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 Critical Thinking
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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Writing Projects
Chapter 13: A Research Project

Following all instruction given by your instructor, complete a research project and write a well- documented paper in which you report and discuss your findings.


Purpose: Any research project will not only provide you with information, it will also hone your skills as a researcher. Familiarize yourself with a variety of research tools, including your school library, the public library, and the Internet.

Audience: For any research-based project, there is likely to be an audience, comprising those interested in the particular field you are researching.

List here the people or groups who may be interested in your findings. Will they know more about your topic than you do, or less?

Subject: Choose a subject to research that you find interesting.

As a preliminary step, list some possible topics here.

Writer: Use all the resources available to you as a researcher. These include reference librarians, experts in your business or campus community, and of course professors at your school.

Note here which resource people you might use.

Generating Ideas: As you develop your research project, consider a variety of alternatives before settling on one topic.

Write your alternatives here.

Defining and Thesis: Be sure to craft a thesis statement that clearly states what the purpose of your research has been: to persuade? to inform? to describe?

Draft your thesis here.

Organizing Ideas: You will have to adapt the traditional five-paragraph essay structure for longer research papers. Organize effectively, no matter what length of paper you are required to write.

Describe here the organizational strategy that may work best for this paper.

Drafting: Pay particular attention to documentation of source material, even in early drafts. This will save you the trouble of having to locate sources close to your deadline. Also, it will help you keep your original work separate from source material.

Revising: Ask your peer reviewers their opinion of how smoothly you've transitioned between your writing and your references. Is it clear for your reader what material is yours and what is derived (directly or indirectly) from secondary research? Also consider whether your own voice is clear and distinct from that of your sources.

Editing and Proofreading: Pay careful attention to citing your sources and quoting accurately. Academic honesty requires that you give credit where credit is due.

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Either print your answers out for submission or email them to your instructor.