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How to Develop and Write a Research Paper

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Title: How to Develop and Write a Research Paper


1
How to Develop and Write a Research Paper
2
Research Paper Assignment
  • Identify what the assignment requires
  • topic possibilities
  • number of sources
  • type of sources (journal, book, Internet)
  • citation requirements (MLA, APA, Chicago)
  • presentation requirements (oral or written)
  • length of paper
  • due date

3
Getting Started
  • Choose a topic based on requirements.
  • Ask yourself questions
  • What do I know about the topic?
  • What would I like to learn?
  • What will others learn from reading my paper?

4
Formulate a Research Question
  • Start by finding background information on your
    topic
  • Resource Links to Background Information
  • How to Find Journal Articles in Electronic
    Databases
  • How to find Books in the Online Catalog

5
Personal Exploration of Topic
  • Once you have familiarized yourself with the
    topic, reflect on your initial impressions
  • Free Writing just write down your thoughts
  • List Key Words list words that describe your
    topic
  • Clustering/Webbing - create a web that links
    terms together (an example of webbing is on the
    next slide)

6
  • Webbing - red is the topic
  • Relax. Play some creative music.
  • Spelling or style doesn't count.
  • Don't worry about organization.
  • Free-associate ideas. Keep them simple.
  • Write or sketch as quickly as you can.
  • Write or sketch in any order.
  • Develop all ideas.
  • Keep working.
  • Content and materials published in
    http//www.graphic.org site may be duplicated for
    educational, non-profit, single school use only.

7
Formulate a Question
  • Decide what question you want to answer with your
    research.
  • Formulate a Question the answer to the question
    becomes your thesis question.
  • For example
  • How does exercise improve someones mental
    health?
  • What are the effects of violent video games on
    elementary school children?
  • What was the impact of Cubism on early twentieth
    century culture?
  • Should elementary schools provide more
    programming in the arts?

8
Starting Your Research
  • Decide what kind of information that you need
    based on your research assignment.
  • The information will be determined by your topic
    and assignment requirements
  • Current or historical or both
  • Biographical information
  • Criticism and analysis
  • Statistics
  • And More

9
Finding Information in Books
  • Find Books Check the library on-line catalog
  • Minuteman Library Network Catalog
  • Search just Mount Ida College or all MLN
    libraries For help with searching or stop by
    and see a librarian in the Wadsworth Library.
  • Locate if the book is in the Wadsworth Library.
  • If the book is not available at Mount Ida, you
    may directly request that the book be delivered
    to the Wadsworth Library or ask the Librarian to
    request the book for you.

10
Decide on the Usefulness of a Book
  • How to Evaluate a Book for the Assignment
  • Read title as clue to content
  • Scan table of contents
  • Search for key terms in book index

11
Finding Information in Journals
  • Find Journal Articles in electronic databases
  • Electronic Databases
  • 2. Ask the Librarian about the best databases to
    search on your topic
  • i.e., InfoTrac Expanded Academic Journal
    Articles - full text or citation (find actual
    journal through the library)

12
Decide on the Usefulness of Journal Articles
  • Evaluate usefulness of journal articles for
    assignment
  • Read title and subtitle as clue to content.
  • Read abstract if available.
  • Check key terms at end of article for related
    links to further explore topic.

13
Finding Information Using Internet Resources
  • Click on Internet Resources part of the MLN
    homepage.
  • Or select a search engine or website.

14
Decide on the Usefulness of Internet Site
Information
  • Evaluate Internet site
  • find source of the site and information
  • Who is responsible for the website?
  • Who provided the information?
  • a person who is known in the field of study.
  • an organization that is reputable, i.e. American
    Cancer Society.
  • note currency of site when was it last updated?
  • assess relevance of information to the
    assignment.

15
Ask a Librarian for Support
  • A librarian can assist you with the process of
    finding information sources for your assignment.
  • Stop by the library. Click for Library Hours.
  • Contact the librarian via e-mail or in person.

16
How to Avoid Plagiarism
  • How to Avoid Plagiarism Review the PowerPoint
    presentation. It covers
  • Citing sources of information.
  • How to paraphrase, summarize, quote.
  • How to cite your sources for your works cited
    page.

17
Taking Notes
  • Organizing Your Research Using Note Cards
  • Read source actively by highlighting important
    information.
  • Record quotes that you may want to use later and
    include source and page number on card.
  • Create paraphrases and summaries on note cards
    directly from your research.
  • Record on each note card the authors name and
    page number for later reference.
  • Organizing Your Research Using a Computer
    http//www.studygs.net/plagiarism.htm

18
Organize Your Research
  • Construct an Outline

19
Drafting
  • Follow your outline.
  • Begin to incorporate research material into each
    paragraph.
  • Cite your source for each quote, paraphrase and
    summary.
  • Check with your instructor about which
    documentation and format style to use.
  • Be sure to include your opinion and comments on
    the research.
  • Write your conclusion based on your answer to
    your research question (your thesis).

20
Need Help with Writing Your Draft?
  • A writing tutor can help you with how to outline
    and develop your paper.
  • Make an appointment with a writing tutor at the
    Writing Center. http//www.mountida.edu/filelibrar
    y/TutorSchedSpring2007.doc

21
Preparing the Final Version of Your Research Paper
  • Revise draft based on comments from your
    instructor and/or tutor
  • Check cited sources for accuracy and MLA Style or
    another style format.
  • Proof read your work dont forget the Spell and
    Grammar check in Microsoft Word.
  • Add works cited page.
  • Add title page.

22
Acknowledgements
  • The original module was supported by the
    Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
    through a LSTA Grant.
  • Marge Lippincott, Dean of Information Technology
    and Learning Resources, coordinated the effort
    and created the PowerPoint with Judy Harding and
    Christine McLaughlin.
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