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Research Paper

Details

  1. Class: Unspecified
  2. This template is published for use.
  1. Step 1: Understand your assignment. Select and focus your topic.
    Percent time spent on this step: 8%

    Instructions

    Note: The research and writing process is not always linear. Keep in mind you may need to go forward or backwards in this process for best results.

    • Read through and understand your assignment (from UNC).
      • Contact or visit your instructor’s office hours if you have questions.
    • Select a workable topic (from Colorado State).
    • Conduct preliminary investigation into topic using Google or other web searches. Begin to understand your topic and the issues surrounding it.
      • Try a specialized encyclopedia
      • Write down 5-10 keywords about your topic including terms, jargon, events, people, places, etc. to use when you search for sources.

  2. Step 2: Write your working thesis or preliminary research question.
    Percent time spent on this step: 7%
  3. Step 3: Design research strategy. Find and evaluate evidence and sources to address your research question.
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%

    Instructions


  4. Step 4: Critically read and further evaluate sources.
    Percent time spent on this step: 25%

    Instructions

    • Evaluate sources based on your research question or working thesis.
    • Use critical reading strategies (PDF) from the U of M’s Center for Writing.
      • Take notes on readings while reading. Make notes on margins. Use tools to comment or highlight digital readings. 
      • Try close reading (from Harvard) and read to write strategies (from UNC).
    • Conduct additional research to fill in gaps as needed (see step 3).
  5. Step 5: Develop overall structure. Draft segments of paper. Organize sources.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions

  6. Step 6: Write 1st draft.
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%

    Instructions

    Keep in mind there are many ways to approach writing your first draft.  You do not have to start at the beginning. Instead begin drafting segments or chunks. Concentrate on writing your rough ideas and not on revising.

  7. Step 7: Revise & rewrite--focus on content.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%
  8. Step 8: Polish and put paper in final form.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions


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