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The Logistics of How to Write a Research Paper & MLA Format. Basic Structure. Heading will always go in the left hand corner of the first page: Name Instructor’s Name Class Date Include your last name and the page number on the right hand side of every page.

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basic structure
Basic Structure
  • Heading will always go in the left hand corner of the first page:
    • Name
    • Instructor’s Name
    • Class
    • Date
  • Include your last name and the page number on the right hand side of every page.
  • Use Times New Roman or a similar standard font. Also, use 12 point as your size.
  • Only have 1 inch for each margin.
  • Center the title of your piece.
step 1 topic proposal
STEP 1:TOPIC PROPOSAL
  • The purpose of a topic proposal is to receive approval from your professor/instructor regarding the topic you would like to write about. In a short paragraph (4-5 sentences), you must explain your topic and provide a brief glimpse into which specific points you will be researching and ultimately what your paper will be about.
step 2 annotated bibliography
STEP 2:ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • The following slides will discuss source evaluation, MLA citations and annotations. Each of these points is important in developing your annotated bibliography.
evaluate your sources
EVALUATE YOUR SOURCES!!!

When choosing your source, it is absolutely imperative that you evaluate the credibility, authenticity and quality of your source. If you do not have good sources, the quality of your research paper goes down.

the a abcs of evaluating sources
THE AABCs of Evaluating Sources
  • AUTHORITY
      • Who is the author of this source?
      • Is this person an authority, or expert, on this particular subject?
      • If the source is published by an organization, is the organization well-known for dealing with this particular topic?
the a a bcs of evaluating sources
THE AABCs of Evaluating Sources
  • ACCURACY
      • Is the information from this source accurate?
      • How can you tell the source is telling the truth?
      • What research does the source allude to and how do you know that you can trust the research?
      • Doe the source seem to have a lot of spelling, grammatical, or factual errors?
the aa b cs of evaluating sources
THE AABCs of Evaluating Sources
  • 2. BIAS
      • Is this source biased towards one side of a debate?
      • Does this source only cover one perspective or do they acknowledge other perspectives as well?
      • Does the author use emotionally-charged words to try to persuade you in one direction only?
the aab c s of evaluating sources
THE AABCs of Evaluating Sources

3. CURRENCY

  • Is the information in this source current?
  • Is the information in this source kept up-to-date?
  • How do you know whether the information in this site is recent enough for you to use?
mla citations
MLA CITATIONS
  • Once you find good research, you must properly cite - or document - this source.
  • Make sure to write this information down once you find a good source so that you don’t lose it.
  • The next few slides will just provide information for the basic sources.
  • There are many, many rules in the MLA manual. These are just the basics. For clarification, consult Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference.
  • Rules for documenting sources in MLA format will be found on pages 378-403.
  • Rules for in-text citations in MLA format will be found on pages 370-378.
basic citations
BASIC CITATIONS

BOOK

Last name, First name. Title of Book. City: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of publication.

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.

***Pay close attention to how everything is formatted, from hanging indentions to punctuation.

slide13

FILM/DOCUMENTARY

Title of film. Dir. First Last name. Perf. or Narr. First Last Name. Distributor, Year of release. Medium.

Finding Neverland. Dir. Marc Foster. Perf. Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, and Dustin Hoffman. Miramax, 2004. DVD.

***Pay close attention to how everything is formatted, from hanging indentions to punctuation.

basic citations1
BASIC CITATIONS

PERIODICAL

Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical. Volume. Issue. Day Month Year: Pages. Medium of publication.

Buchman, Dana. “TV Makes a Too-Close Call.” Time Magazine. 34.3 (20 Nov. 2000): 70- 71. Print.

***Pay close attention to how everything is formatted, from hanging indentions to punctuation.

basic citations2
BASIC CITATIONS

ELECTRONIC SOURCE

Last name, first name. “Title of Article.” Title of Website. Sponsor of the site, Date. Medium of Publication. Date you accessed the material.

Bash, Dana. “Iraq is One Victory in War on Terror.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.

***Pay close attention to how everything is formatted, from hanging indentions to punctuation.

basic citations3
BASIC CITATIONS

DATABASES

Last Name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical. Volume. Issue. Day Month Year: Pages. Title of Database. Medium of publication. Date of access..

Junge, Wolfgang, and Nathan Nelson. “Nature's Rotary Electromotors.” Science 29 Apr. 2005: 642-44. Science Online. Web. 5 Mar. 2009.

