The research paper writing process as with any writing process in quasi-linear at best. There are nine major steps in writing a research paper but you will find yourself jumping from one to another and circling back. The entire process will require a lot of hard work on your part but the results will be more than satisfying if you give it your best.
True research papers are more than a loose connection of anecdotal memories or a patchwork of data pulled from several books. A research paper can be incredibly exciting, rewarding, and even comforting to write because it allows you to really get into a subject you care about while having the support you need to do that. Using relevant information—facts and/or opinions—to support the topic you have chosen to explore The final product will be a unique and appropraite integration of evidence you have located outside yourself and personal insights generated from your own mind… The inclusion of sources isn’t just some arbitrary can-you-use-the-library? Test in disguise but complements your own ideas by providing academic context and credibility to what you are asserting A mere review of the academic literature in the field—a summary of the existing body of knowledge on your subject—does not make a research paper.
Analytical papers…from SUNY Empire State College Writer’s Complex: to analyze means to break a topic or concept down into its parts in order to inspect and understand it, and to restructure those parts in a way that makes sense to you. In an analytical research paper, you do research to become an expert on a topic so that you can restructure and present the parts of the topic from your own perspective. You start with a research question as you enter the researching stage without any kinds of conclusions made in advance. Critical thinking and reading, plus evaluation of the resources What does critical thinking mean? It means not considering any view as truth simply because a source has been published or seems to be an expert. You have to maintain some objectivity and ask questions to yourself as you read (or watch or listen). Argument os the basis of the persuasive kind of research paper. Charles Sturt University, Australia defines argument as a series of generalizations or propositions, supported by evidence or reasoning and connected in a logical manner, that lead to a justified conclusion. You must sustain your argument by giving evidence and reasons. Your approach here is to take a stand on an issue and use evidence to back up your stance, not to explore or flesh out an unresolved topic.
You are not just writing for the three people who will read and score your paper. Real or actual readers—your advisor, maybe a senior project committee member, the three readers assigned to you. But this research paper does not work like a one-to-one (or in this case one-to-three) “Dear Ms. Thompson” private correspondence. So who exactly is the intended audience? Richard Creese, Karen Moloney, and Randal Woodland from the Capus Writing Center at the University of Michigan at Dearborn put it this way: imagine your instructor as representing a larger academic audience. That audience often expects something like what appears in academic journals that share original research with members of the community. Writing should make a new contribution to the knowledge of a given field. Therefore you need to appear serious about the subject matter. You take on a role as an entering member of the academic community…You are establishing a relationship between yourself and a larger audience, not simply between you and your instructor. So think of yourself as carving out a little niche in an ongoing scholarly debate, of adding another voice to the chorus of academics who already have something to say about the topic you’re writing about. A good idea might be to narrow your audience to your advisor and the three readers, the senior class, and the research community in your field be it English, Biology, Sociology, etc. It is important to write with a more specific audience in mind because then your paper will have more purpose with this clearer focus, will more directly engage your readers in your argument, and will make choices regarding tone, diction, and even sentence structure infinitely easier to make come drafting time.
American culture insists on documenting sources of words, ideas, images, sounds, etc. A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including a failing grade, expulsion from a university or loss of a job, not to mention a writer’s loss of credibility and professional standing. Students who are fully aware that their actions constitute plagiarism—for example, copying published information into a paper without source attribution for the purpose of claiming the information as their own, or turning in material written by another student—are guilty of academic misconduct. Students are not guilty of plagiarism when they try in good faith to acknowledge others’ work but fail to do so accurately or fully. You must live up to your responsibility to behave ethically and honestly as learners. You should understand that research assignments provide opportunities for genuine and rigorous inquiry and learning. Such an understanding involves: assembling and analyzing a set of resources that you have determined are relevant to the issues you are investigating acknowledging clearly when and how you are drawing on the ideas or phrasings of others learning the conventions for citing documents and acknowledging sources appropriate to the field you are studying and consulting your advisor and teachers when you are unsure about how to acknowledge the contributions of others to your thoughts and writing.
Primary source: original document or account that stands on its own—novel, poem, paly, diary, letter, creative work; data from a research study; interviews of people “on the scene” actually experiencing something Secondary sources: ones that interpret primary sources or are one step removed. Commentary, article about a poem or novel, etc.
Always think of making notes instead of taking notes “ photocopying often delays the hard work of reading and thinking; unhappily, it sometimes substitutes for them.” Student Services Dept, Charles Sturt University
Invention should take longer. Research should take longer. And revising should definitely take longer. If it’s taking you a month of Sundays just to eke out a thousand words, two things could be happening: You don’t have a clue what you should be saying in which case you don’t have a focal point or an outline yet and so are starting to early Of 2. you’re revising while you draft so that you end up with one sentence an hour. Creator/Critic—tell the critic to take a break while the creator works.
