Saturday, April 28, 2012

How to write a research paper:

Step 2: Searching the literature

The next step is gathering information. It helps to choose specific key words that directly relate to your topic.  These are the words you will use to search for in Google Scholar or whichever search engine/database you plan to use.  The IIT library website provides access to numerous databases in various subjects.  If you are unsure about which database is right for your research question, talk to your professor/instructor, a librarian, or one of the tutors at the ARC (they may have prior experience).  Choose keywords directly from your research question. Many search engines allow you to search multiple words at once. For instance, if my question was, what is the difference between depressive symptoms in Eastern versus Western cultures?, I may choose to enter, "depression," and "Eastern culture." Entering "depression" by itself would provide too many results.  Specificity is key; however, being too specific may not provide you with enough information.  For example, entering a specific symptom of depression would not be the best route.  Also, it does not hurt to enter different combinations of keywords to ensure you have covered the entire area of research. More to come next week!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Final Week Schedule

The ARC is open during Final Exam week: Apr 30 - May 3 from 10am to 4pm. New tutoring schedule is posted here: Good luck with your exams.

Monday, April 23, 2012


We are hiring for Fall 2012 semester. The positions are available in all areas of tutoring. All federal work study students must complete the application at financial aid web site and all non-federal work study students must complete an application at career management site. For full consideration, please complete ARC application at

Study Week Hours

The ARC is open for tutoring today till 4pm. There is no tutoring after 4pm this week, but the ARC space is open till 8pm Mon - Thu and Friday 10-3pm. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It was suggested that I write do series on how to write a research paper.  I will add a new step each week.

Step 1: Choosing a Topic

You cannot begin to write a research paper without a topic.  Choosing a topic may seem like a simple task, but it is sometimes a complicated process.  As undergraduates, you are typically assigned to write a review of the research in a particular area, such as psychological disorders or genetic diseases.  Pick something that interests you!  For some, writing papers is a tedious task.  Picking an enjoyable topic rather than choosing an easy topic, such as one in which you know a lot of information exists (e.g. a topic the media covers regularly) may make the process more interesting.  

When you have no idea what topic to choose, talk to your professor/instructor or flip through your book to get an idea.  Once you have chosen a general area as your focus (it could be as general as "depression" or "Huntington's disease"), perform a Google Scholar search to see what information exists on the subject.  For example, when searching "depression," you may come across articles regarding ethnicity or gender, and decide it would be interesting to write your paper on depression in non-Western cultures, for instance.  It may help to think about your topic as a question -- Why is depression more prevalent in Western cultures than non-Western cultures?  From this point, you can move into the next stage of writing your paper, which I will discuss next week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MS 201 Exam Review at WH-119 & Live stream

MS201 Exam Review by Mike L. at WH-119. Attend in-person or live stream at:

online limited to 45 attendees. in-person limited to 25. Online live streaming through Fuze meeting available on iOS and Android.

Exam review sheet for MS 201: