Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to Write a Research Paper Outline

“The outline is one of the most valuable tools for writing. In fact, there is no substitute for a good outline. My uncle once told me that a tennis player is never too good to move his feet to get into position to return a volley. The same holds true for writing – a writer is never too good to write an outline.”
Kerry Flannery-Reilly, Princeton University
Before starting to write a research paper outline, you should remember some rules of thumb, which can be applied to any outline, which you will compose:
  1. Be sure all parts of your outline relate to the thesis statement of your paper.
  2. Remember that your outline has to serve to convey your ideas in a logical sequence. There are several strategies to accomplish it successfully:
    - Moving from simple ideas to complex ones;
    - Arguing from your weakest points to the strongest ones;
    - Through chronological development.
  3. Make sure that your headings or divisions contain at least two subheadings or subdivisions.
Proceeding to writing a research paper outline, you can apply the following technique in practice.

A nice piece of advice about writing a well-structured outline was given by Justin M. Cohen, an author of the Guide to Writing College Papers. He offers to apply for research paper writing service with going through your notes and sorting them by topic. If you used index cards, you can put them into little piles of related subjects.

Organize your note cards into the most logical order and use them to construct a working outline. While organizing your notes, look for broader trends and related narrower ideas. These broad trends will serve as divisions in your outline, while narrow ideas can be subdivisions. If you have found out that all your notes fall into a few distinct piles, it can be a nice way to organize your paper.

Once you have determined all divisions and subdivisions for the outline, type them into some form of outline using dashes, bullets, or whatever works for you.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Creating an Abstract in Few Simple Steps

Creating a well-structured, substantial, and concise abstract is one of the keys to successful research papers .

An abstract is a part of your research paper, where you have to state succinctly the point or argument of your paper. To avoid an aimless outlining in your abstract, you should invest time and effort to pursue a particular strategy.

That’s why it is recommended to write an abstract after one or more drafts have been written in order to understand clearly the main points that you are going to summarize in your abstract. You should be able to state them in 100 words, and then redraft the paper, so that the major point comes through loudly and clearly.

Howard Gardner, Professor of Education in Harvard University, offers to read sequentially the topic sentences that illustrate the thesis of your paper, when it proves difficult to write the abstract.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quick Searching Tips

If you have any difficulties with finding the information you are looking for and do not want the deadline to stare in your face, you should take some time and learn how to find right information quickly and efficiently.
  1. 1. Narrow your search to a few key phrases. Be realistic about how much information you can cover.
  2. Do not stray away from your topic. Do not get sidetracked by inappropriate information and delve into unnecessary descriptions and explanations.
  3. Know the limits of your resources. Information in books may be out-of-date. Remember that online information may be more current and topical, but it may lack the historical perspective you need.
  4. Give yourself enough time. Remember that you need to take a considerable amount of time to find the right information for your research paper.
  5. “Bookmark” useful resources. Include reference works and academic resources related to your paper in the list of favorites.
  6. Use resources you have found to discover even more resources. One source can point to other sources of equal or greater value. Pay attention to books, articles, and the names of experts that you find mentioned in a reliable source.
  7. Organize your sources for maximum efficiency. Have the key resources – dictionaries, thesaurus, writing handbooks, paper files, and electronic file folders, - you can make a practical use of always at hand.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Seven Essential Points about Compiling a Bibliography

A bibliography includes not only those sources that you have cited in your text but also newspapers, books, and journals you may have read and studied but did not refer to in your paper. Keep in mind that bibliography should begin on the new page and be numbered consecutively.

The guidelines that follow describe seven essential points you should remember while composing your bibliography list.
  • Type the page number in the upper right-hand corner with your name before it, and place it one-half inch from the top of the page.
  • Center title Bibliography one inch from the top, and then double space before the first entry.
  • Begin each entry with the left margin. If the entry contains more than one line, indent additional lines one-half inch, namely five spaces.
  • Use single spacing between all items of your bibliography list.
  • Be sure to double space each entry.
  • List each entry alphabetically by the author’s last name. If there is no author, use the first word of the title.
  • Remember to give web address for an electronic source.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Learn How StyleWriter can Assist You with Editing Your College Papers

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Discover Successful Note-Taking Strategies of A-students

Every high school and college student should recognize the value of note-taking strategies. These strategies are simple, but highly efficient. Though there is no single note-taking strategy that can apply to every student, but some practically tested pointers and tactics of A-students can come in handy to you.

Discover a stack of note-taking strategies that smart students use to write well-organized research papers.
  • When reading a source, always have a stack of note cards on hand to copy quotes and pieces of information related to your research paper. Once you have finished your research, you should divide the cards into sections according to the sections of the paper, and, then proceed to the outline.

    - Recommended by Anne Stancil, Davidson College
  • Take notes on your sources, and using these notes, write your paper directly onto your computer.

- Recommended by Katia Fredriksen, Princeton University

  • Write down any ideas that you think important with page numbers for applicable references. From these detailed notes, which are usually a page or two long, jot down some basic ideas for organization.

- Recommended by Carrie Arthur, Davidson College

  • Create computer files for each new element of information and all its subsequent parts. Also create files for each person you have interviewed and include in the files all pieces of information that relate to this person. Then, before writing, print out all the files and organize them into an outline.

- Recommended by Jordan Smith, master’s candidate in journalism at University of Texas