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Unformatted text preview: W R I T I N G C O L L E G E R E S E A R C H PA P E R S Writing College Research Papers • Kathy Sole • ENG 122 ENG 122 • Kathy Sole ASHFORD UNIVERSITY D iscovery Series www.ashford.edu Design A Fonts: Calibri bold and Calibri regular, italic Writing College Research Papers Kathy Sole Ashford University ® soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 1 7/7/10 2:06 PM VP of Learning Resources: Beth Aguiar Editorial Director: Erik Evans Development Editor: Christina Ganim Assistant Editor: Jaime Anderson Printing Services: Bordeaux Composition/Illustration: Lachina Publishing Services Cover Design: Leigh McLellan Cover Image: © Tetra Images/photolibrary ISBN 10: 0-9841823-7-3 ISBN 13: 978-0-9841823-7-4 Published by Bridgepoint Education, Inc., 13500 Evening Creek Drive North, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92128. Copyright © 2010, Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. GRANT OF PERMISSION TO PRINT: Bridgepoint Education Inc., the copyright owner of this material, hereby grants the holder of this publication the right to print these materials for personal use. The holder of this material may print the materials herein for personal use only. Any print, reprint, reproduction or distribution of these materials for commercial use without the express written consent of Bridgepoint Education Inc. constitutes a violation of the Copyright Law of the United States of 1976 (P.L. 94-553). ® www.bridgepointeducation.com I content.ashford.edu soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 2 7/7/10 2:06 PM Contents Acknowledgments  ix About the Author  xi Preface  xiii Chapter 1 Introduction to Formal Research 1.1 What Is Formal Research? Definition Nature and Purpose Types of Scientific and Scholarly Research Basic versus Applied Research Primary versus Secondary Research Levels of Academic Research 1.2 Research and Critical Thinking What Is Critical Thinking? Critical Thinking Is Purposeful Critical Thinking Requires Interpretation Critical Thinking Involves Analysis Critical Thinking Entails Evaluation Critical Thinking Includes Developing Inferences Critical Thinking Requires Forming Conclusions Critical Thinking Involves Self-Assessment and Self-Correction The Importance of Critical Thinking 1.3 Other Benefits of Mastering Academic Research Note-Taking Strategies and Skills Paraphrasing and Synthesizing Skills Documentation Skills 1.4 The Treasure of Academic Research 1.5 Summary Chapter 2 The Language and Methods of Research 2.1 The Scientific Method Background on the Scientific Method Steps of the Scientific Method soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 3 7/7/10 2:06 PM State the Research Problem Form a Hypothesis Test the Hypothesis Analyze the Data Draw Conclusions and Report the Research 2.2 Types of Primary Research Qualitative versus Quantitative Research Primary Research Methods Descriptive Research Correlational Research Experimental Research 2.3 The Structure of Primary Research Papers Title Page Abstract Introduction Review of the Literature Methods or Methodology Results Discussion or Conclusion Sources In-Text Citations Source Citations at the End of the Paper 2.4 Developing Your Own College Research Papers 2.5 Summary Chapter 3 The Research Process 3.1 Overview of the Research Process Staying on Track Balance Is Crucial 3.2 Strategies for Success A Time for Everything No Day Without Progress No Wasted Wait Time 3.3 Three Phases of the Research Process The Discovery Phase Get Started Select a Topic Conduct Preliminary Research to Limit the Topic Develop a Research Question or Hypothesis Gather Data Interpret Information and Take Notes Record Sources The Assessment Phase Review Materials Analyze Information Evaluate Information and Evidence Form Conclusions The Integration Phase 3.4 Summary soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 4 7/7/10 2:06 PM Chapter 4 Understanding and Locating Research Sources 4.1 Primary versus Secondary Research Sources Primary Research Sources Secondary Research Sources 4.2 Types of Research Sources Periodicals Scholarly Journals Magazines Newspapers Books, Reference Books, and Book Chapters Technical and Research Reports Meetings and Symposia Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses Reviews and Peer Commentary Audiovisual Media Data Sets, Software, Measurement Instruments, and Apparatus Unpublished Works and Informally Published Works Archival Documents and Collections Internet Message Boards, Electronic Mailing Lists, and Other Online Communities 4.3 Locating Sources Ashford Online Library The Internet Google Scholar ERIC INFOMINE Scholarly Internet Research Collections