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Writing and Research: What you need to remember Kaplan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing and Research: What you need to remember Kaplan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing and Research: What you need to remember Kaplan University

2 The Basics The Research Process and Using Sources The Dilemma: You have been assigned to write an argumentative essay using sources. When you think about it, you realize you have no idea of how to begin or how to use sources correctly. What are some resources?

3 Finding the Articles The Purpose: The purpose of research based writing is not to write an essay based upon what others have written on the topic. Instead it is to write your own original ideas on the topic using research to support your ideas or to show how even though others have ideas that don’t agree with your own, you still have a strong argument. Your purpose is to contribute to the current ideas and issues on a topic. You must use credible sources.

4 The Focus The Process: You have a broad topic and are unsure how to begin. If your instructor has not provided you with specific sources, you will need to do research. Step 1: Begin reading about the topic and gathering as much information as possible. The easiest place to begin may be the internet. Check news sources (,, and search for articles in your topic. You could check opinions and editorials for example in the New York Times. These will link you to original articles on the topic.

5 The Beginning Process Although most of you have already done some reading in the topic of your choice, you should consider the following: You should read 3 or more articles to help you understand the topic and the current viewpoints about the topic. This will give you background information and help you begin to form your own ideas about the topic. So, you must first begin by reading. You should try to find sources that reflect different perspectives-supporting a topic in one aspect and not supporting it in another. Now, what do you think?

6 The Process Narrowing Down Your Ideas Often, you will be able to develop a thesis from reading. The thesis may develop from an article you read in which you mostly agree with the author yet have a slightly different perspective. NOTE WELL: As you read articles and get information, write down the source information (author, title, publication, date, page # or paragraph #). If you want to use a source later, you must have this information. You may also use an interview or direct quotation from a friend, family member or expert in the topic. You will need the individual’s name and other information. (You will find out how to do this in your handbook). Also, if you ask someone to proofread your essay and make corrections, that person must be listed as a source.

7 Using Sources The Basics: After you have read about the topic, you need to think about how to include outside ideas into your paper. For English and the humanities, you will be using MLA (Modern Language Association) format. If you are writing a research paper for psychology, sociology and some sciences, you may have to use APA style. The format is different for both styles. ***There are 3 basic ways to use sources in your essay: Summarizing: Developing a summary on one or more key points in the source. Paraphrasing: Putting the main ideas of the source into your own words. Quoting: Using a statement or information “word for word.”

8 Tips In all three instances, you need to give credit to the source in your paragraphs AND at the end of the essay in the References page for APA style References page: This is a listing at the end of your essay of all the sources you used in alphabetical format. It must be prepared with careful detail to format-you will need to consult your textbook or online citation source: to make sure you have correctly listed the source. A References page is not only to show your instructor that you did not plagiarize-it also serves as a resource for the reader to find more information on the topic. (Hint: Always look at a Works Cited or Reference page in a periodical for possible sources). NOTE WELL: If you use an online citation program, you should always double check by using other online resources or your

9 The Rules What’s Important? In-text citation has a specific format to follow: The basic format (GOLDEN RULE) requires you to use the author’s last name and date in each sentence where you use sources. Example: “Argumentative writing will make you a better thinker” (Rottenberg, 2007).

10 The Rules 2 If you use the author’s name in the sentence, you do not need to write it again at the end. Example: Rottenberg (2007) states, “Argumentative writing will make you a better thinker”. If there is no author, you should use an abbreviated form of the title of the work (Use the first 2-3 words) and the year. Example: “Argumentative writing will make you a better thinker” (“Elements for Review,” 2007).

11 Rules 3 If there is no page number (online sources) use paragraph numbers. (Rottenberg, 2007, para. 2). If you quote, summarize or paraphrase, do not just drop the author into the paper. Make a basic introduction to the author-either before or in the sentence where you use source info Annette Rottenberg, author of Elements of Argument, states, etc.

12 Helpful Suggestions Make sure you always check for proper citation. Your handbook for this course is an excellent resource. It will give you a lot of examples on how to use APA format if you get confused. Specifically, look at Chapter 12 for examples and a sample APA style paper. If you are still confused, please let me know so I can assist you as you work toward completing your final project.

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