Prepare an article on the outcomes of your research. Usually the early phases of a graduate program proceed in clear and very structured ways.
Branch did not disappoint. To research his three-volume biography of Martin Luther King Jr. In one table, he had a row for every source he read.
The row contained all of the relevant bibliographic information and was labeled with a unique source identifier number. In another table, he entered every quote from these sources that he thought provided insight. These might include, for example, a few lines from a letter he found in the Martin Luther King Jr.
Each quote got its own row in the table. The whole text of the quote was entered, along with the date it was made on or referred toand, most important, the source identification number that links the quote to the relevant source in the source table. This is called a relational database because the different tables connect on specific columns.
Click here for a tutorial. When Branch finished his research, he had over 18, quotes and hundreds of sources. When it came time to write, he sorted his quote table by date. This allowed him to move chronologically through Dr.
During important periods, Branch sometimes found that he had dozens of insider quotes for each day! The key here is that the writing process had been simplified. It was just Branch and his database. As he moved through the important periods of Dr.
Imagine, then, what this technique would do for an undergraduate research paper or your senior honors thesis. Throughout, I will use the case study of an Art History research paper I wrote last spring to illustrate the process.
You are better off with the standard advice from the Straight-A method. If, on the other hand, the assignment is a major research paper, then this technique becomes relevant.
You can identify these papers because, typically, they are assigned in upper level courses, they are the only paper you have to write in the class, and they are worth a significant portion of your grade. This technique is also well-suited for senior honors theses. In general, if you expect to work more than two weeks, and read more than sources, consider this approach.
But they do have Excel. The first step is to create a table for the sources you consult. Create a new workbook for the project. On the first worksheet label the following columns: A unique number you use to label each source. The year the source was published. The type of source; e.
If possible, add the full citation for the source in the style required for your paper. Quote Tables Taylor Branch had one giant table for all of his quotes. I found it more useful, however, to have one worksheet in Excel for each major type of information I needed to look up during my research.
For example, in my paper on the Eames, I had a worksheet for quotes about a particular installation piece I was focusing on.
I had another worksheet for quotes on chronology of the Eames involvement with the film world which was relevant to the paper. You should label each quote worksheet with the following columns: This is the number that describes what source, listed in your source table, this quote comes from.
What date does this quote refer to, or, depending on the information, what date was it made on. The pages where the quote was found. Does it clarify chronology? Is it a primary source? Is it a secondary source doing an interpretation? The screen shot included in this section shows the headers used in one of the quote worksheets from my Eames paper.
The Research Process The research process begins with the construction of a source queue.The following guide contains tips on writing a research paper in Education.
Before beginning your paper, you need to decide how you plan to design the study.. The research design refers to the overall strategy that you choose to integrate the different components of the study in a coherent and logical way, thereby, ensuring you will effectively address the research problem; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data.
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