Writing Research Papers: A Guide to the Process / Edition 7

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A friendly, easy-to-use guide, Writing Research Papers walks students through every step of the research process — from finding a topic to searching the Web to formatting the final manuscript. The seventh edition is thoroughly revised to help students find and evaluate the very best sources amidst the flood of information that electronic searching makes available.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312414436
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: Seventh Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN WEIDENBORNER was a professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York for over thirty years. He coauthored several other composition textbooks with DOMENICK CARUSO, also a former professor of English at Kingsborough Community College.

GARY PARKS is an English professor at Shoreline Community College, in Shoreline, Washington. He has been teaching composition, literature, and creative writing for almost 20 years. His research interests include online communication and distance learning, and he helped pioneer his college's first Web-based distance learning courses. A member of NCTE and CCC, he has given presentations at various assessment and distance learning conferences as well as at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. He is a contributing author to the Bedford/St. Martin's VirtuaLit Fiction site and has had short stories published in several literary magazines.

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Table of Contents



1. Understanding the Research Process
Basic Steps in the Process
Some Essential Definitions
A More Detailed Look at the Research Process

2. Deciding on a Topic
Moving from Subject to Topic
Finding the Best Topic
Doing Background Reading or Preliminary Research
Brainstorming to Find a Topic
Four Students Find Their Topics

3. Moving from Topic to Hypothesis
Benefits of a Hypothesis
Arriving at a Hypothesis by Brainstorming
Four Students Form and Revise Their Hypotheses

Reviewing Part One


4. Developing a Research Strategy
Types of Sources
The Role of Libraries and Librarians
The Library's Home Page
The Data Record
Search Strategies

5. Finding Books
Using the Library Catalog
Evaluating Results of a Library Catalog Search
Using the Library's Reference Section
Locating Books
Using Electronic Books

6. Finding Periodicals
Understanding Types of Periodicals
Using Periodical Databases
Evaluating Results of a Database Search
Using Print Indexes
Acquiring Articles from Print-based Periodicals
Acquiring Articles from Web-based Periodicals

7. Finding Internet Sources
Understanding Types of Web Sites
Understanding Web Addresses
Using Search Engines
Evaluating Results of a Web Search
Using Other Web Resources

8. Finding Other Kinds of Sources
Other Materials in Your Own Library
Other Print Sources
Television and Radio Programs
Audio-Visual Material from the Web
Interviews and Surveys

Reviewing Part Two


9. Developing a Working Bibliography
Setting Up the Working Bibliography
Gathering Potential Sources
Reassessing Your Topic

10. Evaluating Potential Sources
Skimming Your Sources
Judging the Usefulness of Sources
Evaluating Online Sources
Using Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Cross-Checking Sources
Creating an Annotated Bibliography
Reviewing Your Hypothesis

11. Taking Effective Notes
Using a Preliminary Outline as a Guide
Using a Statement of Purpose as a Guide
Practical Aspects of Note-Taking

12. Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Quoting
Note-Taking for Non-textual Sources
An Extended Example of Effective Note-Taking

13. Avoiding Plagiarism
Understanding Documentation
Plagiarizing Ideas
Plagiarizing Paraphrases
Paraphrasing without Plagiarizing
Plagiarizing Language
Plagiarizing Facts

Reviewing Part Three


14. Organizing and Outlining
Organizing Your Notes
Refining the Outline
The Traditional Outline Format

15. Writing the Rough Draft
Getting Ready to Draft
Working on a Computer
Drafting the Introduction
Drafting the Body
Drafting the Conclusion

16. Revising the Rough Draft
Revising for Organization
Revising for Support
Revising for Language
Revising for Documentation
Two Examples of Revision
Writing the Polished, Final Draft

Reviewing Part Four


17. Understanding Documentation Requirements
Types of Material That Require Source Notes
General Information about In-Text Citations
General Information about the List of Sources
Abbreviations for Bibliographical Terms

18. Using the MLA Parenthetical System
Guidelines for Parenthetical Citations
Sample Parenthetical Citations
Blending Notes into Your Text Smoothly
Numbered Notes for Special Purposes
Guidelines for Works Cited
Directory to MLA Style for Works Cited
Sample Entries for Books
Sample Entries for Periodicals
Sample Entries for Electronic Sources
Sample Entries for Other Material
Citing Sources of Illustrative Material

19. Using The APA (Author/Year) System
Guidelines for Parenthetical Citations
Sample Parenthetical Citations
Guidelines for a List of References
Directory to APA Style for a List of References
Sample Entries for Books
Sample Entries for Periodicals
Sample Entries for Electronic Sources
Sample Entries for Other Material

20. Using Other Documentation Systems
The Chicago (Endnote/Footnote) System
The Number System
Format Preferences for Various Academic Disciplines

Reviewing Part Five


21. Following Format Requirements
Basic Formatting
Following a Particular Format
Creating a Title Page
Creating an Abstract
Paginating Your Paper
Selecting an Appropriate Font
Using Color

22. Four Sample Research Papers
MLA-Style Paper: "The New Immigrants: Asset or Burden?"
MLA-Style Paper: "Emily Dickinson's Reluctance to Publish"
APA-Style Paper: "Solenopis invicta: Destroyer of Ecosystems"
Chicago-Style Paper: "Cotton Mather's Necessary Witches"

Appendix of Reference Sources


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