What is the research paper?

  • The research paper is your attempt to find and share trustworthy information.
  • Read examples, hereand here.
  • You'll need to consult the Cobbler Style Guide frequently.

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How do we do this?

Part 1: How do I know what information is trustworthy? Where do I find trustworthy information? (research and finding sources)

First, we determine whether something is trustworthy.

Next, we consider how to find that trustworthy information.
  • Practice a source search using these five places or methods: 1) our library, 2) Google, 3) Wikipedia's references, 4) InfoTrac, and 5) ProQuest.

Once that is accomplished, we're ready to begin picking a topic.
  • Your goal for this paper is to ask the following question: "How is (or was) _________ significant in our world?" Your paper will be your attempt to answer that question. (This list of 50 technological breakthroughs could get you started.)
  • Here is a list of ideas you might enjoy.

Then we create a proposal, where you present your topic to me and I approve of it.
  • This requires your knowing about a works cited list (see handbook).

Part 2: How do I prepare to share this trustworthy information? (taking and organizing notes)

After that, you need to take notes from your sources.
  • For my classes, I make you use my note taking format and method (see handbook).

When your notes are complete, you'll need to assemble an outline.

Part 3: How do I share this trustworthy information?(writing the paper)

Once your outline is complete, you're ready to write the paper.
  • This means you'll have to include citations and possibly quotes (see handbook)

The information below here is from previous years--ignore it.

To find
and share

Know your search engine:


Step 1: The Proposal
  1. What is the proposal?

Step 2: The Notes

Adapting & crediting

  1. How do I take notes?

  1. Organizing what you've got

Step 3: Writing the paper

Adapting & crediting

  1. Creating a draft is basically like writing an essay, with an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion
  2. The thing that makes it different is the documentation.
    1. Make sure you don't plagiarize. (See also pp. 275-77 in Writers Inc.)
      1. Complete the plagiarism exercise we did in class before beginning this step.
    2. Read the handout on how to document and quote your sources.
    3. Make sure you format the citations correctly.

Sheehy's lesson plans for the above material

Additional Resources

Works Cited Resources**

Items referenced in the booklet

The Search for information

Avoiding Plagiarism

Writing the paper

Our textbook, Writer's Inc., has a couple examples of perfect research papers available online.

Original image: 'Aleen thuis' by: Ianus Keller