Assignment Helper – Research Paper

The goal of the Research Paper  is to give you experience in writing a graduate-level research paper. This assignment satisfies the San José State University’s Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), and also meets INFO 200’s student learning outcomes #2-#5.

View a video about the assignment:

Getting Started

  • All assignments in INFO 200 help build your understanding and knowledge of the information needs and information-seeking behaviors of the information community you are researching. You can feel free to remix and adapt previous assignments and blog posts and incorporate these into your research paper. This is not self-plagiarism!
  • Begin using the INFO 200 LibGuide to identify research paper sources. You will need at least 20 items in your reference list – a majority of which should be scholarly/research peer reviewed sources.
  • Set up and use a system for organizing your research articles and reference materials. Consider using a citation manager, such as RefWorks.
  • Utilize course material relating to information needs and information-seeking behavior as a resource in your writing.
  • Review sample assignments.

Start to synthesize what you learn in this class into your research paper

  • As you complete class readings, lectures and assignments, ask yourself how the information you’ve learned impacts your information community. Make notes to of these so you can include these parallels or contrasts in your research paper.
  • What questions about your information community seem to arise as you review research materials? Are there relationships between your research materials and what you’re learning in this class? Are you noticing any common themes? Make notes of those to discuss these relationships in your research paper.
  • Are you discovering anything new or unexpected about the information needs and information-seeking behaviors of the information community you are researching as you do your research? How does what you’re learning in this class relate to what you’re discovering? How does what you’re learning in class change how you view or understand the information needs and information-seeking behaviors of your community?

The Research Paper format

Review the assignment description, requirements and rubric carefully. Follow APA style 7th Edition guidelines for each section of your paper.

  • Use the headings shown on the Research Paper Assignment page in the following order to ensure you have all required elements (Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Discussion, Conclusion, References)
  • The Literature Review section should be based on your Literature Review Matrix assignment, and synthesized to 2-3 pages. Use relevant information theories from the course to frame your review.
  • From your research, provide an analysis of the information-seeking behavior of your community, and discuss the resources and services information professionals use to meet those needs. Cite research evidence from scholarly and community-based sources, as well as evidence from course materials to support your analysis. Use parenthetical references in APA format for your information sources.
  • Summarize your research findings examining how libraries and other information centers are meeting or not meeting the information needs of your community. Suggest any new directions for future research and/or new services and resources that can be developed.
  • Additional sub-headings can guide the reader through your writing and findings.
  • Michael will share links to help with abstract writing as the due date approaches.

Formatting Your Work

  • Review your checklist to ensure you’ve included all the required assignment components
  • The text of your research paper (excluding title page, abstract and references) should be a minimum of 3,000 words and not more than 3,500 words.
  • The assignment should be double spaced with 5-7 space indentations for paragraphs.
  • Use 12 pt. Times Roman or Courier font
  • Document margins should be 1 inch
  • References should be cited using APA style
  • For Rules for the Body of the Paper for Academic Writing, review  “Academic Writing Conventions and APA Style” in Module 2.

Submitting Your Assignment

  • Must be a minimum of 3,000 words and no more than a maximum of 3,500 words not including the title page, abstract, and reference list. 
  • Spell and grammar check your document.   
  • Take a break from your document and come back later to proofread it (manually).  
  • Ask a peer to proofread your document – offer to do the same for them.
  • Note: Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft outline of their paper to the instructor for formal feedback up to one week prior to the final due date. Students can then incorporate this feedback into the final version of their paper submitted for grading.
  • Submit your Research Paper to Canvas (not your blog) using the naming convention: “LastName_NameofAssignment” as a PDF or Word document. 
  • All assignments are due on Sundays unless otherwise noted and must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. PT.
  • If life circumstances require students to request an extension, please do so several days before the assignment is due or as soon as possible.