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Getting Started

Putting off your paper because you’re just not sure how to start? It’s easier than you think, take a look at how to break the whole paper into more manageable steps.

Set A Time Frame

Depending on the requirements of your assignment, your time frame can vary greatly. Use the calculator below for a realistic time frame and optional email reminders to keep you on track.

Identify A Topic

Sounds easy, huh? Unfortunately, it's not! Choosing a topic is one of the most difficult challenges when writing a paper...don't stress though, just brainstorm and use some of these tricks.

Find Background Information & Keywords

Once you determine a topic for your research, you will need to find background information in order to get started on your research and writing. 

...keep an eye out for Key Words

When searching for background information, pay attention to the words you repeatedly see; keywords are essential for conducting research.


...key words will help you transition from searching to research

There is a big difference between searching for background information and doing/finding research for your assignments.

Locate THE RIGHT Information

What does popular, scholarly, trade or peer reviewed mean and how can I tell the difference?

Catalogs, databases, journal articles, books?!?!? Think it’s just easier to use the Internet (it really isn’t)?  This video will give you a basic understanding of what and where to find a variety of resources for your papers, presentations and assignments.

Evaluate Information

No idea if a website, article or other item is acceptable to use? Use the CRAAP Test to determine if it is.

This video will help you determine what's acceptable in for a University level assignment.


Don't ruin all of your hard work and effort by plagiarizing. Even unintentional plagiarism can result in harsh consequences.

Citing Information

Not sure how or what to cite? Use these links to find specific examples of how to cite in APA or MLA format. 



Still Confused?!?? Just ASK A LIBRARIAN (that’s what we are here for!)

Individual and group research assistance is available in a variety of settings in order to best meet your needs.

Visit, e-mail, text, IM or call the Library. 

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Schedule an appointment.

Stop by one of our Workshops (no reservation required).

Find us at locations around campus. 

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Research Resources

Lindenwood University
2600 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226