1. WHAT IS A RESEARCH PAPER? How to Use This Guide. Overview: What is a Research Paper. Learning, Thinking, and Research Papers. The Evidence. Facts. Inferences. Judgments. Evaluating the Evidence. Sources of Evidence and Types of Research Projects. Summary. 2. WHERE DO I BEGIN? Step 1: The Researcher"s Notebook. Step 2: Deciding on the Research Question/Assumption That You Are Going to Test. Step 3: Formulating Your Research Question/Assumption. Step 4: Formulating Your Working Hypothesis/Thesis. Strategy 1: Discovering Assumptions About Your Area of Investigation. Strategy 2: Turning Judgmental Statements Into Inferences. Strategy 3: Defining Your Terms. Step 5: Choosing Your Research Strategy--Research Questions. A Few More Words About Research Projects and Testing. Studies and Experiments. A Review or a Review of the Literature Paper. Critical Papers. A Research Proposal. A Final Note. Planning Ahead: Developing a Work Schedule. 3. FINDING THE EVIDENCE. The Researcher"s Stance. Sources and Resources. Sources: Where Do I Find What I Need to Know? Authoritative Sources. Resources. The Research Process. What to Expect and How to Manage. Bibliographic "Filing" Systems. Searching for Potential Sources. Know Your Database. Searches by Subject and Keyword. What Your Search Will Produce. Locating Print Sources. Evaluating Online Sources. Information to Record About Electronic Sources. Summary. 4. READING CRITICALLY AND TAKING NOTES. Reading Actively and Critically: An Overview. Previewing Your Sources. Determining the Quality of Your Sources. Deciding What to Read First. Coping With Difficult Material. Reading to Understand What an Author Is Doing and Saying. Questions to Ask About What an Author Is Doing. Questions To Ask About What An Author Is Saying. Writing To Comprehend What You Are Reading. Critiquing Your Sources. Keeping Track of Sources. Creating Files and a Cataloging System. Creating a Working Bibliography. Writing Summaries (with a Few Words about Annotated Bibliographies). Recording Specific Pieces of Information. Facts or Data. Specifics about the Author"s Views. Dealing with Material an Author Has Taken from Other Sources. Summary. 5. WRITING YOUR PAPER The Writing Process: An Overview. Writing for Readers. Working from Whole to Part. Maps of the Territory. Writing an Abstract: Your First Rough Draft. Reviewing Your Evidence. A Report on a Study or Experiment. General Format. The First Section: Introduction, review of the Literature, Statement of the Hypothesis. The Second Section: A Description of Your Study, Including Data and Methodology. The Third Section: Results, Discussion, Conclusions. Appendixes and Reference List. The Abstract. General Guidelines For Writing the Report. A Review or a Review of the Literature Paper. A Critical Paper. Developing Your Thesis Statement. Writing An Abstract of Your Paper: your Fist Draft. Creating a Map of the Territory. Drafting and Revising. May I Use The First Person in My Paper? And Other Issues Related to Style. Summary. 6. HOW TO AND HOW NOT TO INCORPORATE YOUR EVIDENCE INTO YOUR PAPER. If You Don"t Use and Acknowledge Your Sources Properly, You May End Up Plagiarizing. What Plagiarism Is. Common Sources of Unintentional Plagiarism. Using and Acknowledging Your Sources Properly. Use What You Need Where You Need It--And Document What you Have Used. Using Discrete Pieces of Information. Summarizing the Work of Others. Experts Openly Acknowledge Their Sources In The Body of Their Papers, So Should You. Summarizing The Work and Ideas of Another Expert: How Experienced Writers Do It. Using Direct Quotations Properly. 7. POLISHING YOUR FINAL DRAFT. Copyediting and Proofreading: Some Strategies. Copyediting and Proofreading: Issues to Consider. The Format of the Paper. 8. DOCUMENTING YOUR SOURCES: THE BASICS. Choosing a Documentation Style. Understanding Documentation Systems and Styles. The Two Basic Premises of Documentation. Basic Systems and Styles of Documentation. Systems of Documentation. Numbers. In- text or Parenthetical Citations. Styles of Documentation. What You Need To Know About Style Guides and Manuals. What you Need to Know About Authors. Authors. Titles. Documenting Parts of Books. Documenting Books. Documenting Periodicals. Documenting Material Downloaded from Computers. Documenting Other Types of Sources. When It"s Time to Document Sources in a Paper. The Steps to Take. Putting Together Your Final List. Some General Comments on In-text pr Parenthetical Citations. Some General Comments About Explanatory Notes. APPENDIX A: THE MLA STYLE. How the MLA Style Works. Parenthetical Citations. The Basic Form. Placement of Citations. Variations of the Best Form. Forms for Sources on the List of Works Cited. Books. Part of a Book, Including Reference Works. Articles from Journals and Magazines. Articles from Newspapers. Web Sites and other Electronic Sources. Other Types of Sources. The Final List of Works Cited, including a Sample. APPENDIX B: CMS NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY STYLE. How the CMS Notes and Bibliography Style Works. Notes. Basic Information About Notes. First and Subsequent Notes. Forms for Subsequent Notes. Forms for Sources in First Notes and Bibliography. Differences between First Notes and the Bibliography Entry. Books. Part of a Book, Including Reference Works. Articles from Journals and Magazines. Articles from Newspapers. Web Sites and other Electronic Sources. The Final Bibliography, Including a Sample. APPENDIX C: THE APA STYLE. How the APA Style Works. In-Text Reference Citations. The Basic Form. Variations of the Basic Form. Forms for Sources on the Reference List. Books. Part of a Book, Including Reference Works. Articles From Journals and Magazines Articles From Newspapers. Web Sites and Other Electronic Sources. The Final Reference List, Including a Sample. APPENDIX D: SCIENTIFIC STYLES: THE CMS AUTHOR-DATE STYLE AND TWO SYSTEMS IN CSE STYLE. A General Introduction. The CMS Author-Date Style. How the CMS Author-Date Style Works. Text Citations. Basic Form. Variations of the Basic Form. Forms for Sources on the Reference List. Books. Part of a Book, Including Reference Works. Articles from Journals and Magazines. Web Sites and Other Electronic Sources. The Final Reference List, including a Sample. CSE Systems: Name-Year and Citation- Sequence. How the CSE Systems Work. In-text Citations. The Name-Year System. Basic Form. Variations of the Basic Form. The Citation-Sequence System. Forms of Sources on the Reference List. Books. Part of a Book, Including Reference Work. Articles from Journals and Magazine. Articles from Newspapers. Web Sites and Other Electronic Sources. The Final Reference List, Including Samples for Both Systems. APPENDIX E: INTERVIEWS. Determining What You Need. Preparing for the Interview. Educating Yourself about the Subject Matter of the Interview. Preparing an Interview Script. Pilot Testing the Interview. Contacting Potential Interviewees. The Interview Itself. Writing Up the Interview. Sample Student Papers. Jen Welsh, "Willa Cather: Challenging the Canon." MLA Style. Elizabeth Cookson. "The Forgotten Woman: British Nurses, VADs, and Doctors Across the Channel During Word War I."CMS Notes and Bibliography Style. Nicholas Joyce. "A Paradigm of Social Sorting Rituals: Differences Between Leaders and Outcasts." ALA Style. Mary Bricker. "An Investigation of Human Diving: How DO the AMA Avoid Decompression Sickness?" CSE Name-Year Style.
About the Author
Susan Hubbuch runs the Writing Center at Lewis & Clark College; over the years she has made numerous presentations at national and regional conferences of NCTE, CCCC, IRA, and IWCA.