Cover image for Research papers for dummies
Research papers for dummies
Woods, Geraldine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Hungry Minds, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxii, 337 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1047.3 .W66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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You're sitting at your desk in a classroom or in an airlesscubicle, wondering how many minutes are left in a seemingly endlessday, when suddenly your teacher or supervisor lowers the boom: Shewants a research paper, complete with footnotes and a list ofsources. She wants accuracy, originality, and good grammar.And - gasp! - she wants ten pages!You may be 16 years old or 60 years old, but your reaction is thesame: Help!

Take heart. A research paper may seem daunting, but it's afar-from-impossible project to accomplish. Turning research intowriting is actually quite easy, as long as you follow a few proventechniques. And that's where Research Papers For Dummies steps in to help. In this easy-to-understand guide, you find outhow to search for information using both traditional printedsources and the electronic treasure troves of the Internet. Youalso discover how to take all those bits of information, discardingthe irrelevant ones, and put them into a form that illustrates yourpoint with clarity and originality.

Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find in ResearchPapers For Dummies :

Types of research papers, from business reports todissertations The basic ingredients of a paper: Introduction, body,conclusion, footnotes, and bibliography Note-taking methods while doing research Avoiding plagiarism and other research paper pitfalls Defining your thesis statement and choosing a structure foryour paper Supporting your argument and drawing an insightfulconclusion Revising and polishing your prose Top Ten lists on the best ways to begin your research onlineand in print

Research Papers For Dummies also includes an appendixthat's full of research paper ideas if you're stuck.

If you're tasked with writing a research paper, chances are youalready have a lot of demands on your time. You don't need anotherhuge pile of papers to read. This book can actually save you timein the long run, because it gives you the easiest, fastest, andmost successful methods for completing your paper.

Author Notes

Geraldine Woods is the author of more than 40 books She has taught high school and middle school English for over 25 years

