A types of Research Papers b citing Sources in the Research Paper c sample Paper a types of Research Papers Two Major Types a report

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A Types of Research Papers
B Citing Sources in the Research Paper
C Sample Paper

A Types of Research Papers

Two Major Types
A Report--this is usually a summary of a few sources that develops a topic.
Evaluative Research Paper--developed from multiple sources and addresses. It might consider problems and solutions or causes and effects. It assesses, analyzes, or interprets. It supports a topic and a thesis and may reach a conclusion that expresses an opinion.
Be sure you understand the kind of writing your teacher wants you to pursue.

• Choose a topic that is of interest to you and for which there is sufficient material available.

• Do some preliminary reading. As you read narrow your topic and develop a focus. (Keep track of your sources. Write down bibliographical information that will be needed later in your paper.)
• Make a preliminary outline of the key points you may want to make in your paper.
• Try writing a research question that reflects the purpose of your paper, like these:
How does climate affect the migratory patterns of Canada geese?
How did the circumstances of Alexander Graham Bell's growing up affect his becoming an inventor?
How was radio used as a propaganda tool during World War II?
• Continue reading and gathering information. Take notes. Some students find taking notes on 3x5 or 4x6 cards to be efficient. Others write notes in a notebook. Use what works best for you. BE SURE TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SOURCES. Title, author, publisher, copyright, etc. should be recorded on note cards or in your notebook.
• Revise the preliminary outline.
• When you write the paper
Be sure the first paragraph contains your thesis. Thesis simply means a statement that clearly lets the reader know the topic and what you are going to do with it. The body of the paper should be written with the same kinds of considerations you would use in composing any essay. The concluding paragraph brings your paper to a logical close.
Write the paper so that the reader can hear your writing voice. Your teacher can tell whether the sentences in your paper are part of your writing style or the style of one of your sources. When you copy the exact words from a source or quote statistics or paraphrase a source, you must give credit to the author. Copying the words of others and claiming them as your own is plagiarism which is literary theft and could result in failure for the paper or even the course. Let your thoughts, opinions, and conclusions come through.
Since much of your research paper might be based upon the writings of others, it is impractical to document every idea used. Use your best judgment in deciding whether the idea is general knowledge (no documentation needed) or an idea that is original with a particular individual (documentation required).
1 Give credit for any information that you copy directly from a source.

2 Give credit for the original and interesting opinions or insights of others which you have put in your own words.

3 Give credit for statistics, figures, definitions, pictures, illustrations, diagrams, or graphics.

B Citing Sources in the Research Paper
See the final paragraph on the preceding page regarding what needs to be documented.
Citing information found in BOOKS, MAGAZINES, AND NEWSPAPERS . (Underline the titles or use italics.)
• Here is an example of how to cite a MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER:
Mossberg, Walter. "A Mall World, After All." Smart Money April 1996: 152-54.
Here is the order of references in the preceding citation:
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."

Title of Magazine or Newspaper Day

Month Year of Publication: page(s).

• Here is an example of how to cite a BOOK:
Boorstin, Daniel J. The Creators: A History of the Heroes of the Imagination. New York, New York: Random House, 1992.
Here is the order of references in the preceding citation:
Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book.

City of Publication, State of Publication:

Publisher, Copyright date.

• Use the following format to cite an ENCYCLOPEDIA:

Smith, John. "Bats." Academic American. 1995 ed.
Here is the order of references in the preceding citation:
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Year of Edition.
(If no author of the article is given, begin with "Title of Article.")
• Citing Information found on the INTERNET
The speed of change in the electronic world means that particular features for citing Internet and Web sources are constantly changing. An MLA guide for citing information on the World Wide Web is available on the Internet. Confirm the accuracy of your citation by checking the Modern Language Association Web site at
When citing information from the World Wide Web try to provide as much of the following information as possible:
Author's last name, first name. "Article title" or Book Title. Identification of on-line posting or home page. Date of electronic publication. Name of institution or organization sponsoring Web site. Here is an example:
"Defining Wetlands." 20 Feb. 1997. (27 July 1997)

• Citing Information found on CD-ROMS AND DISKETTES

Kennedy, Lauren. "Emily Dickinson." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM.Macintosh ed.1997. Danbury, CT: Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1997.
Here is the order of references in the preceding citation:
The Last Name of the Author, First Name. "The Name of the Article." The Title of the CD-ROM. Medium (CD-ROM). The Version or Edition. The Place of Publication. The Publisher and Date of CD-ROM.
If you do not have all of the information that is required, cite what you have.
C Sample Paper
Printed here are sections from a term paper entitled, "Alexander Graham Bell, a Man of Destiny," which was written by an East High School student. You can see from the sections reproduced here how to cite references in the text of your paper--simply enclose in parenthesis the author and page number(s) or title and page number(s). You can also see how your bibliography page should look.

