Junior Grammar and Comp
PART 1: Defining the Research Paper A research paper, sometimes called a term paper or library paper, reports the writer’s research findings. Literally, a research paper involves “searching again” through what others have written about the subject. In reality, however, a research paper may take one of two approaches: It may be a summary of information from many resources, or it may be an evaluation of research information. If the paper summarizes research, you tell only about what you read, and the reading may be from a single source or, more likely, from many sources. On the other hand, if the paper evaluates the research information, it considers why or how and is frequently either a comparison-contrast paper or a cause-effect paper. The evaluation paper requires the use of numerous sources and assumes the writer’s ability to show originality and imagination. In the case of the junior research paper, the research will involve a summary research process in which the students will summarize what authoritative resources say about the topic. This process will involve merely reporting what others have already said.
PART 2: Characteristics of a Research Paper An effective research paper fulfils these requirements: Indicates careful, comprehensive reading and understanding of the topic Establish, in its introduction, a thesis to be developed in the course of the paper Is clearly organized Employs the principles of good composition Includes direct quotations, paraphrases, or precis that support the thesis Includes documentation in the form of parenthetical notes, endnotes, or footnotes Includes a list of works cited Exhibits careful, thorough documentation of sources of ideas Follows a carefully prescribed format Is always typed and printed on a letter-quality printer.
PART 3: Process of Research The step-by-step process of developing a research paper seems rather direct as it is spelt out in this packet. Be aware, however, that the research process always requires a kind of “yo-yo” approach. What is the “yo-yo” approach: rather than completing one step of the research/writing process and moving neatly onto the next step, you will find that you confront problems that cause you either to go back to a previous step or to think ahead to the next step. For instance, just when you think you have completed all the necessary research, you may discover that you need new information to fill a gap or to add support. Or just when you think you have completed a sensible outline, you may find that the paper does not flow smoothly given its method of organization. So you go back – rethink, reread, rewrite. The yo-yo process continues until you have finished proofreading your final draft.
PART 4: Developing the Subject In the case of this research project, each student will select his/her own topic of study. It would be wise to take into consideration personal interests, as it is more enjoyable to research topics in which the researcher is interested. In addition, the final paper will be due on December 18, 2020, with no exceptions. The length of the paper will be between five and ten pages.
STEP 1: PREWRITING: Planning Your Time One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper is planning your time so that you do not find yourself working all night just before the paper is due. Students often do not realize how much time the library search involves, how much time the reading and note taking require, how much time the drafting process entails, and, above all, how much time careful revision demands. The students, who type all night to have a paper ready for a class the next day, hand in a first draft. By omitting the revision process, they omit any chances of having a good paper. To begin, make a plan. Here is a sample timeline to keep a student from procrastinating and creating a last-minute product. If your paper is due in about 4 weeks, spend 1 day choosing a topic (Step 2) 2 days doing preliminary work (Steps 3, 4, and 5) 6 days taking notes (Steps 6 and 7) days seeking primary references (Step 8) 1 day developing the final outline (Step 9) 3 days writing a first draft (Step 10) 1 day revising (Step 11) 3 days documenting and polishing (Steps 12, 13, and 14) 1-day proofreading (Step 15) Mark a calendar now to remind yourself at what point you should have each step completed. Then make sure you stick to the schedule.
STEP 2: PREWRITING – Selecting a Suitable Subject With your timeline in place, it is time to get to work. Your next task is to select a suitable subject. “Suitable” depends on four factors:
1. length of time you have to research and develop your paper Do you have two weeks or two months?
2. length of paper – Is it to be five to ten pages or 50 pages?
3. availability of secondary resources Does your school or local library have the necessary materials or must you request information by mail or through an interlibrary loan? Are computer databases available with immediate access?
4. need for primary research Will interviews, surveys, experiments, or data analyses be necessary?
Your choice of subject can make or break your paper. If you choose a subject of little or no interest to you, you will have trouble sticking to the task.
If you tackle a subject too broad, you will never be able to develop and successfully support your thesis. If you select a subject too narrow, you will not find enough material to flesh out the paper. So selecting the right subject may very well determine your chances of success. The purpose of this project is for the student to understand the research process; therefore, the general topic is yours for the choosing. In that case, where do you turn for general topics?
Consider the following sources:
Personal Interests might include hobbies, favourite courses, part-time jobs, and career plans. These can also lead to behind-the-scenes ideas. For instance, if your hobby is playing computer games, you may wonder about how they are designed, developed, packaged, protected, marketed, or used. But your interest may also lead you to think about board games or card games, or games in other cultures, perhaps exploring those from your own cultural heritage. If you hold a part-time job at a fast-food chain, you may want to investigate how franchises work, how managers are trained or how projects are advertised. But your interest may also lead you to think about nutrition, food processing, additives and preservatives, packaging, or recycling. Daily Media Daily media outlets include television, radio, newspapers, and news magazines.
Granted, a topic too new will have too little information available for your research. Thus, listen for ideas behind the news stories. An item about a high-profile murder may lead you to questions about the media coverage, judicial system, prison system, use of technology in the courtroom, or even other countries’ treatment of murderers.
Likewise, listen to what others, such as family, neighbours, teachers, pastors, and news commentators say about the news. General School Work Included in this source are classes and extracurricular activities. If your favourite class is science, consider a topic related to your coursework: What creates autumn colours or brilliant sunsets? What caused the hole in the ozone? What happens to patients in the course of Alzheimer’s disease? Why is the Alyeska pipeline a technological phenomenon? Most important in searching for an appropriate topic is to maintain an active, curious mind. When you do, you will find general topics all around you.
Pick one that interests you:
You will be spending many hours with it! Your next task is to find a way to do something manageable with your broad, general topic. In order to narrow the general topic and to determine the purpose of the paper, you should do an exploratory reading in the general area. Browse encyclopedias, magazines, reference books, and videos and electronic bulletin boards for thought-provoking ideas that will help you think of an appropriate way to narrow the subject. Read quickly, letting your mind work freely. Once you have a general idea for a topic, put it in the form of a question. Answers to this question will suggest narrow topics, some of them possibly suitable for your research paper.
• The subject may be too broad: Even though you may have been asked to write a 1,500-word paper, keep in mind what this word count represents: A five-paragraph theme may be well over 700 words, and magazine articles often run no more than 3,000 words. So do not try to cope with a book-length subject in half the length of a magazine article.
The subject may be too limited for research:
Two kinds of topics may end up being too limited. In one case, if little or no research material is available, you cannot write a successful research paper (maybe the subject is too new). Or, in another case, if the subject lacks depth, you cannot write a successful paper. For example, every book you consult will explain in the same way the process for making paper in your own kitchen; thus, the topic is unsuitable for a research paper.
• The subject may be too technical:
Unless you already have a good background in computer technology, for instance, you should not attempt to write a paper explaining how a computer works.
Unless a paper is part of an assignment for a technical class, avoid subjects that rely heavily on technical terms.
The subject may be too ordinary:
Research should provide new information or at least a new way of looking at old information.
To try to do research on the effects of sunscreen lotion on skin exposed to ultraviolet rays will probably prove tiresome and dull – unless, of course, you have just invented a revolutionary sunscreen lotion.
The subject may be too controversial:
A highly contested issue may prove to be more than a single, carefully organized research paper can describe or evaluate. If volumes have already been written about your narrowed topic, chances are you have not chosen well. (Information is taken from How to Write Research Papers, Thomson, Arco) For more information on Air Contamination check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution
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