Assignment 3: Research Essay - first draft
- Similar Questions
Task: Write an essay that investigates a connection between your field of study and a problem or controversial issue in society. The audience is people who are generally educated but do not have extensive knowledge of your field.
Length: 1500-2000 words
Sources: Minimum of 6. At least 3 of these must be from scholarly journals, and all sources should be selected based on reliability, currency, and level of information/analysis. The UMUC library will be very useful in helping you find appropriate sources. You can, but do not have to, include all of the sources from your annotated bibliography.
Due date and revision: The first draft of the research essay is due by the end of Week 5. Submit your draft as an attachment (Microsoft Word is preferred) to this assignment folder. This should be as complete a draft as possible, in order to receive the most helpful feedback. In working on your draft, you may want to look at the rubric that will ultimately be used to grade your final essay. You can see it when viewing these instructions through the Assignments area of the classroom.
During Week 6, you will receive feedback on your draft.
You will then revise your essay and submit it by the end of Week 7 to the folder "Assignment 3: Research Essay, revised draft." This version will be graded using the rubric and will count for 30% of your course grade.
Your instructor may or may not complete the rubric for your first draft, but only the grade on your revised essay will count toward your course grade.
Outcomes you should achieve by completing this assignment
The outcomes for this assignment are listed below, with the associated course outcomes in parentheses:
- Use research to write an essay that will inform or persuade an audience (Course outcome 1)
- Form unified, coherent, and well-supported paragraphs in support of the thesis statement (Course outcome 2)
- Select sources, use them to inform and support your writing, and document them in APA style (Course outcome 4)
- Demonstrate accurate grammar and mechanics in writing (Course outcome 3)
- Participate in the process of receiving feedback and revising your writing (Course outcome 1)
This essay is the culmination of your research project, in which you are investigating a connection between your field of study and a problem or controversial issue in society. Sample topics for different fields of study are provided below.
- A student studying environmental management might choose to investigate the connection between flooding in a particular location and the location’s policies on new development.
- A student studying psychology could research support for students with learning differences in elementary schools.
- A student studying cybersecurity could investigate the threat of identity theft for the average U.S. resident.
- A student studying history could explore similarities between the current U.S. administration and an administration from the past.
Before drafting your essay, you will have chosen a topic, developed a research question, and identified several potential sources in an annotated bibliography. You should write on the same topic for this essay, unless your professor has asked you to make changes to your topic.
Organizing and supporting your essay
As you write your essay, be sure to include the following:
- an engaging introductory paragraph that includes an effective and clear thesis statement
- any definition of terms or background information that your reader is likely to need to understand your paper
- unified, supported, and coherent body paragraphs that defend the thesis
- an effective conclusion
Research is a key element of this paper. Take care to support your claims with research throughout the paper. Include APA in-text citations whenever you use sources, whether through quote, paraphrase, or summary. An APA reference list at the end of the paper should list all of the sources cited in the text of the paper.
Point of view
This essay will be written in an academic style. Use third person point of view. Do not use “I” or “you.”
Formatting your assignment
Incorporate these elements of APA style:
- Use one-inch margins.
- Double space.
- Use an easy-to-read font between 10-point and 12-point.
- Include a title page with the title of your paper, your name, and the name of your school.
Given your next assignment, view and select one of the patterns below as a guide to write your first draft research paper. Make sure to select the correct pattern for your paper. Have support staff from the writing center to help you with your paper before turning it in; they can proofread as well.
As you recall, an essay is a multiple-paragraph piece of writing in which you try to inform, persuade, or entertain the reader. A thesis statement is a one-sentence statement of the main idea of your essay; it must identify your subject and make an assertion about it. Think of your thesis as a one-sentence answer to the question "What are you trying to prove?" A good academic essay should contain a thesis statement. Make sure that you support your thesis adequately. Think of your body paragraphs as the answer to the question "Why should we believe you?" or "What have you got to go on?"
Three Common Academic Essay Patterns are Analytical , Narrative , and Comparison-Contrast
Thesis statement: Answers the question What are you trying to prove?
Why should we believe thesis?
Narrate in chronological order.
Start new paragraph with each shift in time or perspective (or speaker, if you include dialogue).
Similarities between Subject A and Subject B
Differences between Subject A and Subject B
(End with whichever is more significant, similarities or differences.)
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ASSIGNMENT 3 – RESEARCH REPORT
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12.1 Creating a Rough Draft for a Research Paper
- Apply strategies for drafting an effective introduction and conclusion.
- Identify when and how to summarize, paraphrase, and directly quote information from research sources.
- Apply guidelines for citing sources within the body of the paper and the bibliography.
- Use primary and secondary research to support ideas.
- Identify the purposes for which writers use each type of research.
At last, you are ready to begin writing the rough draft of your research paper. Putting your thinking and research into words is exciting. It can also be challenging. In this section, you will learn strategies for handling the more challenging aspects of writing a research paper, such as integrating material from your sources, citing information correctly, and avoiding any misuse of your sources.
The Structure of a Research Paper
Research papers generally follow the same basic structure: an introduction that presents the writer’s thesis, a body section that develops the thesis with supporting points and evidence, and a conclusion that revisits the thesis and provides additional insights or suggestions for further research.
