In the last article, we began to examine the basic dynamics of a research paper and how we should get started.
We also identified the various resources that a student should become familiar with while embarking on this task. Many of you may be somewhere in this process as we speak, as the end of the school year is coming to a close and papers are coming due.
Our focus in this article will be to discuss the key components of the paper's body, in-text citing, the bibliography and, finally, the conclusion.
The body of the research paper will be crafted from the points and sub-points that are contained within our pre-writing outline. It is key that we as writers do not deviate from the outline.
The body is where the who, what, when, where and how should be expressed. Each paragraph in the body should contain an opening sentence that gives the reader a prompt for what is to come. Writing and speaking is all about prompting. We want to gain our readers-audience's attention.
It is very important not to have tremendously long paragraphs in the body. Remember to space your points out in a reasonable sequence. Every paragraph should be descriptive in nature and end with a transition to the next.
A common mistake in research paper writing is the dreaded in-text citation. An in-text citation is intended to give credit to the author or authors that you have paraphrased sentences from.
Always remember that if you do not cite and cite properly it will be looked at as plagiarism. The major writing formats that set the standards for citing are APA and MLA.
Do yourself a huge favor and make sure that you are aware of which format your instructor is requiring for the assignment. Each of these writing formats has different methods for in-text citing.
There are many websites out there that offer instruction(s) for each of the writing formats listed above. A popular site is the Purdue OWL On-Line Writing Lab.
The bibliography or works cited portion of the paper should come at the very end on a new page. Just as in-text citations could be APA or MLA format, the bibliography could be formatted with either of them as well. The bibliography is a place that gives credit to the sources where you have retrieved your information from.
A few of the key components in the bibliography are the author or author's full name, title of the book and date of publication. Don't forget that just about anything with an author can be cited in the bibliography, such as books, journals, websites and video media.
We have now entered into the conclusion of the research paper. Many students will use the conclusion to write about more facts and information. The conclusion is not attended for that purpose.
Just as the introduction opened the paper, the conclusion should close it. A solid conclusion should restate the introduction in an abbreviated manner.
Use your conclusion to "tie" your paper together.
Try and come-up with another "catchy" phrase that makes the reader feel the paper had validity. The average-sized research paper should contain a conclusion that is about half the size of one of your longer paragraphs within the body.
As you can see, the research paper must be approached in a methodical manner.
To get a properly formatted and well-written paper the writer must work through the correct sequence of steps.
Don't try to skip right to the writing portion of the paper. Even the greatest authors in the world have a "roadmap" to a successful paper.
In the next article, I will report on the importance of summer enrichment education.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 1020 Arthur Road, Montoursville.
He may be reached at 506-9998 or email@example.com.