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WRITING A RESEARCH ESSAY Mary Ellen Haley Center for Academic Development. MAKE A SCHEDULE. Writing a research essay takes more than a day or two to do well. Plan a schedule and stick to it. You might use the schedule below to determine how much time you need to complete this essay:.
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Writing a research essay takes more than a day or two to do well. Plan a schedule and stick to it. You might use the schedule below to determine how much time you need to complete this essay:
If your professor asks you to pick your own topic, free-write on one of these questions to get started:
What issues interest, frighten, inspire me?
What am I interest in doing in the future (personally or professionally)?
What famous person interests me?
If your professor does not assign a specific research question, after you have selected a topic, make up a question to guide yourself:
While encyclopedias give a good general idea about a topic, most professors will require you to use periodicals and books written by experts in your discipline.
Good support for your thesis often comes in the form of facts and figures. For sound data on population, geography and economics, go to:
The Bedford Research Room- www.bedfordmartins.com/researchroom
Citing Electronic Sources-
OWL (Purdue University)-
Plagiarism, or copying text without giving proper credit to the author, is an academic crime. Avoid plagiarizing by keeping careful notes of the authors of your sources.
Keep the list on note cards or on your computer so that it is ready to reproduce when the essay is done.
We cite outside sources in an essay to support a point we have already made. In other words, an indirect or a direct quotation will serve as evidence for your main idea.
When quoting a source indirectly, you might summarize, in general, the main idea of the source in your own words. DO NOT use the source’s words. Introduce the outside source, and include the page number (in parentheses) on which it appears.
In her article in English Journal titled “Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Teach Students about Plagiarism,” Melissa A. Vosen describes a lesson plan to teach students how to avoid plagiarism (43). This learning unit employs Bloom’s Taxonomy to teach students to recognize plagiarism and evaluate their research sources.
EX: Vosen goes on to explain that educators should teach students why plagiarism is inappropriate, not merely order them not to plagiarize (43).
When you “paraphrase,” you restate the source’s ideas in your own words. A paraphrase will have more details than a summary.
Melissa A. Vosen laments how far some students will go in plagiarizing, in her article “Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Teach Students about Plagiarism,” in English Journal. Vosen recalls a student who, in writing a memoir, obviously stole material from an outside source. The student described the joys of watching her teenaged daughter dance on a balance beam; unfortunately, the memoirist herself was only eighteen and would have had to have given birth at age six if the memoir was true (43).
Students obviously must be taught, not merely told, to avoid plagiarism. According to veteran teacher Maria A. Vosen, “I now realize that simply telling the students each time I introduce a writing assignment that they are not to plagiarize is not enough” (43).
Adapted from Real Writing by Susan Anker