The Curious Researcher A Guide to Writing Research Papers

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/8/2014
  • Publisher: Pearson
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For courses in Research Writing, Documentation Writing, and Advanced Composition.

Featuring an engaging, direct writing style and inquiry-based approach, The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers emphasizes that curiosity is the best reason for investigating ideas and information.
An appealing alternative to traditional research texts, this popular research guide stands apart for its motivational tone, its conversational style, and its conviction that research writing can be full of rewarding discoveries. Offering a wide variety of examples from student and professional writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Students are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with “facts.” A unique chronological organization sets up achievable writing goals while it provides week-by-week guidance through the research process. Full explanations of the technical aspects of writing and documenting source-based papers help students develop sound research and analysis skills. The text also includes up-to-date coverage of MLA and APA styles.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rethinking the research paper
     Exericse 1 This I believe

Unlearning 101

Using this book
     The exercises
     The five-week plan  
     Alternatives to the five-week plan
The research paper versus the research report
     Discovering your purpose
How formal should it be?
The question is you
     Thinking like an academic writer
A method of discovery
Firing on four cylinders of information
Facts don’t kill

    Exercise 2 Reflecting on Theories of Intelligence by Bruce Ballenger
Creative research papers?


Chapter 1: The First Week
The importance of getting curious
     Seeing the world with wonder

    Getting the pot boliing

    Exercise 1.1 Builing an interest inventory
     Other ways to find a topic
     What is a good topic?
     Where’s Waldo and the organizing power of questions

      Exericse 1.2 The myth of the boring
     Making the most of an assigned topic
Developing a working knowledge
     Case study on developing working knowledge: Theories of dog training
     Research strategies for developing working knowledge
     Software  to manage your research
      The reference librarian: A living source
Narrowing the subject
    Exercise 1.3 finding the question

    Crafting your opening inquiry question
Possible purposes for a research assignment

       Exercise 1.4 Research proposal
Reading for research
     Reading rhetorically
     Strategies for reading rhetorically


Chapter 2: The Second Week
What are your research routines?
Google vs. the library  

Planning the dive 
    Find enough information by using the best search terms
            Index searches using the Library of Congress subject headings  
            Keyword searching  in library databases
            Keyword searches on the world wide web
 Find varied sources  
          Primary vs. secondary sources  
          Objective vs. subjective  
          Stable or unstable?
 Find quality sources 
          When was it published? 
          Why journal articles are better than magazine articles  
          Look for often-cited authors  
          Not all books are alike  
          Evaluating online sources 
               A key to evaluating Internet sources
Developing focused knowledge  
     What about a thesis?  
          Suspending judgment? 
          Testing assumptions? 
          What are you arguing?
Keeping track of what you find: Building  a bibliography

Searching library databases for books and articles
     Finding Books
          Understanding call numbers* 
          Coming up empty-handed? 
          Checking bibliographies 
          Interlibrary loan  
     Article databases 
     Saving search results
Advanced Internet research techniques  
     Types of search engines 

     Exercise 2.2 Academic research on the Internet
Living sources: Interviews and surveys
     Arranging interviews  
          Finding experts 
          Finding nonexperts affected by your topic 
          Making contact 
         Conducting interviews  
         The e-mail interview  
    Planning informal surveys 
    Avoid loaded questions
    Avoid vague questions
    Drawbacks of open-ended questions
    Designing your multiple choice questions
    Using scaled responses
    Conducting surveys 

Fieldwork: Research on what you see and hear 
     Preparing for fieldwork
     Notetaking strategies  
     Using what you see and hear

     Exercise 2.4 DataViz: Tell a story with facts


Chapter 3: The Third Week
Writing in the middle


    Exercise 3.1 Getting into a conversation with a fact 
Plagiarism: What it is, why it matters, and how to avoid it  
    Plagiarism Q & A

    Exercise 3.2 Saying it back to a source
    Why plagiarism matters 
A taxonomy of copying, quotation, paraphrase, and summary 

    Exercise 3.3 Dialogic notetaking: Listing in, speaking up
    “What? I Failed” by Thomas Lord 
     Notetaking techniques 
     The double-entry journal 
     The research log 
     Narrative notetaking 
     Online research notebooks
When you’re coming up short: More advanced searching techniques 
     Advanced library searching techniques 
     Advanced Internet search techniques
    Thinking outside the box: Alternative sources

     Exercise 3.4 Building an annotated bibliography


Chapter 4: The Fourth Week
Getting to the draft  
     Exploration or argument? 

     Exercise 4.1 Dialogue with Dave
Organizing the draft  
     Delayed thesis structure 
     Question–claim structure 
     Exploring or arguing: An example 
    Preparing to write the draft 
     Refining the question  

     Refining the thesis  

     Exercise 4.2 Sharpening your point
      Deciding whether to say I 
     Getting personal without being personal
Starting to write the draft: Beginning at the beginning  
     Flashlights or floodlights?  
     Writing multiple leads 
     Exercise 4.3 Three ways in

Writing for reader interest 

     Whose steering and where to? 
     Working the common ground 
     Putting people on the page 
     Writing a strong ending 
     Using surprise 
Writing with sources 
     The weave of research writing
     Handling quotes
     Other quick tips for controlling quotations 
     Citing sources
Driving through the first draft


Chapter 5: The Fifth Week
Revising is re-seeing (or breaking up is hard to do)    
Global revision: Revising for purpose, thesis, and structure  
     Writer- to reader-based prose
     Exercise 5.1 Wrestling with the draft
     Reviewing the structure

     Exercise 5.2 Directing the reader's respose
     Using your thesis to revise 

     Exercise 5.3 Cut and paste revision
    Examining the wreckage 
    Other ways of reviewing the structure

    Finding quick facts
Local revision: Revising for language 
    Who are you in the draft 
    Tightening seams between what you say and what they say 
   Scrutinizing paragraphs 
   Scrutinizing sentences 
   Exercise 5.4 Cutting clutter

Preparing the final manuscript 
    Considering a “reader-friendly” design 
    Using images 
    Following MLA conventions 
    Proofreading your paper

    Exercise 5.5 Picking off the lint  
        Ten common mistakes in research papers
       Using the “find” or “search” function 
      Avoiding sexist language
Looking back and moving on

Appendix A: Understanding Research Assignments

Appendix B: Guide to MLA Styles.
Appendix C: Guide to APA Style.


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