Research Paper The vip of the whole mess… What is a research paper?

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Research Paper

  • The VIP of the whole mess…

What is a research paper?

  • A “research paper” is taking and combining “information you find by doing research” and “your own ideas” to prove a “thesis statement”.
  • Information + Ideas = Research

What is a research paper?

  • What is considered “my own ideas”?
    • Any “general” information
    • You MUST “cite” any information that has numbers
      • Dates (birth and death)
      • Statistics (% of free-throw)
      • Ect.

What is a research paper continued…

    • Billy the Kid
      • Wild West outlaw (this we already know)
      • “was an orphan at the age of 15” (what we learn through research)
  • So we create a statement…
    • Billy the Kid, a well known Wild West outlaw, most likely turned to violence after becoming an orphan at age 15 (Source, 12). After Billy’s parents were…
    • (The statement above was “paraphrased” but we still “cited” the source.)

How long does this have to be…

  • Remember essays?
    • Essays are 5 paragraphs: 1st is the introductory, then 3 body paragraphs, and the last is the concluding.

What’s up?

  • Choosing a topic (a good one)
  • Making a statement
  • Questioning a topic

Choosing A Topic

  • See what is available
  • Ask yourself, “Is my topic too contemporary?”
  • NARROW your topic
    • “Football” should become a “specific player” or “team”
    • “WWII” should become a “specific event” or a “few battles”

The “Thesis” Statement

  • This is the “Main Idea” of you paper
  • It becomes a “Focus” for your thoughts
  • __________________ made/had
  • a big impact on ______________.
  • Fill in the “Blanks” and get a “Thesis”

Narrow your topic for your Thesis Statement

    • “Football” is too BROAD a topic to cover for your “THESIS STATEMENT”
      • Football made/had a big impact on ? .
    • BUT “Troy Aikman” as a topic should be okay (if there are books available.)
      • Troy Aikman made/had a big impact on football .

The “Thesis Statement” Continued

  • Once you come up with a thesis statement you are ready to research
  • You now need to QUESTION your topic

Questioning Your Topic

  • Ask yourself…
    • What do I already know?
    • What do I want to learn by doing research?
  • Organize your questions in to three subtopics
  • (Examples)
    • Youth, Adult, Death
    • Before, During, After
  • You should have 21 different questions total (about 7 for each category)

What’s next?

  • Source Cards
    • Encyclopedia
    • Book
    • Ebsco (Magazine)
    • Internet
  • Note Cards
  • Reliability
  • Dewey

Source Cards

  • Encyclopedia
    • Author Last name, First. “Subject Title.” Encyclopedia Name. Year of publication.
    • Gold, John. “Edison, Thomas.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1992 ed.
  • Classroom
  • Don’t forget
  • to indent

Encyclopedia: Author Last name, First.

  • After each “subject entry” in an encyclopedia there is an author. You will find that it is written in VERY small print at the very end of the article.
  • Each “subject entry” is BOLD and is ALWAYS lined up on the left. Subcategories are also bold but they are indented slightly.

This one is easy…

  • This one is easy…
  • The “Subject Title” is what you are looking for
    • “Football” is a “Subject Title.”
    • “Ali, Muhammad” is a “Subject Title.”
    • “Cow” is a “Subject Title.”
  • RULE: ALWAYS look for “people” by their LAST NAME first
  • Encyclopedia: “Subject Title.”

Source Cards

  • Book
    • Author Last name, First. Book Title. City of Publication:Publisher, Year of publication.
  • Josephson, Matthew. Edison: A Biography. Portland: Wiley, 1992.

Book: City of Publication and Publisher

  • This information can be found on the “TITLE PAGE”
  • The “Title Page” is the page in book that contains the title, author, publisher, publisher address, and copyright date. The “copyright” date is found by the ©
  • The “Title Page” is everything you need to create a “Book Source Card”

Source Cards

  • Magazine
    • Author or editor Last name, First name. “Article title.” Name of Magazine. Date of Magazine published: Page numbers.
    • Saunders, Fenella. “They Invented it.” Discover Magazine. Oct 2006: 2-3.
  • Ebsco-host

Magazine (Ebscohost): Easy to use, once you set it up right

  • Go to the Woodland Website:
  • Click on High School
  • Click on High School Library
  • On the Far left you’ll see “Ebsco” (click on it)

Magazine (Ebscohost): And then…

  • Click on EBSCOhost Web
  • Now under “choose a database” click the most appropriate database for your research (the more the better is NOT better) so BE PICKY!

Magazine (Ebscohost): And then…

  • Click the button…
  • NOW this is Very Important click on the “FULL TEXT” check-box
  • NOW in the box that is next to the word “find” you type in your “keywords” for the search
    • “Football” and “Troy Aikman”
  • Hit the “search” button and away you go!

