Everyone likes to wait until the last minute to write papers.
I used to have professors require a certain number of sources, sometimes in different media formats. Typically, the idea of a paper is to prove a unique point and not mimic someone else’s research. How do you add to your own work without copying someone else’s words? The content of articles is meant to add to your paper not take away from your point. Here are the three steps to adding useful content to your paper:
Use Google Scholar and login to your University account. Often, when you are on the Internet connection through the school you attend, you will have access to certain journals because your university will pay for subscriptions. By accessing certain sites and being logged onto your university account, you can typically read articles that may otherwise have restricted access. Google Scholar is perfect for finding articles in academic journals. If your topic is very narrow, search a broad idea and click on any article you suspect may fit. Let’s say you are making a literary argument concerning a novel you have studied in class. Rather than searching for your specific thesis, search only for articles concerning the novel you are researching. You will find much more content and have an easier time making an article fit your paper.
Skim the article
Once you’ve selected a potential article, look at the first few paragraphs and the last few paragraphs of the paper. Most often, the beginning of the paper will summarize the text being address and give some very clear opinions about the text. If you think your professor is picky, then choose a few random sentences from the middle of the article. The ideal is to read the entire article, but if you are pressed for time (as most college students are by the time they get to writing their papers), then just skim your source. Gather a few quotes and put them in a separate document.
Add the Quote
Make the quote you’ve chosen fit your paper. As you write your paper let your words and opinions flow. Once you’ve gotten into the opinion and content of your own work, simply make your chosen quotes fit your work. All you need to do is glean information from an article. Your paper does not even need to have the same point as the one you are referring to. Just find a few sentences, which could fit your topic and add the quotes. It is more of an art to add quotes than an exact science. Just choose a few sentences or sentence fragments, throw them in your paper, and write around these ideas. Do not get too lost in the intense arguments of the articles you are researching, simply, use the basic facts and add them to your own content. Many online universities require a specific number of sources that are meant to add to your paper, not take away from your point.
Adding quotations to your papers does not have to be a cause of major stress. Just approach the subject matter efficiently and you will soon have enough quotes to convince your professor you did hours of research. Time is ticking so stop stalling and write your paper!