TOPIC What effect does daily use of Twitter have on the attention span of 12-16 year-olds?
While the process of research is valuable in itself—it can lead to discoveries that change the researcher’s perspective of the world—a crucial part of being a scholar is articulating one’s findings for an audience. This can take different forms, such as a lecture or a panel. Because this is a writing class, the expression of your findings will take the form of a research paper. The purpose of this paper, then, is to present your subject, review what has been said about it, and draw meaningful conclusions about it for an academic audience in the span of 7-8 pages (not including the works cited page).
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Introduction (~1 page): This is where some key background information is presented. What is the issue? Why is it important? Is there any historical/social context that needs to be cleared up before you can proceed? Any jargon or specialized language that needs to be defined? Perhaps most important, what is the problem you are trying to figure out?
Literature Review (~3 pages): This section is more or less a synthesis of important literature about your subject. What have other scholars said? What are the major points of debate? This is where you sketch out the academic conversation for your reader. This is where you explicitly synthesize. This section also should launch you into the Discussion.
Discussion (~3 pages): This section is where you apply your own knowledge to the subject (backed up thoroughly by sources, of course). What discoveries have you made throughout your research? What is interesting about them? How can they be connected to/enhance/refute what your sources say?
Conclusion (~1 page): Obviously, the conclusion wraps things up. However, I don’t want you to merely re-state what you have already said (the reader has already read your paper at this point, so they know what you have said). For a paper like this, there are several ways to end in a more powerful or interesting way. One option is to point out the limitations of your research and explain how they could be addressed by someone in the future (maybe you wished you had time to administer a survey, for example). Another option is to use the conclusion as a space to argue your strongest point. It’s possible that this point enhances all the other supporting evidence, so ending with it not only wraps things up, it nails down your argument.
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Works Cited Page in APA Format
- While you must include outside sources in your paper, there is no requirement as to the number of sources that you must use. Simply (and vaguely) put, use as many as you need to make your argument. You can use all of the sources from your annotated bibliography and lit review. You can use some of them. You can add new ones. (In the last two cases, you would of course need to alter the lit review to reflect the sources in your bibliography.) Ultimately this will be a judgement call.