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Research Essay a Blend of Evidence not a Shopping list of Facts

Updated on May 7, 2015

As soon as you hear "Research paper" what image comes into your mind - working with heaps of articles and books, hunting the ‘treasure’ of others opinions and views? Whatever image you’re trying to create, it's a sure play that you're picturing sources of information like articles, objects, books, files, records, people, artworks, and sculptures. A research essay should direct the reader to the works of others as it monitors the reader to compare prior erstwhile research to the current research essay. A research essay clarifies the reader about a topic as it visibly identifies the thesis and the main points of the essay.

Yet 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 the literature in a field. A research paper investigates, evaluates, explores a perspective or argues a point. Nevertheless of the type of research paper a student is writing, once finished research paper should present one’s own intellectual thinking backed up by others ideas and information.

The research essay is a familiar routine project in higher grades for students. The research essay needs widespread proof to support an intensive thesis. Key to writing an effective research paper is collecting sources that systematically speak a suitably and appropriate focused topic, and creating the information to present a strong argument supporting a clear thesis. Research papers generally begin with a subject, theme or problematic that requires to be researched. Frequently research essays and term papers are described as being the same thing.

The concept of the research essay appears very simple:

  • Choose a topic
  • Prepare research on the topic
  • Write an essay based on the research

Professors often include comments leaving the students disappointed such as:

  • No journal articles
  • Insufficient bibliography
  • Too general or Not appropriately narrow
  • Inappropriate use of sources
  • No research question
  • Much of this material seems to be plagiarized

Students assume that the purpose of a research essay is to report the books and articles they have read. They think the instructor wants them simply to quote from or summarize what they’ve read so that the essay tells the reader all about the topic. For instance, a history student writing about the Russian Civil War might read newspaper articles and books and interview veterans to improve and confirm a perspective and support it with evidence. A research essay is planned to allow you to answer a question, enquiry, controversy or dispute associated to the topic that is being studied.

Analysis in Research Essays

A research paper is an extended essay that presents your own understanding or evaluation or argument. When writing an essay, one ought to use everything personally know and thoughts about a topic. When you write a research paper you build upon what you know about the topic and make a thoughtful attempt to find out what specialists know. A research paper can be orderly and focused, if you know how to approach it. In fact, developing a research question and thesis, doing the research, writing the paper and correctly recording sources are the very fundamentals in writing a research paper.

To analyze means to breakdown a topic or idea down into its parts in order to examine and understand it, and to reorganize the parts in a way that makes sense. In an analytical research paper, a student does research to become a professional on a topic so that you can rearrange and present the parts of the topic from your own perspective.

How can a student improve a proper research question?

  1. Narrow the topic as described in Topic Selection.
  2. Use short introductions or reference sources to the topic in books that are provocative or need investigation.
  3. Develop a few likely research questions based on reference sources. These should be one sentence questions that are simple and clear.
  4. Choose one of these questions to be the research question for the essay.
  5. Different kinds of evidence to support the research such as the library and the internet to gather evidence.
  6. Developed an annotated bibliography for the evidence a working thesis for the research.
  7. Critically examined and written key pieces of evidence.
  8. Categorize and evaluated the evidence.

The word “essay” has more positive connotations: unique, vibrant, flexible, and creative. Has the objective of your essay been to answer precise questions based on reading material and research? Or has the purpose of the research been more open ended and abstract, maybe to learn more about concerns and topics to share with a broader audience? Ask yourself, is your research essay supposed to answer questions that specify that you have learned about a set and defined subject matter, or is your essay supposed to determine and discuss an issue that is possibly unknown to the audience, and the teacher.


Discovering, Narrowing, and Focusing a Researchable Topic

  1. Try to find a topic that truly comforts you.
  2. Try writing your way to a topic.
  3. Talk with your tutor and classmates about the topic.
  4. Pose the topic as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved.

Structure of a Research Paper

A series of steps, starting with developing a research question and working thesis, will lead you through writing a research paper. The way you structure or outline your research paper is important. It must have definite sections to it:

The Formal Outline

  • The Introduction
  • Contextual Information
  • Evidence to Support Points
  • Negating Arguments and Answers
  • The Conclusion
  • Works Cited or Reference Information

Introduction – The introduction serves two purposes. Firstly, the introduction provides the reader with some brief contextual information about the topic. Secondly, it lets you state the research question. The main purpose of an introduction is to get the reader’s attention and to explain what the essay will be about.

The Body – The body of the research essay is the main part. It is normally broken down into various headings that deal with aspects of the topic. Ask yourself, "What concerns must I cover in order to answer my research question?" The body is a section to describe the controversy in depth, a section to answer the arguments of someone who does not agree with your point, and a section to make a strong instance.

The Conclusion – The conclusion reviews the research and answers the research question. The goal of a conclusion is to bring the reader to an adequate point of closure. In other words, a good conclusion does not simply “end” an essay; it wraps things up.

Plan each step of the research essay. Establish each part of the essay. Begin early to gather adequate information about the topic. Give credit to each quote or paraphrase. Keep an account of where the information came from so it is not copied or plagiarized. When forming the outline show the introduction, main points, and conclusion. The finest way to write the research essay is to concentrate on each section at a time and proofread each of the sections gradually.

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