Magazine (Ebscohost): And then…

  • You should see something like this…
    • 1.CBS earns passing grade on Super Bowl coverage By: Michael Hiestand. USA Today, 02/05/2007; (AN J0E168755534107) HTML Full Text
  • Click on the “title” or the words “HTML Full Text” to get to the article

Source Cards

    • Author or editor Last name, first name. Web site title. Date of publication of site. .
    • Beals, Gerry. Thomas Edison’s Home Page. 1999.
  • Internet
  • Internet

Reliability on the Internet

  • Reliable sources on the internet will always include an “author”, a “date”, and should always be “cross referenced”
  • “Cross referenced” means you check the information with info from another web site.

Note Cards

  • RULES:
    • Write a “direct quote” word-for-word
    • Always record the “page number”
  • A “direct quote” is the information you are getting from a source. The “direct quote” should answer one of your “research questions.”
  • You need to record the “page number” from your source because you will need this when you “cite” your information in your paper.

Note Cards Continued…

  • A sample for you…
          • The page number
          • The “Direct Quote”
  • “The most famous of his inventions was an incandescent light bulb.” Pg 89
  • Inventions

Dewey he’s the man…

  • Use the “Dewey Decimal System” and the “Cat-5” to find your “non-fiction” book.
  • DDS = categorize books by a number system
  • Cat-5 = Online Catalogue of books
  • 5

…and then?

  • Outlines
  • Citing in Writing and the Rough Draft
  • Works Cited
  • Title Page
  • Final Production or Final Draft


  • The research paper “outline” should be easy to organize…if your note cards are organized.
  • The outline for the body will be easy to write…it may be that the “Intro” and “Conclusion” will be more difficult
  • The “Intro” and “Conclusion” are… YOUR OWN WORDS…NO CITATIONS!!

Citing in Writing: What you Need

  • What you need…
      • Note Cards
      • Source Cards
  • From the “Note Cards” you need the “Direct Quote” and “page number”
  • From the “Source Cards” you need the “Authors Last Name”

Citing in Writing: The Cards

    • Jose, Matthew. Edison: A Biography. Portland: Wiley, 1992.
  • School Library
  • “The most famous of his inventions was an incandescent light bulb.” Pg 89
  • Inventions
  • <<<<
  • Note Card >>>>>>

Citing in Writing: What you Do

  • Research is Citing. You must tell the “reader” where you get your information and we do this by “CITING” our source.
  • The way we do this…

Citing in Writing: The Way We Do This…

  • You take the direct quote and include your own thoughts to create a sentence in your research paper…
  • Thomas Edison made many inventions in his lifetime. Some inventions are more famous than others. “The most famous of his inventions was an incandescent light bulb” (Jose, 89).

Citing in Writing: Now what?

  • EVERY TIME you use a “quote” from a note card you “Cite” the source.
  • RULES:
    • Use the first item on your Source Card (Usually the author’s last name)
    • Use the page number from the Note Card
    • DO NOT write the word “page” in the “citation”
    • EXAMPLE: …” (Last Name, Number).


  • Definition: The “sources” you “cited” in your research paper are written “collectively” on one page. This page is called the “Works Cited” page.
    • Type all your source cards IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (by the first item on the card usually the Author’s Last name).
  • REMEMBER: Indent ALL lines after the first.


  • You need ALL your “Source Cards”
  • NOW… you need to type them…but there are rules…
    • Jose, Matthew. Edison: A Biography. Portland: Wiley, 1992.
  • School Library
    • Beals, Gerry. Thomas Edison’s Home Page. 1999.
  • Ebsco


  • So…your “Works Cited” page should look like this…
  • ALPHABETICAL ORDER by Author’s last name
  • Single spaced source information
  • Double space between each source
  • Works Cited
    • Beals, Gerry. Thomas Edison’s Home Page. 1999.
    • “Edison, Thomas.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1992 ed.
    • Jose, Matthew. Edison: A Biography. Portland: Wiley, 1992.
    • Saunders, Fenella. “R&D: They Invented it.” Discover Magazine. Oct 200: 1.

Title Page: Let’s Name this Baby!

  • The “title page” is the cover page for your research.
  • What do you want on the “title page”?
    • The title
    • Your name
    • Your teacher’s name
    • The date you turn in your paper
    • Your class hour
        • USE: the Center button or (Ctrl + E) to Center the “cursor”

Production: Format

  • Formatting Your Paper
    • Times New Roman (font)
    • 12 Pt (size of font)
    • Double Space (Format; Line Spacing; Double)
    • 1 inch margins (already set)
    • NO BOLD
      • This is a “FORMAL” piece of writing and it should look like it

Are we there yet?

  • YES…
  • Scoring Guide >>>
  • Order to turn in
    • Scoring guide
    • Title Page
    • Research paper
    • Works Cited
    • Rough Draft
    • Outline
    • Note Cards

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