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Writing a research paper

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by

Liz Martinez

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Writing a research paper

How to write a research paper First, you need a THESIS. This is your topic in sentence form. If my topic is ERNEST GAINES then my thesis might look something like this:


Ernest Gaines was an African-American author who lived through the civil rights movement and wrote influential novels. My thesis statement should be the LAST sentence
of my introduction paragraph. So, an introduction paragraph might look like this: The civil rights movement was an influential period in American history. Many Americans have stories to share about the turbulent events and changes that took place during the 1950's
and 1960's. Ernest Gaines was an African-American author who lived through the civil rights movement and wrote influential novels. Now that I've written my thesis,
I need to PROVE it. Thus, I am going to pick
five of my strongest research
questions and answer them, to
prove that Ernest Gaines lived
through the Civil Rights movement
and wrote about it. Top 5 Questions Who is Ernest Gaines? Why did he write? Where is he from? Who did he influence? What did he write? For each question, I want to write
a body paragraph.

Each body paragraph needs a topic
sentence, three *supported* quotes
and a concluding sentence. The rough outline of my paragraph looks like this: Topic Sentence

Lead-in to quote
Citation or Paraphrase
Explanation/elaboration of quote

Lead-in to quote
Citation or Paraphrase
Explanation/elaboration of quote

Lead-in to quote
Citation or Paraphrase
Explanation/elaboration of quote

Concluding Statement That means each paragraph is eight to ten sentences! **remember** use QUOTE PIES!! P - POINT (intro quote)
I - ILLUSTRATION (quote/paraphrase)
E - EXPLANATION (explanation, duh ☺) **important!** DO NOT USE:
I, ME, MY, YOU! Some alternatives:

One can see...
This shows...
This demonstrates...

It is YOUR paper, so obviously
it is what YOU are showing and
YOUR ideas. No need to say
"I think" or "I will show you" -
It's REDUNDANT! **USE TRANSITIONS!** For continuing a common line of reasoning:

consequently
clearly, then
furthermore
additionally
and
in addition
moreover
because
besides that
in the same way
following this further
also
pursuing this further To change the line of reasoning (contrast):

however
on the other hand
but
yet
nevertheless
on the contrary For opening a paragraph initially or for general use:

admittedly
assuredly
certainly
granted
no doubt
nobody denies
obviously
of course
to be sure
true
undoubtedly
unquestionably
generally speaking
in general
at this level
in this situation To signal conclusion:

therefore
thus
hence
finally
lastly
in conclusion
in final consideration
indeed Let's put it all together
and make a body paragraph! First, I have to decide which question
to answer...

I'll use "Why did Ernest Gaines write?"

This would be a good question for my LAST body paragraph; I would probably want to answer "Who is Ernest Gaines?" and "What did he write?" first so the readers are prepared. What would be a good topic sentence
for "Why did Earnest Gaines write?" To write the topic sentence,
I need to think about the answers
I found in my SOURCES and pick the best
three citations/paraphrases. Research Notecard Why did Ernest Gaines write? "I left Louisiana physically when I was fifteen, but I left my aunt there, who raised me until I was fifteen, and I left brothers, sisters, and friends. When I first started writing, I wanted to write really about them, much more than anything else. I just wanted to write about how we lived, because I didn't see it in any books that I had read" (Gaines in Ferris, 1998). "I wish I could get up on stage and tell a story, but I'm really not a storyteller in the oral tradition. I go to bars, tell jokes, and people say, "Get outta here go home write your novels." I cannot tell a story. None of my friends will listen to my stories. They walk out of the room. I'm much more westernized and much more "bookinized" than I would want to give credit to" (Gaines in Ferris, 1998). "Missing the Louisiana countryside where he was raised by his aunt propelled him to find books in the library that would invoke the sights, smells, and locution of his native home. Gaines never agreed with the authors' portrayal of black people: 'either she was a mammy, or he was a Tom,' he explains in 'Miss Jane and I'" (www.albc.com, accessed 3/8). He wanted to write about
the family he missed in
Louisiana. He was not good at telling stories so he decided to write them. He did not agree
with other authors' interpretations
of where he was from; he wanted
to write his own. Topic Sentence:
Ernest Gaines became a writer because it was the easiest way for him to share his stories about his family and and his home state of Louisiana. Ernest Gaines became a writer because it was the easiest way for him to share his stories about his family and and his home state of Louisiana. At first, Gaines found he struggled with telling stories, so instead he chose to write. In an interview he stated "'I come from a tradition of storytellers, but I'm not good at it'" (Gaines in Ferris, 1998). Consequently, Gaines wrote novels and short stories to share his ideas. Gaines chose his topics based on the people he wanted to describe. He said that he "first started writing [because he] wanted to write really about [his family], much more than anything else. [He] just wanted to write about how [they] lived" (Gaines in Ferris, 1998). He missed his family and used their lives to craft his tales. In the same way that Gaines wanted to write about his family, he also wanted to share details about his home state, Louisiana. He "never agreed with the authors' portrayal of black people" and so decided to depict the lives of people in Louisiana in his own words (www.albc.com). Indeed, there are a variety of reasons why Gaines chose to become an author; it seems that above all he wanted to accurately show what life was like for his family in Louisiana.
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