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Writing a research paper

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A presentation explaining the Final Project due in COM/220 at Axia College.

A presentation explaining the Final Project due in COM/220 at Axia College.

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Writing a research paper Writing a research paper Presentation Transcript

  • Writing a Persuasive Research Paper
    by Aileen Journey, MBA
    arjourney@email.phoenix.edu
    Faculty, University of Phoenix
  • Choosing a Topic
    • This is a persuasive research paper.
    • That means your topic has to be controversial.
    • You have to be able to persuade someone that you are right about something using only facts, not opinions, religion, popularity or feelings.
     
     
  • Appropriate Topic
    • An appropriate topic will be able to be argued against by a reasonable person.
    • An appropriate topic will have research and facts that support both sides of the argument.
    • An appropriate topic cannot rely on emotion or opinion to support the topic. 
    • There MUST BE FACTS!
  • Possible topics
    • Dogs are really alien people from other planets.
    • Okay, reasonable people could argue against that
     
    But there is no evidence on to support that dogs are aliens 
    • Abortion is bad.
    • Again, reasonable people could argue that
    • But there is no medical evidence that can prove a subjective experience like "bad"
  • More Possible Topics
    • England is a country with an interesting history
    • That's not particular controversial.  No one will argue with you about that.
    • Cigarettes are bad for you.
    • It's not particularly controversial since science pretty much agrees with that
    • Drugs should be legal
    • What drugs?
    • What do you mean by legal?
     
    Make sure you are specific and develop an argument that can be supported by evidence
  • Better topics
    • Gun control is necessary to stop crime.
    • Gun control is harmful because it doesn't stop crime.
    • High-stakes testing is good for students because it ensures that everyone gets an equal education.
    • High stakes testing is bad for students because it focuses more on passing tests than teaching students a variety of skills.
    • Video games make teenagers kill each other.
    • Video games do not make teenagers any more violent than they already are.
    • Physical punishment is necessary to make children behave.
    • Physical punishment should never be used with children because it is ineffective and harmful.
     
  • Credible Research
    The first thing  to do is come up with some keywords related to your topic that will help you search the Internet and the library to find relevant sources with the information you need.
     
    Try using a general keyword like "gun control" then try more specific ones like "statistics on gun deaths."  While you're looking through the search results, see what other words and phrases are
    used in the library search and in the articles themselves.  The library often suggests more keywords similar to the ones you typed in along the left-hand bottom of the screen.  Try doing new searches with those.
  • Adjusting topic
    You'll often find many different research articles, but not necessarily directly related to what you think you want to write about, so you have to adjust your topic and thesis a bit so that you  are writing about something that you can actually find research on.
     
  • Credibility
    Look through the sources and determine their credibility.
    • See if you can find the author's work somewhere else
    • Is the source just trying to make money?
    • Is the article peer-reviewed?
    • Is the article a research study?
    • What is the purpose of the place that published it?  Is it to teach people like an academic journal or is it to sell magazines or something?
    • How many places can you find the same information?
  • What is Peer-Reviewed?
    Peer Review is a process that journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc. 
     
    Publications that don't use peer review (Time, Cosmo, Salon) just rely on the judgment of the editors whether an article is up to snuff or not. That's why you can't count on them for solid, scientific scholarship. 
     
    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/lsl/help/modules/peer.html
  • How to find Peer-Reviewed articles
    The reason peer-reviewed articles are considered good is because people who know what they're talking about in the same field the researcher is in, read it over and feels that it's acceptable.  It makes the article more credible.
    You can find these articles by  clicking the box for "peer-reviewed" articles when you're searching in the library.
    Most articles and sources are NOT peer-reviewed.  Libraries DO NOT peer-review anything before they buy it.  Anything in any library could be junk or it could be great. 
    Make sure you check the credibility of any source you want to use.
  • Taking Notes
    • Read through each source and take notes on what you find.
    • Keep track of which source you read and where in the source you find useful information.
    • Read the source and then write down from what you remember of the information without looking at the source. 
    • Then clean up the summary of what you read to make sure it is in your own words.
    • If you find an interesting quote, write the quote down exactly along with the page and paragraph number of where you found it.
  • Constructing a Good Thesis Statement
    Your thesis statement must communicate your argument clearly and directly.  First, write down what you think your argument is.  What will you be proving in the paper?
  • Thesis Generator
    • Use the thesis generator to help you come up with three or more thesis statements.
     
