Site includes VerbsIdiomsParagraph Writingand more. Sound files to learn to pronounce alphabet. English language practice pages. Writing — Research Guides When it comes to writing a learning how to do a research paper, there are no quick fixes, or fill-in-the-blank templates that will allow you to complete your paper without investing a little time and effort.
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Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. Genre and the Research Paper Summary: This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic.
Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing e.
The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.
What it is not. A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of primary and secondary sources. It is neither a book report nor an opinion piece nor an expository essay consisting solely of one's interpretation of a text nor an overview of a particular topic.
Instead, it is a genre that requires one to spend time investigating and evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not unconscious regurgitations of those sources. The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand.
This is accomplished through two major types of research papers. Two major types of research papers. The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement.
An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial. For example, it would be difficult for a student to successfully argue in favor of the following stance.
Cigarette smoking poses medical dangers and may lead to cancer for both the smoker and those who experience secondhand smoke. Perhaps 25 years ago this topic would have been debatable; however, today, it is assumed that smoking cigarettes is, indeed, harmful to one's health.
A better thesis would be the following. Although it has been proven that cigarette smoking may lead to sundry health problems in the smoker, the social acceptance of smoking in public places demonstrates that many still do not consider secondhand smoke as dangerous to one's health as firsthand smoke.
In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance that both firsthand and secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous; rather, she is positing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts.
The student would support this thesis throughout her paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade her audience that her particular interpretation of the situation is viable.
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