Your writing voice will come across most strongly in your introduction and conclusion, as you work to attract your readers’ interest and establish your thesis. These sections usually do not cite sources at length. They focus on the big picture, not specific details. In contrast, the body of your paper will cite sources extensively. As you present your ideas, you will support your points with details from your research.
Writing Your Introduction
There are several approaches to writing an introduction, each of which fulfills the same goals. The introduction should get readers’ attention, provide background information, and present the writer’s thesis. Many writers like to begin with one of the following catchy openers:
- A surprising fact
- A thought-provoking question
- An attention-getting quote
- A brief anecdote that illustrates a larger concept
- A connection between your topic and your readers’ experiences
The next few sentences place the opening in context by presenting background information. From there, the writer builds toward a thesis, which is traditionally placed at the end of the introduction. Think of your thesis as a signpost that lets readers know in what direction the paper is headed.
Jorge decided to begin his research paper by connecting his topic to readers’ daily experiences. Read the first draft of his introduction. The thesis is underlined. Note how Jorge progresses from the opening sentences to background information to his thesis.
Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets
Over the past decade, increasing numbers of Americans have jumped on the low-carb bandwagon. Some studies estimate that approximately 40 million Americans, or about 20 percent of the population, are attempting to restrict their intake of food high in carbohydrates (Sanders and Katz, 2004; Hirsch, 2004). Proponents of low-carb diets say they are not only the most effective way to lose weight, but they also yield health benefits such as lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels. Meanwhile, some doctors claim that low-carb diets are overrated and caution that their long-term effects are unknown. Although following a low-carbohydrate diet can benefit some people, these diets are not necessarily the best option for everyone who wants to lose weight or improve their health.
Write the introductory paragraph of your research paper. Try using one of the techniques listed in this section to write an engaging introduction. Be sure to include background information about the topic that leads to your thesis.
Writers often work out of sequence when writing a research paper. If you find yourself struggling to write an engaging introduction, you may wish to write the body of your paper first. Writing the body sections first will help you clarify your main points. Writing the introduction should then be easier. You may have a better sense of how to introduce the paper after you have drafted some or all of the body.
Writing Your Conclusion
In your introduction, you tell readers where they are headed. In your conclusion, you recap where they have been. For this reason, some writers prefer to write their conclusions soon after they have written their introduction. However, this method may not work for all writers. Other writers prefer to write their conclusion at the end of the paper, after writing the body paragraphs. No process is absolutely right or absolutely wrong; find the one that best suits you.
No matter when you compose the conclusion, it should sum up your main ideas and revisit your thesis. The conclusion should not simply echo the introduction or rely on bland summary statements, such as “In this paper, I have demonstrated that.…” In fact, avoid repeating your thesis verbatim from the introduction. Restate it in different words that reflect the new perspective gained through your research. That helps keep your ideas fresh for your readers. An effective writer might conclude a paper by asking a new question the research inspired, revisiting an anecdote presented earlier, or reminding readers of how the topic relates to their lives.
Writing at Work
If your job involves writing or reading scientific papers, it helps to understand how professional researchers use the structure described in this section. A scientific paper begins with an abstract that briefly summarizes the entire paper. The introduction explains the purpose of the research, briefly summarizes previous research, and presents the researchers’ hypothesis. The body provides details about the study, such as who participated in it, what the researchers measured, and what results they recorded. The conclusion presents the researchers’ interpretation of the data, or what they learned.
Using Source Material in Your Paper
One of the challenges of writing a research paper is successfully integrating your ideas with material from your sources. Your paper must explain what you think, or it will read like a disconnected string of facts and quotations. However, you also need to support your ideas with research, or they will seem insubstantial. How do you strike the right balance?
You have already taken a step in the right direction by writing your introduction. The introduction and conclusion function like the frame around a picture. They define and limit your topic and place your research in context.
In the body paragraphs of your paper, you will need to integrate ideas carefully at the paragraph level and at the sentence level. You will use topic sentences in your paragraphs to make sure readers understand the significance of any facts, details, or quotations you cite. You will also include sentences that transition between ideas from your research, either within a paragraph or between paragraphs. At the sentence level, you will need to think carefully about how you introduce paraphrased and quoted material.
Earlier you learned about summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting when taking notes. In the next few sections, you will learn how to use these techniques in the body of your paper to weave in source material to support your ideas.
When you summarize material from a source, you zero in on the main points and restate them concisely in your own words. This technique is appropriate when only the major ideas are relevant to your paper or when you need to simplify complex information into a few key points for your readers.
Be sure to review the source material as you summarize it. Identify the main idea and restate it as concisely as you can—preferably in one sentence. Depending on your purpose, you may also add another sentence or two condensing any important details or examples. Check your summary to make sure it is accurate and complete.
In his draft, Jorge summarized research materials that presented scientists’ findings about low-carbohydrate diets. Read the following passage from a trade magazine article and Jorge’s summary of the article.
Assessing the Efficacy of Low-Carbohydrate Diets
Adrienne Howell, Ph.D.
Over the past few years, a number of clinical studies have explored whether high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are more effective for weight loss than other frequently recommended diet plans, such as diets that drastically curtail fat intake (Pritikin) or that emphasize consuming lean meats, grains, vegetables, and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats (the Mediterranean diet). A 2009 study found that obese teenagers who followed a low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 15.6 kilograms over a six-month period, whereas teenagers following a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet lost an average of 11.1 kilograms and 9.3 kilograms respectively. Two 2010 studies that measured weight loss for obese adults following these same three diet plans found similar results. Over three months, subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet plan lost anywhere from four to six kilograms more than subjects who followed other diet plans.
