The Research Paper Process Text Version

Welcome to the Research paper!

Did that term make your stomach sink or did you feel like clicking to the next assessment? Relax and take your hand off of the mouse for a minute! Research papers have struck fear into the hearts of students for too long! They really are not so daunting if you understand that the purpose of the paper is take a position and use evidence to prove your point - you do that all the time when convincing your parents and friends! A research paper is not an overwhelming task if you break it into easy and manageable steps - which is what I am here to help you do. First, you'll want to think about your topic. What would you like to explore in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird? I have a few suggestions listed below, but you are welcome to make a proposal to your teacher as long as your idea focuses on To Kill a Mockingbird. Once you have chosen a topic, it's time to see what other people have to say on the idea. You can conduct your research using books, magazines, or reliable websites. As you research, you will take notes that you will be able to use to help you support your analysis. We'll show you how take notes and how to use that research in your writing. You will also learn how to correctly cite your sources and how to avoid plagiarism. Next you will develop your thesis statement which will make outlining your paper a breeze! Once you have your outline, you will be ready to write the first draft of your paper. Wait a minute! Did that make you feel overwhelmed? It shouldn't! By this time, you will have already done most of the hard work and you will have received detailed feedback from your teacher on each phase of the writing process. Writing will simply involve connecting your analysis to what the experts from your research had to say on your topic. You will then learn how to revise for the best possible draft. I am convinced that you are going to learn a great deal and that your research paper will be an assignment that will bring great satisfaction and pride!

You should also make sure the sources that you use are current as outdated material can skew your ideas about a sites and Wikipedia for your research. Create source cards 3. Avoid using . the publisher has already done this for you. it is important to keep a few things in mind. This is especially important for online resources. Conduct research. Take notes—paraphrase when you take direct quotes and use them in your own will have information that is accurate. anyone can publish information on these sites. Although . both electronic and printed. In a published source like a book. Revise for the best possible draft. 2. b. will ensure that any biased information is balanced and does not affect your analysis of the subject. Your sources should be reputable and sites or wikis. a. but no one does this for . Including a variety of sources. By using . As a researcher. Contemplate the novel and choose a topic. Get adult feedback. and legitimate. Get your ideas down and cite your sources correctly. b. 4. Do not use Wikipedia.The Research Paper Process Text Version 1. Sources to Consider Text: Here are a few suggestions to help you begin your research. Sites that end in . a. Create your thesis statement. Write an outline. Please use these sites only as a starting sites. Decide how to use your research. Write a first or . complete. and the information is not always accurate or complete. At library of Congress or edu and org or . Gathering and Using Evidence Text Version Gathering Evidence Text: When finding resources for your research. you can avoid being misinformed. a. 5. you have to examine your source to make sure it is credible. 6. This assignment asks you to use a minimum of 2 sources.

you will need to record the author. You can record the information from the source in three ways: a direct quote. books and magazine articles are also excellent sources. the date you accessed it. which records the main idea in general. you should identify if what you are recording is a paraphrase. as well as the page numbers. you will have long forgotten whether that sentence was a direct quote or if it was a paraphrase or summary. As you begin to take notes. You can also see that I am going to use that information in my second paragraph to help me prove . As you can see. You will need to record the author. It is important to use an organized system for taking notes and keeping track of your sources. you can see that it was my first source and that it is a paraphrase. publisher. the title of the site. The source number gives you a shorthand way to label your notes so that you will know from which source each bit of information came. Taking Organized Notes Text: Once you have selected your sources of information. the title of the article. if one is mentioned. The first thing you should do once you have your book or printed pages in front of you is create a source card. the title. Taking Organized Notes (2) Text: When taking notes. only record details that are important and pertain to your topic. It is crucial to make note of what type of information you are writing down as you go because it might be days or more before you begin writing. The information you need for a print source such as a book or magazine article is listed on the left. or a summary. By then. All of these uses of information require citation. the best research will be varied. a direct quote. The next thing to think about is where or how you plan to use this information in your paper. You will need this important information to accurately document your facts in your paper and on your Works Cited Page. it is time to take notes. Sample Note Card Text: On this example. Remember. which takes a specific passage and restates it using your own words.websites are listed here. you can search your library catalog or database. • • • • Harper Lee’s Life Scottsboro Trials Gender Issues Civil Rights Movement The Library of Congress is a fantastic resource for historical and literary research. To locate books or magazine articles. a paraphrase. date of publication. by keeping this in mind you can avoid taking notes on information that does not help you prove or support your point. as well as the URL. or a summary. The information you need for an electronic source is listed to the right. you need much more than the website address. which records the information exactly as it is in the original source.