***Some database articles will already have the source citation in MLA format on the bottom of the page. You may copy this, but double check to make sure all formatting is correct.

annotated bibliography
Annotated Bibliography
  • An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, websites, databases and other sources that you may be using in your research paper.
  • The citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, known as the annotation. Here you provide a summary of what the source is about. You will also evaluate the quality of the source. This is where you will prove your AABC’s when it comes to credibility of the source.
annotated bibliography ex
Annotated Bibliography Ex.

Waite, L. J., Frances KorbinGoldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51 (1986): 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and the changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex roles as a result of nonfamily living.

step 3 outline
STEP 3:OUTLINE
  • An outline is a “skeleton” or a quick glimpse of how your entire essay will be organized. You must always start with your thesis statement, which will be the last sentence of your introduction. Then you will move on to your topic sentences for each body paragraph. When it comes to your sub points for each paragraph, you can either write those out in full sentences or just write the basic idea, or topic. The first example shows an outline that uses full sentences for sub points; the second example shows a topical outline.
  • Follow the instruction given to you on handout.
step 4 5 rough draft final draft
STEP 4/5:Rough Draft/ Final Draft
  • As you begin to put your drafts together, it is extremely important to cite your sources as you implement them within your paragraphs. At the end of the paper you will have a Works Cited page that will give a complete list of all the sources you used.
  • This is all necessary to avoid plagiarism!
what is plagiarism
WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?
  • Plagiarism occurs when individuals present someone else’s information and ideas as their own.
  • This can happen in a variety of ways when it comes to writing a research paper.
  • COPYING
    • COPYING INFORMATION WORD FOR WORD WITHOUT GIVING CREDIT TO AN AUTHOR ORUSING QUOTATION MARKS IS PLAGIARISM.
  • WORD CHANGING
    • COPYING OVER INFORMATION FROM A SOURCE BUT CHANGING A FEW WORDS TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE ITS YOUR OWN WORDS IS STILL PLAGIARISM!
how to avoid plagiarism
How to avoid plagiarism…
  • USE IN-TEXT CITATIONS:
    • In-text citations are in the body of your paper. When incorporating information, quotes, or ideas from a credible source into a paragraph or sentence, you must cite the source that you have used.
    • This can be done in two ways.
in text citation continued
In- Text Citation Continued…

1. Usually the citation appears at the end of the sentence or paragraph with the authors last name and the page numbers of the information enclosed in parentheses. (Don’t worry about page numbers if your source didn’t have any; if your source doesn’t have an author, then you will write the article ‘s title in the parentheses.)

  • For example:

- Many scientists have realized that “regulated sport hunting has never driven any wild species into extinction” (Turback 74).

- Many scientists have realized that “regulated sport hunting has never driven any wild species into extinction” (“Myths about Sport Hunting” 5).

in text citations cont
IN-TEXT CITATIONS CONT…
  • 2. A second way you can use in-text citations is by putting the source information – like the author last name- in the signal phrase. (A signal phrase is the sentence that leads into the cited information.)
      • For example:

- In John Turback’s article entitled, “Hunting and Animal Preservation”, he states that many scientists have realized that “regulated sport hunting has never driven any wild species into extinction” (5).

what happens if you have a really long quote and all of it is important
What happens if you have a really long quote and all of it is important?
  • If your quote goes on for more than four lines, indent the entire quote half an inch and take off the quotation marks. This is called a “block quote.” BUT BE CAREFULL, YOU’RE PAPER SHOULD NOT BE OVERWHELMED WITH QUOTES.

Heathcliff, the protaganist in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, is poorly and dehumanized throughout her narration. This is seen when Bronte says,

They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house (Bronte 78).

how to avoid plagiarism1
How to avoid plagiarism…
  • INCORPORATE A WORKS CITED PAGE:
    • This is the last page of your research paper.
    • It is a list of all the sources that you used in your paper BUT you will provide the full source information .
    • (This works hand in hand with in-text citations. Each in-text citation will correspond with those listed in the Works Cited page.)
    • Notice the Alphabetical order
    • Hanging indents
slide27

Works Cited

Brennan, Matthew C. “The Landscapes of Grief in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Facts on File. June 1989. Blooms Literary Reference Web. 31 Jan. 2012.

Chavez, Louis. “Symbols.” Scribd. 10 Oct. 2008: 1- 4.Web. 1 Feb. 2012.

Phillips, Bill. “Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s ‘Wet Ungenial Summer.’” North American Studies. Dec. 2006. Gale Research Databases. Web. 1 Feb. 2012.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Perma – Bound Classics, 1988.