Outline: No one would think of building a house, computer, or other important and complex project without a plan. Students regularly write papers without a plan. As a result, poor organization is a common weakness of undergraduate term papers. The best way to construct your plan and to organize information for maximum effect is to put together an An outline serves to lay out your paper's structure, to ensure that it is complete and logical, and to prevent you from getting off the track. Determine what you wish to accomplish in the paper; then prepare an outline specifying every step from Introduction to Conclusion. Linear writing is crucial in professional papers and reports. A good outline also serves to help you later: It ensures that you stay on track, write an accurate summary for your conclusions, and cover all of the relevant information and arguments.
Parts: All papers should have three basic parts: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. The is the key to letting your reader know where you are headed and what you will accomplish. Remember always that while the organization of your paper may be clear to you, it is not clear to your reader. Therefore, the introduction is something like a road map that acquaints the reader with the journey ahead. This will make it easier for the reader to understand what follows and will improve the reader's evaluation of your work. Tell the reader in concise terms (1) what the subject of the paper is, (2) what it is that you hope to find out, and (3) how you will go about it.
Unlike reference footnotes, content footnotes do not (usually) provide bibliographic information. However, if you suspect that your audience will not be familiar with an idea or some body of information, then even if you have thought or known it for years, it is advisable to use a citation. You can get pretty dummy-like after reading 100 term papers in a row.
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Documentation is more than a good thing to know--it is your responsibility to know how to document your use of sources, and to make sure that you do so in every paper that you write, whether you use in-text citation for an anthropology paper, or reference footnotes for a literature paper.
Writing a term paper is one of the most common requirements for an upper-division course such as the one for which this book was probably assigned. Such term papers usually count for a significant part of your final grade. Yet many, perhaps most, students have never received formal instruction about how to write a good research report. The following pages are meant to help you write an "A" paper by giving you some guidelines about how to go about your research and writing.
Because on-line search databases typically contain only abstracts, it isvital to write a complete but concise description of your work to enticepotential readers into obtaining a copy of the full paper. This articledescribes how to write a good computer architecture abstract for bothconference and journal papers. Writers should follow a checklist consisting of:motivation, problem statement, approach, results, and conclusions. Followingthis checklist should increase the chance of people taking the time to obtainand read your complete paper.
Research Resources: Trying to write a paper on "Secret Military Operations in the Persian Gulf War" would also be a mistake because the government has not released the relevant information. You should take the holdings of your library into account. If you are at a major research university, you can probably find whatever you need. Even at large libraries, however, you may have trouble finding good sources to support a research paper on U.S.-Sri Lankan relations or U.S. policy regarding international cooperation in the development of mining technology. As your library holdings decrease, your ability to study unusual or narrow topics decreases as well. So be careful not to choose a topic that destines you to fail.
An abstract condenses a longer piece of writing while highlighting its major points, concisely describing the content and scope of the writing, and reviewing the content in (very) abbreviated form. A research abstract concisely states the major elements of a research project. It states: purpose, methods, and findings of the research.
Writing a good abstract requires that you explain what you did and found in simple, direct language so readers can then decide whether to read the longer piece of writing for details. WhiteSmoke software can use its writing features to check your and suggest more precise words. Its and will further help you refine the language so that each word says exactly what you need it to say.
The audience for an abstract should be broad--from expert to lay person. Find a comfortable between writing an abstract that both provides technical information and remains comprehensible to non-experts. Keep technical language to a minimum. Don't assume that the audience has the same level of knowledge as you. Use WhiteSmoke's dictionary to make sure that the terms you use are clear and correct.
Here's how to write an abstract:
Whatever kind of research you are doing, after you write about it you usually write a short abstract that provides the reader with the answers to the following questions:
Besides organization, the other hallmark of a good paper is clarity in writing. Remember that if a paper fails to communicate well, then its research-no matter how well done--will have little impact. There is an old piece of advice that says, "write like you speak." This is terrible advice, at least for formal papers. Good written communication is somewhat different from good spoken communication. When you speak to someone, especially face to face, you can convey meaning through voice inflection, gestures, and other methods in addition to your words. These methods are not available in written communications. Therefore, choice of words, punctuation, and other considerations are particularly vital when you write. Good writing can be divided into three parts: effort, style considerations, and technical matters.
1. No professional writer would dream of sending a manuscript out for review or to press without writing multiple drafts. Indeed, the more one writes, the more one feels the need to do drafts. Only undergraduates have the hubris to keyboard a paper into the computer, print a copy out, hand it in, and wait confidently for that rave review and an "A" grade from the instructor. A better idea is to write a first draft. Note here that the adjective "rough" does not precede "draft." Your draft should be complete and carefully done. Once your smooth draft is done, put it aside for a few days so that you can gain perspective. Then reread it. You may be surprised at how many ways you find to improve what you have written when you look at it with "fresh eyes." The same is true for your third and subsequent drafts.