wellorganized notes will help you create a focused and well-documented research paper that you will be proud of. Before accessing the assessment for 6. summary. I will show you examples on the next slide. connect it with an explanation. More advanced writers use the last two methods regularly in their writing. Sample Uses of Quotations (2) Text: Embedding a quote involves choosing a key word or phrase and using it in your own point.” “Hughes states. _Wikepedia________is not a reliable source because it is created by individuals and . You will be able to formulate your thesis statement based on the research that you have done. and direct quote. Including Research in Your Paper Text: Once you have credible research to support your analysis and you have created your source and note cards. Tagging the quote usually involves mentioning the source or author. Know the difference between paraphrase. Complete one note card that uses a direct quote that is either embedded or connected with an explanation Know how to use quotations. Avoid just “sticking” the quote in with other facts. When you connect a quote with an explanation. In the end. You can do this in several ways: you can tag the quote.” are all examples of point about the author’s personal experiences shaping his works. but you will tie it to your point. “Dr. or embed key words or phrases from the quote. Things to Remember When Gathering Evidence Text: When you have completed the note-taking part of the research process. Complete one source card. Practice: 1. it will be time to include your research in your paper. the direct quote is provided at the top of the screen. “According to…”. always introduce and explain your research. King explains. Sample Uses of Quotations Text: For this sample. you will still use most of the quote. On this card. you should: • • • • • Know your topic. Have one reliable source. I have all of the information that I will need to use and cite the paraphrase correctly. analyze your information for an idea that can be proven by the evidence that you have. A good writer will use all of these methods to create variety in his paper.02B.

The "great novel" Hemingway referred to is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Smith 8). 5. When Hemingway said. Before taking notes. "All American novels come from one great novel" (Smith *). "All American novels come from one great novel." he paid a profound compliment to Mark Twain (Smith 8). 3. Hemingway once explained. . What type of quote takes information for a source and records it exactly? Direct quote 6. What is it called when you take a specific quote and restate it using your own words? A paraphrase 7. 4. 2. What type of quote is this an example of? A connected quote . I should create _source entry________________. What type of quote is this an example of? Embedded quote 10. _Libray of Congress________ is a great source for historical and literary research. What is it called when you take the general of idea of a passage and use no words from the original text? A summary or _edu_____ sites are credible sources for online research.their information is not always accurate. What type of quote is this an example of? Tagged quote 9.

and in each one. but really it is meant to make the writer consider the significance of her topic and gives her writing purpose. unified sentence that clearly states the focus and purpose of your paper. Some people think of the thesis statement as an essay map. One Sentence Can Do All of That? Can one sentence really do all of that? Yes! As you can see in the example provided.” this pitfall is a problem because it lacks specifics and significance. without a thesis statement. Wordiness is another common mistake. a great idea can get lost in a sentence that goes on and on. and finally I will talk about…” This type of thesis . The “so what?” sounds harsh. “The Sky is Blue” thesis statements make an obvious and widely-understood statement such as “the sky is blue” or “author’s lives affect their writing. how? Or why? And so what? of your topic or position. An excellent thesis statement is essentially a one-sentence answer to the prompt or essay question. it is possible to answer the question clearly and concisely while establishing a purpose for writing. I know that all the writer is going to prove that the significance or purpose of the poems is to chastise injustices and convey hope. it tells your audience exactly where you are going and why you are going there. From this one sentence. I know the two poems that the writer will discuss. “First I will discuss…then I will prove…. Thesis Statement Pitfalls Now that you know the characteristics and purpose of an excellent thesis statement. From this example. he would discuss how personal experiences in each poem are used to chastise injustices and convey hope. you can see how writing an outline and organizing the essay will be easy. you should be ready to take a position. A Tour Guide thesis statement usually begins by stating. I know that he will talk about how Langston Hughes uses his personal experiences in each poem. I would like to point out a few common pitfalls. It gives you a clear plan for writing. A thesis statement that is general will present a problem for the writer because it doesn't offer any specific direction for the analysis. a paper lacks direction and purpose. More than likely. Your thesis statement should be one. The most obvious pitfall is an absent thesis statement.Developing Your Thesis Statement Text Version Developing Your Position Once you have chosen your topic and done preliminary research. and finally. this writer would have two body paragraphs. This one sentence should answer the what?. one for each poem. It usually is located at the end of your introductory paragraph.

