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Research Papers [ Title | Thesis | Blueprint | Quoting | Citing | MLA Format ]This document focuses on the kind of short, narrowly-focused research papers that might be the final project in a freshman writing class, or an early assignment in an upper-level course, when instructors want a quick peek at your abilities.You’ve written personal essays before, and you’ve written papers that demonstrate you can recall and organize information that’s been handed to you in lectures and textbook chapters.
An entomologist goes into the forest, catches hundreds or thousands of butterflies, and finds one that nobody has ever catalogued before.
If she had simply Googled for “butterflies of Pennsylvania” there would be no information about the anatomy or habits of that undiscovered species.
If I, as a scholar in the field of English, were to “research” a topic like role that the telephones played in detective fiction in the early 20th century, I would hope nobody else has already written on that exact topic.
There are books about the history of the telephone, and about the history of detective fiction, and there are certainly detective stories that involve telephones.
Let’s consider the term “research.”Outside the classroom, if I want to “research” which phone I should buy, I would start with Google; I would watch some You Tube unboxing videos, and ask my friends on social media for their opinions.
I’d assume somebody already has written about or knows about the latest phones, and the goal of my “research” is to find what the people I trust think is the correct answer.
of your paper (rather than saving them for the end).
You won’t know what your best ideas are until you’ve written a full draft.
(I am amazed at how many students overlook this simple step.) A short undergraduate research paper is not the proper occasion for you to tackle huge issues, such as, “Was Shakespeare’s Best Tragedy?
” or “Women’s Struggle for Equality” or “How to Eliminate Racism.” You won’t be graded down simply because you don’t have all the answers right away.