In three recent studies, researchers compared outcomes for obese subjects who followed either a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet, or a Mediterranean diet and found that subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight in the same time (Howell, 2010).
A summary restates ideas in your own words—but for specialized or clinical terms, you may need to use terms that appear in the original source. For instance, Jorge used the term obese in his summary because related words such as heavy or overweight have a different clinical meaning.
On a separate sheet of paper, practice summarizing by writing a one-sentence summary of the same passage that Jorge already summarized.
When you paraphrase material from a source, restate the information from an entire sentence or passage in your own words, using your own original sentence structure. A paraphrased source differs from a summarized source in that you focus on restating the ideas, not condensing them.
Again, it is important to check your paraphrase against the source material to make sure it is both accurate and original. Inexperienced writers sometimes use the thesaurus method of paraphrasing—that is, they simply rewrite the source material, replacing most of the words with synonyms. This constitutes a misuse of sources. A true paraphrase restates ideas using the writer’s own language and style.
In his draft, Jorge frequently paraphrased details from sources. At times, he needed to rewrite a sentence more than once to ensure he was paraphrasing ideas correctly. Read the passage from a website. Then read Jorge’s initial attempt at paraphrasing it, followed by the final version of his paraphrase.
Dieters nearly always get great results soon after they begin following a low-carbohydrate diet, but these results tend to taper off after the first few months, particularly because many dieters find it difficult to follow a low-carbohydrate diet plan consistently.
People usually see encouraging outcomes shortly after they go on a low-carbohydrate diet, but their progress slows down after a short while, especially because most discover that it is a challenge to adhere to the diet strictly (Heinz, 2009).
After reviewing the paraphrased sentence, Jorge realized he was following the original source too closely. He did not want to quote the full passage verbatim, so he again attempted to restate the idea in his own style.
Because it is hard for dieters to stick to a low-carbohydrate eating plan, the initial success of these diets is short-lived (Heinz, 2009).
On a separate sheet of paper, follow these steps to practice paraphrasing.
- Choose an important idea or detail from your notes.
- Without looking at the original source, restate the idea in your own words.
- Check your paraphrase against the original text in the source. Make sure both your language and your sentence structure are original.
- Revise your paraphrase if necessary.
Quoting Sources Directly
Most of the time, you will summarize or paraphrase source material instead of quoting directly. Doing so shows that you understand your research well enough to write about it confidently in your own words. However, direct quotes can be powerful when used sparingly and with purpose.
Quoting directly can sometimes help you make a point in a colorful way. If an author’s words are especially vivid, memorable, or well phrased, quoting them may help hold your reader’s interest. Direct quotations from an interviewee or an eyewitness may help you personalize an issue for readers. And when you analyze primary sources, such as a historical speech or a work of literature, quoting extensively is often necessary to illustrate your points. These are valid reasons to use quotations.
Less experienced writers, however, sometimes overuse direct quotations in a research paper because it seems easier than paraphrasing. At best, this reduces the effectiveness of the quotations. At worst, it results in a paper that seems haphazardly pasted together from outside sources. Use quotations sparingly for greater impact.
When you do choose to quote directly from a source, follow these guidelines:
- Make sure you have transcribed the original statement accurately.
- Represent the author’s ideas honestly. Quote enough of the original text to reflect the author’s point accurately.
- Never use a stand-alone quotation. Always integrate the quoted material into your own sentence.
- Use ellipses (…) if you need to omit a word or phrase. Use brackets [ ] if you need to replace a word or phrase.
- Make sure any omissions or changed words do not alter the meaning of the original text. Omit or replace words only when absolutely necessary to shorten the text or to make it grammatically correct within your sentence.
- Remember to include correctly formatted citations that follow the assigned style guide.
Jorge interviewed a dietician as part of his research, and he decided to quote her words in his paper. Read an excerpt from the interview and Jorge’s use of it, which follows.
Personally, I don’t really buy into all of the hype about low-carbohydrate miracle diets like Atkins and so on. Sure, for some people, they are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well.
Registered dietician Dana Kwon (2010) admits, “Personally, I don’t really buy into all of the hype.…Sure, for some people, [low-carbohydrate diets] are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well.”
Notice how Jorge smoothly integrated the quoted material by starting the sentence with an introductory phrase. His use of ellipses and brackets did not change the source’s meaning.
Documenting Source Material
Throughout the writing process, be scrupulous about documenting information taken from sources. The purpose of doing so is twofold:
- To give credit to other writers or researchers for their ideas
- To allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired
You will cite sources within the body of your paper and at the end of the paper in your bibliography. For this assignment, you will use the citation format used by the American Psychological Association (also known as APA style). For information on the format used by the Modern Language Association (MLA style), see Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” .
Citing Sources in the Body of Your Paper
In-text citations document your sources within the body of your paper. These include two vital pieces of information: the author’s name and the year the source material was published. When quoting a print source, also include in the citation the page number where the quoted material originally appears. The page number will follow the year in the in-text citation. Page numbers are necessary only when content has been directly quoted, not when it has been summarized or paraphrased.
