Reading: A guide to writing an academic paper
RESEARCH PAPERS AND TOPIC PAPERS Most non-fiction classify papers fall into one of two categories : research papers or subject papers. For research papers, you are expected to pick a subject and hire in independent inquiry ( normally in the library or on-line ) to find information and sources. For subject papers, you are normally given a subject, or respective to choose from, based on the course readings and discussion and are expected to make use of those resources ( rather than outside ones ) to write your wallpaper. Almost everything in this scout applies evenly to both kinds of papers. No count which kind of newspaper you are writing you must make use of the course readings. Those readings are there to help you understand material both in and out of the course. Why would we assign them if we didn ’ thymine expect you to make use of them ? The whole point of either type of paper is to see how well you can apply what you have learned in the naturally. Doing so requires that you make consumption of the ideas and readings from it. When you finish your paper, assay to see if you have run readings cited and in your bibliography. If not, chances are good that what you have done is credibly not besides relevant to the course. And don ’ t forget : course readings must be cited by rights like everything else. THESIS STATEMENTS Whether your wallpaper involves outdoor research or not, you need to have a dissertation statement. once you have an mind of what you want to say, and have some grip of what others have said, you need to make your ideas more concrete by coming up with a thesis prison term ( south ). A thesis indicates the main argument of your paper. The point of any class wallpaper is to persuade your proofreader that you have something to say that he or she should care about. A good thesis should be debatable, specific, and concise. The following is not a thoroughly dissertation : * The history of the Soviet Union is very matter to and complex. Lots of things are interesting and complex and I challenge you to find a country whose history international relations and security network ’ metric ton. While it is concise and reasonably specific, this thesis is not actually arguable. A adept dissertation might be : * The history of the Soviet Union indicates many of the problems involved with centralized economic design and the bureaucratized society that will inevitably develop. This dissertation is debatable, it is particular, and it is reasonably concise. It takes one side of a possibly questionable argument. One can imagine person arguing that the history of the USSR indicates the problems of political dictatorship and says nothing about economic planning. The basis for your supporting arguments should be the material that has been covered in class and in the readings, and, if required, from outside sources. The solid reason to take a course is to discover a framework for analyzing new phenomena ( whether natural, social, literary, or artistic ), and formal papers are an opportunity to demonstrate that you have learned adequate to do such an psychoanalysis. Notice that your goal is to convince your “ subscriber ” not the professor. When I read a newspaper, I am not the hearing, preferably I ’ m the evaluator, determining how well I think your work would convince someone else. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry about convincing me ; worry about “ person else. ” It is besides crucial to remember to put your dissertation up front. Don ’ t wait until the last paragraph to tell your proofreader what you think. This is what you should be doing during the entire paper. The function of course papers is to give the teacher your informed opinion on your topic. Your dissertation is a lead to the view you will present in the respite of the composition. Put it up movement and stick to it. remember of yourself as a lawyer and think of defending a thesis as being like trying to convict a defendant, and think of the professor as the judge, not the jury. This means think of your sources as testify. This works in both directions. Sources that back up your argument are great because you can quote or cite them to build up your tell, like eyewitnesses to a crime. Sources that contradict what you have to say are crucial as well because you must present arguments for why you believe that contradictory arguments are incorrect or incomplete. If you found a reference that argued that the history of the USSR teaches us nothing about the feasibility of economic planning, then you would have to try to refute it or explain its incompleteness. If the defendant has an alibi, you have to show that he is lying or that even the alibi can not get him off the hook shot. If early writers have said something different, you must deal with what they say and at least try on to show how what they say doesn ’ thymine defeat your argumentation. INTRODUCTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS Introductions are good that. They allow you to introduce your argument to your reader and vice versa. They besides try to convince the reviewer why he should care about what you have to say. Part of writing a well dissertation is building up to it with an introduction that whets the subscriber ’ s appetite. