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Health Sciences Research Guide: Organize and Write

A guide to library research for students in Health Sciences programs

Tools to Help You Organize

Task #8

Organize your sources

Once you've retrieved and assessed the primary literature you plan to use, it's time to prepare to write your paper.

  • Determine what the thesis and/or conclusion of your paper will be. Make sure that the primary literature supports your conclusions.
  • Organize the information you've found in a way that supports the reader's understanding of your ideas and best supports your conclusions.
  • Create an outline for your paper.
  • Present the information in a way that upholds academic integrity by citing your sources and avoiding plagiarism.

For personal assistance visit the Writing Center in Library 306.

Task #9

Write, Documenting Source Materials as You Go

When writing, follow these five guidelines to ensure the academic integrity of your paper:

  1. Use your own words and sentence structure as much as you can.
  2. When you feel that another author's words say it best, place quotation marks around their original words.
  3. Cite every quote, paraphrase, summary, and any information you obtained from another source.
  4. Cite your own material if you are referencing your previously published work.
  5. Make sure all the references at the end of your paper are complete and accurate.

Documenting Source Materials

nAs you write be sure to document your source materials by using citations and references.
A citation is used in the body of a document to indicate the use of another publication, whether someone else's or your own.
nEach citation corresponds with a full reference that provides complete information to help the reader obtain the materials: authors, article title, journal title, publication date, volume, issue, and page number.
The entire list of references appears at the end of the paper and contains all the references cited in a paper.
Most medical literature uses the Vancouver citation style, which is a numerical sequence form of presenting references. In the Vancouver style, indicate a citation with the use of superscript numerals in the text of your paper where you are referencing someone else's publication. Those numerals correspond to the full citations for each reference that will appear at the end of your paper. Therefore, your list of references is organized by the sequence (indicated by the number) in which they appear in your paper.
For more on using the Vancouver style, including format examples, visit the Library's guide.


At the end of this section you should have:

  • A thoroughly researched paper that answers the question you posed at the beginning of your research and upholds the standards of academic integrity.

If your paper is a Master's thesis please consult the guidelines below for submitting a bound copy of your paper to the Library.

Congratulations! You're a scholar!

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