Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

© 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Writing Effective Research Essays for the Sciences Sean McCandless, Ph.D. Candidate.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "© 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Writing Effective Research Essays for the Sciences Sean McCandless, Ph.D. Candidate."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Writing Effective Research Essays for the Sciences Sean McCandless, Ph.D. Candidate Virginia Nichols, M. A.

2 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Prewriting: Prospectus/Proposal Choose a topic Form research questions Identify research methods/materials Start an annotated bibliography/literature review Develop a working thesis statement/objective/hypothesis

3 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Choose a Topic Identifies a problem Determines the subject matter Provides background information for the essay – Establishes what is known – Specifies what is unknown or unclear

4 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Create Research Questions Narrows the topic Determines the importance of the study Focuses and organizes the study Determines the emphasis of the study Identifies methodology: quantitative or qualitative

5 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Create Research Questions Why is understanding symptom experience important in diabetic patients? – If patients can identify and determine the significance of their symptoms, they can begin intervention treatments earlier, possibly eliminating the need for drug treatment and reducing the health complications from type 2 diabetes. Why is symptom management important in diabetic patients? – Using a symptom management model can prevent or significantly reduce the complications of type 2 diabetes.

6 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Identify Methods/Materials Primary sources: – Original scientific studies – Official government records – Journal articles that present original data Secondary sources: – Citing someone who is analyzing someone else

7 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Assess Online Sources Authorship Research currency Completeness/fairness of research/documentation Verifiability of research Publisher’s credibility and publisher’s/author’s philosophy

8 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Assess Online Sources: Authorship Specifies author’s credentials: authority in the field Connected to a respected, known, or accredited institution in the field Covers opposing views fairly and accurately Provides bibliographic references from peer-reviewed and/or respected publications

9 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Assess Online Sources: Authorship Updates and uses current research Covers theory by citing figures in the field Provides reliable/valid research methodology and presentation

10 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Assess Online Sources: Publisher Appears on accredited institutional/academic/government websites Presents on a website well-known as a subject-matter source Identifies webmaster or website owners Establishes the date of revision Has few grammatical and mechanical errors

11 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center MEAL: Essay Formation M Main Point: Thesis statement, Purpose/Objectives E Evidence from credible sources or experiments A Analysis: Interpretation of the evidence L Link to thesis statement and/or conclusion

12 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays Main Point – Focuses essay/section/paragraph to a single topic/idea – Makes a claim – Presents reason/s for the claim – Justifies the discussion – Provides readers with a roadmap for the essay/section/paragraph

13 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays Evidence from credible sources or experiments: – Develops topic sentences/paragraphs/sections as they relate to the thesis statement – Cites existing data – Paraphrases/quotes experts on the topic – Compares/contrasts – Describes cause/effect – Develops theories/reasons to explain causes

14 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays Analysis: Interpretation of evidence – Discusses how/why the evidence/sources support thesis Considers opposing viewpoints (counterargument) Acknowledges weaknesses in the experiment/study – Examines whether sources and evidence are credible – Determines whether sources provide a logical argument – Establishes whether sources provide a reasonable argument

15 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays Linkage: Tying/relating one idea to the next – Transitional sentences between paragraphs/sections – Conclusion

16 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Elements of a Thesis Statement Contains a claim that others may dispute Includes the reason(s) for making the claim Provides justification (the “So what?” test)

17 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Purpose of a Thesis Statement Interprets the significance of the subject matter – Interprets a question or subject but is not the subject itself – Answers the research question Provides reason(s) for the claim Justifies discussion – the “So what?” test Tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper: it is the road map for the paper

18 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Sample Thesis Statement Since pet ownership greatly impacts family life, people should understand the differences between cats and dogs before adopting one. As such, dogs make better pets than cats because dogs are more easily trained, friendlier, and fluffier.

19 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Elements of a Thesis Statement Claim: Dogs make better pets than cats… Reasons: because (a) dogs are more easily trained, (b) friendlier, and (c) fluffier. Justification: Since pet ownership greatly impacts family life, people should understand the differences between cats and dogs before adopting one.

20 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Sample Thesis Statement Because diabetes can cause many health problems that include nephropathy, peripheral arterial disease, neuropathy, and coronary artery disease, people with diabetes need to strictly control their glucose levels. Diabetics can better control glucose levels by understanding their symptom experience and developing a symptom management strategy rather than depending on drug treatments because symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage and because the strategies are patient-driven and patient-specific.

