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How to Write a Research Paper A Step by Step Approach


How to Write a Research Paper. A Step by Step Approach. Created by Janet Armentor-Cota ... What previous research has been done on your specific topic? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Write a Research Paper A Step by Step Approach

How to Write a Research PaperA Step by Step
  • Created by Janet Armentor-Cota
  • and Doreen Anderson-Facile
  • California State University, Bakersfield

Choosing a Topic
  • Initial Questions
  • What topics are you interested in exploring?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish?
  • Use Boolean Logic
  • Select key terms and conduct a Boolean search.
  • http//

Choosing a Topic
  • Narrow topic
  • Sift through the results for relevant material
  • For assistance, see Website
  • Develop research question
  • Look for contradictions, weaknesses, and
    unexplored areas in the literature
  • Return to Boolean Logic to refine your literature

Part I Introduction
  • What is the issue or problem you are
    investigating? How will you approach this topic?
  • Describe the importance (significance) of the
    study - why was this worth doing in the first
    place? Provide a broad context.
  • Include your thesis statement.
  • Let your audience/reader know what the paper will

Part II The Literature Review
  • What previous research has been done on your
    specific topic?
  • What have been the theoretical approaches to your
    topic? What methodologies were used? Make sure
    you include any pioneering work. (You do not want
    to miss literature that has been a building block
    on the topic).

Part II The Literature Review
  • What have been the findings from previous
  • How do you think your research will be similar or
    different in some way?
  • Compare your thoughts on your research with what
    others have said about the subject.

Part III Theory
  • Most often your research topic will guide you to
    a theoretical perspective.
  • Examine the literature to explore the topic from
    different theoretical perspectives.
  • Refine your research question.

Part III Theory
  • Develop a theoretical or combination of
    theoretical approaches to address your research.
  • Describe the theoretical approach you are
  • Describe how this theoretical approach
    specifically addresses your research question.

Part IV Methods
  • How did you go about doing your research? What
    steps did you take during the process?
  • How did you collect your data? Where was the data
    collected? When was it collected?
  • Explain your methods for collecting data.

Part V Findings and Discussion
  • Spend time organizing the data by themes.
  • Themes are organized ways of demonstrating
    patterns of social behavior.
  • Think of a title to give each theme you notice.
    Once you have done this, you should pick bits of
    data that help to demonstrate themes.
  • Spend time trying to analyze and explain the

Part V Findings and Discussion
  • How do your findings compare with the existing
    literature on the research topic and question?
  • Explain the findings from your research.
  • Use theories and past literature to assess and
    explain your findings.
  • Offer any criticisms and suggestions for future

Part VI Conclusion
  • Summarize your major findings. Make certain that
    you directly connect this section to the
  • What can we learn from this research? How do you
    see this work helping to understand some aspect
    of social life?

Writing Tips
  • Does the essay have a beginning, middle, and an
  • Is your writing style clear?
  • Is your essay well organized, with transitions
    between your ideas and paragraphs?

Writing Tips
  • Do you use proper spelling, punctuation, and
  • Do you use the specified font, margins, and
    reference format?

Additional Information
  • Boolean search with two exercises
  • Handout on how to write a research paper
  • Note card activity on how to write a research
  • Box exercise on how to write a research paper
  • All can be found at the following website
  • http//
  • Another helpful website for writing papers is
  • http//