You can alleviate some of your apprehension by starting to think about appropriate topics right at the beginning of the term. As new ideas are presented in class and your assigned readings, your knowledge base builds so that you can make a more informed decision on topic selection.
Now write Quiz 1 on Blackboard! Pre-Focus Research Overview Frequently characterized by confusion, uncertainty and doubt, this is often the most difficult part of the research process. So if you are experiencing frustration, don't despair! This is normal. Really, it is. Many students feel they should be able to go straight from topic selection into the focused research stage or even presenting their arguement, and frequently try to do so.
This will seldom be productive. You need to learn more about your topic, the details, nuances, and issues surrounding it, in order to find a focus for your research. It is a misconception that the more information you find on a topic, the clearer things become. In the process of exploring your topic, you will find information that is sometimes contradictory, questionable or incompatible with your ideas.
It takes time and persistence and to wade through this information and make sense of it. One researcher referred to this type of exploration as a process of "patience and faith". Eventually, you will be able to find a focus for your research. Research Strategies The purpose of this phase is to investigate information with the intent of finding a focus, choosing not only your topic but how you want to approach it or what you will say about it.
This will mean using the library, whether it is print resources in the library itself or electronic ones that the library provides access to. At this stage in your research you will be primarily looking for tertiary sources and some secondary sources. There are a few initial steps you can take to ensure your research time is effective and well spent. Skipping these steps often results in frustrating and unsuccessful searches, leaving the research with the feeling that there is nothing on the topic.
The reality however might be that there is plenty of information available, but unless it is approached in a particular way it can not be found. As a general rule make sure what you are looking at is scholarly. There is a lot of information out there and many different sources, but scholarly or academic sources are most efficient as they provide you with the clues you need to find more items on the same topic.
Ideally every source you find should be able to lead you to another related source. Using what you already know. Searching the library, whether its print collection using the online catalogue or its online journals can be a challenge if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.
The search tools all work best when you are looking for something you already know exists, or should exist. The first place to start then is to look at your course readings and lecture notes. You will want to make some notes from these to guide your research.
These notes are not necessarily about the topic itself but also about the research on the topic. Note the following types of information: authors of course readings that deal with your topic authors of other books or articles listed in the footnotes or bibliographies of your course readings dates of the relevant events you are looking at if you happen to have them in your notes particular individuals or places involved in the event - proper nouns are very effective search tools all the different names for the event or issue - do your readings and lecture notes describe the same event but call it something different?
If so note this down. There are a number of encyclopedias you can link to from the library's website. Oxford Reference Online is often a great tool to start your search with. Taking the notes you compiled from lectures and readings, search Oxford Reference Online for information on your topic.
You will find articles from several different Oxford resources. These articles are not something you should cite or will count towards your total number of sources, they are tertiary. You are looking at them to get a broader understanding of the topic, to find different terms or words to describe the topic which are necessary for effectively finding online articles , to make sure that you have all the relevant dates and spellings for places, persons and things, and finally and maybe most importantly for the list of related readings at the bottom.
They will not only give you other books or articles to look for on your topic but also the names of some researchers who work on your topic. You can then search the catalogue or online databases with the author's name to find what else they have written on the topic. There are a number of subject guides setup on the library websites. It can take time to search through them but it can be time well spent.
The most important thing to look for on these pages when you are just starting a topic are bibliographies. The majority of bibliographies are in print and while they may seem less convenient than, say, a google search from the comfort of your own home, they can make research both fast and easy.
Bibliographies are books that organize, list, and often comment on all the published research on a given topic up to the date of the bibliography's publication. Bibliographies often organize the existing research in the field by how authors have approached the topic -- what particular aspects of it they have looked at. This organization gives you a good idea how the information on your topic is organized and described.
From a bibliography you will get the following information: Titles of books or articles on your subject which can then be looked up in the catalogue and online resources The names of researchers working on your topic who you will want to look up in the catalogue and online resources Subject headings for how your topic is organized, which can be used as keywords in catalogue and online resource searches Background and context for how your topic has been approached.
A place to browse! The call number on the bibliography will be the same as other works on the same subject, so you can browse the shelves in the Library Tower and in the reference collection using the bibliography's call number as a guide.
If the bibliography is a little bit older that is not necessarily a problem as research in history does not become irrelevant simply because it is old. The bibliography will also give you names of researchers who work on the topic, and you can use those names in searches to find what they have written since the bibliography was published.
Using the library website: the catalogue. It works best when you are searching for a known title, author or subject heading. The steps above give you the first of these three things. The subject headings are a set of controlled vocabulary used to organize and describe the knowledge that books contain. They govern how the library is organized and get broken down to call numbers those things on the book so that books on the same topic are shelved together.
You can determine the third in the following way. Go to the library website and click on the "direct to catalogue" link In the "search for" box enter a likely keyword for your topic. You can find them by looking in a book's front papers under the copyright information if you already have a book or choose a country then history i. Canada History or an individual's name last name first. Click off Browse under the search box then click on subject You can then browse forward and back do not use browser navigation, but use the previous and next links at the top of the search results to see how your subject is handled by the catalogue and if you look to the right of a subject how many books have that subject attached.
