Writing a Research Paper Part 4

The purpose will be stated in the introduction of the topic, as well as in the abstract of a paper, if one is required. It is not uncommon to read an abstract that makes the statement –The Purpose of this paper is ….

The statement of the purpose of the research paper, as well as the inclusion of an abstract, are both style criteria determined by the research reporting style required of you by your instructor. Be certain that you are adhering to the instructions given to you by your instructor. There are many different style manuals of research. Each one provides the writer with guidelines for writing, and many fields prefer particular style guides.

For instance, English instructors prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA), and Psychology instructors prefer the American Psychological Association style guide (APA) (APA, 2014; Hacker, 1998). The guides provide writers with information concerning such things as margin setting, the writing of citations, references, and accreditations. All research papers require that you have either a
reference section, also known as works cited page, or a bibliography page.

The APA style guide requires that a research paper have a reference sheet (Borst, 1997; Ellsworth & Higgins, 2001; Hacker, 1998; Thaiss & Sanford, 2000; Weinbroer, 2001). A reference sheet is a list of all the articles cited in the text of the paper. If a work is not cited, it does not belong on the reference sheet. A bibliography page is a listing of the articles or books that are read or consulted when researching a research topic. These books or articles may or may not be cited in the body of the paper.

You know how you want your paper to look because you planned it out, you read the instructions, and you consulted the appropriate style guide. You have selected your quotes, created an out line or topical layout for your paper and focused your paper around a narrow theme. Having completed these tasks, you now proceed with the writing of your paper.

Once you complete it, rewrite it, check it for errors, and read it out loud. Ask a friend to check it for errors. Rewrite it again and then with the knowledge you have done all you were suppose to do, turn it in on time. You picked the topic, conducted the research, wrote the paper and learned it was not so frightening after all.

Writing a Research Paper Part 3

According to Borst (1997), not citing work is the mistake that student writers make which costs them the most points on their papers. An author’s work can be quoted directly.

“If you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a specific fact or idea from a source, cite in your text the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page from which the material came” (Ellsworth & Higgins, 2001, p56).

Depending on which discipline that you are writing the paper for, it may
not be necessary to use quotation marks. Thaiss and Sanford (2000) state that when writing Psychology papers, if the quote is fewer than 40 words, use quotation marks and give the page number.

For longer quotes, 40 words or more, place the author’s name at the beginning of the quote, the page number at the end and separate the quote from the text by indenting five spaces from the left margin (Thaiss & Sanford, 2000). Also, according to Ellsworth and Higgins (2001) if it is not a specific fact but a general statement about an entire article paraphrase it and mention the author’s last name and the year the article was published in the text.

Now that all of the information is gathered, the fun part begins.

It is time to write the research paper. The topic is chosen, the research is gathered and now it is time to organize and construct the information into a reader friendly document. Planning can make the actual writing of the paper
the easiest part of the process. Hacker (1998) suggests that you start with a plan.

Creating an outline is one way of planning a research paper. Grouping information into sub-categories or into topic sentences is another way to plan out the paper. When planning the paper, or predrafting, consider how you want the paper to look, what you want to tell the reader about the topic, and who will want to read the paper (Hacker, 1998; Ellsworth & Higgins, 2001; Thaiss &
Sanford, 2000; Weinbroer, 2001). According to Ellsworth & Higgins (2001), part of the planning process involves developing a focus, an overall theme or purpose of your paper.

Writing a Research Paper Part 2

Furthermore, the Library is full of books, journals, and media resources that can be useful to any researcher. When writing scientific papers many instructors require students to use journal articles, which are called primary sources (Thaiss & Sanford, 2000).

Because of the limited access to material, at some of the smaller schools, some instructors will accept secondary sources such as magazine articles, books, and newspapers as sources for nonprofessional student papers.

Many times when a topic is entered into a database or a search engine numerous articles will appear. It is not possible to read them all. That is why abstracts are important. Reading the abstract, a short article summary, can save a researcher an incredible amount of time (Thaiss & Sanford, 2000). If the article is relevant, read it and record notes about what you read, paying particular attention to sentences you might want to quote.

Some people photocopy the information that they find allowing them the freedom to take the information they find with them for later review. Be sure to record the bibliographical information when either photocopying or recording notes from an article. Failure to do this can be dangerous for a writer, because it may spur the temptation to copy information directly from an article without giving proper credit to the author of the source article.

To copy information from a book or article without attributing it to its source is called plagiarism. Plagiarism is illegal and unethical. Now, it can be very tempting to plagiarize because sometimes the article’s author used the exact words and sentences that you would use if you wrote the article. Maybe
the author wrote the perfect sentence. If it is the perfect sentence, use it, just quote the author. If the quote is shorter than four typed lines; indicate to the reader that it is a quote by placing quotation marks around it (Raimes, 1999). At the end of the quote, before the period and in parenthesis, write the last names of the author, the year and the page number.

Raimes (1999) explains in her book Keys For Writers that long quotes are handled differently than short quotes. If you quote more than three lines of poetry or four typed lines of prose, do not use quotation marks. Instead, indent the quotation one inch or ten spaces from the left margin in MLA style, or indent five spaces if you are using APA style. Double-space through out.

Do not indent from the right margin. You can establish the context for a long quotation and integrate it effectively into your text if you state the point that you want to make and name the author of the quotation in your introductory statement (pg. 89).

Writing a Research Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide instruction for writing a research paper. Writing a research paper can be a frightening process. Instructors often assign research papers in-order to provide students with the opportunity to delve deeper into a subject. Choosing a subject, conducting the research, and writing the paper are the major tasks that students have to complete when writing a research paper. A selective review of sources concerning how to write research
papers was conducted.

The Research Paper Assignment

It is the first day of class, the instructor hands you a syllabus. It could be any class, Psychology, English, Government, Economics or even Kinesiology. You scan the syllabus and then you notice it, one of your assignments is a research paper. Writing a research paper can be a frightening process.

Research papers provide students with the opportunity to delve deeper into a subject.

Choosing a subject, conducting the research, and writing the paper are the major tasks that students have to complete when writing a research paper.
When choosing a subject for a research paper, pick a topic of interest (Wienbroer, 2001). Textbooks are excellent sources for potential ideas. Brainstorming, browsing through the newspapers, and considering experiences in your personal life are ways of generating ideas for your paper. The mistake that some students make is that they choose a subject that is too broad.

Narrowing the topic will help bring focus to the paper and will help you to wade through the tons of information (Hacker, 1998; Weinbroer, 2001).

Conducting the actual research is the part of the process of writing that frightens students the most.

There are many places where you can find information. Search engines, indexes
databases, and library catalogs can provide more than enough information for writing a research paper (Hacker, 1998; Thaiss & Sanford, 2000; Weinbroer, 2001).

Search engines, on the World Wide Web, make it easy for people to find information on almost any subject. Yahoo, Dogpile and Google are some of the more popular search engines used. When using a search engine, carefully examine the information it provides. Because the information may not be subject to peer review, information on the Internet can be inaccurate.

Also, information can be stored in electronic storehouses. These storehouses are called databases (American Psychological Association [APA], 2014; Weinbroer, 2001). Westlaw, Eric, Readers’s Guide Abstract, PsyLit, PsychInfo and Ebsco-host are all examples of databases that can provide research information. Databases are probably the best place to start when conducting research. Some students find it difficult to access the information in databases. Have no fear, Librarians are more that willing to assist students in their search.