Writing the Research Paper English 10 Mrs. Texter
MLA In-text Parenthetical Citation • Build in citations from the earliest draft. • Citations alert the reader that the information did not come from the writer, but from an outside source.
What do I cite? • Quoted material • Summarized material • Paraphrased material • Essentially, anything that comes from an outside source.
Basic Rules: • A citation can cover only information that precedes it. • A citation can never cover information from a previous paragraph. • A quotation must be cited immediately.
Range of pages • A citation from a book must include specific page numbers. • A different page number is a different citation.
Basic citation • Provides author’s name and page number in parentheses (Smith 131)
Placement of citation • After cited material • Before end punctuation Characters in novels should be believable human figures (Smith 113).
Citations of quoted material • Place after the end quotes • Before the end punctuation “A novel’s characters fail unless they resemble real people” (Smith 113).
What if there is no author? • Use the title of the article or the webpage. The AIDS epidemic is growing in large part because of the lack of government involvement (“AIDS Epidemic . . .”). Note: If the title is very long, you may omit the end of a title with the use of ellipses.
What if there is more than one author? • Cite up to three authors. • If there are more than three authors, cite the first and et al. Shakespearean historians have found a number of interesting discoveries (Smith, Jones, and Jackson 222). Shakespearean historians have found a number of interesting discoveries (Smith et al. 222).
What if there is no page number? • MLA allows you to omit the page number if none exists. According to the statistics published on South African Health Organization’s website, the AIDS epidemic grew exponentially in 2008. Note: the name of the source is already built in to the sentence, and, because the source is a website without a page number, no citation is needed.
Signal Citation • A signal citation identifies the author’s name in the sentence prior to the citation. Noted literary critic Zadie Smith believes characters must “resemble real people” (113).
A long or block quote • If your quoted material is more than 3 typed lines long, you separate it from the rest of the text. • Indent the quote from the left margin. • The indentation replaces quotation marks so include no quotes • Break the punctuation rule and cite after the end punctuation.
A long quote Although there are many different opinions of the editors of the first folio, Shakespeare scholar John Wilders believes, When, after Shakespeare’s death, John Heminge and Henry Condell, two of his former colleagues in the theatrical company for which he had written, gathered his plays together in the first collected edition of his dramatic works (the First Folio of 1623), they divided them into three kinds, comedies, histories and tragedies; however, the only thing the histories have in common is that they all deal with the history of England and a case could be made for describing some of the histories as tragedies. (1)
If your author quotes someone else • Sometimes your source quotes another speaker • Use qtd. in to indicate that the speaker of the quote is not your author. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” (Kennedy qtd. in Schmeck 243).
Consider this quote from an unidentified doctor working in South Africa: “We are grossly undersupplying antiretroviral drugs to children, and our prevention of mother-to-child transmission program is not working at this site. As a result children are dying in hoards” (qtd. in “Examining the Rollout…” 4).
Dr. FasniehSamura explained the adjustment he has to make to adult antiretroviral treatments so children can use them, “Since there are still no available, easy-to-use triple drug combinations for children, I do what most doctors are doing: I try to show caregivers such as grandparents how to break adult tablets, hoping that the children will get the doses they need” (qtd. in “HIV Treatment & Children: The Issues”).
Thankfully, the high price has been lowered by various pharmaceutical businesses (Brower and Chalk 55). As the price was lowered, it was thought that majority of the population would be able to afford it (Brower and Chalk 56). Never, ever, ever: Thankfully, the high price has been lowered by various pharmaceutical businesses. As the price was lowered, it was thought that majority of the population would be able to afford it (Brower and Chalk 55-56).
DRAFTING THE PAPER • A research paper is a synthesis of information. 1. the process of combining objects or ideas into a complex whole 2. the combination or whole produced by such a process Collins English Dictionary Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.
Synthesis • Your job is to synthesize information from various sources • You must create the framework that connects the various sources and pieces of information
Introduction with thesis; generally starts with general statement, includes necessary background information and then links to the thesis Basic Framework Thesis drives the points of the body Body of the paper is largely cited information, but unified and driven by the thesis. Conclusion which should summarize major points, tie loose ends together, restate the thesis, and explain the movement or connection of ideas.
Structure of a Body Paragraph The introductory and concluding sentences are NOT cited because you must write them yourself in order to create a sense of flow. Introduction: topic sentence that introduces the central focus of the paragraph Body: cited information, evidence and support Conclusion: concluding sentence that summarizes the topic, restates the main point, may explain how the evidence supports the thesis, and may begin transitioning to the next idea
The topic and concluding sentences are not cited because the student writer composes them to create a stronger structure. Education is a very important part of any young adult’s life. In South Africa, they are trying to increase the attendance at schools. They are also trying to be more flexible in teaching the orphans what they need to survive instead of straight from the textbook (Signal and Howard 77). Young adults can overcome the epidemic with good education, leadership, and a supportive environment (2004 Report… 64). Together, well educated young adults can spread the word and change the future.
The Title Generally speaking, a good title identifies your subject, sets the tone, and catches the readers' interest. Do not underline or place your title in quotation marks.
Titling Strategies Titles might use colons to separate an eye-catching subject and a more specific description (e.g., "Drawing Straws: The Politics of Cannibalism in Survival Situations" or "Bite Me: Cannibalism for Revenge and Profit"). Titles might play off of the title of a well-known movie, book, or TV show (e.g., "A Modest Proposal for a New Generation" or "How to Bake Friends and Pan-Fry People"). A clever title gets people interested, but it shouldn't undermine your professionalism.
Format of the final draft • Double space the text • Create a title and title page • Number the pages beginning with the outline, the paper, and the Works Cited
Title Page Paper’s Title Student Name Instructor Course Date