Writing the Modern
Research Paper
Chapter one of Dees:
Doing research and the
research paper
Research Is. ..
Observation and critical study: it is
collecting information in order to
make judgements and gain truth.
Research is. ..
Learning how to learn on your own.
Learning something NEW
Avoid the “old hat”
What is a Research Paper’s
 To inform the reader about the research
 To demonstrate the validity or
reasonableness of the author’s conclusions
about the topic.
Elements of the Research Paper:
 The Research Topic:
– A particular aspect of a larger field of
– Subject > Topic > Research Question > Thesis
 A Respectable Length:
– Longer than most papers you have had to write
– We will expect 6 to 8 pages.
– Dr. Rearick prefers 12 font in Time Roman
style (he does not know why—his eyes like it).
Continuing Elements of the
Research Paper in MLA:
 Overall Organization
– Title page (not usually but for this time)
– Thesis and Outline (not ususlly for this time)
– Text
– Notes
– Works Cited
– Appendix
Continuing Elements of the
Research Paper in APA:
 Overall Organization
– Title page
– Abstract (please include a thesis and outline
– Main Body
– References
– Appendix
Continuing Elements of the
Research Paper:
 Textual Organization
– Introduction
– Body
– Conclusion
– Works Cited or References
 Although these sections should all exist in
MLA they are not overtly indicated by a
heading. APA does divide by heading.
Doing Research for Your Paper
To research a subject is to “see it
another way”
Gather original information
Evaluate from your own point of view and
Finding Sources
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
 Your own
 Encyclopedias
 Field observations
 Interview
 Laboratory report
 Diaries
 Literary Works
 Letters
 Magazines
 Books
 Newspapers
 Online sources
 Computer database
Documenting Sources means
acknowledging. . .
 Who was the source of the information.
– The author
– The editor
 Where the scholar found the information
– The Work
– The Book
– The publisher
– The date
– The page
Planning a Research Schedule
 Investigating one or more potential research
 Selecting a topic and framing a research
 Establishing a preliminary bibliography
 Devising an outline and tentative thesis
The Research Schedule
 Writing the paper
 Listing the works cited
 REVISING and editing
– (get another outside reader!)
Keeping a Research Notebook
 Dedicate a portion of your notebook for the
 Use pencil or ink to record ideas and
information--write clearly.
 Record names, titles and other bibliographic
data accurately and fully to avoid errors.
 Use as many heading or subtitles in the
notebook as need to keep your entries
 Date each entry.
Once the Process is started, it can
not be altered.
Plan on your mind going
in different directions.