Putting it all together
It is now time to compile your resources and reflect upon what you’ve learned.
First, let’s talk logistics:
1500+ words (not counting the References page)
I’m not super fussy about citation form, but do give citations (footnotes or parentheticals). It’s best to use one of the standard writing style guides (APA, MLA or Chicago). You will find these linked at Purdue OWL (Links to an external site.).
Turn in by 11:59pm on the due date
You can include media, graphs, images, etc (Links to an external site.)., as long as your word count does not fall below 1500 words.
Use standard formating, double spacing is good.
You must engage ideas from at least 6 sources one of which should be scholarly sources.
A Bibliography (Links to an external site.)must be included at the end of the essay.
Sections of the Research Essay
(You can call these sections whatever you wish, as long as the content requirement is met.)
This section should provide an overview of the topic and issue you chose to focus on in your research. For example, if you are writing about artifical intelligence, you might Alpha-GO vs Lee Sedol. You could also use narrative to open your paper. Or a combination of both.
Either way, the work of the introduction is to draw in your readers and give your audience a focal point for your work.
Then you must explain what your sources say about the issue. This is the place to flex your synthesis muscles! What conversations are happening? What do other researchers say about it? How do different people approach the problem? What do they have in common, and where do they diverge? How will you organize the information in a way that makes sense for your research?
For this section, you will certainly use the information from your annotated bibliography, but remember that the format is very different. Annotated bibliographies are essentially a list. Literature reviews contain information from your sources organized into a synthesis that you have created.
For more on how to write a literature review, visit the Excelsior OWL. (Links to an external site.)
Analysis / Discussion
In this section of your paper you want to build your arguments for your thesis.
For more on how to do this section and the general structure of CMS organization, go to this part of the Excelsior OWL (Links to an external site.).
Results / Conclusion
The Results section explains what you found out from your research. This should be an extensive analysis, so draw out each point carefully. Think about connections between your reference texts and your own analysis.
Use this section to reflect on your results. What do you think merits further study? What was surprising about your research findings? What, if anything, wasn’t? Weave these kinds of questions into the entire conclusion as you talk about implications and suggest future lines of inquiry.
The Bibliography should include everything that was cited in your work. Its best to follow a style guide for references in your bibliography, but I’m not super fussy about this. You’ll find the standard online style guides at Purdue OWL (Links to an external site.).
Putting it all together