Within a paragraph, this information may appear as part of your introduction to the material or as a parenthetical citation at the end of a sentence. Read the examples that follow. For more information about in-text citations for other source types, see Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” .
Leibowitz (2008) found that low-carbohydrate diets often helped subjects with Type II diabetes maintain a healthy weight and control blood-sugar levels.
The introduction to the source material includes the author’s name followed by the year of publication in parentheses.
Low-carbohydrate diets often help subjects with Type II diabetes maintain a healthy weight and control blood-sugar levels (Leibowitz, 2008).
The parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence includes the author’s name, a comma, and the year the source was published. The period at the end of the sentence comes after the parentheses.
Creating a List of References
Each of the sources you cite in the body text will appear in a references list at the end of your paper. While in-text citations provide the most basic information about the source, your references section will include additional publication details. In general, you will include the following information:
- The author’s last name followed by his or her first (and sometimes middle) initial
- The year the source was published
- The source title
- For articles in periodicals, the full name of the periodical, along with the volume and issue number and the pages where the article appeared
Additional information may be included for different types of sources, such as online sources. For a detailed guide to APA or MLA citations, see Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” . A sample reference list is provided with the final draft of Jorge’s paper later in this chapter.
Using Primary and Secondary Research
As you write your draft, be mindful of how you are using primary and secondary source material to support your points. Recall that primary sources present firsthand information. Secondary sources are one step removed from primary sources. They present a writer’s analysis or interpretation of primary source materials. How you balance primary and secondary source material in your paper will depend on the topic and assignment.
Using Primary Sources Effectively
Some types of research papers must use primary sources extensively to achieve their purpose. Any paper that analyzes a primary text or presents the writer’s own experimental research falls in this category. Here are a few examples:
- A paper for a literature course analyzing several poems by Emily Dickinson
- A paper for a political science course comparing televised speeches delivered by two presidential candidates
- A paper for a communications course discussing gender biases in television commercials
- A paper for a business administration course that discusses the results of a survey the writer conducted with local businesses to gather information about their work-from-home and flextime policies
- A paper for an elementary education course that discusses the results of an experiment the writer conducted to compare the effectiveness of two different methods of mathematics instruction
For these types of papers, primary research is the main focus. If you are writing about a work (including nonprint works, such as a movie or a painting), it is crucial to gather information and ideas from the original work, rather than relying solely on others’ interpretations. And, of course, if you take the time to design and conduct your own field research, such as a survey, a series of interviews, or an experiment, you will want to discuss it in detail. For example, the interviews may provide interesting responses that you want to share with your reader.
Using Secondary Sources Effectively
For some assignments, it makes sense to rely more on secondary sources than primary sources. If you are not analyzing a text or conducting your own field research, you will need to use secondary sources extensively.
As much as possible, use secondary sources that are closely linked to primary research, such as a journal article presenting the results of the authors’ scientific study or a book that cites interviews and case studies. These sources are more reliable and add more value to your paper than sources that are further removed from primary research. For instance, a popular magazine article on junk-food addiction might be several steps removed from the original scientific study on which it is loosely based. As a result, the article may distort, sensationalize, or misinterpret the scientists’ findings.
Even if your paper is largely based on primary sources, you may use secondary sources to develop your ideas. For instance, an analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s films would focus on the films themselves as a primary source, but might also cite commentary from critics. A paper that presents an original experiment would include some discussion of similar prior research in the field.
Jorge knew he did not have the time, resources, or experience needed to conduct original experimental research for his paper. Because he was relying on secondary sources to support his ideas, he made a point of citing sources that were not far removed from primary research.
Some sources could be considered primary or secondary sources, depending on the writer’s purpose for using them. For instance, if a writer’s purpose is to inform readers about how the No Child Left Behind legislation has affected elementary education, a Time magazine article on the subject would be a secondary source. However, suppose the writer’s purpose is to analyze how the news media has portrayed the effects of the No Child Left Behind legislation. In that case, articles about the legislation in news magazines like Time , Newsweek , and US News & World Report would be primary sources. They provide firsthand examples of the media coverage the writer is analyzing.
Your research paper presents your thinking about a topic, supported and developed by other people’s ideas and information. It is crucial to always distinguish between the two—as you conduct research, as you plan your paper, and as you write. Failure to do so can lead to plagiarism.
Intentional and Accidental Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the act of misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own. Sometimes a writer plagiarizes work on purpose—for instance, by purchasing an essay from a website and submitting it as original course work. In other cases, a writer may commit accidental plagiarism due to carelessness, haste, or misunderstanding. To avoid unintentional plagiarism, follow these guidelines:
- Understand what types of information must be cited.
- Understand what constitutes fair use of a source.
- Keep source materials and notes carefully organized.
- Follow guidelines for summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting sources.
When to Cite
Any idea or fact taken from an outside source must be cited, in both the body of your paper and the references list. The only exceptions are facts or general statements that are common knowledge. Common-knowledge facts or general statements are commonly supported by and found in multiple sources. For example, a writer would not need to cite the statement that most breads, pastas, and cereals are high in carbohydrates; this is well known and well documented. However, if a writer explained in detail the differences among the chemical structures of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, a citation would be necessary. When in doubt, cite.
In recent years, issues related to the fair use of sources have been prevalent in popular culture. Recording artists, for example, may disagree about the extent to which one has the right to sample another’s music. For academic purposes, however, the guidelines for fair use are reasonably straightforward.
