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How to Write a Research Paper

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1 How to Write a Research Paper
Classical Structure English 1302

2 Structure of a Classical Argument

3 Structure (overall) Introduction and claim (thesis)
Writer’s position (evidence from research) Summary of opposing views Response to opposing views Conclusion/call to action It is OK to give the opposing viewpoint FIRST and then respond to it; after this, you would move into proving why your opinion is RIGHT

4 Introduction Attention grabber—a memorable scene or anecdote
Explanation of the issue Give enough background info to help audience understand the problem Thesis statement Your introduction can be long if need be—one to several paragraphs

5 Presentation of Writer’s position
Main body of essay Presents and supports each reason in turn This is where you present your research Each reason should be tied to a value or belief held by the audience

6 Summary of Opposing Views
Summary of views differing from your own Make sure the summary is fair and complete

7 Respond to Opposing Views
Refute—prove to be false or erroneous; to prove to be in error Show weaknesses in the opposing argument Concede—to acknowledge something to be true, just, or proper You can say that the opposition’s argument contains some valid points

8 Conclusion Bring essay to a close Sum up the argument
Explain the significance of your stance on the issue—why is this important? What have you learned from this research? What are the implications if action is not taken? Call to action

9 Organizing Your Paper

10 How to Write a Thesis Statement
What is the answer to your research question? Ex. Should killer whales be kept in captivity? Why? What are the top reasons for the answer to your question? Deprives the whales of their role in nature Causes emotional problems that make them unpredictable and violent It’s cruel

11 Sample Thesis Statement
The practice of keeping killer whales in captivity should be stopped because it deprives them of their role as top predator, it causes severe emotional problems that lead to violence, and it is simply a cruel practice.

12 Skeleton Outline Take a moment to make a quick outline for your paper.
Thesis statement, then the three main points from your research will be your main topics in your paper In our practice thesis statement, our main points will be Deprives the whales of their place in the ecosystem Emotional problems that lead to unpredictability and violence It’s a cruel practice

13 Arranging your Notecards
In easybib, write your thesis statement in the space provided. Then, drag and drop your notes in the order you will use them in your paper If you are using actual notecards, then arrange them in the order you wish to use them and make a stack

14 Writing Your Paper Begin writing your paper
Write an introduction and make your thesis statement the last sentence of your introduction

15 Topic Sentences You need to have a strong topic sentence to introduce your main points Refer to your thesis statement/outline Ex. One of the main reasons that the practice of keeping killer whales in captivity should be discontinued is that it deprives the whales of their place as top predator in the ecosystem.

16 Proving Your Points Use your notecards to prove the main points in your thesis

17 Citations within Your Paper

18 How to Cite Always use author’s last name and page number (if using a book) Ex. The climber recalls problems he encountered when attempting to climb Devil’s Thumb, including “a ribbon of frozen meltwater had ended three-hundred feet up and was followed by a crumbly armor of frost feathers” (Krakauer 143). Anything you paraphrase must also be cited. If you are not sure if you need to cite it, then cite it. You have to cite anytime you have a new topic or a different idea, even if it is by the same author. If this occurs, then just cite the page number, not the author’s name.

19 Citing From Data Bases If there are no page numbers, then just use the author’s last name. (Krakauer) If there is no author, then use the first work in the title. Ex: if your title is “Effects of Mercury in Fish,” then you would use (“Effects”) as your citation

20 Block Quotes If you have a direct quote in your paper that is longer than 4 typed lines, you must block quote it. You hit enter to begin the quote on a brand new line, and then you indent on that line 10 spaces. Hit the tab key two times to achieve this. Then you type to the end of the line, then hit tab two more times for each new line. At the end of the quote you put a period, then you cite the author’s last name and page number in ( ) with no period at the end. Ex. “This is the end of my blocked quote by an amazing author.” (Krakauer 82)

21 Reminder Each notecard should be one citation in your paper.

22 Ways to Introduce Information

23 Introducing Standard Views
Use these to introduce broad ideas about your topic Conventional wisdom has it that ______________. Americans today tend to believe that ___________. Many people assume that _____________________. It is often said that ____________________.

24 Introducing an Ongoing Debate
In discussions of ____________ (topic), one controversial issue has been ____________. On the one hand, _______________ argues ____________. On the other hand, ___________ contends _____________. Others even maintain ____________________. However, the most reasonable way to look at this is ___________________.

25 Another ongoing debate template
When it comes to the topic of ______________, most people readily agree that ______________. Where this agreement usually ends, however, in on the question of _____________________. Whereas some are convinced that ______________________, others maintain that______________________.

26 Capturing an author’s opinion
X acknowledges that _____________________. X agrees that __________________. X argues that __________________. X denies that __________________.

27 Introducing Quotations
X states , “____________.” X agrees when she writes, “_______________.”

28 Disagreeing, with Reasons
X’s argument is weak due to the fact that he overlooks _____________________. X contradicts herself with ____________________. By focusing on __________________, X overlooks the deeper problem of ______________.

29 Making concessions while still standing your ground
Proponents of X are right to argue that _____________. But they exaggerate when they claim that __________. While it is true that __________________, it does not necessarily follow that _________________.

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