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate barely drop your reader in the in-between of an argument. Start with something interesting and sufficiently general, and then draw your lector in by applying that general mind to the subject at hand. Introductions should be general but not excessively cosmopolitan. A bad basic sentence is : * Karl Marx was a very authoritative thinker. This is bad because you can substitute hundreds of names for “ Karl Marx ” and it would even make sense. You want your intro to say something sanely specific about your topic, like : * Karl Marx was the first base significant thinker to argue that capitalism causes exploitation. See how that actually addresses something of means ? You could go on from there to talk about the nature of exploitation, how he defines capitalism and then conclude it with a dissertation that explains why he thought capitalism causes exploitation. Conclusions are besides just that : a gamble for you to conclude something. Don ’ thymine end by saying something like : * Karl Marx was an matter to and important thinker who said some controversial things about capitalism. Like the bad intro, it doesn ’ t say anything. A better concluding paragraph could start with : * Karl Marx ’ s argument about exploitation under capitalism is ultimately flawed because … and then broadly summarize your argument. Would a prosecuting lawyer end a conclusion instruction this way : “ In decision, the defendant did some adept things and some bad things and I very can ’ t say much about her differently ? ” Of path not. Conclude by telling your reader what conclusions one could draw from your paper. Tell her why she should care about what you ’ ve equitable said. Provide her with a moral of the history. CITATION AND ACADEMIC HONESTY Everyone ’ second darling subject. The idea behind citation is simple : when you make use of other people’s specific ideas, you must give them credit for those ideas. As a writer, you have the correctly to articulate your own ideas and opinions, arsenic well as the justly to draw upon the work of those who have come before you. With those rights comes the responsibility to both inform your reviewer of which ideas are yours and which are not and to give credit to others when you make manipulation of their work. This is your manner of showing others that you have both done your research and understand the importance of your sources in developing your own arguments. My predilection on dash is that you use in-text citations with a bibliography at the end, i.e. some version of APA expressive style. For example : * Some people have argued that Marx ’ s concept of alienation relates to the notion of commodity production ( Roberts and Stephenson 1973, p. 35 ). note : space between end of words and open parenthesis, no space between open parenthesis and authors’ names, close parenthesis then period. To give a citation, use the name ( south ) of the author ( randomness ), the date of the specific text and page number(s). Unless you are citing the argumentation of a whole book or article, you must indicate the pages where the particular thing you mention is discussed. It besides shows your proofreader ( and me ) that you actually read the text in question. If you are using an idea that pervades the whole source, then you can leave it without a page number. Just make sure there are no demand quotes or close paraphrases of particular pages. You must provide an in-text (not just a listing in the bibliography) citation, including a page number, when you paraphrase or quote an author word for word. You must provide an in-text citation when you use statistics that you obtained from a source. These are the unbreakable rules. If you break them you are guilty of plagiarism. You are assumed to be familiar with the student handbook ’ sulfur discussion of academician honesty. I take academic dishonesty very badly. My ability to detect and then find things you have cut-and-pasted from the Web exceeds your ability to fool me with such cut-and-paste jobs, so don ’ triiodothyronine tied try it because I will find the source material and I will initiate the academic dishonesty procedure. This prison term uses a quote and must include an in-text citation : As Lavoie ( 1985, p. 6 ) argues, “ such cognition is dispersed among market participants. ” note : You should always introduce a quote, rather than just sticking it in the middle of a paragraph identified only by the citation. Also, quotes should never be placed back-to-back without any text in between.