you will need to: • • Read a few sample thesis statements and determine if they are applause or buzzer-worthy. The same is true for outline heading level 3 and 4. never include a “1” without a “2” or an “a” without a “b. with each step.” The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to ask yourself: • • • Did I answer the question? (this is the what?) Did I give specifics that establish how or why? Am I writing about something that matters? (this is the part of your thesis statement that will answer so what?) Things to Remember When Developing Your Thesis Statement Before accessing the assessment for 6. Now you that you have taken notes. your outline should be a breeze! Writing well happens in phases. on outline heading level 2. only list a subheading 1. and created your thesis statement. most of the hard work will already be done – and that is worth celebrating! Formal Outline Presentation Text Version Format Your Outline Format your outline using Roman numerals for the first heading level. only use a Roman numeral I if you use Roman numeral II. learned how to use your quotations.” For example. When you sit down to write your research paper. on outline heading level 1.02B. Pair Numbers and Letters When creating an outline. This type of thesis usually focuses only on the what? The final type of pitfall is relying on “I” – your audience knows that your paper is your thoughts so you can omit “I think. if you list a subheading 2. Alternate using letters and numbers for subheading levels or subtopics.statement takes on the tone of a tour guide that drones on and on without telling us why what we are seeing is important. Likewise. you prepare for the next phase. Create an excellent thesis statement for your research topic. created a source card. and . only use an A if you use a subheading B.

In the 2nd example.0 or higher” both refer back to “Educational Requirements. For example. In the first example. each heading that follows must also be a noun.” “Grand Canyon Hike” and “First high school dance. if you use a verb for the first heading. “Bachelor’s degree in education” and “G. Divide headings into parts. . Connect headings and subheadings. Connect Headings and Subheadings Be sure that the information in your headings and subheadings refer back to your topic. both choose and complete are verbs. Pair numbers and letters. Likewise. use a verb for subsequent headings. if you list a subheading b. Write general to specific. of 3. “My most eventful year” is divided into the following three parts: “Sixteenth birthday. In this example. Remember the following tips: • • • • • • Format your outline. “Sixteenth birthday” and “Grand Canyon hike” are more specific events that further describe “My most eventful year” while “Closest friends attended” and “Nice gifts” are even more specific details that illustrate the “Sixteenth birthday.A.” Create Balance with Words If you use a noun for your first heading. the heading.P.only use an a. “My most eventful year” and “My most challenging year” are both very general.” Things to Remember When Creating a Formal Outline Creating an outline can make writing the essay or term paper much easier. Create balance with words. both Future and educational are nouns.” Write General to Specific Headings should be general and subheadings should be more specific. For Example. Divide Headings into Parts Divide your first heading level into two or more parts.

When to Cite Information What makes citing tricky is it is tough to know when to cite and sometimes it is difficult to find an author's name. • Documenting your sources shows you have done your research and formed opinions based on facts. and outlined your paper. as it can result in not receiving credit for an assignment. This includes paraphrasing or summarizing the information. documentation is very important. in severe cases. For example. Examples: "According to Maggie Smith. being dismissed from a university or college." • External documentation uses: works cited. you must give credit to the author for any idea that is not common knowledge. signaling phrases: means the inclusion. • There are really two types of MLA documentation we are interested in right now: • • Internal documentation External documentation Internal documentation uses: • parenthetical citation: is documentation. within a sentence. Used in MLA style of documentation.MLA Presentation Text Version Once you have taken notes. at the start of the sentence. contained within parentheses at the end of a sentence. but you have to know how and when to document your facts. your reader sees you have held yourself accountable for reaching an informed conclusion. you do not have to give credit to an . of the author or source's name—generally. which is documentation at the end of your paper listing the sources you have referenced within your paper. With documentation. Documenting your sources helps you avoid plagiarism and credit your sources for their original ideas. you are ready to write. As you can see. of the author and source for. " or "In To Kill a Mockingbird. or. created your thesis statement. If the fact is generally known by many people. Plagiarism is a serious offense. Using MLA style citation will give your paper credibility and help you to avoid plagiarism. can result in a large fine or jail time.

