–Here’s a quick tip for research papers. Think of research and analysis papers as court cases. And you–the writer of the paper–are both the detective and the lawyer. As a lawyer, you’ve got a point to prove. That’s your thesis. But how are you going to convince the jury (your reader)? You’ve got to have evidence (quotes, facts, interviews), and you’ve got to explain in the easiest way possible how that evidence helps to prove your point–make it simple. Where do you get the evidence? That’s where the detective comes in. As the detective, you’ve got to look at everything, put the pieces together, and figure out what happened and how it all went down, all before the lawyer can start trying to prove his or her case. Your Works Cited page tells us where your evidence came from, such as who provided it and where and when you found it. If you don’t do a good job investigating first, the lawyer is going to have a tough time proving the case, no matter how slick or fancy or smooth talking that lawyer is. If you lose, another bad paper is out on the streets, and you get a bad grade. No pension or expensive sports car for you.