21 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Elements of a Thesis Statement Claim: Diabetics can better control glucose levels by understanding their symptom experience and developing a symptom management strategy rather than depending on drug treatments. Reasons: because (a) symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage and (b) the strategies are patient-driven and patient-specific. Justification: Because diabetes can cause many health problems that include..., people with diabetes need to strictly control their glucose levels.

22 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center The Empirical Study Instead of a thesis, empirical studies contain: Purposes Objectives Hypotheses

23 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Purpose/Objective/Hypothesis Purpose – Establishes the problem/s – Indicates the importance of the study or experiment Objective – Identifies what the experiment or study is supposed to accomplish Hypothesis – Proposes a testable explanation

24 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Purpose Patients rank pain as the worst aspect of orthodontic treatment and the reason for wanting to discontinue care. [Furthermore], the more pain associated with initial orthodontic treatment, the less compliant the patient [is] during treatment.

25 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Objectives The [objectives] of this study were to compare the effectiveness of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in controlling discomfort after initial orthodontic appliance and archwire placement [and] to determine when the peak level of pain occurs after initial appliance placement.

26 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Hypothesis Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are equally effective in controlling pain after archwire placement.

27 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Answer the Research Questions Experimenting: laboratory/field research Citing Direct quoting Paraphrasing Synthesizing and analyzing

28 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Experimenting Uses the scientific method to test – Define the question – Gather information and resources (literature review) – Form hypothesis – Determine methodology (quantitative vs qualitative) – Perform experiment and collect data – Analyze and interpret data (draw conclusions) – Publish results – Retest/recreate study

29 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Citing Providing attribution for another’s ideas and work Cite as you go – So as not to waste time looking through your sources – To quickly refer back to a source if you need more information – To identify relationships and/or holes in the research

30 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Plagiarism: What Needs to be Cited Ideas, information, and/or structure not your own – Quoted material – Paraphrased material – Information that is not “common knowledge” – Reviews by friends/relatives/peers/instructors/specialists When in doubt, cite

31 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Direct Quoting Lifting the exact words of the author – “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). – “It has been claimed that reliable and valid assessment of cognitive functioning through daily observation is problematic, because overt behavioral deficits and disabilities may not be directly linked to a specific underlying neurocognitive impairment (Lezak et al., 2004).”

32 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Paraphrasing Putting someone else’s ideas and words into your own words – Eighty seven years ago, a group of men formed a new country called the United States of America on the North American continent because they believed that all men are born with the same rights and should have access to freedom (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). – Lezak et al. (2004) noted that since specific neurocognitive impairments may not underlie observable behavioral deficits and disabilities, nurses could find it difficult to use daily observations to obtain reliable and valid assessments of patients’ cognitive functioning.

33 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Synthesizing and Analyzing Synthesizing – Understanding what the material/sources mean – Summarizing the content of the material/sources – Explaining what the material/sources mean Analyzing – Understanding how the material works and relates to other information – Determining validity and relevance of the material/sources – Providing an educated and informed opinion

34 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays I.Introduction A.Background B.Thesis Statement: Since pet ownership greatly impacts family life, people should understand the differences between cats and dogs before adopting one. As such, dogs make better pets than cats because they are more easily trained, friendlier, and fluffier. II.Main Point 1: Dogs are more easily trained than cats III.Main Point 2: Dogs are friendlier than cats IV.Main Point 3: Dogs are fluffier than cats V.Conclusion A.Restate Thesis B.Implications/Recommendations

35 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays I.Main Point 1: Dogs are more trainable than cats M: Since dogs are more trainable than cats, they make better pets. E: Anything to demonstrate this point 1)For example... 2)Studies show that... A: What this means is that… 1)However, others argue… 2)Conclusions on this issue... L: Dogs are more trainable, which also makes them friendlier.

36 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays I.Introduction A.Background B.Thesis Statement: Because diabetes can cause many health problems that include nephropathy,..., people with diabetes need to strictly control their glucose levels. Diabetics can better control glucose levels by understanding their symptom experience and developing a symptom management strategy rather than depending on drug treatments because symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage and because the strategies are patient-driven and patient-specific. II.Main Point 1: Symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage. III.Main Point 2: Symptom management is patient-driven and patient-specific. IV.Conclusion A.Restate Thesis B.Implications/Recommendations

37 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Essential Elements of Essays I.Main Point 1: Symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage. M: Since symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage, diabetics can better control their glucose levels. E: Anything to demonstrate this point 1)For example... 2)Studies show that... A: What this means is that… 1)However, others argue… 2)Conclusions on this issue... L: Symptom management is not constrained by timing and dosage, which makes it more patient-driven and patient- specific.

