English 1021 Diagnostic Essay Some people believe that writing an essay is extremely hard. They are wrong. If you have the correct information, time, and a cup of coffee you should have no problem. There are many different types of essays, for example, an informative essay, a research paper, or a persuasive essay. Although they all have a different overall theme and purpose for being written, they all have the same outline for how exactly to write it. No matter what you always start off with an introduction, then you move to your supporting paragraphs, and end with a conclusion.
Here is the in depth breakdown of what a proper informative research paper should included. First thing’s first, you must always have a topic. The topic of your paper is the focus, the area that you have researched and explored. Once you find your topic, you must make sure that you have sorted out all of the available information. Topics are not always easy to find. There are some that you should avoid using such as topics based solely on one single source, and topics that are brand new or overly broad.
Now that you have your topic, you must brainstorm and narrow down the topics to create and issue. The issue of the paper is the question that you are asking. When creating your issue, make sure the avoid issues that can be easily answered by just one single source. Another thing that you need to come up with is a hypothesis or tentative claim, a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth. Test the hypothesis as you continue to research.
By having a claim, you can prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by the information that you are finding. Now that you have come up with a topic and claim, you are ready to begin your research and essay. The next step of this process is to direct your essay to your audience. Ask yourself some questions. How much does my audience know about this topic? What are my readers’ expectations, interests, and needs concerning this issue? What evidence have I come up with that will inform them?
Once you have asked yourself those questions it is time to start using your sources. Some of the best sources are newspapers, and books. If you are going to use the internet, which most of us do, be careful with the credibility of what you find. Once you have found a source that you believe fits your topic well, ask yourself some questions and see if the criteria of the source meets it. Is this recent information? Is the author credible or an expert on this subject? Does this information seem thoughtful and relative to the topic?
Is this evidence reliable? When dealing with web sources make sure that they contain an author or are hosted by a respectable site such as a library, university, or an official association. Now that you have found your sources, it is time to continue. Taking notes on sources can sometimes be difficult. Write down some of the things that jump out to you about the topic that might be useful. Another thing that you must write down are the page numbers that you are getting the information from.
Make sure to think about why you chose to write down a particular idea and always differentiate your ideas and words from that of your source. Never forget to use quotation marks for direct quotations. Your next job is to draft your research paper. Refine your thesis as much as needed. Figure out based on your information where each source may fit in. When writing your draft, avoid using your own comments to hold together another persons idea. Now it is time for you to construct your own essay using the secondary sources that you have found to support your claims.
Some things that you may need to know are how to use a summary, paraphrase, and quotation. A summary of something gives a main idea or supporting points. It is short and focuses on the main points to provide background or general support for your point. Paraphrasing put the information that you have found into new words to make sure that you and your audience understand the original information more clearly. A quotation records the exact punctuation and wording of the source that you have received it from and encloses it in quotation marks.
You can use quotations when an author’s words are extremely vivid and stand out to you or when the words of that particular reliable authority would lend support to your paper. Now that you know how to summarize, paraphrase, and quote, it is imperative that you do not plagiarize. To avoid plagiarism, document everything you have learned from your sources including their language and ideas. If you express their ideas in your own words you must still give them the credit and documentation. The only exception to this is when something is common knowledge.
Now that you know all of the do’s and dont’s of an informative research paper it is your turn to put them into effect. The hardest thing about an informative research paper is finding a topic and making sure that your sources and information are credible and relative to the topic at hand. Once you have found all of the correct and credible sources for your topic you are ready to write away. Like I said earlier, many people believe that writing a research paper is extremely hard, but if you follow these steps and advice, you will never fail at writing an informative research paper.