Writers may quote from or paraphrase material from previously published works without formally obtaining the copyright holder’s permission. Fair use means that the writer legitimately uses brief excerpts from source material to support and develop his or her own ideas. For instance, a columnist may excerpt a few sentences from a novel when writing a book review. However, quoting or paraphrasing another’s work at excessive length, to the extent that large sections of the writing are unoriginal, is not fair use.
As he worked on his draft, Jorge was careful to cite his sources correctly and not to rely excessively on any one source. Occasionally, however, he caught himself quoting a source at great length. In those instances, he highlighted the paragraph in question so that he could go back to it later and revise. Read the example, along with Jorge’s revision.
Heinz (2009) found that “subjects in the low-carbohydrate group (30% carbohydrates; 40% protein, 30% fat) had a mean weight loss of 10 kg (22 lbs) over a 4-month period.” These results were “noticeably better than results for subjects on a low-fat diet (45% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 20% fat)” whose average weight loss was only “7 kg (15.4 lbs) in the same period.” From this, it can be concluded that “low-carbohydrate diets obtain more rapid results.” Other researchers agree that “at least in the short term, patients following low-carbohydrate diets enjoy greater success” than those who follow alternative plans (Johnson & Crowe, 2010).
After reviewing the paragraph, Jorge realized that he had drifted into unoriginal writing. Most of the paragraph was taken verbatim from a single article. Although Jorge had enclosed the material in quotation marks, he knew it was not an appropriate way to use the research in his paper.
Low-carbohydrate diets may indeed be superior to other diet plans for short-term weight loss. In a study comparing low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat diets, Heinz (2009) found that subjects who followed a low-carbohydrate plan (30% of total calories) for 4 months lost, on average, about 3 kilograms more than subjects who followed a low-fat diet for the same time. Heinz concluded that these plans yield quick results, an idea supported by a similar study conducted by Johnson and Crowe (2010). What remains to be seen, however, is whether this initial success can be sustained for longer periods.
As Jorge revised the paragraph, he realized he did not need to quote these sources directly. Instead, he paraphrased their most important findings. He also made sure to include a topic sentence stating the main idea of the paragraph and a concluding sentence that transitioned to the next major topic in his essay.
Working with Sources Carefully
Disorganization and carelessness sometimes lead to plagiarism. For instance, a writer may be unable to provide a complete, accurate citation if he didn’t record bibliographical information. A writer may cut and paste a passage from a website into her paper and later forget where the material came from. A writer who procrastinates may rush through a draft, which easily leads to sloppy paraphrasing and inaccurate quotations. Any of these actions can create the appearance of plagiarism and lead to negative consequences.
Carefully organizing your time and notes is the best guard against these forms of plagiarism. Maintain a detailed working bibliography and thorough notes throughout the research process. Check original sources again to clear up any uncertainties. Allow plenty of time for writing your draft so there is no temptation to cut corners.
Citing other people’s work appropriately is just as important in the workplace as it is in school. If you need to consult outside sources to research a document you are creating, follow the general guidelines already discussed, as well as any industry-specific citation guidelines. For more extensive use of others’ work—for instance, requesting permission to link to another company’s website on your own corporate website—always follow your employer’s established procedures.
The concepts and strategies discussed in this section of Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” connect to a larger issue—academic integrity. You maintain your integrity as a member of an academic community by representing your work and others’ work honestly and by using other people’s work only in legitimately accepted ways. It is a point of honor taken seriously in every academic discipline and career field.
Academic integrity violations have serious educational and professional consequences. Even when cheating and plagiarism go undetected, they still result in a student’s failure to learn necessary research and writing skills. Students who are found guilty of academic integrity violations face consequences ranging from a failing grade to expulsion from the university. Employees may be fired for plagiarism and do irreparable damage to their professional reputation. In short, it is never worth the risk.
- An effective research paper focuses on the writer’s ideas. The introduction and conclusion present and revisit the writer’s thesis. The body of the paper develops the thesis and related points with information from research.
- Ideas and information taken from outside sources must be cited in the body of the paper and in the references section.
- Material taken from sources should be used to develop the writer’s ideas. Summarizing and paraphrasing are usually most effective for this purpose.
- A summary concisely restates the main ideas of a source in the writer’s own words.
- A paraphrase restates ideas from a source using the writer’s own words and sentence structures.
- Direct quotations should be used sparingly. Ellipses and brackets must be used to indicate words that were omitted or changed for conciseness or grammatical correctness.
- Always represent material from outside sources accurately.
- Plagiarism has serious academic and professional consequences. To avoid accidental plagiarism, keep research materials organized, understand guidelines for fair use and appropriate citation of sources, and review the paper to make sure these guidelines are followed.
Writing for Success by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
Assignment start and due dates.
Enter the date you plan to start work and the due date of your assignment.
Required. Example: 12 31 2020
Understand the assignment and select a topic.
- Read through and understand your assignment (from UNC).
- Email or visit your instructor's office hours with questions.
- Choosing and refining topics (from Colorado State).
- Try a specialized online encyclopedia .
- Get background on current topics using online tools like CQ Researcher or Opposing Viewpoints in Context .
- Write down 5-10 keywords about your topic including terms, jargon, events, people, places, etc. to use as keywords or search terms when you do more searching for sources.