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If you had decided to paraphrase this quote, you would besides have to cite : * Lavoie ( 1985, p. 6 ) argues that homo cognition is dispersed among traders in the market. To write either of the previous sentences and not give a quotation is not satisfactory. Again you have the right to use whatever sources you see equip, but with that right comes the responsibility to inform your reader where and how you obtained your information. That is the purpose of a citation. Think about a lawyer who said “ Some people saw the charge give the crime. ” Wouldn ’ t you want to know who those people were and exactly what they saw ? When you use ideas or data or statistics, giving an in-text citation is fair like calling specific witnesses. You need to do this to make your lawsuit. This is evenly true if you try to use the ideas more by and large : * One position on capitalism is to recognize that it helps overcome the fact that homo cognition is dispersed throughout the marketplace ( Lavoie 1985, p. 6 ). To leave that sentence without citation is besides not acceptable. The reason is that it identifies a particular “ position ” and implies that it is not your original mind. Therefore you must indicate where it came from. You don ’ t have to cite your sources every individual time you come back to that main idea ; however, you must cite them the first time. In world, knowing when to cite is angstrom much an acquired skill as anything else. There are a few unbreakable rules, such as citing a aim quote or a paraphrase or statistics. beyond that, use your judgment. It is always better to cite besides a lot than excessively little. To continue the metaphor : you want to cite whenever you are relying on testify gathered or argued by person else. Your sources are comparable witnesses and a good prosecutor would tell the jury “ witness rotter saw the defendant do it, ” in constructing her argumentation. And witnesses for the other slope must be cross-examined ! BIBLIOGRAPHY (LIST OF WORKS CITED) In choosing to use this citation vogue, you are required to create a bibliography at the goal of the newspaper which includes all of the material you have cited within the textbook. Do not include items in your bibliography that you have not cited in the text of your paper and don’t cite things that aren’t in your bibliography. Some people say that sometimes they get ideas from a koran but don ’ triiodothyronine directly use it. That ’ south stool. If you got ideas from it then you better cite it. If you didn ’ metric ton get ideas or information from it, then it doesn ’ t belong in the bibliography. If you are familiar with official APA citation style, please use it. If you have any reference books that you got in FYP or FYS, make use of them. At the very least, bibliographic dash should look like the stick to examples : book : Lavoie, Don. 1985. National Economic Planning: What is Left?, Cambridge, Mass. : Ballinger print. article : Murrell, Peter. 1983. “ Did the Theory of Market Socialism Answer the Challenge of Ludwig von Mises ?, ” History of Political Economy 15, Spring, pp. 120-135. article in an edit book : Ricoeur, Paul. 1971. “ The Model of the text : meaningful Action Considered as a Text, ” in Understanding and Social Inquiry, Fred Dallmyr and Thomas McCarthy, eds., Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press, 1977. I ’ megabyte not excessively crabbed about the details hera, deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as you get all of the relevant information in your entrance. however, do be careful how you cite articles in edit volumes. The editor ( s ) of the record ( i, the name ( s ) on the cover ) is normally not the generator ( s ) of all the articles in the record. normally the editor ( s ) have lone one or two of them at most. You must cite each article separately by the name of the author(s) of each article. Check to make indisputable you are clear on whose article or chapter is whose. besides make indisputable you underline or italicize ( pick one and stick with it ) the book title and put the article or chapter deed in quotes. For more examples of bibliography format, and the relevant information on the course readings, consult the course of study. All of that information is there for you. A parole of advice about Internet sources : before using Google, do your homework. Be familiar with the diary literature and the democratic sources that are besides available on paper. Learn how to use EconLit and other scholarly and popular indexes. then, and merely then, should you Google. Why ? The beauty of the Internet is that it is pretty a lot unregulated ; that is besides its greatest weakness. net sources are on average much less reliable than printed ones because evening though scholarly material is available via Google, a much larger share of what you find is, in one way or another, self-published and therefore less reliable . The best direction to determine whether a net generator is a legalize one is having read lots of printed substantial and having a sense for what kinds of arguments are considered fair. If you go to the Net first, I guarantee you ’ ll get tons of sources, most of which will be worthless. however, if you do find a useable net source, you should cite it like any other cultivate. note that there must be an author and a title of the page or wallpaper in motion. then you can provide the complete URL and either a date listed on the foliate, or the date that you accessed the information. internet sources : Horwitz, Steven. 