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Top 5 Writing and Research Tips

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Writing a research paper in archaeology may seem like a daunting process, if you are new to the field or just learning about a site or culture. But it needn't be. The goals of writing a research paper are 1) to learn about a topic; 2) to synthesize the information available about the topic; 3) to draw your own conclusions; and 4) to avoid plagiarism. This quick lesson in essay writing will help you organize your time and set you on the right (write) path.

1. Pick a Topic

Your professor has assigned you a research paper to write on an archaeological culture or site; but you don't know what in the world to write on? Here's some tips on how to find that perfect research paper topic.

2. Conduct Background Research

Literature review is an essential part of background research, conducted by an archaeologist prior to beginning archaeological studies in a region or on an archaeological site. Use these same tips to find articles and books about your chosen topic.

3. Reading Your Background Research

I know what you're thinking: you're in college, and you already know how to read. Still, when it's important to read and understand an issue well enough to synthesize everything you read, avoid plagiarizing anybody and most importantly give your opinion on what you've read, you might need a little help.

4. Writing a First Draft

Writing a first draft of a research paper in archaeology doesn't have to be daunting, if you're prepared and you take it one step at a time.

5. Writing and Editing Your Final Draft

Writing the final draft of a research paper in archaeology is probably the hardest thing to describe, because people's writing styles are as different as there are people. Here's what works for me.
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