    • Use different key words and slightly different ways of saying the same thing to try to get a thesis statement that
     
    •     makes sense
    •     says exactly what you want to say and nothing more
    •     is what you will be researching
    •     is grammatically correct
    •     is 25 words or fewer.
  • What to research
    • Think of your major argument: Example: Positive discipline is more effective short-term and long-term in raising children.
    • Then brainstorm what kinds of arguments you think you will be able to use to support that:
     
    • Children behave better (studies)
    • Children grow into more successful adults
    • It's easier to do so you can be consistent
     
    When you have 3 to 5 arguments start your research
     
    • History of your topic
    • Basic facts about your topic
    • Do not use Wikipedia
        
     
  • Researching
    Search for studies that support your argument.  Use the keywords from your arguments.
     
    • For example, I would want to find studies that compare different kinds of discipline and studies that look at functional adults and how they got to be that way.
     
     
     
     
    • Write down each study that is relevant and make a list of each argument and each study that supports it.
  • Paraphrasing
    Read each study and paraphrase it with all the important information, how many people were in the study, who the people were, what was done in the study and what the conclusions were.
     
    Keep your bibliography(author's name, publication date, name of article, name of resource, date, etc.) with your paraphrase.
  • Outline
    • When it comes time to write your outline, take each argument and make it the I, II, III, IV.  Then each item you found to support that argument should be the A., B., C., etc.  If you want to add more information on any of these, just add some 1.s and 2.s.
    • Make sure you don't add any 1.s without adding a 2 also
  • Rough Draft
    • Once you have your full-sentence outline, it's easier to write your Rough Draft.
    • Take each of your Is, II's, etc. and they will each be sections.
    • Then each of the As and B's will be paragraphs.
    • Write out your paraphrase or summarize it further to make each paragraph.  Make sure you introduce each paragraph with what the study supports in your argument and end each one with the conclusion of how it supports your argument.
  • Rough Draft Continued
    • Do this for each section and each argument.
    • For any study or article you can take a second or third paragraph to explain the
    • information even more.  You can add an example or add another similar study.
    • Once you have assembled the "bones" of your project start writing fluently.  To do this Look at each argument and set a timer for about 10 minutes and just write about the argument, ignoring citations, grammar, or spelling.  When you are done move onto the next argument and write that one for a set amount of time.
    • The idea is to continue writing for the entire time, if you can't think of what to say write that.  Just don't stop until the timer goes off.
  • Introduction
    • Your introduction should be clear and straight to the point.  The interest that you're adding is not like an advertisement or like a TV show, instead it needs to give a little background to your topic, perhaps why someone should care.
    • The best ways to do this is to write a short history or provide some statistics.
    • In addition, add the main idea of the arguments (I's and II's) you will be using as just one or two sentences.
    • Make sure you have the thesis you developed as the last sentence of the paragraph.
  • Conclusion
    • Your conclusion should summarize your argument and how you proved yourself to be right.
    • Restate your thesis in a way that says, "Therefore I have shown, ...." or something like that.
     
    • You need to summarize each argument in one sentence each including how it supports your thesis.
  • Revision
    • Once you've put it all together and have some feedback you're ready to revise.
    • Revising often takes longer than the original writing.
    • Go through your paper with the checklist and make sure the paper is readable and leads the reader through your argument in such a way that they agree with you.
    • Check your paper for citations.  Read every paragraph and if there's anything in there that you learned from a source, put an in-text citation there.
  • Title and Reference Pages
    • Follow the guidelines in the Writing Style Guide (https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/grammar/tutsandguides1.asp) to create your title page.
    • Insert a page after the end of your paper and put the word "References" in the middle, then list your references in proper APA format in alphabetical order.
    • Both of these need to be in the SAME document as the paper.  They are part of your paper.
  • Voila!
    Hand in your beautiful paper and dance around your house.
    by Aileen Journey, MBA
    arjourney@email.phoenix.edu