English For Writing Research Papers

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As you think about your topic and start reading, you should begin thinking about a possible thesis statement (a sentence or two explaining your opinion about the topic).

One technique is to ask yourself one important question about your topic, and as you find your answer, the thesis can develop from that.

If you haven't developed a map or outline yet, now is the time to do it.

The outline or concept map should help you organize how you want to present information to your readers.

Some other techniques you may use to narrow your topic are: jot lists; preliminary outlines; listing possible thesis statements; listing questions; and/or making a concept map.

It also may be helpful to have a friend ask you questions about your topic.Try to pick a topic that interests you and your teacher -- interesting topics are easier to write about than boring topics!Make sure that your topic is not too hard to research, and that there is enough material on the topic.This is called "citing your sources." If you write your paper using information from other writers and do not cite the sources, you are committing plagiarism.If you plagiarize, you can get an "F" on your paper, fail the course, or even get kicked out of school.For help on developing your thesis statement, see the English Center Guide to Developing a Thesis Statement.You need to find information that helps you support your thesis.The goal of a research paper is to bring together different views, evidence, and facts about a topic from books, articles, and interviews, then interpret the information into your own writing.It's about a relationship between you, other writers, and your teacher/audience.Your job is to make your ideas as clear as possible for the reader, and that means you might have to go back and forth between the prewriting, writing and revising stages several times before submitting the paper.The first thing you should do when starting your research paper is to think of a topic.


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