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Writing the Research Paper Essential Information and Tips.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing the Research Paper Essential Information and Tips."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing the Research Paper Essential Information and Tips

2 Step 1: Choose your topic. If at all possible, choose a subject or an aspect of a subject that interests you Narrow down the topic. Notice the difference between: –“Christianity and Islam: A Comparison” –“The concept of God in Christianity and Islam” –“The role of Jesus in Christianity and Islam”

3 Step 2: Gather materials. Have a focus for your paper: a question that you want to answer -- e.g., “How are Christianity and Islam similar and different in their concepts of God?” –Note: this is not yet a thesis. A thesis would be a tentative answer to this question Put together a bibliography –Professors will often require this

4 Step 3: Take notes on your sources. Organize your notes according to topic –Use 3x5 file cards –or different sheets of paper for different themes/points Give each note card or page a title and make sure you have all referencing information (it’s easier to do this sooner than later!) Use your own words when possible; avoid excessive use of long quotations

5 Step 4: Decide on a thesis. A thesis is a statement that states an argument or makes an assertion. –It is a statement that someone could disagree with! –This thesis is tentative; you will probably need to revise it between the first and the final draft You don’t have a thesis if you say –“This paper is about...” or –“This paper will discuss the question...”

6 Step 5: make an outline. Thesis statement Development of thesis –supporting research –contrary research Conclusions/summary/ reaction -- or a combination of these, depending on what your professor assigns

7 Step 6: write the first drafts. STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR THESIS! Eliminate materials that do not relate to it. Pay attention to the flow of ideas. Reference properly all quotes, paraphrases, and uses of ideas from your sources. Run a spell and grammar check Print out paper or review on screen –PROOFREAD!! Correct mechanical and stylistic errors Re-print paper The rough draft should not be the same as “first draft” that your professor sees

8 Step 7: revise and rewrite. Take seriously all comments made by professors on your drafts! If not “officially” a multi-draft project, write at least two to three drafts anyway. Be sure to spell check, proofread, and check references for the final product. –DO NOT turn in a paper with handwritten corrections. –Final draft should be a refined piece of work: clear, clean, coherent.

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