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How the Writing Center Can Help with Research

Just getting started on a research paper? Writing Center tutors can help you locate, evaluate, and incorporate outside research. 

Tutors can help you research by...

  • Brainstorming together to help you clarify and define what you're looking for. After all, two brains are better than one!
  • Providing resources such as Google Scholar, citation tools and examples, and features of Microsoft Word that can make it easier to organize your research.
  • Helping you understand what you're reading and giving you tips for summarizing long or complex passages.
  • Helping you incorporate direct quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from your source. We can also help you make sure you're using APA or MLA documentation correctly as you write.
  • Point you in the right direction, such as the helpful staff at the IUP Libraries, if we can’t answer a specific question.

Tutors can also help students who are planning an independent research project or paper by...

  • Evaluating the purpose and/or hypotheses of your research.
  • Assessing the legitimacy and appropriateness of reviewed literature and data sources.
  • Drafting an outline for the written presentation of your research.
  • Creating visual representations of data, such as tables and charts, when appropriate.
  • Checking your paper with you to ensure it conforms to academic conventions (APA/MLA documentation).
  • Helping you proofread your work for consistency, ambiguity, and errors.

As a reminder, tutoring sessions typically...

  • last 30 to 45 minutes.
  • focus on one or two writing issues.
  • help to develop and focus ideas as you talk one-on-one with a tutor.
  • identify aspects of the paper you need to improve on your own.
  • conclude with a short evaluation form.
  • respect the confidentiality of your visit; a tutor will send a report form to your instructor only at your request.

Written by: Adelay Witherite