General Aims of
the Research Paper
1. A researcher needs to learn how to develop, modify, and refine a research thesis. In other words, she/he should learn how to use the library to help you think.
researcher needs to learn to find her/his way around the library, to work out a
coherent strategy for finding materials, and to use a variety of research tools.
researcher needs to learn to evaluate sources, to critically weigh conflicting
researcher needs to learn to compose an extended argument from her/his research
material, and to supplement your research if there are gaps in her/his argument.
researcher needs to learn to organize that argument so that it is accessible to
a reader who has not done all the same research.
researcher needs to learn to write fairly formal English, and to edit this prose
so that there are few errors.
researcher needs to learn the conventions of acknowledging sources.
The term paper should have a focused analytic thesis, which concentrates on the insights gained in the research process. It is advisable to ask your professor to preapprove a thesis statement paragraph.
thesis should be supported by a variety of appropriate research materials.
In most cases, this will include both books and periodicals.
It must include some scholarly material.
Not all the material in a bibliography can be partisan to one side of a
controversial question. Generally,
dictionary or encyclopedia entries are not permitted.
researcherís reading notes must show critical reflection about the sources,
and sources must be carefully evaluated for use in the paper.
In no case should the paper be a patchwork of quotations;
the use of library evidence must be subordinated to the line of the
essay must be coherent, addressed to a specific audience, and conventionally
documented. It must use standard,
formal (but not pompous or dull) English. There
should be very few errors.
Remember that the researcher, and not the typist (unless they are one and
the same), is responsible for the final version of the paper.