The Elements of Research Writing

By Panitz, Beth | ASEE Prism, February 1998 | Go to article overview

The Elements of Research Writing


Panitz, Beth, ASEE Prism


In his book Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Creative Learning in the Classroom (Jossey-Bass, 1996), John Bean, director of Seattle University's writing program, offers the following tips for teaching students how to write research papers:

1. Emphasize the importance of research questions. Help students think of their research topics in terms of a question rather than a topic area. Instruct students to pose an interesting problem or question appropriate to the course that will require research as well as the application of analytical skills.

2. Require a prospectus well in advance of the paper. Doing this ensures students conduct some preliminary research, thereby preventing end-of-the-term rush jobs. Typically, a research prospectus asks students to address the following questions:

* What research problem or question do you intend to address?

* Why is this an interesting question? Why is it problematic? Why is it significant?

* How far along are you in your thinking and research? What do you expect to discover? Are you ready to formulate a thesis statement? If so, what is it?

* Attach a working bibliography of the sources you have used so far. Write short annotations for the material you have already read.

3. Teach the prototypical structure of introductions to academic papers. Emphasize that a prototypical academic introduction has three main parts. The first part, which is usually the longest, introduces readers to the problem the paper addresses and provides background on other research in this area. The second section explains the article's general focus and purpose. The third section gives the reader an overview of the whole article.

4. Teach your students how to read and write academic titles. Instruct students to write a brief but detailed title that provides a nutshell introduction to the paper. Point out some of the most common conventions for academic titles. Following are examples.

* A question. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Elements of Research Writing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.