Wr iting Modules
Wr itin g M o d u le s
Module 5 - Research Papers
M odule 5.1: T he Wr iting Pr ocess
T he purpose of this module is to understand the writing process and the phases of writing a research paper. We will review the following:
Understand the writing process
Discuss Pre-writing activities
T he Wr iting Pr ocess
T he following diagram provides a nice overview of all of the steps involved in writing a research paper. T ake a few minutes to review the diagram.
Prew riting Activities
Generate, collect, and plan ideas.
List all possible ideas.
Determine your focus.
Consider your target audience.
Examine the ideas and choose the most convincing ones.
Gather and evaluate information to support the ideas.
Make final selections.
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Wr iting Modules
Refine and formalize a plan.
Determine how you will present your ideas.
Make an outline and clearly determine your thesis or topic statement, and your subtopics. Set the plan aside and take a break.
Come back to your plan and revise as necessary.
Compose the first draft of the paper. F ollow your outline.
T ry to write without stopping.
New ideas may occur, make changes as needed.
Step away from the draft for awhile, and come back.
Make major changes
Read the paper objectively
Be a critical thinker. Evaluate the paper, is it effective?
Make major changes in the content, organization and order of topics. Make the sentences more complex and smooth, adding appropriate transitions.
Proofing and Editing
Make minor changes to the mechanics of the paper.
Correct grammar errors.
Check for errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Check formatting.
Pr ewr iting
Prewriting is one of the first steps in the writing process. Prewriting strategies such as brainstorming and freewriting can help you find ideas, collect information, and organize your thoughts. It is often helpful to think about ideas before trying to create a formal text.
In b r ain stor min g, you generate multiple ideas relating to a topic without immediately evaluating their suitability for further development. F or example, consider the topic of E-commerce. Here is a list of ideas relating to the topic:
Implementing E-commerce in a new business
E-Commerce security concerns
Marketing strategies for B2B companies
History of e-commerce
E-commerce hardware requirements
In fr eewr itin g, an author writes literally without stopping within a set time limit of, for example, ten minutes, starting with a particular topic related to the subject. F reewriting is messy, unplanned and unpredictable, but it is a good way to generate ideas on a topic.
Resear ch in g is another prewriting activity. After you have selected a topic and identified general ideas, often times you must gather additional information. Before beginning research, formulate initial ideas about a general topic and read background information on the topic. T he first place students go for research is the Internet. In most cases, you will find countless data about your topic. F inding information is one aspect of conducting effective research. Identifying useful, relevant, and reliable information is another. It is important to note that not every site on the internet may provide reliable information on your topic. When writing a research paper, you are looking for more scientific, factual data to support your own thoughts and ideas. F ocusing on a specific aspect of your topic, narrowing your topic, is essential for writing. Unfortunately, this step can be one of the most difficult. Look for the most interesting aspect of a topic. What excites you about it? What would others like to know about it? You also need to consider your target audience. Who will be the primary readers of the paper? Knowing your target audience enables...