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
How to Use This Bookp. 1
What You're Not to Readp. 2
Foolish Assumptionsp. 3
How This Book Is Organizedp. 3
Bonus Web Chapterp. 5
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
Where to Go from Herep. 6
Part I Figuring Out What You Are Writing and How to Write Itp. 7
Chapter 1 Running a Marathon in Sandals, or Writing a Research Paperp. 9
Writing Research Papers Is for Your Own Good, Honestp. 9
Cooking Up a Research Paper: The Basic Ingredientsp. 11
Meeting the Family: Characteristics of Each Type of Research Paperp. 13
Climbing the Steps to Successful Research Papersp. 21
Chapter 2 Getting on the Right Track: Tips for Saving Time and Effortp. 23
Making a Long Story Shortp. 23
Timing Is Everythingp. 27
Finding a Method That Suits Your Madnessp. 31
Discovering a Method That Suits Your Authority Figure's Madnessp. 32
Chapter 3 What Am I Writing About?p. 37
Defining Terms: Subject, Topic, and Thesisp. 38
Selecting a Subject for Your Paper: The Subject of Your Affectionp. 40
Attending to the Topic of Topicsp. 43
Moving from a Topic to a Thesisp. 45
Surveying the Territory: When Your Paper Doesn't Need a Thesisp. 46
Part II Finding Everything about Anything: Researchp. 49
Chapter 4 Casting a Wide Net: Choosing Sources for Your Paperp. 51
Sourcing Your Paper: How Many and What Kinds Do You Need?p. 51
Stalking the Wild Source: A Field Guidep. 53
Distrusting What You Find: A Guide to Evaluating Sourcesp. 65
Chapter 5 Surfing Safari: Researching Onlinep. 69
Creating an Effective Searchp. 69
Taking You Where You Want to Go: Search Engines and Subject Cataloguesp. 74
Traveling Express: Metasearch Enginesp. 75
Searching Online Databasesp. 76
Finding the Best of the Internet: Good Spots to Begin Your Researchp. 78
Drowning in Information? How to Swim to Shorep. 82
Chapter 6 Working from Traditional Sourcesp. 83
Researching from Library Booksp. 84
Finding Books in Bookstoresp. 92
Locating Newspaper and Magazine Articlesp. 92
Panning for Gold in the Pamphlet Filep. 94
Finding Audio-Visual Sources: You Oughta Be in Picturesp. 95
Associating with Expertsp. 96
Examining George Washington's Letters: Researching from Special Collectionsp. 97
Chapter 7 Real Live People: Interviewing Techniquesp. 99
Finding Interview Subjects: Where the People Arep. 99
Getting the Interviewp. 101
Preparing for the Interviewp. 102
Conducting the Interviewp. 103
Cleaning Up: Changing Real Speech into Readable Quotationsp. 108
Part III Collecting Pearls of Wisdom: How to Take Notesp. 111
Chapter 8 One Size Does Not Fit All: Note-Taking Methodsp. 113
Carding--the Old Systemp. 113
Note Taking on the Computerp. 116
Can't We All Get Along? Combining Note Cards and Computersp. 118
Highlighting and Indexingp. 120
Indexing Audio-Visual Sourcesp. 121
Documenting Your Sourcesp. 122
Chapter 9 Note Taking: What to Write, What to Skipp. 127
Surveying the Field: Preliminary Notesp. 127
Note Taking with Focusp. 129
Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Too Many, Too Few, and Repetitive Notesp. 133
N Tkg W/Abbr.p. 135
Taking Proper Notes: An Examplep. 137
Chapter 10 Staying on the Right Side of the Lawp. 141
Avoiding Plagiarism for Fun and Profitp. 141
Quote Unquotep. 142
Deciding When to Cite Sourcesp. 145
Seeing What You Don't Have to Citep. 152
Following the Golden Rule of Citationsp. 154
Staying on the Right Side of the Copyright Lawp. 154
Part IV More Than Sharpening Pencils: Preparing to Writep. 157
Chapter 11 Forming a Thesis Statementp. 159
Laying a Firm Foundation for Your Paperp. 159
Forming a Thesis and Writing a Thesis Statementp. 161
Avoiding Potholes: Too Broad, Too Narrow, or Self-Evident Thesesp. 164
Examining Quality Thesis Statementsp. 168
Forming a Topic Sentencep. 169
Choosing a Titlep. 170
Chapter 12 Choosing a Structure for Your Paperp. 173
Marrying Form and Content: The Right Structure with the Right Thesisp. 173
Considering the Options: Structures for Every Occasionp. 175
Organizing a Paper That Doesn't Have a Thesisp. 183
Personalizing a Structural Frameworkp. 185
Chapter 13 Organizing the Information: Subtopicsp. 187
Mining Research Notes for Subtopicsp. 187
Matching Subtopics to Structurep. 189
Sorting Notes: Placing the Right Idea in the Right Basketp. 195
Chapter 14 The Battle Plan: Constructing an Outlinep. 197
Drawing Up a Battle Plan: Why Outlines Are Necessaryp. 198
Indenting by the Rules: How to Format an Outlinep. 199
Turning Notes into an Outline: A Practical Guidep. 204
Checking the Logical Pathp. 207
Part V Turn on the Computer, Fill the Fountain Pen: It's Time to Writep. 209
Chapter 15 Allow Me to Introduce Myself: Writing an Effective Introductionp. 211
Setting Your Reader on the Right Path: What an Introduction Accomplishesp. 212
Creating and Placing the Essential Elements of the Introductionp. 213
Steering Clear of Vague Introductionsp. 221
Writing Introductions for Science and Business Research Papersp. 223
Chapter 16 The Body of Evidencep. 227
Putting Meat on the Bones: Writing the Body of the Paperp. 227
Defining Paragraphs and Writing Topic Sentencesp. 230
Staying on Topic: The Tuna Fish Defensep. 232
Connecting the Dots: Moving from One Subtopic to Anotherp. 233
Presenting Evidence and Relating It to a Thesisp. 237
Inserting Quotationsp. 239
One Picture Is Worthp. 242
Answering Objections in Advance: Concession and Replyp. 243
Chapter 17 And in Conclusionp. 245
Summarizing versus Concluding: How to Tell the Differencep. 245
Packing the Essentials: What the Conclusion Must Containp. 247
Getting It Together: How to Combine the Essential Elements of a Conclusionp. 252
Concluding a Survey Paperp. 254
Concluding Science Research Papersp. 255
Chapter 18 The Picky Stuff: Citing Sourcesp. 257
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due: Documenting Sourcesp. 257
Meeting the Major Players in the Citation Gamep. 261
Chapter 19 It's a Breeze: The Final Draftp. 273
Polishing Is Not Just for Shoesp. 273
Styling Your Sentencesp. 274
Fixing Grammar Gremlinsp. 276
Putting It All Togetherp. 284
Chapter 20 Solving Special Problemsp. 287
Adjusting Length: The Long and the Short of Itp. 287
Overcoming Writer's Blockp. 290
Surviving Research Disastersp. 291
Part VI The Part of Tensp. 295
Chapter 21 The Ten Best Ways to Start Electronic Researchp. 297
Designing a Searchp. 297
Revving Up a Search Enginep. 297
Taxing Government Resourcesp. 298
Hitting the Libraryp. 298
Hitting the Other Libraryp. 298
Checking Your FAQsp. 298
Getting Down to Businessp. 299
Reading the Paperp. 299
Opening Up a Subject Cataloguep. 299
Finding Peoplep. 299
Chapter 22 The Ten Best Ways to Start Traditional Researchp. 301
Asking the Bossp. 301
Asking the Librarianp. 301
Opening the Cataloguep. 302
Referring to Reference Booksp. 302
Checking the Children's Sectionp. 302
Reading the Reader's Guidep. 302
Noting the Newsp. 303
Perusing the Pamphlet Filep. 303
Browsing Bowker'sp. 303
Going Shoppingp. 303
Appendixp. 305
Artsp. 305
Arts Topics for Younger Writersp. 306
Historyp. 307
History Topics for Younger Writersp. 308
Literature and Languagep. 309
Literature Topics for Younger Writersp. 311
Science, Mathematics, and Technologyp. 311
Science, Mathematics, and Technology Topics for Younger Writersp. 312
Social Science and Psychologyp. 313
Social Science and Psychology Topics for Younger Writersp. 314
Interdisciplinary Ideasp. 315
Interdisciplinary Ideas for Younger Writersp. 317
Indexp. 319