2008 “ An open letter to my Friends on the Left, ” found at hypertext transfer protocol : //myslu.stlawu.edu/~shorwitz/open_letter.htm, accessed on October 8, 2008. The hardest partially about making function of sources is not finding them or learning how manipulate the mechanics of citation. The hard part is evaluating whether a informant is dependable or not. This is specially true on the net, but is besides on-key for print material. The best means to become a good evaluate of sources is to read them. For exercise, papers that keep being cited by other authors are probably important. But the only way to know that is to have done a carnival amount of read and research ( including the reference lists of the sources you find ) and entering the ongoing conversation. And that requires making the clock time and doing the work. PRESENTATION AND FORMAT nothing is more disappoint and annoying than a baggy looking paper. If you think it doesn ’ t matter, you ’ re ill-timed. What it tells your subscriber ( and me ) is that you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate give a damn about what you ’ ve said. Show some pride in what you do and take the time to make it at least look like you care. You should feel flattered that person has asked you to tell them what you have to say about a subject. When you turn in unironed pages with no page numbers or title, it says that that you don ’ t take yourself or your ideas badly. And this holds whether you ’ re turning the newspaper in electronically or hard copy. The follow is a list of things that your papers, first drafts included, must contain. This includes any drafts you send as a file attached to an electronic mail or put in a drop corner on Angel. If I print that file, it should look merely like a paper you would hand in deoxyadenosine monophosphate hard imitate. That means : 1. A separate title page that includes your mention, the date, the classify, and a real title. 2. double spaced ( not 2.5 ). 3. Margins of 1 to 1.25 ” ( no more ). 4. Quotes over three lines long should be single-spaced and indented 1/2 ” on the leave margin. 5. mechanically number pages. figure out how to do it in Word. 6. A bibliography starting on a new page. 7. Use Times New Roman 12 point font or something else well clear like Garamond and do not use the templates in Word 2007 or 2010 for writing papers. Just plain black text on a white foliate please. 8. If a hard copy, your integral composition must be stapled or paper clipped – Do not practice geeky fictile binders. 9. no more than a very small number of handwritten changes ; preferably zero. 10. The pages should be uninfected, dry and wrinkle-free. A few comments on this number. First, pick a title that says something about your newspaper. A wallpaper on Albania should not be titled “ Albania ” or “ The Economic History of Albania. ” rather, try “ Albania : An example of the Failures of Stalinism. ” The survive one says something, the first two don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate. Try not to make your entitle a interview ; make it a statement that summarizes the main argument in the newspaper. Your style should besides not be a complete sentence. It should be a short-circuit, indicative compendious of the paper. second, if you have a retentive paper that seems to divide up into distinct sections, rupture it up by using section headings. For example, if the first half of your newspaper on Albania was about socialistic hypothesis, you could use a incision heading to indicate it. Before you start the next section, say on the history of Albania, you could use another incision drift, and then use one to indicate your termination. This will help keep your organization straight and make it clearer for your proofreader. Third, number your pages. This enables me to give you help or criticism on particular pages. No little thing annoys me more than a miss of page numbers. Ask my wife. Fourth, give yourself enough time to do the assignment well. If you start two days before it ’ s due, I guarantee you the wallpaper will not be angstrom adept as it could be. The biggest lawsuit of overemotional study and bad analysis is not taking your meter. If you start enough in advance, you can run a draft or two and take the time to read them for analytic and grammatical errors. You should be the most merciless critic of your own work. Write a draft and go over and over it ; that ’ s what I do with my influence. however, doing indeed requires time, so make the time to do the job right. If I have the clock, and I normally do, I will be beaming to read early on drafts and outlines, merely ask me ahead of time. Remember that grammar, spelling, and correct manipulation of the linguistic process all matter. I know that you all know how to do all of this correctly. You make mistakes because you are rushing to finish and/or you barely don ’ triiodothyronine manage very a lot. Making bare mistakes makes you look uneducated and sends the message that you don ’ thyroxine care about your ideas. And if you don ’ metric ton caution, why should I ? CONCLUDING REMARKS The point of this guide is not scare the sin out of you, it is to help you. Really it all boils down to this issue of pride. Have some pride in what you do, have some pride when people ask you for your thoughts, and have some pride when you present those thoughts to others. If you have some pride and manage, you ’ ll take the time to construct good arguments and use ( and cite ) your sources properly, and the way you present your papers will reflect that pride. There ’ randomness nothing mysterious about writing good papers. It is a skill that anyone can learn and master. Yes, it takes influence but what doesn ’ metric ton ? You ’ ll find that if you start caring about what you ’ re doing that the work will seem less of a struggle, the concentration will come easier and the rules will no long be constraints, but preferably the means through which you can communicate what you have to say. Remember the impression when you were a little kid and you brought home your first gear finger painting and you were so proud of it that you insisted that it get hung on the electric refrigerator ? It ’ sulfur that pride in your function ( and the spirit it generates ) that ought to motivate everything you do, not precisely in college but in your hale life sentence. If you care about what you do, the rest will take wish of itself.
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