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.
A r style uses the author's name and the year of publication of the work, which are placed in parentheses and inserted at the appropriate place in the text. A page number is also included for direct quotes and in some other cases. Then at the end of the paper or book there is a "References" or "Works Cited" section that contains the full documentation for all the sources cited throughout the body of the work. These sources are listed alphabetically by author. Reference-in-text styles are increasingly the norm in social science, and most are some variant of the style developed by the American Psychological Association (APA). For details of how to use such styles, see the APA's (1983); (Biddle & Holland, 1987); or use this book as an illustration. Whatever citation style you choose, use it correctly and be consistent.
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.
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.
Whatever approach you choose, bear in mind that a cardinal rule is, Summarizing your findings in the conclusion does not mean that this is the only place to put "you" in the paper. Your analysis should appear throughout the paper. A big error that many novice writers make is to use the main body of the paper to create a heap of facts and to wait until the conclusion to say what they mean. This approach is boring and will not impress your readers with your analytical ability. The best papers by far are those that draw data, events, and other material together and interpret them throughout.
Now you're ready for your introduction and conclusion paragraphs. I typically devote my introduction paragraph to putting my topic in some sort of context. If the paper is about a person I'll give a super short bio. If it's about a thing or concept I'll briefly explain what it is, how it's used, why it's important, etc. I try to go for 5-6 sentences in the paragraph. The first sentence starts introducing the topic, then each sentence leads more and more to the final sentence, which is the thesis statement.
I find the conclusion paragraph to be the most difficult section to write. I mean you've already said everything that needs to be said, so now you're just filling space until you can stop writing. It's like when you're stuck in a boring conversation and you're trying to find an excuse to leave. But it has to be done so here we go. When writing about a person I usually use this space for their legacy. Like how they impacted their children, the next generation, the ideas of today, etc. I kind of use that strategy with a concept as well, like how did that invention/idea/concept change society or culture.
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- Philosophy can be difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to write a term paper on. Get well-thought-out philosophy topic suggestions from our vast array of ideas. Topics such as the illusion of free will, justice in the City of God, Plato's Allegory of the Cave and many more.
Jeffrey's history teacher assigned a term paper at the beginning of the semester. Most of the class groaned, but they didn't seem too worried. Not Jeffrey, though: The thought of having to write a paper made him really anxious. Because he didn't know where to begin, he put off thinking about the assignment until closer to the due date.
I've found that the fastest way to get going on your paper is to do the research first, then develop your thesis later. If you develop your thesis too early, you may find that there's not enough to research to support it, it's too specific, it's super lame, etc.
So where's the best place to start? Wikipedia. Despite all the Wikipedia trash talk you've heard from teachers, Wikipedia is the best place to get an outline going. It usually gives a broad overview of the topic, then has an outline with a bunch of different topics that I usually steal for my own body outline. Just make sure that you never plagiarize from Wikipedia. I mean don't ever plagiarize anything, but that is the first place your professor will go to check for plagiarization.
Once you have a rough outline, copy and paste specific quotes, passages, terms etc. from Wikipedia into Google and look at other sources that come up. Professors prefer book/print sources over online sources any day...so if your search comes up with a book or print article that has been made available online, definitely go for that. Even if it's just a sample of the book, try to find the page number, or worst-case scenario - make an educated guess. Your professor probably won't go buy the book and scan every page to check up on your citation. If you find a cheap Kindle book on your topic, you might want to buy it. Just remember to only scan through the relevant sections because you don't have time to read an entire book at this point. If your Google search leads to a sketchy looking website with no author, don't use it. It might have awesome info but your professor will not like it if the website isn't valid. That being said, if you know your professor has 200 papers to read and they aren't going to check all sources...and you're feeling lucky...then go for it.
Copy/Paste all the sentences or paragraphs you wish to paraphrase into a word document and put each section into your own words. This is to make sure you don't accidentally plagiarize...because later on you could think you have an awesome original idea but it actually came from an old source you forgot about. The sections don't need to flow together or have any kind of order, it's just about putting things into your own words. Make sure to cite your source after each section...that will save you some time when you're writing your final draft. After you're finished rewriting, delete the original texts.
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.
Don't feel that you have to write a paper in order. If you know how you want to prove your thesis, for instance, but don't know how to introduce it, you could write some or all of the supporting paragraphs before doing the introduction.