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THE RESEARCH WRITING PROCESS Almost all materials on research paper writing summarize research writing as a matter of completing

a series of step. As the English 112 course outline delineates, writing a research paper conventionally entails the following steps: Step Step Step Step Step Step Step Step Step 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: Choosing a Research Topic Developing a Research Strategy Evaluating and Compiling a Preliminary Research Bibliography Taking Good Notes Conducting Interviews and/or Surveys Writing the Data Commentary Writing the First Draft Revising the Research Paper Preparing the Final Research Paper for Submission STEP 1: CHOOSING A RESEARCH TOPIC Key Steps in Choosing a Research Topic 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Choose General Subject Area Narrow the Topic Select Focused Topic from General Subject Area Verify Topic with Instructor Research Available Information Start Research

SOURCES OF A PROBLEM FOR INVESTIGATION 1. personal or friends experiences, observations, and knowledge 2. the vast amount of literature (the production of written works having excellence of form or expression and dealing with ideas of permanent interest) in your own field 3. courses that you have taken 4. journals, books, magazines, or abstracts 5. theses and dissertations 6. your professors, librarians, and classmates SHARPENING SKILLS FOR DISCOVERYING AND IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM 1. Reading a lot of literature in your field of interest and being critical of what you read. 2. Attending professional lectures. 3. Being close observant of situations and happenings around you. 4. Thinking out the possibility of research for most topics or lessons in content courses. 5. Attending research colloquia or seminars. 6. Conducting mini-researches and noting the obtained findings closely. 7. Compiling researches with special emphasis on content and methodology. 8. Visiting various libraries for possible discovery of researchable topics. 9. Subscribing to journals in your field and in research. 10. Building-up a library of materials in your field. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A RESEARCH TOPIC 1. The topic should be of great interest to you. 2. It should be within your abilities.

3. It should be manageable and achievable in terms of: a. Length of research paper b. Duration of research project c. Availability of research resources(necessary equipment, subjects/participants, and sufficient library facilities) 4. The topic should be interesting and intelligible to the general reader and can meet the general readers needs and expectations. 5. It should be of importance and of significance. 6. It is useful for the concerned people in a particular field. TOPICS TO AVOID 1. Too narrow, too broad, or to recent for discussion and for adequate use of a crosssection of research materials or resources. 2. Too ordinary, standard, popular topics commonly chosen for student research papers. 3. Too hard to investigate and to distasteful or uninteresting to you. 4. Philosophical topics or those based on personal belief. 5. Strictly biographical topicsAbraham Lincoln as a fatherthat are already discussed fully in book-length studies. 6. Highly technical or specialized. 7. Too sensitive or too controversial and topics that carry ethical or more impediments. STRATEGIES TO NARROW A RESEARCH TOPIC 1. Conducting preliminary library research Sources for preliminary research include encyclopedias, various readers guides and indexes, books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading materials. a. Consult an encyclopedia. An encyclopedia is a good starting point for students who have no idea what they can write about. Encyclopedias contain general information (often about broad subjects) that you can use as triggers for possible topics. b. Search an Index. You can also go through the computerized card catalog of your library and get ideas for your research paper. c. Surf the net. The internet is a rich source of possible topics. It has been used by scholars to exchange information and discuss development in their fields. d. Go through books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading materials. A news item or a feature article may spark your curiosity and trigger you to ask questions.