Alexander Graham Bell, A Man of Destiny

Attention please! For the next sixty seconds, the telephones of the United States will be silent.
One minute of telephone silence in 1999? Not very likely. But on August 2, 1922 that is what happened. Upon the death of Alexander Graham Bell, the telephones stopped ringing as a tribute to the man who had made the ringing possible.

Today we take the ringing of the telephone for granted and we consider the telephone a necessity. ...................

In reading about Bell, I found six influences on his life that were important in enabling the eventual development of the telephone. They were:

His father’s work

The influence of his deaf mother

An inventive mind

A misunderstanding


Harmonic telegraph

Thomas Watson

Almost by acts of fate, circumstances came together in Bell’s life so that the telephone came into being. There were others who were trying to send sounds over wires at the same time that Bell did, and the telephone would have been invented, eventually, by someone else. But Bell did it first, and not without his important life influences.

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1847. His father, Alexander Melville Bell, had an interest in the “mechanics and methods of vocal communication” which he had obtained from his own father who was regularly referred to in the London press as “the celebrated Professor of Elocution” (The Telephone). Melville's interest in speech problems was . . .

The fact that Bell was intelligent and creative was illustrated at a young age through his ability to read and write. He also had an expressive, resonant speaking voice. It was through his voice that he made a unique bond with his deaf mother. He chose to speak to her with “...low, sonorous tones very close to her forehead" (The Telephone). He hoped that she would be able to hear him through the vibrations his voice would make . . .
In 1871 Bell began giving instruction in Visible Speech at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes. Attempting to teach deaf children to speak was considered revolutionary and there were many who were skeptical about Bell’s work. His system involved writing the symbols of visible speech on a blackboard, and then getting the student to copy exactly the way that Bell would put his mouth in proper position. For example, the consonant p is spoken by closing the lips, opening them suddenly while letting out a puff of air. Bell would put the student’s hand in front of his mouth and let him feel the puff of air. The pupil would then try it until he learned how to speak the new sound. In a few weeks Bell’s students would learn to use about 400 English syllables (Burlingame 41) . . .
Bell developed what he called a “harp apparatus.” It was a series of reeds arranged over a long magnet. Each reed responded to the voice and would vibrate toward and away from the magnet, creating the undulating current. He did not yet realize that a single reed could convey all the elements of human speech. The breakthrough came one day in June, 1875 when Bell asked Thomas Watson to pluck a steel receiver reed with his finger to make sure it was not stuck. When Watson vibrated the reed, the receiver in Bell’s room also vibrated, even though the current was turned off. “The make-and-break points of one of the springs had become welded together, and as a result of this interference the electro-magnet was generating a current of electricity—the undulating current that Bell had been listening for, and hoping to find, for nearly a year" (Stevenson 124). . . .

Early in 1876 Bell was confident enough to draft out patent specifications and to submit them as an application on February 14. The patent was granted on March 7 and three days later Bell was able to send Thomas Watson the first telephone message, “Mr. Watson, come at once. I want you" (Feldman and Ford 205). . . .

Just as Alexander Graham Bell called Mr. Watson, we also call, “come at once. I want you.” The phones ring out to remind us of the destiny that was Alexander Graham Bell’s. Born of an elocutionist and a deaf mother, this inquisitive man was taken to a new land by his parents in the hope that he would not die of tuberculosis. He worked tirelessly on the harmonic telegraph until fate took him to Thomas Watson and the telephone finally became a reality. A reality that it almost seems Alexander Graham Bell was born to bring into being.


"Alexander Graham Bell, The Inventor." 18 November 1998. From Fitzgerald Studio's Historical and Educational CD-ROM. http://www.fitzgeraldstudio.com/html/bell/inventor.html
"The Telephone." 1999. from The American Experience. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/technology/telephone/mabell.html
Burlingame, Roger. Out of Silence into Sound, The Life of Alexander Graham Bell. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1964.
Feldman, Anthony and Ford, Peter. “Alexander Graham Bell.” Facts on File, 1979.
Stevenson, O.J. The Talking Wire, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell. New York: Julian Messner, Incorporated, 1960.

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