Writing researchpaper (3)


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Writing researchpaper (3)

  1. 1. Writing the Research Paper Essential Information and Tips
  2. 2. Step 1: Choose your topic. • If at all possible, choose a subject or an aspect of a subject that interests you • Narrow down the topic. Notice the difference between: – “Christianity and Islam: A Comparison” – “The concept of God in Christianity and Islam” – “The role of Jesus in Christianity and Islam”
  3. 3. Step 2: Gather materials. • Have a focus for your paper: a question that you want to answer -- e.g., “How are Christianity and Islam similar and different in their concepts of God?” – Note: this is not yet a thesis. A thesis would be a tentative answer to this question • Put together a bibliography – Professors will often require this
  4. 4. Step 3: Take notes on your sources. • Organize your notes according to topic – Use 3x5 file cards – or different sheets of paper for different themes/points • Give each note card or page a title and make sure you have all referencing information (it’s easier to do this sooner than later!) • Use your own words when possible; avoid excessive use of long quotations
  5. 5. Step 4: Decide on a thesis. • A thesis is a statement that states an argument or makes an assertion. – It is a statement that someone could disagree with! – This thesis is tentative; you will probably need to revise it between the first and the final draft • You don’t have a thesis if you say – “This paper is about . . .” or – “This paper will discuss the question . . .”
  6. 6. Step 5: make an outline. • Thesis statement • Development of thesis – supporting research – contrary research • Conclusions/summary/ reaction -- or a combination of these, depending on what your professor assigns
  7. 7. Step 6: write the first drafts. • STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR THESIS! Eliminate materials that do not relate to it. • Pay attention to the flow of ideas. • Reference properly all quotes, paraphrases, and uses of ideas from your sources. • Run a spell and grammar check • Print out paper or review on screen – PROOFREAD!! Correct mechanical and stylistic errors • Re-print paper • The rough draft should not be the same as “first draft” that your professor sees
  8. 8. Step 7: revise and rewrite. • Take seriously all comments made by professors on your drafts! • If not “officially” a multi-draft project, write at least two to three drafts anyway. • Be sure to spell check, proofread, and check references for the final product. – DO NOT turn in a paper with handwritten corrections. – Final draft should be a refined piece of work: clear, clean, coherent.