2 The Steps to a Successful Research Paper 1.Decide on your topic.2.Find and document your sources with good information (Bibliography Cards).3.Collect information about your topic from the sources you have found (Note Cards).4.Organize this information in a logical, detailed form and decide what to say about your topic (Outline & Thesis Statement).
3 The Steps to a Successful Research Paper 5. Properly document all borrowed information (Parenthetical Documentation).6. Write your paper.7. Edit and correct your paper. Your rough draft with 3 signatures of those who have proofed it should be turned in in your final packet.8. Make corrections, re-write, and type the paper and turn in paper for grading.
5 Bibliography Cards This is a sample bibliography card for a book: Fill up the first line of the card completely. If you need to use another, indent before continuing. Put your name or initials in the corner in case thecard gets lost.Landry, Lucy. Becoming an EnglishTeacher. New York: McMillan,1998.Your Name
6 Note cards and Note-Taking Highlight information on the photocopies or printouts of your sources that is relevant to your topic.You will take this highlighted information and put it on a note card.ALL information used in your paper must be written on a note card. Even after the note card due date, if you find more information write it on the card.
7 Note cards and Note-Taking There are three methods of note-taking: summary, paraphrase, and quotation.
8 Note cards and Note-Taking Summarize – if you want to record only the general idea of large amounts of material.Paraphrase – if you require detailed notes on specific sentences and passages, but do not need the exact wording. This is to restate material in your own words.Quote – only when you believe that some sentence or passage in its original wording might make an effective addition to your paper. This information must be transcribed exactly as it appears, word for word, comma for comma onto your note card!
9 Note cards and Note-Taking For each note card:Give it a topic heading – a word or phrase that lets you know what information the card contains.Include basic bibliographic info. – usually this would be the author, but is is ALWAYS whatever comes first on your bib card. Also, you ALWAYS need to include the page # your information came from. This is essential for proper documentation!
10 Note cards and Note-Taking Fill the note cards with notes – either a summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation AND in the left hand corner indicate which kind of note-taking you used with the letters S, P, or Q. These cards should correlate with your bib cards. It may be helpful to color-code or letter the cards to keep them in order.Just as with bib cards, put your name or initials on every note card.
11 Note cards and Note-Taking Here is a sample note card:Salary Landry 4The starting salary for teachers greatly depends on the school system one is employed. Salary typically ranges from $18, 500 to $31, 000.P Your Name
12 OutlinesThe purpose of an outline: To help organize ideas into a logical, fluent, and effective paper.The process of creating an outline - HO
13 Steps in turning an outline into a rough draft Find the note cards that correspond with the Roman Numerals on your outline.Use the information from the note cards and the format of the outline to write each paragraph.The first and last statements of each paragraph must be your own thoughts. You must introduce your paragraph’s topic (this is called your topic sentence) and you must conclude or summarize what this paragraph has said in your final sentence.
14 Steps in turning an outline into a rough draft 4. The first sentence will correspond with Roman Numeral 1, the second sentence with A, the third with B, etc.Use parenthetical documentation to indicate the source of your information.
15 Introductory Paragraphs Introductory paragraphs are the single mostimportant paragraph in your research paper.Begin the paragraph with a broad statement and end with specifics.Capture your reader’s attention.Show the plan for the rest of the paper through the thesis sentence.Do not insult your reader’s intelligence: Statements like, “In this paper I will discuss…” or “This research paper will explain…” imply that your reader does not know that this is a research paper! Be subtle with your introduction.
16 Introductory Paragraphs Sample introductions:Ask a question.Present a startling conclusion.Describe a particular setting.Use a phrase or statement form one of your sources.Quote a familiar saying.
17 Choosing a TitleA title is important because it is what your reader sees first. A good title gives necessary information and creates interest. Just like your topic, a title should be specific. The title must be appropriate for your subject matter; it would not be a good idea to have a humorous title for a serious research paper.
18 Choosing a TitleMake sure your title is not too broad nor too informal.Titles for research papers should be centered on the page. They should not be bold, italicized, underlined, capitalized, in quotes, or in a font larger than the rest of the paper.
19 Putting Together a Works Cited Page Use your bibliography cards to compose your Works Cited page.1. Alphabetize your bibliography cards.It does not matter if the entry begins with an author, title, etc. alphabetize by whatever comes first on the card. If 2 sources begin with the same thing go on to the next words to determine which source comes first. Ignore little words like the, a, an when alphabetizing. Only list sources that were actually used in the paper!
20 Putting Together a Works Cited Page The entire page should be double-spaced in the same 12 point font as the rest of the paper. It a citation is more than one line long, you must indent on the second line to indicate you are continuing information from the above source.
21 Putting Together a Works Cited Page Center the words “Works Cited” at the top of the page, 1” from the top.Put your last name and page number in the right hand corner ½” from the top of the page. The works cited page must be the last page of your research paper. * See example.
22 MLA Format 1” margins on top, bottom, and sides. 12 point Times New Roman font.Complete paper (including heading) should be double spaced.Your last name and the page number in the top right hand corner.MLA heading in the LEFT corner. * See Example
23 Preventing Plagiarism As previously mentioned, plagiarism is a serious academic offense and will result in an automatic “F” on the final draft of the paper.
24 Preventing Plagiarism Plagiarism occurs in one of three ways:Failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas.Failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks.Failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.
25 Preventing Plagiarism Citations•All borrowed information must be documented, whether you borrow an author’s words, ideas, or sentence structure.• Sentences containing your own original thoughts obviously do not need documentation.• Information that is assumed to be common knowledge, such as “George Washington was the first president of the United States” does not need to be documented.
26 Preventing Plagiarism Quotations• Use quotation marks to indicate that you are using a source’s exact phrases or sentences.• To omit the quotation marks is to claim – falsely – that the language is your own. Such an omission is plagiarism even if you have cited the source!
27 Preventing Plagiarism Summaries and Paraphrases• When you summarize or paraphrase, it is not enough to name the source; you must restate the source’s meaning using your own language. You are guilty of plagiarism if you half-copy the author’s sentences – either by mixing the authors well-chosen phrases without quotation marks or by plugging in your own synonyms into the author’s sentence structure.
28 Preventing Plagiarism Summaries and Paraphrases• To avoid plagiarizing an author’s language, resist the temptation to look at the source while you are summarizing or paraphrasing. Close the book, write from memory, and then open the book to check for accuracy.
29 Parenthetical Documentation Parenthetical documentation is a way to indicate in parentheses the source of borrowed information. This procedure avoids plagiarism. The information in the parentheses points to the works cited page for a given source. The page number must be included so the reader could look up the original information for further clarification if desired. * See example.
30 Concluding Paragraphs Avoid Ineffective conclusions:Do not introduce a new idea.Do not tell your reader what you have accomplished. Statements like “In this paper I have explained…” are not necessary. If you have done a good job in presenting your information, then it will be obvious what you have accomplished.Do not end with apologies or expressions of hope.
31 Concluding Paragraphs Tips for writing a good conclusion:Restate and extend the thesis. Do not repeat the thesis exactly as it appears in the introduction. Instead, expand on the original and emphasize the importance of your thesis.Begin specific and end broad. While your introduction should begin with your general subject and move into the specific topic, your conclusion should start specific and move to the bigger picture.
32 Concluding Paragraphs Suggestions on how to end a paper:Close with a quotation.Suggest possibilities for the future.Present solutions.
33 Editing and Rewriting See three before me! Peer editing worksheet – HO Self evaluation Form – HOFinal checklist - HO
34 SourcesSome of the information presented was adapted from the following sources:Melissa Montz, Hoover High School