to include the author's name and page number at the end of a sentence. Most people already know what the Declaration of Independence was. and when it was written. Portrait 132) (Joyce." or "Pamplona remains one of the world's most popular tourist attractions due to the exciting and brutal nature of the running of the bulls (Pamplona Today. 80)." you would not need to give a source. ." Some out of the ordinary examples: • more than one author with the same name (M. Internal Documentation As stated previously. 321) • more than one work with the same name (Joyce. look more closely. Shelley. ( ). qtd." or "Brown states that…" are used to include the name of the author within the sentence. If it is not given. you might write "According to Pamplona in Johnson 2:450) Citing Electronic Sources Internally When citing parenthetically. always use the author’s name first. Authors' names for articles on web sites and in encyclopedias often appear at the very end of the article (and in small print). For example. you may use the name of the source instead. Shelley. while the title of a website is placed in italics or underlined. It is appropriate to include a page number in parentheses ( ) at the end of the sentence. use the title of the website. If you have searched carefully and still cannot find an author for the information. the Declaration of Independence voiced the freedoms sought by the Colonists. there are two ways you may give credit to a source within your paragraphs: signaling phrases and parenthetical citations. If you wrote "In 1776. Signaling phrases such as "According to Stacy Brown. 224) (P. use the article title. What do you do if you cannot find an author's name? First. Parenthetical citations use parentheses. Note: Article titles are put in quotation marks. Ulysses 312) • citing an indirect source (Taylor. If it is not available.

Kevin. Formatting the Research Paper . the Web address (url) is provided to help readers access any information in which they might be interested. The name of the author comes first. 2 January 2000 <http://homer. Do not put numbers next to the list of entries. Take a look at the following example: Rayburn. underlined. with the period residing inside the quotation marks. with the last name followed by the first name. If there is no pagination. Works cited page must have a page number in upper right corner. Single line spacing within each entry. The name of the website is then recorded. It clues your reader in to how current your research is. The date the information was accessed is important to document. not underlined.html >. • • • • • • • List each source in alphabetical order. The words Works Cited are normal size font. Do not use multiple sizes or styles of fonts. centered. Double line spaces between each Next. and then give the page number at the end of the sentence. "1920s Timeline. Citing Electronic Sources for the Works Cited Page When citing your electronic source in your works cited page. the same as all other pages. in parentheses. All one font. and followed by a period. all the same normal size. organize the page according to MLA style. Indent five spaces for second line of each entry. Formatting the Works Cited Page The works cited page gives the information a reader might need if they are interested in locating your source. use the name of the author in the signaling phrase. Note the punctuation used: with the comma between the last and first name and the period after the last name. record as much information as possible. use the title of the website." The 1920s. place the article title in parentheses.When using signaling phrases.louisville. If the article title is not given. In order to help someone locate the sources you have used. not boldface in quotes. the article name is included and placed in quotation marks. Lastly.

take a look at the following for help. look it up! 1. including heading centered • The Easybib site helps you to create a works cited page by having you fill in information about your source.html • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center is a site offering many examples of formatting and citing specific types of sources. University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center site http://www. Once you fill in the information.The old adage “dress for success” is true. as well. When in doubt. If you have not started writing your research paper. it has to be organized and laid out in a fashion that makes it easy for your readers to access your information. please contact your instructor for directions. 3. The home page for this writing center offers other examples of writing you may be interested in. If you do not know how to create and attach a word processing document as a file. look it up! Happy writing! . be sure to cite appropriately—and when in doubt. Perrine’s Structure. This slide gives you the criteria for creating a document that is easy on the Additional Resources When you come across something you are unsure how to format or cite. If you have begun your writing.wisc. now is the time. In order for your paper to be a success. the site formats the entry for you. • • • • • page number (with your name) on every page double line space for all lines. but no boldface. no underlining all caps. Sound. with page number one-half inch from top It is necessary to create your paper in a word processing document and attach it as a file. no quotation marks five -spaces indents at first line of each paragraph margins = 1 inch. The link provided will take you directly to the page with more information on works cited pages and internal documentation. so you can include all of these numbering and spacing requirements. easybib. and Sense pp 23-31 • Perrine’s (the text for this class) offers some great examples of documenting sources and provides a nice example of a works cited page. 2.

