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Continuation question 

Part 2. History/Context of Problem:. You should include at least 4 additional sources than you had in your Part 1. Continue with the proper use of APA.

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Create 5 paragraph (around 3pgs); one for each “new” information that you are bringing in. Compare and contrast the ideas found in literature regarding that information and cite your sources clearly.

Objective-Compares and contrasts outcomes from various articles in the academic literature in a manner appropriate for a graduate level research paper relevant to the topic selected

**Must have 5 separate paraphs***

Writing a Good Research Paper

– by Dr. Kruti Lehenbauer

I. Purpose of Research Papers

Academic writing, and research papers in particular are not designed to “torture” students but rather designed to help students identify, define, analyze, and critically present their own observations in an objective manner. The intent is to encourage students to delve deeper into the topic of their choice (within specific criteria set by the class instructor) by finding expert opinions, studies, and observations pertinent to that topic. Presenting an argument, comparing various observations in the context of the topic, and defending a point of view with the help of data and facts instead of feelings is an essential component of success in the real world. It allows the student to learn how to think critically while asking the relevant questions.

A research paper that starts with “I am going to prove that this country is failing because of corruption…” is less likely to be an objective analysis of the country. On the other hand, writing something like, “This paper attempts to identify if corruption has played a significant role in the failure of this country’s economy…” allows the reader to recognize that a sincere effort has been made to consider all available explanations for a country’s economic failures, of which corruption might be a potential frontrunner!!

II. Final Paper Contents

A good Academic Research Paper should have the following 5 components:

1. Title Page

2. Table of Contents

3. Abstract

4. Body of the Paper

a. Research Statement and Introduction

b. History/Context of the Problem/Issue

c. Consequences of the Problem/Issue

d. Solutions to the Problem/Issue

e. Conclusion

5. References

III. My 5x5x5 Rules for Body of the Paper:

1. Only 5 main headings:

a. Research Statement and Introduction

b. History/Context of the Problem

c. Consequences of the Problem

d. Solutions to the Problem

e. Conclusion

2. Section (a) and (e) should be no more than 3 to 5 sentences. Your ability to present this information succinctly matters!

3. For (b), (c), and (d), create 5 paragraphs in each section; one for each “new” information that you are bringing in. Compare and contrast the ideas found in literature regarding that information and cite your sources clearly. Use both short-term and long-term views, for sections (c) and (d).

4. Use graphs and tables wherever possible to illustrate data – a good paper has at least 5 of these visual elements – remember to use them to enhance your paper, and not just to “fill in space.”

5. At least 5 scholarly articles from published and reputed journals are required. The rule of thumb is that for each page of writing, there should be 1 formal reference article – therefore, for a 10-page paper, one would usually expect 10 scholarly articles to be used.

IV. Academic Sources:

a. Using Scholarly Articles

While it is tempting to use popular (a.k.a. easy to “Google”) sources for your writing, these do not work in an academic setting while presenting your thesis or arguments. Even though “Wall Street Journal” has the word “Journal” in it, don’t confuse it for a Scholarly source. Many people confuse popular sources for scholarly sources because they don’t always understand the difference. The following sources offer an insight into what constitutes Scholarly sources for use in writing an academic research paper:

1. University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Determine If a Source Is Scholarly”(article): https://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/scholarly/

2. Ryerson Library “What are Scholarly Sources?”, YouTube video (3 mins long): https://youtu.be/8fpbQxcj9sQ

3. Rutgers Libraries “Scholarly Literature Timeline: Is This Article Scholarly?”, YouTube video (5 mins long): https://youtu.be/W5lQpkob2UE

b. Using Popular Sources

Typically, one should try to avoid using popular sources in their research papers, unless it is in the context of describing a recent event that is not yet covered in the scholarly literature. Sources such as Interest groups, non-profit private organizations, academic blogs, newspapers, daily journals fall under the popular sources category. I recommend that students use no more than TWO (and ideally, ZERO) popular sources in their research papers.

Open source content, such as Investopedia, Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, etc. are almost never a good idea to use in a research paper – they fall in the Unacceptable Sources category. Trust me, if it is valid, you will be able to find a better (academic or scholarly) source to use… and if it is not valid, you should not be using that to present your argument, anyway!

V. Formatting Suggestions for Research Papers:

1. Create a Title Page as suggested in the APA formatting rules published by Purdue University (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/)

2. Create a separate page for the Table of Contents – if you use the “Heading” style for your paper sections, you can insert a Table of Contents by using the command on the References tab in MS Word.

3. Create a separate page for the Abstract – use Page Breaks to ensure that the abstract is on its own page. Write the final abstract AFTER you have completed the whole paper. Writing an abstract before writing a paper is like putting the cart before the horse. Remember that the abstract should cover the entire scope of your paper in no more than 4 to 5 sentences. A clear and succinct explanation of what you are writing about in the paper is of utmost importance.

4. Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Calibri (default in Office 2010 and beyond) and set font size to 11 or 12 for the body of the paper. Use double spacing between lines, unless specifically suggested otherwise. Also, don’t use two spaces after a period.

5. 1” margins for the pages (you can use the Layout function in MS Word to set this up)

6. Use Page Break to create a separate page for References. MS Word has a “References” tab that allows you to Manage Sources and create a bibliography using APA (as well as other styles).

7. Try to set up “justified” text as opposed to Left-aligned, centered, or right-aligned text for giving a clean, crisp “look” to your paper.

8. Always perform a spelling and grammar check before submitting your paper.

9. Always make sure that the articles listed on the References page are cited in the paper, and vice versa. Follow Reference guidelines available on the APA format Purdue University page, to list the articles used: (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/05/)

10. Avoid using first person verbiage. If a point requires a more “personal” presentation, it is better to use “we” or “us” (to include the reader) rather than “I” or “me”. This automatically discourages the tendency of presenting unsubstantiated information or opinions. For instance, I might call the time 4:00 PM, afternoon… but you might prefer to call it early evening. If I were to present this in a paper, having to use “we” forces me to avoid both of these and find a more objective statement such as “We observe that around 4:00 PM…”

I hope this article helps you with your research paper writing for this class. I am always happy to respond to any questions, concerns, or clarifications you might need help with.

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