38 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Avoid Wordiness; Maintain Clarity Use active voice Use nouns and verbs to describe Choose pronouns carefully Avoid redundancy Identify all acronyms

39 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Active verses Passive Voice Active voice – SVO – Subject is known and acts on object – Action is dynamic Passive voice – OVS – Subject is sometimes unknown – Object is being acted upon – Action is usually static

40 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Active vs. Passive Exercises 1.The pitcher threw the ball. 2.The ball was thrown by the pitcher. 3.Mistakes were made. 4.It was determined that spider venom can be used to treat diseases. 5.The study determined that doctors can use spider venom to treat diseases. 6.While the ball was thrown by the pitcher, the cow flew over the moon.

41 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Uses for Passive Voice Ties related ideas together such as linking and transitional sentences Emphasizes the object of an action rather than the actor(s)

42 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Agency Proper attribution: specify authorship – The chapter discusses the importance of idealist political theory. – The author in chapter 4 discusses the importance of idealist political theory. – In chapter 4, Doe discusses the importance of idealist political theory.

43 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Agency Proper attribution: specify actors – The Romans assimilated the Gauls because they wanted to end their threat. – The Romans assimilated the Gauls because the Roman Imperial hierarchy wanted to destroy the threat the Gauls posed.

44 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Pronouns Avoid vague pronouns – Although Lincoln, Seward, and Chase ran for president, he was the only nominee who was a “dark horse.” (Who does he refer to, Lincoln, Seward, or Chase?) – Although the car hit the tree, it was not damaged. (What does it refer to, the car or the tree?) – My sister and her friend Lana went to the mall and she bought a new pair of shoes. (Who does she refer to, my sister or Lana?)

45 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Pronouns Choose relative pronouns carefully (that, which) – The book that I borrowed from you is excellent. (Essential – no comma/s) – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I borrowed, is excellent. (Non-essential – commas are necessary) – The dog that we adopted from a shelter is awesome. (Essential – no comma/s) – Our dog, which we adopted from a shelter, is awesome. (Non-essential – commas are necessary) – The house in which I lived as a child no longer exists. (Object of a preposition, essential – no comma/s)

46 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Pronouns Choose relative pronouns carefully (who, whom, whose) – The lady who lives next door is a teacher. (Direct object, essential – no comma/s) – The woman to whom I have just spoken is my colleague. (Object of a preposition, essential – no comma/s) – The book whose author won a Pulitzer has become a bestseller. (Possessive, essential – no comma/s)

47 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Adjectives Eliminate unnecessary adjectives – The elderly woman is ninety years old. (Unnecessary) – The woman is ninety years old. (Concise) Use quantifiers where appropriate: beware of “all,” “none,” “every,” and “nothing” – Northerners were abolitionists. (Incorrect) – All Northerners were abolitionists. (Incorrect) – Many (few, some) Northerners were abolitionists. (Correct)

48 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Nouns and Pronouns Avoid noun/pronoun number/gender disagreement – The average student worries about his grades. (Incorrect) – The average student worries about grades or The average student worries about his/her grades or Most students worry about their grades. (Correct) – The ship is in her berth. (Incorrect) – The ship is in its berth. (Correct) – The team changed their rules regarding membership. (Incorrect) – The team changed its rules regarding membership. (Correct)

49 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Verbs Eliminate unnecessary adverbs (“very,” “surely,” “really”) Use strong verbs to replace adverbs, adjectives, or phrases – Barack Obama talks about many of the merits of universal health care. (Wordy, 12 words) – Barack Obama touts universal health care. (Concise, 6 words) – Kermit Roosevelt used small-time criminals to bring about civil disorder. – Kermit Roosevelt employed street thugs to provoke chaos among the people.

50 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Avoid Redundancy “Very unique” “Past history” “Basic fundamentals” “Free gift” “Red in color” “Honest in character” ATM machine PIN number

51 © 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Identify Acronyms Spell out first-use – United States (US or U.S.) – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – Automated Teller Machine (ATM) – Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)


Download ppt "© 2011 by the UCD Writing Center Writing Effective Research Essays for the Sciences Sean McCandless, Ph.D. Candidate."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google