/ And splinters. aptly writes “Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. and artists gained world wide prominence. Read a sample introductory paragraph. do wop. Identify the research paper topic. Duke Ellington’s jazz classic captures half of the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. do wop”. italic text by clicking on the term. musicians. do wop.” There were two sides to this significant cultural time period in America that artists from the Harlem Renaissance portrayed--the triumphs and the sorrows of African Americans. Langston Hughes. do wop. do wop. (You can view the definitions for the terms in red. do wop. a prolific poet from the Harlem Renaissance. Body of Research Paper The body of your paper is your chance to explain your ideas on the paper’s topic. investigate.6. intriguing fact.) Introductory Paragraph Listen to the Purpose of Introduction or read the text version.03 Drafting Your Research Paper The Virtual Times Headline News The introduction is the first part of your research paper that let’s your reader know what your paper will discuss. do wop. This was also a time where the grim reality of African Americans living in a discriminatory society came to surface as well./” in his poem “Mother to Son./ And boards torn up. Listen to the Purpose of Body or read the text version./ It's had tacks in it. or explore about a given topic. Your introductory paragraph should do the following: • • • • Grab your reader’s interest—quote. Sample Introduction Paragraph “It don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing. anecdote. Include the thesis statement—the focus of the research paper. a time period where African American writers. Do wop. .

a herald composer and arranger of jazz. Langston Hughes mesmerized the world with his contentious yet inspirational. Purpose of Conclusion or read the text version. Listen to the Sample Body Paragraph The Harlem Renaissance set the stage for the world to experience the enormous pool of talent in the African American culture. Zora Neale Hurston gave voice to the hardships and strengths of the Black woman with her celebrated novel. Use additional information from reliable sources to elaborate your points. In music emerged Duke Ellington. Harlem. Conclusion The conclusion is the last paragraph in your research paper that brings closure to the ideas presented. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Your concluding paragraphs should do the following: • • Rephrase your thesis statement to remind your readers of the main points covered in the paper. a painter who depicted landscapes of the rural South as well as the African American urban epicenter. In the visual arts surfaced Augusta Savage. Use parenthentical/in-text citation to show where your information came from. a group of gifted African-American writers produced a sizable body of literature in the four prominent genres of poetry. a graceful and intense sculptor. Read a sample body paragraph. Include final remarks about the essay’s topic. From the end of World War I and through the middle of the 1930s Depression. and essay (Reuben). Cultural anthropologist. and Palmer Hayden. In theater bloomed the infamous Josephine Baker.Your body paragraphs should do the following: • • • • • Explain the main points of your thesis statement. Use textual evidence to support your ideas. . a stunning dancer and singer. drama. But literature was not the only field that featured notable African American contributors. all areas of the Arts where permeated. fiction. provocative yet rhythmic poetry.

. You want to be sure your introduction will have them lining up to find out more! After watching a fantastic trailer. You will want to find a harmonious balance between your thoughts on the essay topic. Once you have completed your draft. and ideas from an expert who has already researched your subject. Don’t forget to include the in-text citations to let your reader know which expert you are quoting or paraphrasing. using the research paper rubric for the necessary requirements. Be sure to include your thesis statement in your introduction to let your audience know exactly what to expect in the coming “scenes”. have an adult review it. Purpose of Introduction Text Version Have you ever watched a movie trailer that made you want to head straight to the theater? Well. you will want to start out with a great attention getter. To get the reader to make that investment. always stick to the points you made in your thesis. You will develop your points by using your ideas along with information from reliable sources. How can you get your reader to shell out the “intellectual dollars” for your essay? The introduction is a preview of what the reader can expect to experience as they read your essay. you must build upon the ideas you expressed in your thesis statement. but how do you keep them in their seats? To keep your reader interested in your essay. that’s the function of an introductory paragraph. you cannot wait to shell out 10 dollars when that movie opens. How will you introduce your topic so that the reader will want to “sit through the opening scene”? You will need to make sure you state your topic clearly in an engaging way.• Read a sample conclusion paragraph. Don't you hate it when a movie preview leads you to think it is about one thing but the actual movie is about something else entirely? Your readers will hate it too! To avoid this. Purpose of Body Text Version So your introduction got your reader into the movie theater.

