The Research Paper

What is a research paper?
• A research paper is a carefully planned essay that has been thoroughly investigated and analyzed by the writer/researcher. • It is written to share new information or prove a point.

What does it mean to be a researcher?
• It meant setting out on a personal quest, living and learning on the open road. • It meant four weeks’ worth of reading, interviewing, observing, and volunteering. • It meant becoming an active member in one’s community. • It meant having a better understanding of the world.

Steps in the process:
PREWRITING 1. Select an interesting subject. 2. Gather some general information. 3. Limit your subject.

Steps in the process:
SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION 4. Prepare a preliminary bibliography. 5. Take notes. 6. Collect information from primary sources.

Steps in the process:
DESIGNING A WRITING PLAN 7. Write your working outline. 8. Continue developing your research. 9. Revise your outline.

Steps in the process:
WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT 10.Write the introduction. 11.Write the body. 12.Write the conclusion.

Steps in the process:
REVISING 13.Revise your first draft at least two times. 14.Document your sources.

Steps in the process:
PREPARING THE FINAL PAPER 15.Edit your final revision. 16.Prepare your final copy. 17.Arrange and number your pages. 18.Add your title.

Steps in the process:
PREPARING THE FINAL PAPER 19.Finalize your outline. 20.Proofread your paper for typing errors.

Writing Paraphrases
When you paraphrase, you use your own words to restate the author’s ideas.

Quick Guide
1. Skim the selection first to get the overall meaning. (Concentrate on the main ideas, not the details.) 2. Read the selection carefully, paying attention to key words and phrases. 3. List the main ideas on a piece of paper (without looking at the selection).

Quick Guide
4. Review the selection another time so that you have the overall meaning clearly in mind as you begin to write. 5. Write your paraphrase, using your own words to restate the author’s ideas. 6. Check your accuracy.

Original Text:
A printer is a computer output device that records information on paper. The information can be in the form of written script, numerical data, or graphics. There are two main types of printers: impact printers, which employ a physical hammering device to impart images on paper, and ink-jet printers, which fire small bursts of ink at the paper.

Paraphrased:
The production of information by the computer – be it a written script, numerical data, or graphics – is made possible by a device called printer. The computer printer is of two types: the impact printer which requires a hammering device to print images in paper, and the inkjet printer which simply spews ink at the paper.

Quoting
• A method of recording information by writing down exact quotations. • When quoting, you must carefully record the exact words of the original and to transfer these words exactly if you use the quotation in your paper. • Jot down the surname of the author and the exact page of the book where you lifted the information or quotation. • Be sure to document your sources.

Example of a quoted text:
Brown asserts that:
Ineffective communication is often caused by false observations or inaccurate interpretation and analysis of what is read, seen, or heard. An understanding of human behavior is of paramount importance in preparing and writing reports, for human relations are the core of all communication (17).
Source: Effective Business Report Writing by Leland Brown (2005), p.17.

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