Writing the Research Paper: A Curriculum Web What is a Research Paper? Understanding the task at hand is an important part of the process. The purpose of a research paper is for you to find information on a given topic, read it, analyze it and synthesize it with your own thoughts and ideas on the topic. Use what others have said or written to support your views. Writing the Research Paper: Selecting a Topic The first step in writing the research paper is to brainstorm topics or ideas, select one and begin to narrow your topic. Researching topics which are too broad wastes time, and leads to disorganization and frustration! A topic which is too narrow may make finding enough information difficult. Click the computer to learn more! Writing the Research Paper: Using Credible Sources Once you have selected your general subject and narrowed it to a specific topic it is time to start gathering information to support and defend your text. Click on the books to learn how to determine the credibility of a source. Writing the Research Paper: the Thesis Statement The thesis statement is perhaps the single most important written statement of the entire research paper; yes, it is that important!! A well-written thesis determines the direction of your writing and helps keep you focussed. Click on the owl to learn more! Writing the Research Paper: the Outline Writing an outline is an important part of the process because it helps to organize ideas and information. It then can serve as a table of contents for your essay. A Working Outline is just that, what you use to guide you as you work on the essay. A Final Outline should be a polished, updated version of the working outline which reflects the final draft of your essay. Click the link below to learn more! http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/02/ Writing the Research Paper: Formatting MLA Style MLA Style documentation and formatting is just one of many. Your teacher will inform you which style should be used. MLA has strict guidelines and requirements concerning: paper size, margins, spacing, indenting, headers, citing in text, and the Works Cited. Click link below to find all the specifics http://www.sandhills.edu/academic-departments/english/wordguide/mlaformat.html Writing the Research Paper: Citations in Text To avoid the risk of plagiarism, all information used in the text of the paper that is not your own must be cited. Citations must be used for direct quotes and paraphrased information. Click the light bulb to see examples MLA uses parenthetical citations which include the author’s last name and the page number where the information was found. With the increased use of the Internet correct citations are even more important. Writing the Research Paper: Works Cited All research papers, regardless of format, require the writer to provide a list of the sources used. MLA uses a Works Cited page at the end of the paper. A Works Cited page only lists those sources which were actually cited in the paper. Click this icon to complete your worksheet. Use either of the icons below for more examples and information. Writing the Research Paper Now that you have completed this curriculum web, take a few moments to review your worksheets and prepare for the final quiz. Good Luck and Happy Researching!!