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research paper 101 [tips for a successful assignment]

+ plan ahead [be strategic] + simplify [be specific] + maximise your resources [tutor, library, notes, time, etc.]


Basic elements of a research paper

+ introduction [thesis statement] + body of essay + illustrations + conclusion + bibliography [references—sources cited in essay]

plan ahead [be strategic]


Basic elements of a research paper

+ introduction [thesis statement] ›     gains  the  reader’s  a.en/on   ›  provides  brief  background  material  about  the  meaning,     context  &  significance  of  the  topic   ›     includes  defini/ons  of  keywords  if  necessary   ›     iden/fies  the  'gap',  problem  or  issue  outlined  in  the  ques/on   ›  gives  the  reader  some  understanding  of  the  order  in  which   the  ideas  in  the  essay  will  be  presented   ›  clearly  iden/fies  the  author's  point  of  view  in  a  thesis   statement   ›  300  –  500  words  [max]  

plan ahead [be strategic]


Basic elements of a research paper

+ the body of an essay ›     your  argument  is  developed  through  paragraphs   ›  each  paragraph  should  contain  only  one  main  idea,  as  stated   by  the  topic  sentence   ›  each  paragraph  supports  the  main  idea  by  explaining  the   issue,  and  providing  evidence  e.g.  quotes,  sta/s/cs,  facts,   examples,  case  studies   ›     decide  how  many  points  you  wish  to  make  and  in  what  order   ›     link  the  paragraphs  together   ›   make  sure  paragraphs  follow  in  logical  sequence  [as   promised  in  the  Introduc/on]  so  that  the  essay  flows  towards   the  conclusion.   ›  two    or  three  case  studies:  400  -­‐  500  words  each  [1200-­‐1500   words  max]   plan ahead [be strategic]


Basic elements of a research paper

+ illustrations ›     back  to  this  in  a  moment  [evidence]….  

plan ahead [be strategic]


Basic elements of a research paper

+ the conclusion ›     sum  up  your  main  points     ›     /e  these  back  to  the  thesis  statement   ›     avoid  adding  new  material  or  using  quotes   ›     DO  comment  or  make  recommenda/ons   ›     it  is  your  opportunity  to  reassert  your  opinion   ›     300  -­‐  500  words  [max]    

plan ahead [be strategic]


refining your argument [thesis statement]

+ have a unique point of view + an argument is an opinion (not a fact) + collect evidence to convince your reader

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ collect your evidence ›  quotes ›  supporting text, ideas ›  images: illustrations, photos, visualisations ›  other supporting data ???? [evidence will help convince your reader]

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ visual evidence [photos, graphs, illustrations, renderings, visualisations, etc.]  

simplify [be specific]


when and how to include illustrations

+ if the image supports, illustrates, or advances your argument + If it illustrates something specifically addressed in your writing + always describe the image or illustration + describe what is it that you want your reader to “see� [let your reader know why the image is important]

+ locate your illustration with in-text reference, e.g. (Figure 1) or (Figures 1, 2)

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ textual evidence [direct quote, primary source, secondary source, other written materials]  

"It would seem that more than function itself, simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation. One might call the process beauty through function and simplification.� (Lowey, 2000, p. 127).

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ textual evidence [direct quote, primary source, secondary source, other written materials]   “The futuristic stands the modernist dictum of ‘form follows function’ on its head: form does not follow function, form pretends to follow function but is actually an aesthetic end in itself, a decorative feature that ostentatiously proposes itself as a useful one.” (Harris, 2000, p.163).

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ when to use quotes   ›  support your own (original) argument ›  when the quoted author’s words are unique to such a degree that meaning is lost in paraphrasing ›  always introduce or contextualize your quote--never include a quote without reference to author or original context ›  do not use quotes for long passages of historical or otherwise unremarkable information or data ›  use “” on either side of the quote followed by a citation

simplify [be specific]


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ a convincing argument needs “proof� + readers expect to be convinced with MORE than opinions + the better your evidence, the better [and more interesting your paper] will be

maximise your resources


When to use citations

+ when you are paraphrasing an author’s ideas, concepts, or words

+ if you are using factual information from another source + when you are directly quoting a source--any source + when in doubt--cite your source!!!

maximise your resources


in-text citations in APA style http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02/

maximise your resources


building a convincing argument [research paper]

+ IDENTIFY: Who, what, where, when + CONTEXTUALIZE your evidence + ALWAYS, always cite your sources

maximise your resources


final reminders

+ be specific – as much as possible [always] + define all new terminology—introduce all new people + make sure your evidence supports/expands your argument + a simple, well-written, logical argument is always better than a complicated/confused claim

+ read your paper carefully: do you understand and believe your argument and evidence?

maximise your resources


Week 6: Research Paper 1.01