Clicking on the subject brings up the books themselves Once you find a likely looking book click on it, and using the tabs at the top open ups its complete record. At the bottom of the record you will see the subjects attached to the book at the bottom. Clicking on anyone of those will start a search.
If the purpose of your essay is to explain a process, write down each step of the process. Next, under each Roman numeral, write A, B, and C down the left hand side of the page.
Develop a Thesis Statement Once you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement.
A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay. A good thesis statement should be clear, concise, specific, and takes a position. The word "thesis" just sounds intimidating to most students, but a thesis is actually quite simple. A thesis statement 1 tells the reader what the essay is about and 2 what points you'll be making. If you've already selected an essay topic, and developed an outline or diagram, you now can decide what points you want to communicate through your essay.
A thesis statement has two key components. The first component is the topic, and the second is the point s of the essay. The following is an example of an expository explanatory thesis statement: The life of a child raised in Pena Blanca is characterized by little playing, a lot of hard work and extreme poverty.
An example of an analytical thesis statement: An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan. An example of an argumentative persuasive thesis statement: Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U. Once you're done developing a thesis statement that supports the type of essay your writing and the purpose of the essay, you're ready to get started on your introduction.
Introduction The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address. It is also intended to capture the reader's attention and interest.
The first sentence of the introduction paragraph should be as captivating and interesting as possible. The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement. Conclude the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. Body The body of your essay is where you explain, describe or argue the topic you've chosen.
Each of the main ideas you included in your outline or diagram will become of the body paragraphs. If you wrote down four main ideas in your outline or diagram, then you'll have four body paragraphs. Each paragraph will address one main idea that supports the thesis statement.
The first paragraph of the body should put forth your strongest argument to support your thesis. Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea. Then follow up with additional sentences that contain supporting information, facts, evidence or examples — as shown in your diagram or outline.
The concluding sentence should sum up what you've discussed in the paragraph. The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement. Likewise, the third and fourth body paragraphs, like the first and second, will contain your third and fourth strongest arguments supporting your thesis statement.
Symbolism is by definition abstract and representational. A symbol is something that stands for something else. The opposite of symbolism is literalism: which Continue Reading This diagnostic essay tutorial will tell you everything you need to get started on writing the best possible diagnostic essay. While not the most common assignments, diagnostic essays serve a distinct purpose in your education, personal, and professional development.
Like any other diagnostic assessment, the diagnostic essay tells your teacher and other members of your education team where you are at right now. A diagnostic essay can therefore help determine things like placement, or whether you need any special support services to help you Continue Reading The Best Personal Essay Topics Edition If you are trying to think of some good personal essays topics, the best place to start is with you yourself.
You are a unique individual with likes and dislikes. This is your idea pool. This is where you should go to think of a topic that suits you well. A personal essay should be about you and about something you know a lot about. It can be about Continue Reading So what are the punctuation rules you need to know for ?
These are the most common punctuation mistakes people still make today. Get to know them, watch out for them, and if you find that you make them start correcting those bad punctuation habits!
To write the perfect cover page for your essay, all you have to do is follow you a few simple steps. This article will teach you what those steps are for three different types of essay format. What is an Essay Cover Page?
Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline.
However, if you were looking at the cultural impact of the event on a particular society it could become a primary source!
Bibliographies often organize the existing research in the field by how authors have approached the topic -- what particular aspects of it they have looked at. Most of our essay writing tutorials focus on past and present current events, reflecting the types of assignments students are likely to encounter in their own course work. There are a number of encyclopedias you can link to from the library's website.
The aspects of a topic where scholars don't agree are often the most interesting ones to research! An essay is a written composition where you express a specific idea and then support it with facts, statements, analysis and explanations. As a general rule make sure what you are looking at is scholarly. It's important that you learn early on how to write effective essays that communicate clearly and accomplish specific objectives. You will learn that the five-paragraph essay format is the most common and most important type of essay, but not at all the only type of essay you will write. If you're expected to produce a paper that is a general overview, then a general topic will suffice.
Next to each Roman numeral, write the main points, or ideas, about your essay topic. Is there more you'd like to know about that you aren't finding out?
If you're expected to produce a paper that is a general overview, then a general topic will suffice.
Most scholarly journals use a process called peer-review to ensure they only publish quality research.
These articles are not something you should cite or will count towards your total number of sources, they are tertiary. Write down key terms that describe these ideas. However, spending time reviewing all the criteria for the assignment helps to alleviate some uncertainty. What should you write about?
Research shows that students frequently feel unproductive during this stage because it may not seem like they are moving forward with their research. However, if you were looking at the cultural impact of the event on a particular society it could become a primary source! The sources you use, how you organize your evidence, and the form of your argument will determine how compelling your explanation is and ultimately how successful your paper will be. The basic format for an essay is known as the five paragraph essay — but an essay may have as many paragraphs as needed. Tertiary sources are primarily encyclopedic and include dictionary entries as well as textbooks.
What is an Essay Cover Page? The purpose of your essay is defined by the type of paper you're writing.