This second edition has been updated to reflect electronic research and writing, but it also includes the latest guidelines from the MLA Handbook, eighth edition. MLA (Modern Language Association) guidelines are those most commonly used in high school and college, so students should become familiar with them. The most significant style changes seem to be those related to documenting digital sources, but there are other changes such as those regarding in-text citations, treatment of titles of resources, and the arrangement and presentation of bibliographic information for all types of sources. Click here for a succinct list of “What’s New in the Eighth Edition.”
This 74-page book walks students through the process of creating a research paper: figuring out where to begin, learning how to use the library, researching a topic, writing the paper, proofreading, and creating a bibliography. A sample outline and research paper at the end show what final products should look like. Quick reference guides for documenting sources are included in two appendices at the end of the book.