What You Need to Know
Understanding Your Assignment
Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:
- How many pages?
- How many sources?
- What kinds of sources?
- What format?
Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.
English 103 Research Paper--Prof. Aboulian
After reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, choose a topic connected with the book. Then take a clear critical or argumentative position about happiness, exploring both sides of your topic. Examples: education leads to more (or less) happiness; atheists are happier (or not) than the religiously fervent; etc. Use about 4-5 sources for a 7-9 page paper. I would prefer academic journals and/or books, but reputable periodicals/new
Controversial Issue Paper
Writing an argumenative paper on a controversial issue requires that you look at both sides of an issue and take a position on one side or the other. You not only take a stand on an issue, but you must defend it against opposing points of view. Therefore, your argumentative research paper will involve advocacy and persuasion.
What to do:
- Select your topic
- Research the issues surrounding the topic
- Read other writers’ arguments for and against
- Take a stand
- Present supporting evidence in favor of your position
- Defend your position against opposing points of view
- Anticipate and deflect arguments against your position
- Make your case persuasively
Research Basics - Step by Step
Breaking Down The Research Process
The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.
- Choose a topic - or have one assigned
- Understand your topic
- Background reading
- Consider a main focus
- Refine your topic
- Make a list of your keywords and concepts
- Background reading
- Search Sources
- Find Books
- Find Articles
- Find Websites
- Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
- Cite your sources