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Five Step Research Paper
Transcript of Five Step Research Paper
from the most relevant and useful sources you find.
Step 1 - Choose a research question
A research project works best if you start with a question whose answer is not immediately obvious.
Step 5 - Revise! Revise! Revise!
Nobody writes a good draft the first time. Good writing is always a result of re-writing.
Five Easy Steps to Writing a Good
Step 3 - Prewriting
Develop a thesis that answers your research question. A good thesis will take a strong stand on an issue and give an overview of the argument that follows. Once you have a thesis...
Step 4 - Write the paper
Keep your notes, your annotated bibliography, and your outline handy while writing your draft.
Step 2 - Research
Once you pick a research question, you need to start looking for articles, books, and other media materials that will help you gather information about your topic.
•Should students be allowed to use smart phones in class?
•Does violence in the media encourage violence in real life?
•How has the internet changed the way we interact with other people?
•Should college athletes get paid?
•What is the best way to ensure that Allen University's campus is safe for students ?
•Should the government put limits on what foods can be purchased with food stamps?
•Should the legal drinking age be changed?
•What should be done about the homeless problem in Columbia?
Some Places to search
•Richland County Public Library
•EBSCO host/Academic Search Premiere (accessed through the library website)
•Flipper Library Catalog
The purpose of creating an annotated bibliography is to improve your understanding of the topic by collecting and summarizing whatever information has already been published about it.
An annotated bibliography consists of the publication information (author, title, publisher, publication date) followed by a brief summary of each source.
A good annotated bibliography will include a variety of different viewpoints on the topic you have chosen.
Example of an Annotated Bibliography
Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
Pick out key terms that relate to your research question. Search for synonyms of those terms, too.
The outline should develop at least 3-5 points of evidence in support of your thesis.
An outline for a proposal argument might use the following format:
I. Introduction - gives some contextual information for the argument and hooks your reader in
II. Summary of the Problem
III. Proposed solution
IV. Benefits of your solution (2 or 3 paragraphs)
V. Ways in which your solution is better than the alternatives (i.e., refutation of opposing arguments)
are good ways to develop a thesis statement and to sort through the evidence you have discovered while doing your research.
FIRST, Start with a blank piece of paper and write down everything you can think of that relates to your topic.
THEN, after writing for several minutes, look back at what you've written. Group similar ideas together.
Prewriting helps you organize your thoughts and write a more tightly structured paper.
Remember to stay on topic as you write. All the information that you include in the essay should support your thesis.
Ways to revise:
read the paper out loud
have a friend read the paper
take it to the writing center
read the paper backwards
scan for typos
BEFORE TURNING THE PAPER IN, MAKE SURE THAT
the paper has both a
the argument is
in a logical way
the paper has
to support its thesis
information borrowed from other sources is cited properly according to
the paper has been
and is free of errors
the paper meets the minimum length requirement
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