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Research A Research Paper

8649 words - 35 pages

Guide PAGE 2
Writing the Research PaperHandbook and Style GuideEnglish teachers from both Cranston High School East and Cranston High School West prepared this booklet for students learning the fundamentals of research paper writing. Much of the material was gleaned from sources listed on the acknowledgements page. The information chosen is considered suitable to fulfill the instructional needs of the teachers and to facilitate practical use by the students.1. Topic SelectionTopic selection will vary with the teacher or the course. If you are given a choice of topic, consider the following questions before choosing:Is the subject you are considering significant/relevant to the assignment?Does the subject interest you?Are research materials readily available for the subject?Can the subject be presented objectively?2. Limiting the SubjectIf the subject you plan to research is too broad, your paper may exceed the assigned length. If you attempt to develop a broad subject within the confines of the required length, you may also find that you have merely skimmed the surface of the subject. Either case may lead to an unacceptable outcome. Therefore, you must carefully analyze a subject to divide it into its parts. You might consider narrowing it in relation to pertinent time periods or certain examples, features, uses, and causes.The paper you are usually asked to write in English class is an evaluative research paper which goes beyond mere reporting of facts found in an informational research paper. Rather, it may address solutions to a problem, determine causes or effects, formulate evidence to prove or disprove, compare or contrast, assess, analyze or interpret. By presenting facts, figures, and opinions from both primary and secondary resources in the paper, the reader gains a new point of view or sees information in a new light.Informational paper topic: The training a meteorologist needsEvaluative paper topic: A contrast of the training a meteorologist needed in l940 to what he/she needs in 2000Informational paper topic: Benjamin Franklin's political lifeEvaluative paper topic: The effect of Benjamin Franklin's writing style upon his career3. Working BibliographyThe first step in researching a topic is to compile a working bibliography of potential sources of information, both primary and secondary. The subject area of a research paper determines, in part, the nature of the source materials.If you have been asked, for example, to analyze the poetry of Anne Bradstreet in relation to the accepted poetic norms of her time, you would use several of her poems as your primary sources. You would then search for secondary information from a variety of mediums such as analyses of Bradstreet's works by other critics, historical information about the conventions of poetry during Puritan times, Bradstreet biographies, etc.Primary Sources are original words of a writer (novel, speech, eyewitness account, letter, autobiography, interview).Secondary Sources...

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