Library Research Paper: Example & Writing Guide [2021]

What is a library research paper? It’s nothing more than an academic writing piece that summarizes the information on a specific topic taken from primary and secondary sources.

To write a library research paper, a student should follow several essential steps:

  1. Find relevant sources.
  2. Collect the necessary data from them.
  3. Synthesize all the information.
  4. Form the main points to present in the paper.
  5. Find evidence to support every claim.

A library research paper writing is full of challenges and obstacles. You can overcome them without a struggle if you check the tips gathered by our team. Stay on our page and find library research paper examples and useful guidelines.

As all academic writing papers, library research papers have a specific structure:

📃 Title

Just like any other academic work, a library research paper should start with a compelling title. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to create one. You’ll find it out in this section!

The compelling title should fit the following criteria:

  • reflects the core topic of the research paper;
  • contains up to 15 words;
  • identifies the purpose of research;
  • grabs the readers’ attention;
  • doesn’t include unknown abbreviations, too complex lexical and grammar constructions;
  • clear, concise, mistakes-free.

Here are some examples of library research paper titles:

Example:

  • American Female Artists in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries Overview
  • The Influence of Different Types of Advertising on Children and Adults
  • The Impact of Rapid Digitalization on Modern Art and Music

📚 Overview

Start your research paper with an overview—an introductory part of your work. Here, you have to use secondary literature to provide a general background. 

An overview helps the author to establish the context and to introduce the hypothesis. Your thesis statement should clearly and concisely answer the research question and be easily understandable for the reader.

Your overview shouldn’t be too long—3 paragraphs max.

Distinction between primary and secondary sources

Now, let’s figure out how to conduct research.

First and foremost, it is crucial to develop a strategy. One of the research methods is to go from general to specific ideas.

See some useful tips that will make your research process smoother:

  • Use keywords. Start searching the info in a database using broad terms to get the general ideas. Then, narrow it down by inserting more specific keywords into the search tool to find clear examples, essential studies, statistics, etc.
  • Start with broad context. Use the same strategy as above for providing the background of your issue. First, present the general knowledge of your field of study. Then, go to more specific facts, details, and examples. Overall, your reader is supposed to dive into your topic gradually.
  • Check multiple databases. Don’t forget that there are plenty of them, and you can examine several. It’s always possible to find enough info. You should know the basics of digital library management and search for sources properly and effectively.

Take a look at our example of library research hypothesis:

Example:

It may seem that the twenty-first century with its democratic values and the strive for equality opened up limitless horizons for women. Nevertheless, female artists still face various challenges that can restrict their activity and creativity. This paper compares the peculiarities of female artists’ professional activity in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries from the feminist perspective.

Overall, by the end of your overview, the readers should know two things:

  • the background of the issue you are going to investigate;
  • your hypothesis.

Note that you aim to present the previous investigations in your research paper and demonstrate your position. Make sure you have your well-developed arguments and supportive details.

📝 Recent Results

The next step of your writing process is the presentation of the recent results. Here, you need to use primary sources to find evidence to support your claims. Keep in mind that you can also use resources that contradict your position. They are useful for the rebuttal.

Follow our tips to get credible sources:

  • Find books through the catalog. Use the citation (author, title, year) to find it quickly. Remember that some books may not be available in public libraries because another student has already taken them. So, check the book’s circulation status.
  • To search for an e-book, use the library’s main digital catalog.
  • Use scholarly databases to find journals and peer-reviewed articles.
  • If you need news or magazine articles, go to the online newspaper or magazine edition.
  • For dictionaries (to find definitions) and encyclopedias (to find meanings), search in reference source databases.

The evaluation of the sources is another crucial part of research paper writing. To do it properly, answer three simple questions: who, when, why?

Three questions of source evaluation.

WHO?

  • Who created the work?
  • What are their credentials?
  • Who published the book/article?
  • Who are the readers?

WHEN?

  • When was the work created?
  • When was the work published?
  • What is the historical context of the work’s creation period?

WHY?

  • Why is the work valuable for your library research paper?
  • Why might the source be inappropriate for your assignment? (Biased authors, outdated information, etc.).
  • Why the authors created this work?
  • How can it change your readers’ views?

