Academic Writing

Whether you're working on a short essay, a term paper, or a thesis, the writing process can be daunting. Luckily, SMU provides numerous resources to help you with all the stages of writing a research paper, from defining your research question to making sure you've formatted your citations correctly.

Getting Started with Your Research

See this brief tutorial for help with defining and narrowing your research question and finding the right sources.

Writing Help and Academic Support Resources

The Office of Academic Support Services provides a range of services to students, including one-on-one and small group writing consultations. Sessions can focus on any stage of the writing process.


Other Writing Resources


Avoiding Plagiarism

Oxford Dictionaries define plagiarism as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own."

Considered a violation of the SMU code of ethics, even unintentional plagiarism can result in serious consequences, including course failure, censure, probation, or dismissal. (See the Catalog and Student Handbook, page 97.

Here are some useful resources for learning how to avoid plagiarism:



Turnitin is a plagiarism-checking and online grading software program that is integrated with Canvas. Instructors may ask their students to submit papers to Turnitin for plagiarism evaluation. Turnitin checks submitted papers against billions of web pages, previously submitted student papers, and library databases and publications. Identical passages are flagged in an originality report. Instructors may make originality reports available to students during the draft phase of a paper assignment so that they have an opportunity to correct unintentional plagiarism.


Peer Reviewed Articles

Peer reviewed articles are generally found in scholarly journals. They are evaluated by a group of experts in a particular field to make sure they meet necessary standards before they are published.

Here are some useful resources on peer reviewed articles:


Creating Posters

Poster presentations are created by conference and symposia participants to present research results informally in group sessions. This may be in addition to or in lieu of presenting a paper.

Here are some useful resources on creating posters:


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