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How To: Research Papers
Transcript of How To: Research Papers
How To: Research Papers
Step 1: Find a Topic
Start by reading, watching videos, etc.
What interests you? What is an interesting question (why or how)?
Do you have interests that connect, heritage in an area, or info/skills you think you might need for the future?
Ensure there is a good question and enough material to write a research paper.
Ensure it is not too focused or too vague. You can adjust this later if need be.
Step 2: Compile Research
Compile a list of keywords
Use databases, Google, and other tools to find resources
Compile your sources using an organized method:
Mendeley or Citavi **
Sort into: Useful, Maybe, Probably Not piles
Generate MLA citations
Step 3: Take Notes
Determine a research question.
Use a tool to help you take notes in an organized fashion:
Should be connected to your sources
Should be organize-able
Highlight helpful quotes and interesting passages
Write a brief note as to where this fits with your research topic and question
Be good about writing down your thoughts consistently
Step 4: Write an Outline
Look at notes and determine preliminary thesis.
This is a basic answer to your research question.
Take notes and put them into piles that support your preliminary thesis.
Once you are content you can write a basic outline of the paper:
Body sections that support your thesis
Step 5: Determine Thesis
A good thesis statement:
Should answer an arguable question
Should include a basic outline of argument
Should be more specific than just "economy" etc.
Should take a more sophisticated approach than just saying something is "better"
Step 6: Add Evidence and Analysis
Take the evidence from your piles and enter it into outline
Adjust order and sections as necessary (don't be afraid to jumble it up)
Limit length of evidence to what is absolutely needed.
After each piece of evidence, write a note about how this evidence helps to prove your thesis.
Step 7: Write Paper
Take your outline and turn it into a paper.
Make sure you are formal in style (no first person, contractions, etc.)
Embed your quotes...have a lead-in and ensure that you cite correctly.
Paragraphs are a group of sentences about the same topic, but not necessarily the same section. Indent as needed.