The research paper gives you the opportunity to think seriously about some issue. Building on the research of others, you have the opportunity to contribute your own research and insights to a particular question of interest to you. It also gives you practice in important academic skills such as:.
Disciplines vary in their ways of conducting research, in writing research papers, and in the form of the final copy. Individual instructors may also vary in their expectations of a research paper. It is important that you read the assignment carefully. Writing a research paper can be a very messy and fluid process, and the following is only a representation of commonly used steps. 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. The student would support the thesis throughout the paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade the audience that the interpretation of the situation is viable.
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The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question a. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. It is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, his goal is to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress his particular analysis of the topic.
It is typically not until the student has begun the writing process that his thesis statement begins to take solid form. As well, some profs advise talking it out with a friend, which can be distracting. The best method for this is mapping. Mapping is a technique that allows you to freely record your ideas in a logical manner. Mapping will give you strong guiding questions as well as demonstrate how your ideas are connected, which is super useful for writing a long research paper.
Mapping looks something like this:. Note that the ideas get more specific the further away they are from the center topic. Circle the ones that are most specific and uses them for your paper. So, apply your field of study, your interests, or something topical to the subject. Here are some ideas based upon that…. Out of the above, which sounds like it has the most juice? Probably number one. Even without doing any Googling, it seems evident that there will be research in this area that you can draw from.
As well, you can rely on non-technical, non-academic observation to give you better ideas—you can use your experience to shape your subject matter. So go with number 1. Take a look at these specific ideas that you can use in your research phase:. And look, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to get a jump on specific articles to use in your research.
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As well, 51 mentions your keyword! With our tutorial on writing a thesis statement, you will see thesis examples, ways to craft a thesis sentence, and how to organize your paper around a thesis statement. Second, you will need specific examples to write about. Third, you will need to organize those three items effectively.
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And, fourth, you will need to make an outline. The first step to creating a successful thesis statement is generating a concise overview of the topic at hand. In this case, technology and the ESL classroom is the topic upon which the paper is based. So the first portion of your thesis should be a generalized statement that describes the imperatives which make your paper relevant.
Begin by making a list of why you think your paper topic is relevant. In this case, we could say that…. Sounds pretty good, eh? Teachers who do not embrace technology in their classes risk losing students to academic boredom, not to mention that they will be perceived by their students as tedious and irrelevant. Even better! With adding then subtracting, expanding then consolidating, moving from the general to the specific, you can craft an overview to be used in the thesis. Also, note the use of old tricks, like opposing vocabulary extracurricular v.
So, check the rubric—did we hit any goals? See Development, Language and vocabulary, and Sentence structure!
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The problem presented was that instructors take away learning tools from students and replace them with less interesting forms of learning and stop social interaction with the classroom. As well, instructors give little attention to technology-based learning tools as an avenue for education. ESL instructors should make using technology a priority of education, both inside and outside the classroom.
ESL instructors should try to increase digital interactions between students outside of class, use digital technology inside of class, and make digital avenues of education a learning priority. Pretty good, but we can make it sound even more academic.
Again, use the Word synonym function, and try to bring out the parallel structure even more:. All we need now is to connect the two sentences together with some kind of sentence, transitional phrase, or conjunction. In this case as with almost everything in writing, actually keep it simple:. Wait a sec! So use it with abandon, so long as you complete the sentence! Now, check the rubric again! Check and check and check! And, to top it all off, you now have three areas of research to focus on! Often students writing long, research-based papers struggle with smoothly connecting the related ideas within the paper.
There are three simple steps. First, you must identify the relationship between the two ideas.
Second, you must craft a transition. And, third, you must be careful of potential pitfalls. See how jarring the logical jump is from the broad statement to the specific assertion? Take a look at the two statements together, as they are color coded—red being broad, blue being specific:. This idea is loosely connected to another idea the author is writing toward—that those unique cultural differences are often the culprit for communication breakdown.
The author sees that the relationship is one of contrasts, so they try to name the contrast to create a connection in the transition—the green text is the merging of contrasts:.
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Using a really simple, but subtle writing skill, this author used word choice to make deeper connections between the sentences. See the color coded portions:. Not how the ideas from each paragraph come together in the transition.
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