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Writing a Research Paper

Writing a Research Paper

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Writing a Research Paper

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  1. Writing a Research Paper

  2. Step 1: Define your topic

  3. Define Your Topic • State your topic in the form of a question. • List keywords and ideas related to your topic.

  4. Step 2: Identify Sources

  5. Identify Sources • Books • Periodicals • Online Sources

  6. Step 3: Evaluate Sources

  7. Evaluate Sources • Is the source timely? Reliable? Relevant? • Scan • Skim • Preview • Abstract

  8. Step 4: Compile Sources

  9. Compile Sources • For paper sources, file PDF scans • Jot Not App • For online sources, save links or PDF • Flash Drive • Cloud • Google Drive • Dropbox • Box.com

  10. Step 5: Read & Take Notes

  11. Read & Take Notes For every source: • Citation information • Title, author, publisher, place and date of publication • Outline main ideas and supporting details • If you use the text verbatim, make sure to use quotation marks and cite • If you summarize or paraphrase an idea, you don’t need to use quotations but you do need to cite

  12. Index Card Method • Write each fact on a separate index card by hand • Color code the cards according to the source • Later, you can lay the cards out to organize your outline

  13. Word Processing Method • Type your notes for each source in a Word document • Color code the text based on the source • Later, you can cut and paste the text to organize your outline

  14. Step 6: Organize Ideas

  15. Organize Ideas • Think about all of the sources you read. What main ideas or patterns stand out? • Review your notes. What themes are repeated? • Group related ideas from different sources together. Each main idea will later form a paragraph. • Set aside or discard notes that don’t fit with your main ideas. • Index Card Method: Group cards with similar ideas together. • Word Processing Method: Cut and paste similar ideas together in a list.

  16. Step 7: Outline Paper

  17. Outline Paper • List your main ideas. Put them in a logical order. • Distinguish between main ideas and supporting details. Put them in a logical order. • Some research papers follow this outline: • Abstract: Summary • Introduction: Topic, Research Questions, Literature Review, Hypotheses, Design • Methods: Participants, Materials, Procedure • Results: Data & Statistics • Discussion: Interpretation & Evaluation

  18. Step 8: Write Paper

  19. Write Paper • Write one paragraph for each of your main ideas • Remember that each paragraph should have: • Topic Sentence • Supporting Sentences • Concluding Sentence • Convert outline into full sentences as you write • Provide in-text citations after every piece of information from your sources

  20. Write Paper • You should not have a quotation in every sentence of your paragraph • Use your own words and ideas • For each piece of cited information, you can: • Clarify by restating it in your own words • Explain your interpretation • Connect the information to other pieces of information • Show why that information is important or significant to the main idea of the paragraph • Show why that information is important or significant to your overall research topic

  21. Step 8: Revise Paper

  22. Revise Paper • When you are done writing, read your paper • Are there parts that are unclear? • Are there explanations or examples you could add? • Are the ideas in the paragraph in a logical order? • Are the paragraphs in a logical order? • Would someone unfamiliar with the topic understand your writing? • Make changes to organization and content • Add • Delete • Move

  23. Step 9: Edit Paper

  24. Edit Paper • Make changes to grammar, syntax, vocabulary • Grammar: Subject-Verb Agreement, Singular & Plural Nouns, Determiners, Prepositions, Gerunds & Infinitives, etc. • Syntax: Simple, Compound, Complex sentences • Vocabulary: range, level, usage, meaning

  25. Step 10: Format Paper

  26. Format Paper • MLA https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ • APA https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ • Chicago Style https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/ • Consult Style Guide for formatting rules, especially for citations.

  27. Step 11: Cite Sources

  28. Cite Sources • Create a Works Cited page that lists all of your references • Follow the format depending on what style you are using • If you took good notes at the beginning, this is much easier! • Make sure in-text citations correspond with the Works Cited page

  29. Step 12: Proofread Paper

  30. Proofread Paper • Make changes to mechanics • Punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting • This is your last chance to find and fix any mistakes • Print out the paper • Read it out loud

  31. Helpful Links • Conducting Research http://www.kyvl.org/html/tutorial/research/ • Writing Research Papers http://www.infoplease.com/homework/t1termpaper1.html • Formatting Citations http://www.easybib.com