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Health Sciences: START HERE

Resources for HPE and Health Sciences students.

How to Start Writing a Research Paper

Use the reference sources below to:

  • help define a topic
  • place a topic in context
  • get an overview of scholarly thought on a topic 
  • help you focus and develop a thesis for your paper

Articles in reference sources often list articles, books, and websites for further reading,  in sections entitled Bibliography, Suggested Reading, Further Information, etc.

How to integrate quotes

Regardless of what citation style you use (eg. APA, MLA, Chicago Style) you will rely on the use of quotes. You will be staking a claim in your paper, and quoting from the published works of others will allow you to back up your claim. 

It is generally advisible to introduce your quotes with a little information about the background, education, or expertise of the person being quoted.  This information is called a signal phrase. By explaining more about that person's expertise, you are setting the scene for the reader to understand why your information is accurate and valid. Quotes need to be followed by citation information (title or author or page number) must direct the reader to how to find the information in your works-cited list and from there, how to locate the information regardless of where you found it.

There are no hard and fast rules for how much of your paper should be quoted material. It might be advisible to aim for 20% of your work to be quoted material, while the remaining 80% of the material is your own words.

Reference Resources

Veteran's Health


Using the ideas or words of another person without giving credit constitutes plagiarism - a serious ethical and legal offense. You should strive to avoid it at all times, and can easily do so by using quotation marks to cite direct quote, and in-text citations to give credit if you are paraphrasing an idea.


From the Carroll College Student Handbook:



The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
Plagiarism may range from isolated formulas, sentences, or paragraphs to entire articles copied from books, periodicals, web sites, speeches,or the writings of other students. Honesty requires that any work or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be acknowledged. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas or materials obtained from another source is guilty of plagiarism.  Plagiarism, in any of its forms, and whether intentional or unintentional, violates standards of academic integrity. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
  • Direct quotation of any source material whether published or unpublished without giving proper credit through the use of quotation marks, footnotes and other customary means of identifying sources.
  • Paraphrasing another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories from books, articles, websites, etc., without identifying and crediting sources.
  • Borrowing facts,statistics, graphs, diagrams, photographs, or other illustrative or visual materials that are not clearly common knowledge without identifying and crediting sources.
  • Copying another student’s essay test answers or submitting papers written by another person or persons. This includes copying, or allowing another student to copy, a computer file that contains another student’s assignment and submitting it, in part or in its entirety, as one’s own.
  • Buying or selling,or exchanging term papers, examinations, or other written assignments, or any part of them.
  • Offering false, fabricated, or fictitious sources for papers, reports, or other assignments.