12 Recommendations to Help you Submit a Conventional and Acceptable Paper Tip 2: Research your topic 12個獲得學術認可的論文撰寫技巧之二:研究選定主題

The community of scholars has rules that govern how dissertations, theses and other academic papers are composed and formatted. Academic convention has established what is acceptable and what is not. Following is one of 12 recommendations to help you submit a conventional and acceptable paper.

Tip 2 – Research your topic

Papers written for university faculty members have a higher threshold for acceptance than do papers at lower levels. They must be more sophisticated in their approach to a topic, more complex in their argumentation, more convincing in their conclusion. Students comfortable with padding text, slyly using larger fonts, and cribbing the work of others should discard the tricks.

The place to start forming good habits in the writing of academic papers is before the writing begins. Exacting research is the foundation of an acceptable paper. It is in this process that the structure of an argument is gathered and the weight of evidence is toted up. Building anything—whether house or academic paper—is greatly facilitated by having the materials for building it.

This is not possible to do, however, if the author of the paper doesn’t leave enough time. A serious writer does not wait until the last moment to begin researching a paper. That is like waiting until a few days before a concert to rehearse the music. Sometimes the music is more difficult than anticipated—or a topic more complex than imagined. Leave time to do the work.

Begin your exploration with focused intent, but an open mind. At the outset of your search, do not dismiss as unimportant any reasonably pertinent found information. Until the parameters of an argument have been firmly established, relevant material should be saved. Weeding of the information and categorizing of the best of it can follow as the focus of the paper sharpens.

Be purposeful in conducting the research. The essential goal is to uncover substantive, factual material that affirms your argument. But material that undermines the argument also should be consciously noted so that it can be refuted or offset by other evidence. Always select sources that will withstand academic scrutiny, and always gather firm evidence that is difficult to dispute.

Take notes during a search that truly will inform on subsequent reading. Cryptic notes can later mislead or baffle the researcher. Double-check citations to ensure they are accurately recorded. Roughly categorize the material as it is collected for easier access when outlining the paper. Finally, step back, look for weak points and, if necessary, search for final, buttressing material.

Posted at 2012-04-06 11:01:48

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