10 points 0 points . Lacks specific Thesis statement is Thesis statement present. Research Paper Rubric Criterion Thesis Statement 25 points Thesis statement is focused. 20 points Contains 3 body paragraphs. Some irrelevant details Extremely limited or unclear ideas.Sample Body Paragraph The Harlem Renaissance set the stage for the world to experience the enormous pool of talent in the African American culture. but the support details are Lacking one or more of the body paragraphs. and Palmer Hayden. a painter who depicted landscapes of the rural South as well as the African American urban epicenter. In theater bloomed the infamous Josephine Baker. Cultural anthropologist. Langston Hughes mesmerized the world with his contentious yet inspirational. concise. but it is not the last sentence in the first paragraph. a group of gifted African-American writers produced a sizable body of literature in the four prominent genres of poetry. From the end of World War I and through the middle of the 1930s Depression. a stunning dancer and singer. all areas of the Arts where permeated. Zora Neale Hurston gave voice to the hardships and strengths of the Black woman with her celebrated novel. and is the last sentence of the first paragraph. and essay (Reuben). In the visual arts surfaced Augusta Savage. drama. concise. OR is not argumentative. Their Eyes Were Watching God. But literature was not the only field that featured notable African American contributors. In music emerged Duke Ellington. 25 points Ideas and Support 50 points Contains 3 body paragraphs and each paragraph has specific Thesis statement is focused. fiction. provocative yet rhythmic poetry. focus or the focus is too broad. but is missing or EITHER lacks unidentifiable. wellworded and argumentative. a herald composer and arranger of jazz. wellworded and argumentative. Harlem. a graceful and intense sculptor.

support for the thesis/main focus Development of Generalities of the paper. 20 points 10 points . general or limited and ideas in need in places. if present. textual examples. outweigh quotes may be substantiated Ideas are for the thesis including relevant research. catchy title. Conclusion is attempted but is lacking in power Conclusion simply Transitions are or a call to action. Title is missing. Paper has an appropriate. The paper does not flow and there is extra information not relevant to the main topic. There is no attempt at an organizational pattern. Paper has a title. are elementary. Transitions are present but may be formulaic. ideas is limited. Hook draws the reader in (and is NOT a question) and body paragraphs flow coherently. citations are present An attempt was made to cite sources. although it may not be very catchy. and connections. or the title is very basic in nature No attempt at a meaningful conclusion. Paper may be missing a title. paper begins without hooking the reader. effective transitions. smooth. with 50 points . restates the thesis. a works cited page and/or Works Cited page and/or parenthetical citations are Organization is clear and coherent. Conclusion draws the reader to action. 20 points 40 points 50 points Organization Paper is logically organized and coherent. 40 points 50 points Conventions of MLA 50 points Works Cited page Works Cited page is properly and parenthetical formatted. 30 points Introduction is underdeveloped. leaves the reader with something to think about. lacking. ideas are not fully supported. of specific support. clear and connection and interesting. without support. etc. Transitions.

double spaced. Sentence structure is correct and varied. including header. . Errors are distracting to the reader. lacking in the paper. 50 points Conventions 25 points Paper has been proofread and is free of grammatical and usage errors. Proper formatting is lacking. 5 points 10 points 20 points 25 points Please Note: A paper lacking parenthetical citations and a works cited page is not a research paper and will be sent back to you for revisions before being graded.throughout. Paper has not been proofread or spellchecked and errors are distracting to the reader. heading. parenthetical citations are Minor formatting included. issues are present. Parenthetical citations are included throughout the paper. 40 points 20 points 0 points Paper has been proofread and errors are not distracting to the reader. and in 12 point font. Proper formatting is lacking. There is a limited command of the language and a significant need for proofreading and editing. Paper is in MLA format.

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