Using the Internet for Academic Research Paper Writing

Academic Research Paper Writing Using Internet

The Internet is an incredibly powerful means for doing research for any academic research paper. In years past academic research was a cumbersome endeavor of poring over books at the local library. While the Internet has not evolved to the point where every book ever written has been transferred to electronic format, but lots of research can be done electronically nonetheless. For basic research purposes, one of the best places to get started is with a simple search engine. Sites like Yahoo and Google can provide links to countless sites just by conducting a rudimentary search. For instance, if you were searching for a website containing literary criticism of The Great Gatsby, a simple search on Google for “Great Gatsby criticism” can yield hundreds of links to university websites throughout the world. The key to running a primary search is concise and relevant. Search engines prioritize search results based on keyword density-the percentage of keywords used in the article divided by the total words in the article.

In addition to a search on the primary search engine, there are a number of websites that can be incredibly useful when conducting academic research. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is an enormous database of millions of pieces information. The articles are generated by Wikipedia’s users and updated and edited ceaselessly. Historical events happening around the world are posted on Wikipedia within hours, a considerable advantage over traditional hardcover encyclopedias that become obsolete within a few years of printing. One of the most helpful features of Wikipedia is the extensive cross-referencing within individual articles. Thus, if you were to run a search on the great fire of Rome, each significant element in the article such as “Rome,” “Nero,” and “Fire” is a highlighted link to the article about that topic. This makes Wikipedia fun, convenient and informative to use. The only disadvantage is that you should always check the correctness of the information provided by Wikipedia.

The Web also provides traditional paper-writing tools. The Merriam-Webster website contains an extensive online dictionary and thesaurus that is highly interactive and helpful. The Modern Language Association also maintains a website with up-to-date guidelines for bibliographical citations, a vital set of instructions for anyone writing an academic research paper. Even if you still need a traditional library to locate a particular book for research, chances are the Internet can be of help. Many major public and private libraries maintain their electronic catalogues of the books they have in their stacks. You can often reserve and renew a book online using these resources.

In addition to being a tool for entertainment and a forum for modern telecommunication, the Web is primarily a repository of information from around the world. The Internet is a user-friendly resource and so with a little savvy navigation and an adventurous spirit you should be able to find what you are looking for with relative ease. Just be sure that you know whether or not your professor allows Internet sources and if so, be sure that you know how to cite your sources correctly.

 

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Keeping Students Focused On Term Papers

When spring weather starts, interest in college can be significantly decreased. As the college year inches closer to summer break, it can be all but impossible to keep students focused on education. At my house, warm days call my children outside to play and away from college work. As a parent, I almost feel guilty keeping them inside to do their term papers instead of letting them go enjoy the weather!

I know how important their education is, however, and how the last month of college is just as significant as every other! At my house, we have found creative ways to keep our focus on school while still enjoying the warmer days.

  1. Stay Involved
    It is easy, as a parent, to also be longing for summer. Sometimes May drags just a bit too long, and our brains are fried from the school year. It’s important not to lose our focus as well! Be sure to continue asking students questions about their school days and term papers. Stay on top of what is going on, so you can help the students also remain interested in education. When my childrenĀ  get home from college , I ask them questions about their day, what they are studying, and any homework they may have. It keeps me in the loop and aware of what needs to get done.
  2. Take Homework Outside
    When possible, have children complete their term papers outside. Reading, flashcards and other light activities can just as easily be done out of the house. While many term papers may require a child to be indoors due to lighting or other factors, completing as much as possible in the fresh air can be fun. Sport and other extra-curricular activities also usually increase in warmer weather. When at all possible, squeezing in homework during car rides to and from practice or during breaks can also help get it done.
  3. Relax Standards
    Relaxing standards doesn’t mean forgetting about college work. It can mean that homework doesn’t need to be the first action completed when the weather is fantastic or maybe giving twenty extra minutes at bedtime to complete a term paper if there was too much fun to be had outside. It’s hard to maintain a rigid schedule when summertime is so close, and loosening the reigns just a little bit can ensure that schoolwork and fun both have plenty of time to get completed.

 

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Tips for the Five-Paragraph Essay

Awesome TipsĀ  for the Five-Paragraph Essay

Outline

The key guidance from creativity research this time is “Be Flexible.” Start writing in the middle by listing three topics for each of the body paragraphs. Then see if you can come up with three supporting details for each of these topics. If this is not possible, then consider another writing prompt if your school gives you a choice of writing prompts. However, your school may only offer one prompt. If you’re stumped, don’t panic; stay calm because test-makers make writing prompts that are grade appropriate.

The body paragraphs have to be several sentences in length. Be informative. If you prefer a cluster chart to outline, draw three little circles with lines branching out of a big circle.

