MLA Research Paper
- To produce new knowledge through an analysis of a topic.
- The Research Paper is a larger and longer version of the mini-research paper structure.
- The MLA Research Paper CANNOT be turned in late
- The MLA Research Paper CANNOT be re-written
Parts of the Paper
This paragraph is written last
- A one paragraph summary of the entire paper.
- Includes a Thesis statement: A position using a theory or model to investigate a topic.
- Thesis statements must be one sentence.
- Scope of research
(One to three paragraphs)
- This section of your research paper may range over a few paragraphs and discusses two parts of your scope.
- The overall scope of your entire subject (so you can show-off that you know how big the subject is)
- A more focused part or paragraph to show you can focus on a more significant and exacting part.
- Do not discuss the theory in the scope
- Do not use any quotes in this part. Scopes should contain only common knowledge. Common knowledge is not common to people but common to the sources that concern a subject.
- Even though most people do not know Abe Lincoln's mother's first name, her name IS common knowledge because most biographies on his life would include that information.
- Literature Review
(One to two paragraphs)
- This section discusses various credible and pertinent sources concerning your topic.
- Discuss at least five sources
- do NOT quote and informatation in this section
- Give pertinent citation information (such as authors' names, article titles, journal names) and summarize the sources.
- This section is already written in your tracking sheets; you just need to put them together into one to two paragraphs.
- Model or Theory
(One to two paragraphs)
- This one paragraph explains the model or theory you will use.
- Every field of study uses many models and many theories, and this paragraph
helps the reader understand the one you are using.
- You must cite sources (at least one) in order to "define" your theory or model in this paragraph.
- Do not discuss the scope in the theory
(at least Two full PAGES)
- Minimum of 2 pages of analysis needed for this assignment.
- The true aim of the analysis section is to use your subject (scope) to help your reader better understand your theory
- Every paragraph must relate the information of your subject to the theory used.
- Begin every paragraph with a direct reference to how the subject and theory go together.
- NO CONCLUDING HERE
- This paragraph is NOT a warm fuzzy wrap up.
- This last paragraph discusses other possible theories you could have used.
- The aim of this paragraph is to give others possible research thesis statements.
The Order of Writing the Research Paper
- Write out a scope (a few paragraphs) to better understand the grandeur of the subject.
- Learn about a subject and list how massive the subject is.
- In most papers, you will need a scope, so you might as well do it first.
- Narrow the scope of the subject to a topic
- Be very specific with your topic.
- List keywords that come to mind concerning your topic. (You'll need this list, below)
- If your topic is too large, you will not be able to write a short paper.
- (In one Master's thesis, I used three interconnected theories and six novels: the thesis is 130 pages long.)
- Learn "everything" about that topic.
- Gather sources
- Choose only professional writings or interviews with professionals as sources
- A professional in your field is someone most others in your field accept as a professional.
- Sometimes who is or is not a professional in a field is highly arguable.
- Always be ready with documented proof as to the person's status as a professional.
- If the article is printed in a peer-reviewed or "juried" journal, the ideas and information in that article is professional.
- Use your list of keywords to run searches in databases
- Scan article titles and summaries for possible useful information
- Skim the article's introduction and conclusion.
- If the introduction and conclusion do not seem worthy, the article is not worthy to your research.
- If the article sounds worthy of your research, read it.
- Research is continual phases of scanning, skimming, and reading.
- Read keywords for any article; add them to your list.
- Read the article's bibliography to find other sources.
- Know the names of people who are involved in your topic.
- Often, you will find the same names popping up in articles about a specific topic.
- Make sure you are using either those names in your paper or articles written by those names.
- Research is sloppy when experts in the field are not consulted or, worse, are not known
by the author of the research (you).
- Isolate some aspect of the topic that we (in your field) could use a better understanding of:
- A specific problem to address (Applied research)
- A general new understanding (Theoretical research)
- Find a theory or model:
- a theory to analyze the information (Theoretical research).
- a model to test the topic's information (Applied research).
- Use the method:
- Theoretical: Discuss (write) how the theory re-interprets the information.
- Create a list of 10 ways that your subject can be used as examples to better under the theory
- Applied: Follow the usage of the model and "test" your information
- Write about how the information changes before and after the model.
- Write a Conclusion
- Theoretical: Address other possible research scenarios that would use either other models or other theories with your topic.
- Write the Introduction
- A good introduction is a full summary of the whole paper in one short paragraph.
- The introduction must include your thesis statement.
Copyright © Warren Jones. 2006-2018