Conducting research takes time and patience. Start by listing questions you'd like answers to, such as these, for example:- Has anyone studied the benefits of playing video games? What were the results? - Can playing video games be good for the brain? In what ways? - Can playing video games be harmful? Can gaming be addictive? Can playing violent video games lead to violent behaviour in real life? Can gaming rot the brain?
Bookmark or print Web pages. Photocopy magazine and newspaper articles, or record direct quotations on a notepad. You might wanttouse the quotations in your essay.When choosing a topic, let your natural curiosity work for you! It will make the whole process much less painful. You can also ask a teacher or librarian for help.Don't be shy!When researching, keep track of every relevant source you find. - Bookmark or print Web pages. Photocopy magazine and newspaper articles, or record direct quotations on a notepad. You might wanttouse the quotations in your essay.
This statement is based on information that can be verified by checking sources. A fact can support a claim, but it is not a claim itself.When analysing sources, be sure to establish if the writer has a bias either for or against something and what that bias is.E.g.: you find an article on a gaming Web site that discusses only the health benefits of gaming. Perhaps a video game manufacturer sponsors the site?
8 Steps to Writing a Great Paper Writing a Research Paper/Essay Sourced from 8 Steps to Writing: A Good, Very Good, Excellent. Authors: Blum, Jonathan. Source: Writing; Jan2008, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p12-15 Photo source: Clipart
GETTING STARTED What is an essay? - Typically, an essay is a piece of writing where you need to write down what you think and have learned about a particular topic. It's an attempt to communicate your thoughts.
EssaysThere are many types of essays. Among them are persuasive, personal, narrative, and compare-and-contrast. Different types of essays refer to the different purposes a writer has. For Example: Persuasive essay Personal essay shows what the writer has directly observed or experienced. Persuasion is not needed. the writer takes a position on a topic and tries to persuade the reader to think that way.
The following 8 steps are guidelines for writing academic essays. 1. Research your topic 2. Analyse your source material 3. Come up with your thesis 4. Outline the essay 5. Start with the Introduction 6. Add the body 7. Write the conclusion 8. Polish the language Read them. Study them. Try them.
1. Research your Topic Research a topic before beginning to write. E.g.: "Does playing video games teach kids valuable skills, or are video games mainly a waste of time?" You need knowledge, not just opinions. research the topic. Sources: books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, interview transcripts, and Web sites.
Conducting research takes time and patience. Listing questions you'd like answers to. E.g.: - Has anyone studied the benefits of playing video games? What were the results? - Can playing video games be good for the brain? In what ways? - Can playing video games be harmful? Can gaming be addictive? Can playing violent video games lead to violent behaviour in real life? Can gaming rot the brain?
When researching, keep track of every relevant source you find.
Bookmark or print Web pages. Photocopy magazine and newspaper articles ... or record direct quotations on a notepad. You might wanttouse the quotations in your essay.
2. Analyse Your Source Material Now, analyse the data from our sources. Look for arguable points or positions. E.g.: claims. "Most video games sharpen the mind and train it to think in fast and necessary new ways"is a claim.
And there are also facts. E.g. "In 2004, retail sales of video games in the United States were almost $10 billion" is not a claim. It's a fact. A fact can support a claim, but it is not a claim itself. When analysing sources, identify if there is bias or not. E.g.: you find an article on a gaming Web site that discusses only the health benefits of gaming. Perhaps a video game manufacturer sponsors the site?
After doing your research, choose your main claim: your thesis. Developing a thesis is not always easy. Don't get frustrated. Don’t be too broad or too specific. Your thesis should be clear, concise, and specific, a sentence like: “Playing video games in moderation does a lot more good than bad for a kid's mind”. 3. Come up with your Thesis
4. Outline the Essay Outlining is like pouring the concrete foundation of a building. Everything else you do depends on it. Start by sketching an introduction. What am I going to say? Then, sketch out your body. Say it. Once you have established your thesis and claims, you should plan a conclusion. What did I say? From there, it's up to you towritethe essay.
Visual Essay Structure Sourced from: Language and Learning Online – Monash University. http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/medicine/psychology/essay-structure/3.xml
5. Start with the Introduction A good introduction seizes the reader's interest. Does the following introductory paragraph capture your attention? During Mary Valadez's valedictory speech last year, many adults in the crowd were shocked to hear that Mary plays video games for an hour each evening and that she believes gaming "sharpens my brain and keeps me sane." Maybe those adults shouldn't have been shocked. Gaming does more good for kids than is widely recognized. Indeed, playing video games in moderation does a lot more good than bad for a kid's mind. Notice how each sentence of the introduction leads the reader toward the thesis.
Add the Body A paragraph is an organised unit of thought. It should include a topic sentence followed by a number of logically flowing, supporting sentences. “Video games teach kids howto deal, with, a complex world of possibilities and problems. Video games are one of the best tools available for teaching kids to learn howto quickly recognize patterns and solve tough, ever-evolving problems in our fast-moving digital age," according to Charlaine Brown, a professor of education at the University of Wisconsin. Brown adds that playing video games can even prepare kids for skilled professions, from air traffic control to surgery. Other experts point out that many information technology professionals started out as gamers”.
Plagiarism Note that in an essay, you must credit any source you use. Use quotation marks around exact words. Name a person when you use his or her ideas. Otherwise, you plagiarise, or steal, which is a major academic offense. APA Reference Guide
Write a Conclusion The concluding paragraph ties the essay together. Keep the conclusion short. Don't merely repeat the introduction and thesis. What are the strengths of the following conclusion? “Former valedictorian Mary Valadez is not the only high, achiever who thinks playing video games in moderation improves mental performance. So do several university professors and scientific researchers who have spent years weighing the benefits and harms of gaming. Although playing graphically violent video games in excess can be harmful for some kids, overall, gaming is good, not bad. We all need to play now and then, and gaming is one form of play that's safer and more thought provoking than many people realize.” The confident language in each sentence drives the thesis home.
Polish the language Before you turn in any essay, check the language and spelling. Here are a few tips about what to look for: - Is the flow of the essay smooth and logical? - Does the essay have errors in grammar or spelling? - Does every sentence sound clear and concise when read aloud? - Have you avoided plagiarism?
Conclusion Now all you have to do is follow these 8 steps and you'll be on your way to writing excellent essays! 1. Research your topic 2. Analyse your source material 3. Come up with your thesis 4. Outline the essay 5. Start with the Introduction 6. Add the body 7. Write the conclusion 8. Polish the language