Let’s look at the introduction. Write an attention-grabber. An attention grabber is an interesting point about the topic. It is more entertaining than informative or persuasive-the three purposes of writing, according to John Langan–the godfather of Developmental English/Writing and Reading. Making a good first impression is important in writing just like everywhere else. Your introductory paragraph should be at least three to four sentences.

Come up with some general statements before writing the thesis statement-probably the toughest sentence in the whole essay because of its formulaic nature in five-paragraph essays. You may want to leave your paper blank for a couple of lines between the end of the introduction and the start of the first body paragraph, and write a thesis statement later. Make sure you write introduction and conclusion paragraphs, and don’t just turn in body paragraphs and little else.

Let’s start the conclusion. This time you have some information to work with by looking at the start of the intro and body paragraphs. Remember to offer a summary and recommendation in the conclusion but no new info. A good way to work a recommendation into an essay is by using an, “If…, then…” statement. Such a statement would be more persuasive than informative or entertaining.

Now it’s time for that rough-and-tough thesis statement. Remember that you need to use parallel structure to cite a little from each of the three body paragraphs. There is a wide variety of grammatical structures that you could use, like noun + adjective, gerund + object, verb + object and more.

Back to the conclusion: Let us write that summary statement(s). It can be more general and does not need the sophisticated parallel structure of the thesis statement. Maybe you could get your point across in a couple of sentences. Like the intro paragraph, the conclusion paragraph should be three to four sentences. View the conclusion as a review of the essay outline’s main points.

Rough Draft

Write on every other line or two out of three lines. Now is the time for fluency or get as many ideas on paper as possible. Extroverts or folks very familiar with their topic may reach this stage before going through all the steps listed in the outline. Introverts, or those finding a tough choice of essay prompts, need to use their outline extensively. Check this website for applications of Psychological Type Theory (like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter) to writing.

Number your sentences, but start over when you reach a new paragraph. Write this little number in a circle or parentheses. Numbering will keep you from writing droning, overly long paragraphs-something more of an issue in later English classes. On the other hand, numbering will help you write enough sentences too. Furthermore, let’s say you want to insert an extra sentence. Draw an arrow between sentences and write on one of those blank lines of your rough draft. If you’re numbering your sentences, it will be easier to insert sentences; for example, maybe you will add a #3b to a paragraph. If you decide to “carve”: a new paragraph, then put that paragraph symbol that looks like a backwards “P” where you want it. This will be easier in more advanced writing classes when you don’t have to deal with the rigors of the thesis statement accounting for a few specific about each of the body paragraphs. While still in developmental, see if some of your long-windedness should go into the category of another body paragraph.

What is a quick way to see if you have enough words for your essay? Count your word total for the first three or four lines. . Then count the number of lines that you’ve written. Use whole lines and only count partial lines as the fraction that they are. Try to write more than the minimum. An essay that barely makes the minimum number of words needs to be well-done in all other areas, so don’t risk turning in a skimpy essay. Remember that 600 words is the maximum. EXAMPLE: 8.5 words/line x 18 lines = 153 words. Woops! At best, you’re only half done writing a 300-600 word essay.

Check your time: Let’s say you have 90 minutes to do an essay. Then you better be half-done after 45 minutes. If you have 45 minutes to do your essay, then you’d better be 1/3 finished after 15 minutes and so forth. This is one case where knowing your fractions will help you in English!

Proofread: A quick proofreading can reveal little mistakes like missing words. It happens to the best writers, especially in a timed situation that breeds nervousness. Ask yourself, “What’s my main grammar problem?” Maybe you have trouble with run-ons. If so, proofread with a beware of run-ons mind set.

Summary

Prewriting starts with flexible outlines and cluster charts in order to get started, so fluent rough drafts can kick in and get the job done. Start in the middle. See if you can write three supporting topics for your theme in phrase form. Then see if you can write three supporting details for each of them-also in phrase form. If you are stumped, don’t panic; stay calm and accept that this less than riveting writing prompt is grade appropriate.

Now you can turn to the introduction and conclusion. The key two sentences in the introduction are the entertaining attention-grabber and the rough-and-tough thesis statement. Feel free to do the latter one later. The two major sentences in the conclusion are the summary statement and the persuasive recommendation.

With all this scaffolding from the outline/cluster chart, you can now begin your rough draft far faster than if you had started at this point. Write every other line. That way you’ll be able to add sentences into plenty of blank space, so you a rough draft does not become an unsightly mess. Number the sentences to keep track of paragraph length. If you fear that you don’t have enough words for the essay (and 300 is the minimum), do the sample method of counting words per line and dividing by three then multiply that figure by the number of lines in the essay. Check your time throughout the essay. Save time to proofread in the end. Pass the class and take another composition or writing class. Remember these tips for any writing assignment whether essay question or long essay.

 

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