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How to Write a Research Paper

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❶As you go through your notes, mark down the author, page number, title, and publishing information for each resource. Include the information you found through your research in your paper to back up your thesis statement.

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While thesis statements are sometimes broken into multiple sentences, it is best if you can express your thesis in a single sentence placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. Immediately before or after your thesis statement -- or even in the same sentence -- include the subtopics or points that you will delve into in the body of your paper.

The subtopics should be based on your research and understanding of the topic, and you should choose them to help support the contention you make in your thesis statement. Instead of going into detail about the subtopics in the introductory statement, simply list them briefly. For example, you might write, "Seniors should own dogs because dog ownership reduces blood pressure, encourages people to exercise more and offers opportunities for socialization. Later, he taught history and humanities.

Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions. Refining a Thesis Statement. Here is a step-by-step approach to starting and completing a research paper. You may read this TIP Sheet from start to finish before you begin your paper, or skip to the steps that are causing you the most grief. Interest, information, and focus Your job will be more pleasant, and you will be more apt to retain information if you choose a topic that holds your interest.

Even if a general topic is assigned "Write about impacts of GMO crops on world food supply" , as much as possible find an approach that suits your interests. Your topic should be one on which you can find adequate information; you might need to do some preliminary research to determine this. Go to the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature in the reference section of the library, or to an electronic database such as Proquest or Wilson Web, and search for your topic.

The Butte College Library Reference Librarians are more than happy to assist you at this or any stage of your research. Scan the results to see how much information has been published. Then, narrow your topic to manageable size:. Childhood diseases Too Broad: Once you have decided on a topic and determined that enough information is available, you are ready to proceed. At this point, however, if you are having difficulty finding adequate quality information, stop wasting your time; find another topic.

First read a general article on your topic, for example from an encyclopedia. If you need to know what publication information is needed for the various types of sources, see a writing guide such as S F Writer. On the index cards or in your notebook, write down information you want to use from each identified source, including page numbers.

Use quotation marks on anything you copy exactly, so you can distinguish later between exact quotes and paraphrasing. You will still attribute information you have quoted or paraphrased. Some students use a particular index card method throughout the process of researching and writing that allows them great flexibility in organizing and re-organizing as well as in keeping track of sources; others color-code or otherwise identify groups of facts. Use any method that works for you in later drafting your paper, but always start with good recordkeeping.

Mind map or outline Based on your preliminary reading, draw up a working mind map or outline. Include any important, interesting, or provocative points, including your own ideas about the topic. Use search engines and other search tools as a starting point. Pay attention to domain name extensions, e. These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable, but be watchful of possible political bias in some government sites.

Network Solutions provides a link where you can find out what some of the other extensions stand for. Be wary of the millions of personal home pages on the Net. The quality of these personal homepages vary greatly. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and waste less of your time. The recent arrival of a variety of domain name extensions such as. Many of the new extensions have no registration restrictions and are available to anyone who wishes to register a distinct domain name that has not already been taken.

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.


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Community College Pathways; Corporate; Government Agencies Steps in Writing a Research Paper. A series of steps, starting with developing a research question and working thesis, will lead you through writing a research paper. As you move through these steps and actually create the research paper, you may find that you can't move through.

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Many college courses require students to write one or more research papers. Creating an effective and engaging introductory paragraph is one of the keys to writing a .

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A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. And that survey can be orderly and focused, if you know how to approach it. Don't worry--you won't get lost in a sea of sources.

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