ipl2: Information You Can Trust Pew Research Center American Library Association Best Free Reference Web Sites Physical Libraries 4.4 Summary Chapter 5 Conducting Online Research 5.1 How Search Engines and Databases Function 5.2 Basic Online Search Techniques Basic Search Hints Subject Searching Keyword Searching 5.3 Advanced or Refined Online Search Techniques Field Searching Truncation Wildcards Stopwords Exact Phrase Searching Boolean Searching Proximity Searching 5.4 Understanding Uniform Resource Locators soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 5 7/7/10 2:06 PM Protocol Domain Name, or Host Name Path to Document File Name 5.5 Types of Information Facts Inferences Opinions 5.6 Evaluating Information and Evidence Tips for Evaluating Web Sites Six Tests of Evidence Is the Source Credible? Is the Source Unbiased? Is the Source Relevant? Is the Source Complete? Is the Source Logical? Is the Source Recent? 5.7 Summary Chapter 6 Writing the Research Paper 6.1 The Final Phase of the Research Process Planning the Paper Introduction Methods Results Conclusions References Organizing Information Integrating Information Revising Editing Proofreading and Formatting Documenting Sources 6.2 The ENG 122 Research Paper Characteristics of an Effective Research Paper 6.3 Types of Research Papers Analytical Research Papers Argumentative Research Papers soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 6 7/7/10 2:06 PM 6.4 Intermediate Research Assignments Topic or Title Research Proposal Scope and Nature of the Problem Research Question/Hypothesis Specific Aspects of the Research Topic Method of Data Collection Preliminary Findings Justification Preliminary Reference List Abstract 6.5 Summary Abbreviations Commonly Found in Academic Research References ENG 122 Glossary soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 7 7/7/10 2:06 PM soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 8 7/7/10 2:06 PM Acknowledgments The  author  and  the  editorial  team  would  like  to  thank  the  following  peer-reviewers  for  their  help with the development of this text:   Mary Alexander Alysia Young Anna Hopson Paula Porter Gary Witt Karen McFarland Katrina Tiesman Concetta Williams soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 9 7/7/10 2:06 PM soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 10 7/7/10 2:06 PM About the Author Kathy Sole is currently an online faculty member at Ashford University  in  the  College  of Arts  and  Sciences.  She  holds  a  master’s  degree  in  Speech  and  Communication  Studies  and  has  taught  college  writing,  communications,  and  business  courses  for  the  past 23 years. Kathy is also a technical writer and editor and has  worked  as  an  independent  contractor  in  this  field  since  1993,  specializing  in  the  development  of  complex  corporate,  government, and academic documents. Prior to that time, she was vice  president and manager of a major commercial bank instructional  publications department and marketing director for two financial  institutions.  Kathy  is  also  the  author  of  a  reference  book  titled  What’s  the  Rule?  and  a  corporate  training  program  titled  Brush  up  on  the  Basics,  as  well  as  a  contributor  to  two  textbooks,  The  Little,  Brown  Compact  Handbook  (Custom  4th  Edition)  and  The  Business of  Writing.  She  lives  with  her  husband  and  two  dogs  in  a  small  town  on  the  western  banks  of  Puget  Sound  across  from  Seattle, Washington. soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 11 7/7/10 2:06 PM soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 12 7/7/10 2:06 PM Preface My  love  for  research  began  in  a  college  classroom  many  years  ago.  We  were  studying  American  culture,  and the professor was explaining how furniture can reflect the culture of a country. He lectured about three  categories of American furniture that he called “high-brow,” expensive designer furniture found in high-end  furniture  stores;  modern  furniture  such  as  sectionals  and  recliners  sold  in  large  franchised  furniture  stores  or shopping malls; and “low-brow” furniture such as bean bag chairs and futons found in small, strip-mall  stores around the country.  I  had  never  considered  furniture  as  an  artifact  of  culture,  and  I  was  fascinated  by  the  lecture. The  professor stated that he had read a wonderful magazine article 20 years before that had described how furniture  could provide clues to a culture and had contained pictures of these three types of furniture in our culture.  