Percent time spent on this step: 8
Draft your thesis or research question
- Move from topic to develop a thesis statement (from Harvard).
- Moving from Topic to Thesis (from York University)
- Thesis Statement Creator
- Get online writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing
- Have questions? Ask us! Chat 24/7, email, online consultations from librarians
Percent time spent on this step: 7
Find/evaluate evidence and sources
- Design your research strategy and try different keywords until you get results that are useful.
- As background or to provide a context?
- To introduce and situate your thesis within existing conversation on topic?
- To demonstrate the value of your working research question?
- To support or counter an argument?
- Search subject-specific databases to find articles in a specific discipline or subject (e.g. Business journals, film studies journals, health sciences journals, etc.).
- How do I find articles?
- What does it mean to be a scholarly source? (video, 2 mins)
- How to read and comprehend scientific research articles (video, 5 mins)
- Finding online newspaper articles
- Can you believe what you'll do after watching this video? Assessing sources of information
- Specialized sources such as h istorical or primary documents and archives , facts or statistics or government publications and websites
- Consider using Zotero or tools to save PDFs and create in-text citations and bibliography .
- Watch Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction (from UNC) (video, 2 mins)
Percent time spent on this step: 20
Critically read & evaluate sources
- Evaluate sources based on your research question or working thesis.
- How to read and comprehend scientific reserch articles (video, 5 mins)
- Take notes on readings while reading. Make notes on margins. Use tools to comment or highlight PDFs.
- Try close reading (from Harvard) and read to write strategies (from UNC).
- Conduct more research to fill in gaps as needed (see step 3).
- As you read your sources, think about how the sources talk to each other or could talk to each other. Watch what is the scholarly conversation (video, 2 mins) and the rules of the scholarly conversation (video, 2 mins).
Percent time spent on this step: 25
Develop structure. Draft citations.
- Polish or refine your arguments as a response to your research question (from Wisconsin). Read Developing a thesis (from Harvard).
- Outlines (from Indiana).
- Diagram such as brainstorming (from UNC), concept mapping, idea trees or quadrants.
- Talk out your structure. Record yourself talking about your topic and ideas. Transcribe your thoughts to the computer.
- Become familiar with the academic essay structure from U of M's Center for Writing (PDF)
- If you are ready to start writing, begin with segments or chunks, not necessarily the introduction or beginning. As you write you will discover more of what you want to say and then you can fit the chunks or segments together.
- Watch Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction (from UNC) (video, 2 mins)
Percent time spent on this step: 5
Write first draft
Keep in mind there are many ways to approach writing your first draft. You do not have to start at the beginning. Instead begin drafting segments or chunks. Concentrate on writing your rough ideas and not on revising.
- Draft additional segments. Develop connections between segments.
- Take breaks. Use breaks as a way to keep your brain and your writing fresh.
- Use strategies to avoid plagiarism (from UNC).
- Quote and paraphrase sources (from Wisconsin).
- Integrating quotations from sources from U of M's Center for Writing (PDF).
- Get online writing support at the U of M's Center for Writing.
- In light of your draft, you might need to revise your thesis.
- Revising drafts (from UNC).
- Draft your bibliography or works cited page. Consider using Zotero or other tools to create your bibliography. Be sure to double check the citations.
Polish & put paper in final form
- Style , grammar and punctuation Quicktips from U of M's Center for Writing.
- Editing and proofreading your essay (from UNC).
- Writing an effective title from U of M's Center for Writing (PDF).
- Resources for multilingual writers from the U of M's Center for Writing.
- What are citations? (from Libraries)
- Consider using Zotero or other tools to create your bibliography. Be sure to double check the citations.
Research Paper Planner: Guide
- 1: Understand Your Assignment
- 2: Select & Focus Your Topic
- 3: Explore a Research Question
- 4: Design Your Research Strategy
- Step 5: Finding Sources
- Step 6: Read, Note, and Compare Sources
- Step 7: Write Thesis Statement
- Step 8: Writing the First Draft
- Step 9: Evaluate Your First Draft
- Step 10: Revise & Rewrite
- Step 11: Put Your Paper in Final Form
Welcome to the Research Paper Planner Guide
Welcome to the Guide portion of the BU Libraries' Research Paper Planner (RPP). This Guide contains links to helpful resources for each step of the research and writing process. If you have used the Timeline portion of the RPP the links in the Timeline will take you to the links for that step of the process.
This Guide may be used independently of the Timeline to locate resources for each of the following stages of the research and writing process; just click on the Step button to the left to get there.
Surprised that there are so many steps? Research conducted by librarians and teachers of writing has shown that breaking a research paper or thesis down into these steps is the "normal" process of writing for humanities and social science disciplines. Using these steps will help you approach your research assignment in a progressive manner that should produce a better final product. Give it a try and then use the evaluation for to the right to let us know how the RPP worked for you and suggest ways it could be improved.
This work is based on the University of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator but has been modified to meet the needs of the Baylor University community.
- Research Paper Planner: Timeline This link will take you to the Timeline portion of the Research Paper Planner where you can set a start and end date for your writing project, see the deadlines for each step, print out the Timeline for your project, and/or set up email alerts for each step of the research and writing process.
