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Developing a Research Question

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❶If you really want to impress your teacher, you may even want to discuss implications for further research.

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Good Research Paper . Writing Guide
The Five Commandments of Writing Research Papers
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For instance, if Books. Check out online resources, Web based information services, or special resource materials on CDs:. Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community. Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information.

As you gather your resources, jot down full bibliographical information author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access on your work sheet, printout, or enter the information on your laptop or desktop computer for later retrieval.

If printing from the Internet, it is wise to set up the browser to print the URL and date of access for every page. Remember that an article without bibliographical information is useless since you cannot cite its source.

Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper. The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important.

Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your research paper thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief.

It is impossible to create a thesis statement immediately when you have just started fulfilling your assignment. Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper.

It will naturally change while you develop your ideas. Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments. Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers. If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise. Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself.

A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas. It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics.

The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order.

All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral. The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper.

Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement.

Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.

Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline.

Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible.

Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.

Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline.

Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.

Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors.

Double check the facts and figures. You should begin by doing some general reading in the field. If nothing else, begin with the Encyclopaedia Britannica , a wonderful but sadly neglected resource.

Read a few books or articles on topics you find of interest. Follow up the suggested reading on the course syllabus or the footnotes or bibliographies of the texts you are reading for the course.

After that, speak with the professor about some of your general ideas and the possible research directions you are thinking about pursuing. And you should do all this as early in the course as possible. Thou shalt have a clear research question. Why did a particular political or social event turn out as it did and not some other way? Why does a particular pattern exist in social life? Why does a specific aspect of politics work as it does? How has a social or political phenomenon changed from one period to another?

The question can be general or particular. Why have some countries been more successful in the transition from Communism than others? Why did the Labour Party win the last British general election? How have conceptions of race changed in the US since the s? How do different electoral systems affect the behavior of political parties? The point is that you should attempt to identify either: Research questions that do not require an argument are just bad questions.

Thou shalt do real research. Real research means using primary sources. What counts as a primary source, though, depends on what kind of question you are trying to answer. You would begin by reading some general secondary sources on the collapse of Communism, from which you might surmise that two factors were predominant: Primary sources in this case might include economic statistics, memoirs of politicians from the period or reportage in east European newspapers available in English or other languages.

Bring all your skills to bear on the topic. Use works in foreign languages. Use software packages to analyze statistical data. Or say you want to write about how conceptions of national identity have changed in Britain since the s.

In this case, you might examine the speeches of British political leaders, editorials in major British newspapers, and voting support for the Scottish National Party or other regional parties. You might also arrange an interview with an expert in the field: There are, however, gradations of primary evidence. The best sources are those in original languages that are linked to persons directly involved in the event or development that you are researching. Next are the same sources translated into other languages.

Then come sources that are studies of or otherwise refer to direct experience. In your research, you should endeavor to get as close as possible to the events or phenomena you are studying. But, of course, no one can speak every language and interview every participant in a political or social event.

Part of being a creative scholar is figuring out how to assemble enough evidence using the skills and resources that you possess in order to make a clear and sustainable argument based on powerful and credible sources.

Choose a Question that is Neither Too Broad or Too Narrow

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A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.

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In conclusion, this paper has provided a discussion on the fundamentals of writing a good research paper. It has examined the major components of a research paper and discussed them in detail. In addition, it has provided a list of major do's and don'ts that apply to most research paper.

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Sep 27,  · How to Write a Research Paper. Five Methods: Choosing Your Topic Researching Making an Outline Writing Your Paper Sample Research Papers and Outlines Community Q&A. It’s a good idea to write the conclusion before the introduction for several reasons. First of all, the conclusion is easier to write when the 79%(). HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH PAPER • Getting ready with data • First draft • Structure of a scientific paper • Selecting a journal • Submission Note good and bad writing styles in the literature. Some are simple and .

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