Unfortunately,  he  continued,  he  had  lost  the  article  and  had  never  been  able  to  find  it  again. All  he  could  remember was that it was in a large-sized pictorial publication such as Life magazine. I  wanted  to  learn  more  about  this  subject,  so  I  thought  to  myself,  “If  the  article  was  published,  I  should  be  able  to  find  it.”  For  fun,  whenever  I  had  some  spare  time,  I  searched  our  college  library  for  the  missing  magazine. This was an age before the Internet, so my quest took place in large books that contained indexes  of published newspaper, magazine, and journal articles. I systematically searched for the terms “furniture,”  “American furniture,” and “culture” through each annual index, and I recorded the information for sources I  thought might contain the article. I considered that the professor might have been mistaken about the magazine being published 20 years earlier, so I started looking for magazines issued 10 years before and worked  my way backwards in time, month by month, year by year.  Whenever I needed a break from my college homework, I reviewed archived copies of magazines that contained  articles  that  looked  promising.  I  thought  of  myself  as  an  archaeologist,  hunting  for  buried  treasure.  It  was  the  excitement  of  possibly  finding  this  hidden  treasure  that  kept  me  pursuing  my  goal.  My  search  continued, off and on, for almost the entire semester. Every time I completed a review of promising leads in  all 12 months of a certain year, I believed I was closer to finding that hidden prize. One day late in the semester, I casually opened a magazine on my “possibilities” list. As I turned to the page  listed in the index for the article on furniture, I saw a large, two-page spread with photographs of an upholstered Queen Anne chair, a recliner, and a bean bag chair. The article was in Look magazine, a large-sized  pictorial magazine that had gone out of business a few years before. The date was almost exactly 20 years  earlier. I knew instantly that I had found the missing treasure. I was so excited that I ran to the librarian and  begged to take the archived magazine out of the library to show my professor. She refused my request, but  did allow me to make a copy of the article.  When I found my professor on campus, he declared that it was, indeed, the article he had been unable to  find. To  my  embarrassment,  he  announced  my  discovery  to  the  entire  class,  and  I  received  a  great  deal  of  flak  from  my  classmates.  I  had  a  hard  time  convincing  them  that  I  had  not  conducted  this  search  to  earn  an “A” in the course; instead, I had fallen in love with the excitement of research and the thrill of the hunt.  soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 13 7/7/10 2:06 PM It  is  this  excitement  that  has  driven  inventors,  archaeologists,  anthropologists,  scientists,  and  scholars  for  centuries, and it is the reason they labor for years and sometimes decades to achieve their goals. It was this  drive to acquire knowledge and to apply that knowledge that kept Thomas Edison searching for years to find  a way to produce the electric light we take for granted in our homes and workplaces today. The Smithsonian  National Museum of American History reports that Edison filled more than 40,000 pages with notes before  he finally had a light bulb that would burn for 40 hours in his laboratory (Thomas Edison, 1997). They state  that he tested more than 1,600 different materials for the right filament for the bulb, including coconut fiber,  fishing line, and even hair from a friend’s beard before he and his staff of scientists and technicians found the  right material—carbonized bamboo. Many years later, his employees would say that these were the happiest  years of their lives (The Invention Center, 2010). Because we human beings record our thoughts, knowledge, dreams, and discoveries in writing, nothing is  ever lost. Archeologists today still find ancient writings from thousands of years ago that give us insights into  our history. Nothing is ever lost; it is just waiting to be found. I hope that you will enjoy research as much as  I do. Find a topic that interests or intrigues you—something you are passionate about or have a strong desire  to understand, and research will never be boring. It will become an exciting treasure hunt that will take you  to exciting places and, like Edison, you may find that it becomes your life’s work.  Happy hunting! Kathy Sole Kingston, WA June 20, 2010 soL82373_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd 14 7/7/10 2:06 PM ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ENG 122 ENG 122 taught by Professor Jessicaheld during the Fall '10 term at Ashford University.

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