- Next: 1: Understand Your Assignment >>
- Last Updated: Oct 5, 2022 1:36 PM
- URL: https://libguides.baylor.edu/planner
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Florida South Western State College Education Key to Success Essay
Florida Southwestern State College
The purpose of this assignment is to practice with the rhetorical, academic moves you are learning in your textbook, the "They Say, I Say" format, in order to compose a thesis and support it with evidence. In They Say, I Say, you are learning how to define what others are saying, as well as craft your own claims and engage in synthesis of sources as evidence in order to produce academic writing. For this essay, you will work on your skills in comprehension, analysis, summary/paraphrase/quotation, and supporting a thesis with evidence. You will also engage in some preliminary steps toward research.
Today's employers place a lot of value on thinking critically, ethical judgment and integrity, intercultural skills, innovation, and a life-long desire to learn. One way to continue to learn outside of school, get exposure to new ideas, and hone your own position is by regularly reading, viewing, and listening to high quality material, as well as discussing it with others. In particular, for this essay you will be engaging with quality sources and making a claim using those sources as evidence in order to share your point of view with others. This assignment will allow you to organize your use of the templates in They Say, I Say, as well as show the progress you are making in the acquisition of academic skills and desirable professional qualities.
Academic Values: Critical Thinking, Critical Analysis, Discourse, Claims Based on Evidence, Close Reading, Synthesis, Documentation, Compare/Contrast
For this assignment, you will compose a rough draft and a final draft of an essay about a topic you think is significant and meaningful. You will use three sources gathered from the web or FSW databases in order to demonstrate your thesis and support it with evidence. You should anticipate "counter claims" (Chapter 6, They Say, I Say ) when composing your assignment. Your topic can fall under any of these three areas: 1) Science and Technology, 2) Entertainment and Popular Culture, 3) History and Culture, or an interdisciplinary topic that spans areas. Here are some examples of professionally written articles ("mentor texts")1 that share similarities with the purpose of this assignment:
- Andrew David Thaler, " The Politics of Fake Documentaries (Links to an external site.) "
- Chloe Angyal, " Romantic Comedies Teach Women That Stalking is A Compliment (Links to an external site.) "
- Laurie Penny, " What to Do When You're Not the Hero Anymore (Links to an external site.) "
- Claudia Rankine, " The Meaning of Serena Williams (Links to an external site.) "
Your essay should identify a topic that you think is meaningful and significant, and compose a thesis statement supported by evidence (sources and your analysis) for why other people should pay attention. In order to satisfy the requirements for this assignment, you should complete the steps below.
- Compose a first draft of your essay. While your first draft does not have to be the full 900 words of the final draft, it should not be less than 600 words. Your first draft should include a working thesis, body paragraphs, and an outline of your conclusion. You will submit your rough draft to Canvas for peer review. During the peer review workshop period, you will be giving and receiving feedback on your essay.
- After you have received feedback on your draft during the workshop period, you should make a revision plan. Your revision plan should identify key areas for improvement and identify specific actions you will take to revision your essay. You should enter those specific actions into your calendar between the workshop and the due date.
- Revise your response essay based upon the feedback you received in the draft workshop. Make sure your essay has an original title. Submit your final draft by the due date.
Drafting Workshop and Revision
- The writer participates in the drafting workshop and has a draft of at least 600 words.
- The writer participates constructively in the draft workshop period by giving thoughtful feedback to his or her peers.
- The writer takes notes on his or her Revision Plan.
- The writer makes a revision plan with a specific calendar based upon the feedback he or she receives.
- The writer demonstrates a sound process of drafting and revision.
- The writer has composed a strong introduction and thesis statement (Intro-Ch. 7).
- The writer uses summary, paraphrase, and/or some quotation appropriately in his or her use of sources (Chapters 2 and 3).
- The writer demonstrates strong reading comprehension of his or her three sources (Ch. 1-7).
- The writer supports his or her thesis with compelling evidence (Ch. 1-8).
- The writer's claim and support demonstrate sound reasoning (Ch. 1-8).
- The writer has a strong, well-supported conclusion (Ch. 1-8).
- The writer makes his or her claim and supports it with three sources using templates and methods from Chapters 1-8 in They Say, I Say.
- The writer demonstrates reading comprehension, analysis, and critical thinking.
- The writer meets the standards for effective communication (clarity, logic, precision, accuracy, significance, and fairness).
- The writer includes a Works Cited page (NLSH).
- The writer adheres to MLA style (NLSH).
- The essay is 900-1100 words.
Explanation & Answer
see attached:) Education is the key to success outline I. II. III. Introduction • A brief introduction and thesis statement Key points on why education is the key to success • Education equips learners with the knowledge and skills required for employment • Education helps people earn more in the workplace as well as promoting inventions • Education primarily improves one thought process, and this helps in making the world a better place too conclusion Surname 1 Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date Education is the key to success In today's world, things have been considerably murky for various people around the globe due to the high rate of unemployment, which has been brought about by multiple factors, including disease like the coronavirus pandemic we are facing currently, failing economies among other factors. People's lives have been affected hugely by unemployment in various parts of the world, and even the literate members in the society have not been spared too. Some educated people in the community have also been unable to step up and improve their lives despite the fact that they have papers as they are unable to secure jobs that would make them lead better lives, and this has led to the debate whether education is the key to success in different corners of the world. Even though individuals think that education is overrated and probably not the key to success, I hold the opinion that education from time immemorial is the key to su...
