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Research: Where do I begin?. The search is on!. I have a topic!!. Finding a topic that you like is the first step. Right now, it’s pretty general, so your first step is to see what’s out there!. Starting the search. Google and skim!

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i have a topic
I have a topic!!
  • Finding a topic that you like is the first step. Right now, it’s pretty general, so your first step is to see what’s out there!
starting the search
Starting the search
  • Google and skim!
  • No matter what side of the issue you will be supporting, it’s essential that you see the WHOLE PICTURE!
i found it
  • When you find an article that you think may be useful, get out your note cards and put all the information that will help you find it again.
  • Include a phrase at the bottom of the card that helps you remember where you will use it in your paper.
  • Also, include citation punctuation to save time later.
step one
Step One
  • You have found all of the listed sources that help give you a clear overview of the function of the United States Post Office.
  • Create a source card for each of the listed sources including a line at the bottom of each card as to its usefulness in your paper.
  • Make sure you match the number with the correct source.
Author, last name first (period)
  • Name of article in quotation marks (period inside quotes)
  • Name of publication (Underlined followed by a period.)
  • Name of publisher (NP if no publisher is named followed by a comma)
  • Date of article with day, month abbreviated, year (followed by a period)
  • Web (if found on the Internet: Followed by a period)
  • Date of access (Internet sources: followed by a period).
  • Print (if found in a printed publication– followed by a period)

Gonslaves, Chris. 3

“Wasting Away on the Web”

Ziff Davis Enterprising Holdings,

Aug. 2005.


12 September 2012.

  • (Information on the benefits of blocking social networking sites in homes with children)
developing a central research question
Developing a Central Research Question
  • On a note card, write out your topic in the form of a question: What is the issue?
  • Example: Over the past decade, total mail volume has decreased as competition with electronic mail and various package delivery companies have taken business away from the USPS. Should the USPS be reconstructed to be less of a financial burden to the United States and more effective to meet the needs of the changing world?
divide your issue into two opposing views
Divide your issue into two opposing views
  • RESOLVED: The United States Postal Service is outdated and should be reconstructed to meet the needs of a changing world.
  • RESOLVED: The United States Postal Service is an effective and reliable means of communication and should remain unchanged as it currently meets the needs of our changing world.
preliminary outline
Preliminary Outline

Statement of position goes at the top (This will be replaced with your thesis_

  • Overview of Topic

(Define your topic and give background. Your overview will end with the thesis)

II. Concession

(points of support for opposition)

  • Point 1 of support
  • Point 2 of support
  • Point 3 of support

VI. Conclusion and call to action

note taking
Note Taking
  • Paraphrase
  • Put the notes in your own words
  • Make sure that you put the source card number on the card
note taking1
Note Taking
  • Summary:
  • Use summary to outline key points on a note card.
  • Paraphrase– do not copy the exact words of the author without quoting.
sample research question
Sample Research Question
  • The United States Post Office should be restructured to meet the needs of the changing world.
  • The United States Post Office provides efficient and reliable communications across the country and should not be restructured.
preliminary outline example
Preliminary Outline Example
  • The USPS is outdated and needs to be reconstructed to meet the needs of the changing world.

I. Postal Service as it is now and the problems

II. Concession

III. Economically Draining

IV. Inefficient in the 21st technological world

V. Consolidation

VI. Conclusion and call to action

take notes and use slugs
Take notes and use Slugs
  • A slug is a note that tells which paragraph in your paper you will use the information.
  • Your note cards should have both a source number and a slug.

Your outline may change as you go, which is fine.

note taking2
Note Taking
  • Quote
  • The quote should be compelling and meet the following standards:
  • The wording is such that it is memorable
  • The author of the quote is an authority
  • It is supported with observations

Use partial quotes if the quote is long and rambling

example of note card with slug
Example of note card with slug
  • Economics 2
  • Heavy decrease in mail volume over the past decade

e-mail for general friendly correspondence

(thank you notes, invites, friendly letters)

Junk mail on Internet as opposed to delivered

rough draft instructions
Rough Draft Instructions
  • Develop the thesis statement
  • Look at the two opposing views that you have on your sheet. Begin with the word “Although” and write the OPPOSING VIEW STATEMENT (the opposite of your side)
  • Although the postal service is dependable and offers a service to the country, the loss of revenue and fluctuating demographics indicate that it must be restructured to meet the needs of a changing world.
rough draft
Rough Draft
  • Write your rough draft, being sure to note the source card numbers when your reference your sources. Your rough draft should have the following:
  • 1. Introductory paragraph ending with thesis
  • 2. Topic sentences and paragraphs that reflect your preliminary outline and slugs.
  • 3. Source card numbers noted in appropriate places.
revise your draft
Revise your draft
  • Complete a style check list
  • Replace source card numbers with in-text citations appropriately punctuated.
  • Look for gaps in logic, and add more persuasion if necessary.
  • Make sure that your outline reflects the revised structure
formal outline and works cited
Formal Outline and Works Cited
  • See formatting directions on handout