Mini Research Project

Mini Research
Essential Skills for All Research
Step 1: The topic
• No matter what you research, you start with a topic in
• Then you have to research to narrow your focus
Read criticism
Conduct lap tests
Conduct opinion polls
Talk to others in the field
• Then you develop a question- this question is what
your research will answer
What did Shakespeare want us to know about love in Romeo and Juliet?
How will some medicine already approved help with this other sickness?
What is the best market strategy for selling a new running shoe?
How can I best sell my new mixtape to Dequann?
Step 2: The question
• Once you have your question, you research the
answer to the question.
• A research question is not a “yes/no” question. It is
something that needs to be proven.
• For this mini project your question is going to prove
your opinion of your chosen subject.
• You cannot develop a question without reading
about the topic.
Step 3: Finding sources
• Just because it is on the internet does not make it
• Look for sources which are reliable: .org, .edu, .gov
rather than .com
• Google and other search engines are not sources.
• Wikipedia is a great place to find sources, but not a
reliable source.
• On line data bases that are paid for can be more
reliable than those just on the internet
• Books still offer more reliability than many internet
• It is vital to know where you got your information so
that you can give credit to the original author.
• Failure to give credit to sources and claiming the
work as your own is PLAGIARISM and is illegal.
• Plagiarism can result in a zero on an assignment,
losing credit for a class, expulsion from a school and
being fired from your job (ask Dan Rather)
• is an excellent source for creating a
bibliography without having to think about it much.
Step 4: Reading and
taking notes
• You have to read the material whether it is about
literature or a report on the opinions of those who
have heard your music or tried out your shoes; you
have to read
• Take notes on what you read
• Summary notes: Read a passage and think for your
self about the main idea and what supports that
idea. Write that down.
• Paraphrased notes: Read a passage and rewrite it
in your own words (the best choice b/c you’re
ready to put it in your paper.
Step 5: Compiling your
• Once you have done your research, you have to
see how what you have learned answers your
• The answer becomes your CLAIM. Claim is also
called the thesis of your paper.
• The WARRANT AND BACKING of your paper is found
in your research, the EVIDENCE. These are the
details that will support your claim/your answer to
the question.
Step 6: Writing your
• Introduction: this paragraph gives an overview of
your topic narrowing down to your claim as the last
sentence in your first paragraph.
• Formal research writing does not use the words I or
YOU to refer to the writer or the reader.
• Body: You must first decide how to present your
warrant and backing: chronologically, order of
importance (least to most or most to least),
sequentially, etc. It all depends on the type
research you are doing.
Writing continued
• The body paragraphs will begin with a topic
sentence which will guide the paragraph. What
statement of warrant or backing will support your
• Once you have made this statement, elaborate
upon it.
• What QUALIFICATIONS exist for the warrant, backing
and claim?
• What counterclaims must you consider in
supporting your claim?
Technical Aspects
For English writing you must follow an MLA format
Everything is double-spaced
One inch margins all around
Times New Roman 12 font
Parenthetical citations
Bibliography/work cited listing sources in MLA
format ( in alphabetical order