How to…
So many students are
over-run with fear and
anxiety at the prospect
of having to write a
research paper. But
the truth is, provided
you know how to
approach the
assignment, writing
research papers is not
difficult at all.
In fact, if you are
writing about
something that
interests you, you will
find the assignment to
be a great deal of fun.
 Here is how to do it:
To make things easy
for this and all future
research assignments,
develop a template
on your computer,
formatting it according
to Turabian standards.
Then, use the "save as"
function to save the
template for your first
research assignment.
What’s a template?
A template is nothing more than an MS Word
document that you set up to use for your
research papers.
Turabian shows you how to format your
papers (see page 378) .
Each time you have to write another paper,
just go back to your template and save it with
a new title.
E-Turabian generator
Book mark this link on your
laptop computer:
It is alright to consult
with your instructor
about this.
focus on a specific part
of the topic you have
 It's alright to consult
with your instructor
about this, too.
A bibliography is a list of books and other
information sources that you use to write
your paper.
So the bibliography is essentially the
foundation of the paper; and just like the
foundation for a house, the house is no better
than the foundation it sits on.
Librarians can help you develop your
In building your bibliography it is a good idea
to the find a variety of sources, such as:
Articles from peer-reviewed journals, and
maybe some information from online sources.
Also, when you compile
your bibliography, it has
to be formatted
according to Turabian
standards. Once you've
become accustomed
working with Turabian
this part will come easily
to you.
Each of you should have
your own copy of
Since you are a seminarian, it's
pretty likely that you will often
make references to biblical
Note that according to Turabian,
you do not need to include the
Bible or any books of the Bible in
your bibliography; but you will
need to know how to make
footnote references to
scriptures. (see Turabian 19.5.2)
To do this, include the
abbreviated name of the book,
the chapter and verse—but
never a page number.
See Turabian section
24.6 for a list of biblical
abbreviations. Chapter
and verse numbers
should be in Arabic
form and separated by
a colon. For example:
 Jn 3:16.
Research that culminates into a written
report begins with either a thesis statement
or a thesis question.
Professor Currin specifies that you use a
thesis statement.
“There is a large body of scientific and
sociological data that indicates that a worldwide flood occurred during the time of Noah
and this paper presents this evidence.”
Once you acquired the
sources you need for
your paper, start
When you read the
books you have selected,
you can usually use the
index to find information
that specifically
addresses the point of
your research.
That will save you the
trouble of having to read
the whole book.
One of the "trick of the trade" that
experienced researchers use is they
make a photocopy of the pages that
contain information that specifically
addresses the thesis statement, and
then use a yellow highlighter to
mark those statements.
 Or, when you read articles, either
make photocopies of them out of
the journals, or print them out from
their online sources, and then use a
yellow highlighter whenever you
find statements that focus on the
specific point of your research.
 (Some of your quotes might be a
whole paragraph long.)
When you make these
photocopies, it is a really
good idea to also make a
photocopy of the title page
of the book or article and
staple those pages
together. This will make it
more convenient when you
cite the bibliographic
These sections that you
are highlighting will
ultimately become the
quotations you use in your
Go back to each of part
of your sources that
you highlighted in
 Start typing on your
template the
information you've
Be sure to enclose each of these quotations in
"quotations marks" (unless the quote is five
or more lines long).
For long quotations, format them as block
quotes without quotation marks (see
Turabian 7.5).
These days, nearly all modern word processing
software programs are equipped with a program
to format your footnotes for you, so this takes a
lot of the drudgery out of your work.
 In MS Word, this is found under:
 References / AB1 Insert Footnote.
 Next to that is something called Next Footnote.
 These features will make it a lot easier to type up
the quotes in your papers.
At this point, what you have on your
template is a collection of quotations from
your sources.
It is important to have at least one quote
from each source (never include any source in
your bibliography if you did not actually use it
in your paper).
It is even better to take a few quotations from
each of your sources.
Plagiarism is when you copy words from another
author, without acknowledging the source in
your paper.
Plagiarism is a form of theft.
The faculty here at New Life take the issue of
plagiarism VERY seriously. Students have been
kicked out of here for plagiarizing.
Just be sure to put all of the things you quote in
quotation marks (unless it is a block quote) and
ALWAYS cite the source (and learn how to do
this correctly, per the Turabian style manual).
If you are an
undergraduate, think
in terms of providing
one or two quotations
per page (i.e.: number
of quotations =
number of pages x 1.5).
If you are a graduate
student, make a point
of including about 2 or
3 quotations per page
(number of quotations
= number of pages x
You may need to cutand-paste your
quotations in order to
put them in an order
that makes sense to
the reader.
 Fortunately, with
modern computer
technology, this is easy
enough to do.
Believe it or not, you’ve
already completed the
hardest part of writing
your paper.
All you have left to do is
write a commentary or
analysis of what the
quotations are telling
Just read over the
quotes, think about what
they are saying, and
write your paper around
the quotations.
Oh yes, research papers are supposed to have
a conclusion at the end, so see if you can
write a paragraph that wraps up the whole
thing in a concise summary of your thesis
Now that you know
how to use Turabian,
you no longer need to
ask the librarian any
more questions about
it or how to use it…
 Right?
Now if you think you are a real research hot-shot
and desperately want to go the extra mile (and
get a better grade), you should provide some
analysis and commentary in your paper about
the authors who wrote the books and articles
you've used.
If you are researching the great flood from a
scientific standpoint, understand that a
geologist will look at it (and write about it) from
one angle, while a meteorologist will look at it
from another, and a cultural anthropologist will
have another viewpoint, as will an archeologist.
Also, every writer has his or her own
background, which will develop a bias that will
become evident in that researcher’s writing.
Experts in the field will recognize these biases in
the author’s writing.
Stop to consider the educational background of
the authors whose books and articles you are
If you are a graduate student, this kind of indepth analysis is standard.
You will have to use
the SBL Handbook of
Style rather than
 If you have experience
using Turabian, you will
find the transition to
SBL fairly easy, as they
are pretty similar.
Remember when I
taught you about
research and librarianship and I taught you
about the “corpus of
knowledge” and how it
grows over time?
Hopefully, you will earn a
PhD and get your
research published and
thereby make your own
contribution to the everincreasing body of
If you take a moment
to set up a word
processing template
on your computer, and
use it each time you
write a paper, you will
glide through your
academic career all the
way to graduation!!
It took me YEARS to
learn what I just taught
 If I had known how to
take this approach in
research and writing
when I was an
undergraduate, it
would have made my
life MUCH easier!