Research Writing Chap2

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Research Writing Chap2

  1. 1. WTUC Chapter 2: Finding a Topic Lecture notes based on Lester & Lester, JR. 2007. Writing Research Papers: a complete guide
  2. 2. Finding a Topic <ul><li>Narrow a general subject to a scholarly topic </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on your personal experiences and knowledge (frame of reference) </li></ul><ul><li>Examine one narrowed issue </li></ul><ul><li>Have a serious purpose- one that demands analysis of the issues, argues from a position, and explains complex details </li></ul><ul><li>Conform to the course requirements </li></ul>
  3. 3. Generating Ideas <ul><li>Free Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Listing Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Outlining </li></ul><ul><li>Clustering </li></ul><ul><li>Narrowing by comparison </li></ul><ul><li>Asking questions </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism questions/ 5Ws </li></ul>
  4. 4. Exercise: Restricting the Subject <ul><li>Relate to at least 2-3 personal experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Working teenagers </li></ul><ul><li>Dance </li></ul><ul><li>Violence in the schools </li></ul><ul><li>Health care </li></ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul>
  5. 5. Exercise: Narrow Focus of Research Topic <ul><li>Movie ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>Rap music lyrics </li></ul>
  6. 6. Writing Research Questions <ul><li>Raising questions about the subject can provide clear boundaries for the paper </li></ul><ul><li>General questions examine terminology, issues, causes, etc. See sample on page 17 </li></ul><ul><li>Rhetorical Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparison: How does a state lottery compare with horse racing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition: What is lottery in legal terms? In religious terms? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cause/effect (see p. 17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process: How are winnings distributed? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Asking questions <ul><li>Framing questions according to academic disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Economics: Does sports gambling benefit a college's athletic budget? Does it benefit the national economy? </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology: What is the effect of gambling on the mental attitude of the college athlete who knows huge sums hang in the balance on his or her performance? </li></ul><ul><li>History: Does gambling on sporting events have identifiable tradition? </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology: What compulsion in human nature prompts people to gamble on the prowess of an athletic or team? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Acceptable? Too broad? Opinionated <ul><li>Living with aids </li></ul><ul><li>Too broad </li></ul><ul><li>Religious bias in selected nursery rhymes </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution levels in the Kaohsiung area </li></ul><ul><li>acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Immunization </li></ul><ul><li>Too broad </li></ul><ul><li>Country music is for hicks! </li></ul><ul><li>Opinionated </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion is murder </li></ul><ul><li>Too sensational </li></ul>
  9. 9. Formulating Research Questions <ul><li>Once you have focused your topic so that it has an appropriate scope for your assignment, time frame, and length requirements, you need to formulate a research question(s). To do so, determine the most important questions that you want to ask and answer. Consider for example these possible research questions developed from the broad subject area of bilingual education: * Should bilingual education be extended to monolingual children? * What teaching methods work best in bilingual classrooms? * For what reasons do people send (or not send) their children to bilingual schools? * Are children who are placed in bilingual programs more successful in later grades than those in English-only programs? A research question will give you a sense of direction. Frequently as you do your research and take notes, you will have in mind a tentative response to your question. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Assignment 1 <ul><li>Look at your topic, can you think of questions that you would like to answer in your research? </li></ul><ul><li>Create a page (Research Questions) and post your research questions on your wiki </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thesis Sentence, Enthymeme, or Hypothesis <ul><li>A thesis sentences advances a conclusion the writer will defend </li></ul><ul><li>An enthymeme uses a ‘because’ clause to make a claim the writer will defend </li></ul><ul><li>A hypothesis is a theory that must be tested in the lab, in the literature, and/or by field research to prove its validity </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thesis sentence samples <ul><li>Chat rooms and online matching services enable people to meet only after a prearranged engagement by email. </li></ul>subject Focusing agent
  13. 13. A good working thesis <ul><li>A Good Working Thesis, p. 16, Keys for Writers: a Handbook , Ann Raimes, 2nd Edition, US: Houghton Mifflin (1999) narrows your topic to a single main idea that you want to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>asserts your position clearly and firmly in a sentence that makes a claim about a topic </li></ul><ul><li>states not simply a fact but an opinion </li></ul><ul><li>makes a generalization that can be supported by details, facts, and examples within the assigned limtations of time and space; </li></ul><ul><li>stimulates the curiousity and interest in readers and prompts them to thing, &quot;Why do you say that?&quot; and read on. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>A strong, thought-provoking, or controversial statement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bilingual education has not fulfilled its early promise. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A call to action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All inner-city schools should set up bilingual programs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A question that will be answered in the essay </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What can bilingual education accomplish for a child? It can lead to academic and personal development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A preview or reflections of the structure of the research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bilingual education suffers from two main problems: a shortgae of trained teachers and lack of parental involvement. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Enthymeme <ul><li>“ Hyperactive children need medication because ADHD is a medical disorder, not a behavioral problem .” </li></ul>claim Stated reason support the claim
  16. 16. Hypothesis <ul><li>Theoretical hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination against young women in the classroom, known as “shortchanging,” harms the women academically, socially, and psychologically. </li></ul>Student will produce a theoretical study by citing literature on ‘shortchanging.’
  17. 17. <ul><li>Class size affects the number of written assignments by writing instructors. </li></ul><ul><li>Claims one variable changes, so does another </li></ul><ul><li>It could be tested, examined, and correlate class size and assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Requires field research </li></ul>
  18. 18. Assignment 2 <ul><li>Now, look at your topic, or if you have already written your thesis statement, look at it again and compare it with the guidelines above. Does it meet the guidelines? Should you edit it and make it better? </li></ul><ul><li>Create a page on your wiki (Thesis Statement), and post your working thesis statement there </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure to add LINKS to your SIDEBAR </li></ul><ul><li>Use the name of the page when you create LINKS (you can do this by dragging the name of the page to where you want it located on the page.) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Deadline <ul><li>Research questions and thesis statement must be in by 9/26/2008 </li></ul>

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