Are you unsure about how to use primary sources in your project? Take a look at the part of our library research paper sample:

Example:

Although many female artists are able to display their works and be successful in their profession, equality in fine arts is still unattained. Borowiecki and Dahl (2020) analyzed census and statistical data from 1850 to the present day and explored the peculiarities of female artists’ careers. The authors found that time constraints, financial aspects, and racial inequality were some of the most influential factors affecting female artists’ choices.

🗞️ Summary

The last element of your paper is the summary. In this part, you need to summarize your arguments and make a clear conclusion regarding your findings.

See some insightful tips:

  • Connect the last paragraph to your introduction. The summary starts with a well-paraphrased thesis statement. It should highlight all the keywords and the core idea of the paper. Then you list your findings from the body.
  • Motivate your readers. In your summary, you can also cause your readers to investigate your issue further. Suggest new ways of thinking, expand their horizons, and make them interested in your field of study.
  • Prove the significance of your work. Explain why your ideas are relevant and how they can help the readers.

Take a look at our example of library research summarizing sentences to have a clear understanding of how a conclusion looks like:

Example:

Women have created numerous masterpieces that shed light on the aspects of human life that have been ignored or misunderstood by male artists. There are still views that the limited engagement of female artists is natural and meets the needs of this population. Hence, the role female artists play and should perform in the development of world fine arts is still open to debate.

📓 Bibliography

This section presents a list of the sources used in the process of writing. It proves that your work is not plagiarized and filled with reliable information.

What’s vital is:

Don’t include the literature that you didn’t cite in your work in your reference list. You might have read it before. Yet, the source shouldn’t be in the bibliography if there is no in-text citation.

While dealing with referencing and citing sources, it is enough to answer three questions:

WHY DO YOU NEED TO CITE?

  • to avoid plagiarism;
  • to prove to your readers that you have completed research;
  • to demonstrate the reliability of your sources;
  • to let your readers find the sources for further investigation of your topic.

WHEN DO YOU NEED TO CITE?

  • when you are using direct quotes;
  • when you are taking the ideas, beliefs, and opinions of another person;
  • when you are taking statistics, facts, visuals form the other sources;
  • when you are paraphrasing the other thoughts using your own words.

HOW DO I FORMAT MY CITATIONS?

  • Figure out what citation style is required. It has to be done even before writing the paper as there are a lot of them. The most popular ones are MLA format and APA style.
  • Investigate the aspects of the required citation style. If you are unsure about something, ask your instructor or find a formatting manual.
  • Always proofread and double-check. Ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are neat and free of mistakes.

Look at the references from our library research sample:

  • In-text citations:

Example:

According to Borowiecki and Dahl (2020), …
or
The life and art of Cecilia Beaux can serve as an appropriate illustration of these constraints (McGuirk, 2017).

  • References:

Example:

Borowiecki, K. J., & Dahl, C. M. (2020). What makes an artist? The evolution and clustering of creative activity in the US since 1850. Regional Science and Urban Economics, in \ press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2020.103614

McGuirk, H. D. K. (2017). Mary Cassatt and Cecilia Beaux: An analytical comparison of two new women and issues surrounding femininity, modernity, and nineteenth-century feminism. [Master’s thesis, College of Fine Arts of Ohio University]. College of Fine Arts of Ohio University.

To see the full library research paper sample, check it here.
Download the free sample

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Comments (4)

Tania
Tania

Thanks for the tips! I’m writing my library research paper, and these tips on library research papers format will definitely help me out 🙂 THX!!!

O. L.
O. L.

I’m thrilled to find such helpful information on writing library research papers! The use of the correct format is halfway to success! Thanks for detailed guidelines on writing a library research paper.

Damien Gacke
Damien Gacke

I used to be just looking for this info for a while. Once six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I received it on your website. I wonder why Google does not rank this type of helpful sites closer to the leading. Usually, the leading websites are full of garbage.

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Well, you’ll have to ask Google about that 🙂 Thank you, and we are glad to hear that you found our info useful 🙂