Skip to main content

Understanding Urban Communities: URBE 4496

Course guide for Elena Schmidt & Julia McWilliams' Fall 2016 Sections

Research Process

illustration of the research process

  1. Describe your research topic.
  2. Identify search terms.
  3. Combine search terms.
  4. Search in databases.
  5. Find and save articles.
  6. Include quotes in your paper. Add citations. 

How to Use Your Sources

lightbulbSources can play several different roles as you develop your points:

Provide background information or context -- You can use facts and statistics to support generalizations or to establish the importance of your topic.

Explain terms or concepts -- Explain words, phrases, or ideas that might be unfamiliar to your readers. Quoting or paraphrasing a source can help you define terms and concepts in neutral, accessible language.

Support your claims -- Back up your assertions with facts, examples, and other evidence from your research.

Lend authority to your argument -- Expert opinion can give weight to your argument. But don't rely on experts to make your argument for you. Construct your argument in your own words and cite authorities in the field for support.

Anticipate and counter objections -- Do not ignore sources that seem to contradict your position or that offer arguments different from your own. Instead, use them to give voice to opposing points of view before you counter them.

Writing Help

Temple's Student Success Center is an excellent source of help for writers. It offers one-on-one tutoring sessions (in-person and online) for individuals seeking to work together with a tutor to improve their work. It also offers email tutoring plus handouts and style guides on topics which writers frequently grapple.