How researchers did their research on race as a social construct
Guidelines for Final Research Paper Paper topics: The most important thing in choosing a paper topic is to make sure that your interest is sufficiently engaged so that you can sustain the effort necessary to produce a work that is satisfying both to you and to your instructor Bibliographic Resources: In choosing a paper topic, it is important to do the preliminary bibliographic research to make sure that you will have enough material to write the paper you wish. There are several important online databases that need to be consulted to find recent, appropriate journal references for your paper. A research paper requires information from sources that are as reliable as possible. In the social sciences, this reliability is established by the peer-review process. Academic journals subject articles to the peer-review process so that other professionals have examined and vetted the information before it is published. A research paper should rely only on peer-reviewed information and published academic books. Information from news websites can be used only as evidence of an event, not for analysis. Deadline: Failure to meet a deadline on the paper will be penalized by ten points for each day late. Your paper must be submitted as a hard copy on the last day of class. Formatting rules Title page: Be sure to include a title page including the title, your name, the date, number of text pages, number of pages of references cited, and number of tables and figures. The text of the paper, including the reference list, must be double-spaced and 12 point in size. Margins should be one inch on all sides. Number all pages after the title page, starting with your first text page as page 1. Place the page number in the footer section of the page, centered. Rules for Writing Research Papers Make an outline that proceeds logically to make all of your points and stick to this outline. The outline should take the form of a brief introduction, a brief statement of any methods you will be using other than literature review, a critical review of the published research that is relevant to your paper, a conclusion where you consider limitations of your study, compare your findings with those of others, and project areas of potential future research based on your findings. Your introduction should be no more than a couple of paragraphs, usually less than one page, and should end with a concise statement of the purpose of your paper (“The purpose of this paper is to. . . “), and how you intend to accomplish it, following your outline. Your primary research technique will be a review of the literature on your topic In reviewing the concepts and literature on your topic, be critical. Simply because something is published, even in refereed sources, does not mean the authors are interpreting their findings correctly. Examine your sources to make sure the authors are justified in their conclusions. Consider alternative approaches to the research. Are there any biases? It is fine to have an opinion so long as it is based on a reasonable consideration of the available information. In reviewing your sources, there are several rules to remember: DO NOT MAKE UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS. This is the most common error made in research papers. If you wish to make a point, present the evidence, as specifically as possible, that applies to the point, and evaluate its relevance. Use the literature sources you have uncovered. The only statements not attributed to some author or authors should be those based on your own first hand experience, or your conclusions and your criticisms of the published work you are including in your paper. Use direct quotes only when they are especially pertinent and cover an important point. Reserve the use of quotation marks for direct quotes. You must give the page number, for example, (Bindon, 1982:181) for direct quotes. Sentence structure with quotes: The sentence that includes the quote must be grammatically correct. Your material will have to be written so as to place the quoted material in appropriate grammatical context. If this is not possible the quote will have to be edited using [brackets] and/or ellipses ( . . . ) to denote changes. Omitting material from a quote: Ellipses (space period space period space period space) are used to denote the omission of material from a direct quote. Ellipses are generally not to be used at the beginning or ending of a quote. Long quote format: If the quote is more than one sentence, or more than three text lines, go to long quote format which is indented ½” from left and right margins and is single spaced. No quotation marks are required, although the citation must go at the end of the last line. To indent both margins in Word, use the Format, Paragraph menu commands and in the dialog box, under Indentation set both left and right at 0.5″. You can also set the line spacing to single in this dialog box. Quoting without noting: If you copy directly from a source without noting that it is a quote and properly referencing it, YOU ARE COMMITTING PLAGIARISM. When not quoting, paraphrase succinctly. It should take you substantially fewer words to get the point across than it did the original author. A research paper is not a mystery. Do not introduce critical material at the end of the paper to come to a dramatic conclusion. We should have all of the relevant information by the time the discussion commences. Run your spell checker on your document twice before submitting. Proof READ your document. The spell checker will not pick up missing lines, misspelled words, basic grammar errors, and seriously deficient logic. How to list references in the Bibliography: Only list those references that you have actually cited in the body of the paper–not ones you consulted but did not cite. The name of the author or authors must be included in every reference, not omitted for multiple publications by the same author or authors. The list of references MUST be double-spaced, each reference constituting a single paragraph, with the first line hanging (second and subsequent lines indented 1/2″ from the left margin). The list of references must be alphabetized by author name, and multiple sources by the same author or authors should be arranged chronologically. Multiple publications by the same author in the same year must be designated a, b, etc. in the order they are encountered in the text and listed in the references in the same order.