Does your title give readers a good idea of what’s to come? Is your thesis statement or research question clearly stated? Is there enough lead-in in the introduction to establish the importance of and context for the statement/question? Too much? Too little? Is it clear where your introduction ends and body begins and where the body ends and the conclusion begins? Are there transitions between all sections and paragraphs to create flow and unity? Does each body paragraph have a topic sentence? Do the topic sentences make a connection back to the thesis statement/question? Establish a link with the previous paragraph’s content? Give enough information that the audience could guess where a paragraph’s development would lead? Does the order of paragraphs make sense? Are your paragraphs too long or too short? Are your examples reliable, representative, and convincing? Are your sources convincing? Is there anything that should be referenced? Has anything that goes off topic or is not essential been cut? Does the conclusion say something different from your introduction? Does it leave a good lasting impression or is it wishy-washy?
Oak Hill's Sr Projects: Writing a Research Paper PPT#5
WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER <ul><li>http://owl.english.purdue.edu </li></ul>
9 Major Steps in Writing a Research Paper <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Topic </li></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis or question </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Outline </li></ul><ul><li>First draft </li></ul><ul><li>Revisions </li></ul><ul><li>Proofreads </li></ul>
The Research Paper Genre <ul><li>A piece of academic writing that requires an abstract, critical, and thoughtful level of inquiry familiarizing yourself with the works of “experts” and comparing their thoughts on the topic with your own! </li></ul>
Your main type of research paper <ul><li>To argue! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use evidence to attempt to convince the reader of your position on a debatable topic in your paper AND in front of an audience! </li></ul></ul>
Huh? What audience? <ul><li>You will be </li></ul><ul><li>presenting in front of: </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Other Seniors </li></ul><ul><li>Other Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Juniors </li></ul>
Avoid PLAGIARISM <ul><li>PLAGIARISM: using someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source </li></ul><ul><li>MISUSE OF SOURCES: carelessly or inadequately citing ideas and words borrowed from another source </li></ul>
RESEARCH <ul><li>Understand the types of resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critically read and evaluate those sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Texts; interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book searches; journal articles; the Web </li></ul></ul>
RESEARCH cont’d <ul><li>Note-take effectively </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bullet facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paraphrase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translate and rewrite notable research findings ASAP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write legibly! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of photocopying! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep a working bibliography of all the sources you consult </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure you know where every note comes from! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact people in the field and have access to their </li></ul><ul><li>materials! </li></ul>
OUTLINE Last Name 1 Name Advisor Name Senior Project 2 November 2009 Title Thesis : I. Introduction A. The background B. The thesis statement II. Main idea of 1 st body paragraph A. First point of support B. Second point of support C. Third point of support (if needed) III. Main idea of 2 nd body paragraph A. First point of support B. Second point of support IV. Main idea of 3 rd body paragraph A. First point of support B. Second point of support C. Third point of support (if needed) D. Fourth point of support (if needed) Continue as needed…….. X. Conclusion A. Review of the major categories of support B. The answer, solution, or final option
FIRST DRAFT <ul><li>Believe it or not, drafting should be the least time-consuming step in the research paper process. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction: quotation; question; opposite opinion; short narrative; interesting fact; definition or an explanation of a term; irony or paradox; an analogy… </li></ul><ul><li>Body paragraphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coherence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adequate development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing a conclusion </li></ul>
REVISION An Editing & Rewriting Process <ul><li>Revision is RE-VISION !!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move material around </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have people READ your paper….. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t, you’ll end up doing it again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rough drafts don’t pass and that will…. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make your teachers MAD </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This will delay your final product & presentation because then teachers re-grade when THEY have time. </li></ul></ul>
Proofreading (nitpicky copyediting) <ul><li>Check out your verb tenses. </li></ul><ul><li>Check for non-sexist language. </li></ul><ul><li>Read your paper out loud. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your punctuation. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for glaring grammatical flaws. </li></ul><ul><li>Check you word choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a Works Cited page. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your spelling. </li></ul><ul><li>Work on the presentation of your paper. </li></ul>
Resources <ul><li>Oak Hill High School Reference Databases </li></ul><ul><li>Marvel Maine </li></ul><ul><li>MaineCat state catalog </li></ul><ul><li>Owl Research (or Owl MLA Style or Owl Plagiarism) </li></ul>