Expectations for Research
It is important that your research be accurate, reliable, relevant, and, for many disciplines, recent. Research that is too general, unreliable or dated cannot support strong analysis or a good argument. Instructors assess the quality of your research as part of your overall assignment mark; research must be scholarly and must balance primary and secondary sources.
It is also important to maintain your academic integrity. The appropriate use of sources is a factor that is assessed by professors. You must establish a balance between your research and your analysis; the sources you use must be properly documented and accurately communicated. You are less likely to copy the text word for word or paraphrase too closely if you have spent some time thinking about how the research will inform your thesis and if you think carefully about your research process. Read more on how to avoid plagiarism.
An essay is not simply a collection of quotations, summaries, and paraphrases about a topic. What turns such a collection into an essay is the thesis you choose and the way you organize your research to most effectively support your thesis. Taking the time to plan and do some preliminary research will help you to ensure your thesis and research questions are your own.
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