What to research for a research paper

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Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in wnat clear and creative manner, with proper citations. That is the theory, at least.

But how do you go about doing it all? This brief guide provides some answers. Teaching Yourself From the outset, keep in mind one important point: Writing a research what to research for a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself. Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities. There is no better way to hone the skills of life-long learning than by writing individual research papers. The process forces you to ask good questions, find the sources to answer them, present your answers to an audience, and defend your ersearch against detractors.

Those are skills that you will use in any profession you might eventually pursue.

What to research for a research paper

Thou shalt do some background reading, think hard, and speak with the professor in order to identify a topic. At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by reearch generations of writers.


Finding online sources for your research paper

Aim to have your final what to research for a research paper ready a day or two before the deadline. Color code your notes to make it easier. There are few individuals for whom this process comes naturally. Know how your essay will be evaluated. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. The body of your essay will revolve around the ideas that you judge to be most important. Second, how useful will a source be for your paper? Don't worry--you won't get lost in a sea of sources.

You should begin by doing some general reading in the field. If nothing else, begin with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a wonderful but sadly neglected resource. Read a few books or articles on topics you find of interest. Follow up the suggested reading on the course syllabus or the footnotes or bibliographies of the texts you are reading for the course.

After that, speak with the professor about some of your general ideas and the possible research directions you are thinking about pursuing. And you should do all this as early in the course as possible. Thou shalt have a clear research question. Why did a particular political or social event turn out as it did and not some other way? Why does a particular pattern exist in social life? Why does a specific aspect of politics work as it does? How has a social or political phenomenon changed from one period to another? The question can be general or particular.

Why have some countries been more successful in the transition from Communism than others? Why did the Labour Party win the last British general election?

  • Critically analyze your research data.
  • Get someone else to read it over.
  • Thou shalt make an argument.

How have conceptions of race changed in the US since the s? How do different electoral systems affect the behavior of political parties?

A scientist reads many case studies to support an idea about a scientific principle. Supply ample explanations for your research. Reference in Shakespeare's Poems B. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Did I miss anything?

The point is that you should attempt to identify either: Research questions that do not require an argument are just bad questions. Thou shalt do real research. See more research means using primary sources.

What counts as a primary source, though, depends on what kind of question you are trying to answer. You would begin by reading some general secondary sources fot the collapse of Communism, from which you might surmise that two factors were predominant: Primary sources in this case might include economic statistics, memoirs of politicians from the period or reportage in east European what to research for a research paper available in English or other languages.

Bring all your skills to bear on the topic.

To what research for paper research a done scholars

Use works in foreign languages. Use software packages to analyze statistical data. Or say you want to write about how conceptions of national identity have changed in Britain since the s. In this case, you might examine the speeches of British political leaders, editorials in what to research for a research paper British newspapers, and wha support for the Scottish National Party or other regional parties.

Take the time to edit your paper thoroughly. Surveying your primary and secondary sources will enable you to decide whether the topic is worth pursuing. A Handbook, 8th ed. Place your strongest points at the beginning and end of your essay, with more mediocre points placed in the middle or near the end of your essay. If you are writing a research paper for a class, consider the other students. Mapping Out a Research Strategy "A search strategy is a systematic plan for tracking down sources.

You might also arrange an interview with an expert in the field: There are, however, gradations of primary evidence. The best sources are those in original languages that are linked to persons directly involved in the event or development that you are researching.

You decide what for paper research to research a started forward

Next are the same sources translated into other languages. Then come sources that are studies of or otherwise refer to direct experience.

And research research to what for paper a page word

In your research, you should endeavor to get as close as possible to the events or phenomena you are studying. But, of course, no one can speak every language and interview every participant in a political or social event. Part of being a creative scholar is figuring out what to research for a research paper to assemble enough evidence using the skills and resources that you possess in order to make a clear and sustainable argument based on powerful and credible sources.

One other note for Georgetown students: Thou shalt make an argument. Unfortunately, many undergraduate research papers are really no more than glorified book reports. Continue reading know the drill: Check out ten books in English from the library, skim through three of them, note down a few facts or mark some pages, combine the information in your own words, and there you have it.

This will not do. There are no once-and-for-all answers in any scholarly field, but there are better and worse arguments. The better ones have powerful evidence based on reliable sources, are ordered and logical in the presentation of evidence, and reach a clear and focused conclusion that answers the source posed at the beginning of the paper.

In addition, good arguments also consider competing claims: What other counter-arguments have been put forward or could be put forward to counter your points? How link you respond to them? In fact, consideration of counter-arguments is often a good way to begin your paper. How have scholars normally accounted for a particular event just click for source trend? What are the weaknesses of their accounts?

What evidence might be marshaled to suggest an alternative explanation?

  • Take time to look for professional resources who offer valid research and insight into your topic.
  • Just type your research topic into the field and Google Books will provide you with a list of relevant books.
  • Whenever possible, look for peer-reviewed empirical research.

How does your account differ from the conventional wisdom? Thou shalt write well. Writing well means presenting your argument and evidence in a clear, logical, and creative way. An interesting argument cloaked in impenetrable prose is of no use to anyone. Sources must be accurately and adequately cited in footnotes, endnotes or in-text notes using a recognized citation style. The writing style must be formal and serious.

World appears a for research paper research to what papers

Tables, graphs or other illustrations should be included if they support your overall thesis. These are only a few guidelines on how to write research papers. You will no doubt develop your own styles, rules, and techniques for doing research, making arguments, and presenting the results of your work.

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7 Comments
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