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× Spring Break: Monday, 03/13/2023 - Sunday, 03/19/2023: Library Pickups are by Appointment. Need an appointment? Email us at Sherrill Library: [email protected] or Moriarty Library: [email protected]
× welcome back our remote services guide has everything you need to know about library services we're offering this semester, including research help, study spaces, and more for other campus plans, see the lesley university covid-19 response. any other questions ask us, assignment calculator.
- Get started!
- Step 1 : Understand your assignment
- Step 2 : Select a topic, design a research strategy
- Step 3 : Find, review, and evaluate resources
Outlining Your Project
Are you a visual thinker try concept modeling, the rough draft, outlining and drafting video tutorial, resources for outlining and drafting.
- Step 5 : Conduct additional research as necessary
- Step 6 : Revise, rewrite and format your paper
Library & Research Help
- Sherrill Library: 617-349-8850
- Moriarty Library: 617-349-8070
- Text: 617-340-8008
- Research Help: Ask Us!
- Email: [email protected]
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- I have my resources! Now what? – Now that you’ve gathered your initial sources and citations, it’s time to begin the outlining process. Essentially, creating an outline allows you to organize your research into cohesive themes and ideas before you begin writing.
- Identifying the main ideas - Before you begin the outline, take a minute to review your research. What are the main points that you will need to cover? List all the main ideas that run throughout your research.
- Mind mapping - If you prefer a more visual representation of ideas, a mind map might be a good place to start. To begin, take a blank sheet of paper and write the main topic or subject in the middle of the page. Branching out from the main idea, draw and label a line to represent a supporting idea. You can continue until you’ve illustrated every aspect of your research.
- Organizing ideas and supporting research - Now that you’ve identified the major themes and ideas of your research, you can begin to organize your work into a more coherent structure. You might ask yourself, how are these ideas related? How are they not? Which topics are most important to my thesis or argument?
The outline - Though there a few different approaches you can take to creating an outline, most will follow this basic pattern.
- Introduction and Thesis
- Supporting research
Concept modelling is a methodology used to breakdown information to make connections to broader themes, issues, and ideas. Concept maps usually take shape in the form of graphic representations or maps and allow you to externalize your thinking processes and connect abstract ideas into a visual structure like mind-mapping.
Having developed your outline, you should now be able to begin your rough draft.
Flexibility in the outline - Though your outline will assist you in writing your essay, don't be afraid to be flexible in your thinking--your ideas about the structure of the paper may change as you write. If you need to elaborate on a point, or can condense two supporting ideas into a single paragraph, do so.
Perfectionism - Your first draft will not, by any means, be perfect. If a paragraph or section of your essay doesn’t come off quite the way you want it, try not to get bogged down in fixing it. Just make a note of the weak segment, and move on. You can always revise any weak passages once the draft is complete.
Writer’s block – Don’t panic if you find yourself hung up on a certain section or paragraph. Instead of staring blankly at the page and waiting for inspiration to strike, you might try one of the following suggestions:
1. Take a short break. Set aside fifteen minutes or so to stretch, have a snack, or take a walk.
2. Write a sentence or two about the problem you’re encountering in completing the project.
3. Write out the last couple of sentences with a pen and paper.
This online tutorial will help you with creating an outline and then a first draft of a research paper.
- Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester) The Academic Phrasebank is a tool designed to help writers think about how to organize their work as well as how to phrase the key elements of a research paper. Not quite sure how to refer to quotes in your paper? This is a great source to consult for examples and inspiration.
- The OWL's Outlining Handout The OWL’s guide provides advice on forming useful outlines, as well as finished examples.
- Mind Mapping Tool This tool will help you generate ideas that you can use to help focus your research topic, come up with keywords, or begin an outline. Created by the University of Arizona Libraries.
- Walden University Outline This guide will provide you with some suggestions and structuring ideas for your outline.
- Bubbl.us Love the idea of mind mapping to help with outlines? Use this tool to create mind maps that you can print.
- << Previous: Step 3 : Find, review, and evaluate resources
- Next: Step 5 : Conduct additional research as necessary >>
- Last Updated: Dec 15, 2022 2:41 PM
- URL: https://research.lesley.edu/assignment-calculator
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View Notes - Assignment #3 - Research Paper first draft from ENG 101 at FH Trier. Krasinski 1 Anton Krasinski Professor Hassib English 101 April 17
Assignment 3 - Commercial Technology: The Future of the United States' Research and Development university of maryland university college commercial
Writing practice. english 1020 writing assignment research paper first draft prepared md abid hasan student 202061214 semester: spring, 2021 memorial.
Assignment 3: Research Essay - first draft ... At least 3 of these must be from scholarly journals, and all sources should be selected based on reliability
What about the purpose or content of this paper changed between the first draft and this final version? How did you clarify your points, tighten up your
Jorge decided to begin his research paper by connecting his topic to readers' daily experiences. Read the first draft of his introduction. The thesis is
Understand the assignment and select a topic Draft your thesis or research question Find/evaluate ... Write first draft Polish & put paper in final form
Research Paper Planner: Guide · 1: Understand Your Assignment · 2: Select & Focus Your Topic · 3: Explore a Research Question · 4: Design Your
For this assignment, you will compose a rough draft and a final draft of an essay about a topic you think is significant and meaningful.
The Rough Draft; Outlining and Drafting Video Tutorial ... help you with creating an outline and then a first draft of a research paper.