Page Length: 10 to 12 pages
Number of Resources to Cite: minimum of 5 current resources (may incorporate a classic research study). Resources must be from professional publications or websites. No publications from “over the counter” stores, such as the following publications: Mothering, Parents, Parenting, American Baby, etc. or Wikipedia
What is a Research Paper?
This is the expanded version of your Research Proposal. Sources must be documented using the APA in-text format.
The Purpose of your Research
A research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of literature in a field. A research paper analyzes a perspective or argues a point. In an analytical research paper, you do research to become an expert on a topic so that you can restructure and present the parts of the topic from your own perspective. An argumentative research paper needs to support your stand on an issue. An argumentative research paper uses information as evidence to support a point. To learn more about “What A Research Paper Is” link to the Writer’s Complex’s Research Room links open in a new window.
Research Paper Format
Use the following format for the research paper as your “guide.” Note the word “guide” because you may find a need, given the specific topic you have selected, to modify. Remember that this is a research paper – not a longer version of an essay. The research paper should contain the following format: Title page, Purpose of Study, Opening Statement, Assumption or Hypothesis, Discussion of Findings, Recommendations, Conclusion/Summary, and Reference Page.
Title Page – It should be concise and descriptive–creative wouldn’t hurt! Your names, course name and number, college and term should be listed.
Purpose of Study – The final project should include a succinct statement that explains why you selected the particular area of interest and why it lends itself to a research paper. State the purpose of your research and why it interests you. You should also identify the audience for your work.
Opening Statement, Assumptions or Hypothesis
The project is a rigorous academic exercise and should be carefully thought out from beginning to end. It is imperative that you resist presentation of opinion as fact, and instead develop assumptions or hypotheses without reaching conclusions before you investigate the topic. The opening statement, argument or hypothesis focuses your ideas for the paper; it’s your argument, insight or viewpoint summarized into a sentence or two that gives the reader your main idea. It present the rationale for you paper and clearly indicates why it is worth exploring. If you are not sure about how to refine, narrow or broaden your thesis, please visit “Finding Your Thesis” links open in a new window the Empire State College’s Writing Resource Center.
Discussion of Findings
You must demonstrate that you have expanded your knowledge of the subject. This is where you must cite between 10-15 sources using the APA format. This section should discuss and offer an interpretation of the sources you cite. Choose the sources carefully. They should demonstrate your understanding of the research issues related to your topic and show your ability to critically evaluate/integrate the literary sources.
Given your findings, what do you recommend be done? Use your findings to support your recommendations.
In these sections, the emphasis should be on what has been learned about the assumptions, the limits of this particular inquiry, and the implications of the findings.
Reference Page/Works Cited Page
Documenting sources at the end of the research paper consists of listing all of the sources from which you quoted, paraphrased, or summarized. In APA style, the sources in a paper are listed alphabetically on a separate page headed References. It follows the final page of the text and is numbered. By citing your sources you are letting your reader know that you’ve consulted experts whose ideas and information back up your own thoughts and ideas. You must cite your sources correctly so that your academic integrity is not called into question. If you don’t document, you could inadvertently be plagiarizing. Visit the Empire State College’s Writing Resource Center links open in a new window to get help with documenting sources or visit Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation links open in a new window site.
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