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Organizing a Research Paper

Organizing a Research Paper

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Organizing a Research Paper

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  1. Organizing a Research Paper Point and Counterpoint Method Worth Weller

  2. Step 1. write a short introduction • (no more than half a page, preferably less) • that sets the scene • and states both the problem and the solution (or the thrust of your argument).

  3. However, avoid defining the problem or explaining the solution in the introduction.

  4. Step 2. make a transition to your first paragraph and discuss the back ground of the problem fairly briefly and without too much detail • use some sources to show/prove/illustrate that it is indeed a problem.

  5. You may need to break this into several paragraphs; • one could be proof that it is indeed a problem; • another could be the history of the problem, • and a third could be where the problem stands today. • Try to use a source or an example to illustrate each paragraph and lend some authenticity to your statements

  6. At this point you could easily have two pages of text

  7. Step 3. start your argument • use a transition from the previous material, like, “One of the biggest reasons…” • Make just one point in this paragraph, and use a source to authenticate your point. • Be sure to use the “quote sandwich” technique.

  8. Step 4 - now use an opposing or contrary point, with a transition. • “On the other hand, many politicians feel…”

  9. Step 5 - add a paragraph about why politicians feel this way • use a quote from a source to authenticate your assertion as to why they feel this way

  10. Step 6 - now add another paragraph showing why they are stupid (or venal) • show what the sources have to say against them • in other words, you could “box” in your opponents.

  11. By now you are up to four pages

  12. Step Seven – repeat steps three and four five and six, focusing on another element of your argument.

  13. Now you are up to six pages.

  14. Step 8 – repeat this process four more times • (meaning you really need to have just six points you want to make)

  15. Step 9 – now write a paragraph summarizing your points.

  16. Step 10 – write a paragraph summarizing the opponents’ claims.

  17. Step 11 – write a paragraph summarizing the weaknesses of their claims • why they are the type of people who make those claims • (politician are always looking for ways to enrich the pockets of their friends and major donors).

  18. Step 12 - now write a short concluding paragraph that ends the paper on a positive and philosophical note • repeat in a recognizable but not blatant fashion your argument/solution from the intro