The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers, 8th Edition
©2015 |Pearson | Out of print
©2015 |Pearson | Out of print
Featuring an engaging, direct writing style and inquiry-based approach, this popular research guide stresses that curiosity is the best reason for investigating ideas and information.
An appealing alternative to traditional research texts, The Curious Researcher 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.
Engaging, informal writing style demonstrates as well as advocates interesting writing as evidenced by sections titled, “Magic Words on the World Wide Web,” and “The Internet Itch: Should You Scratch it First?”
· Emphasis on inquiry-based investigations challenges students’ assumption that research papers are empty rituals of writing up foregone conclusions rather than opportunities for discovery and learning.
· Five-week structure is designed to overcome procrastination by suggesting weekly activities (and assignments) that keep the process going.
· Latest information on using the Internet for research includes an extensive discussion of how to evaluate Web sources.
· Productive exercises help students actually write their papers, rather than engage in busywork not directly related to the assignment.
· Emphasis on selecting search terms helps students find what they need more efficiently in the library and on the Web.
· Each chapter follows the progress of a single student as she works to develop and draft her research essay using some of the book’s techniques.
· Full treatment of MLA and APA citation formats, including full coverage of electronic citation formats, now provides a comprehensive resource.
· Coverage of emerging digital sources and note taking techniques shows how RSS feeds and podcasts can provide useful information and how online technology like Google Notebook and Zotero could be alternatives to a pen and paper. Also discusses the advantages of new technologies versus more traditional research tools.
· Coverage of reading like a researcher provides techniques for reading source material strategically and critically.
Introduction: Rethinking the research paper
Exercise 1 This I believe
Using this book
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 boiling
Exercise 1.1 Building an interest inventory
Other ways to find a topic
What is a good topic?
Where’s Waldo and the organizing power of questions
Exercise 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
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?
What are you arguing?
Keeping track of what you find: Building a bibliography
Searching library databases for books and articles
Understanding call numbers*
Coming up empty-handed?
Saving search results
Advanced Internet research techniques
Types of search engines
Exercise 2.2 Academic research on the Internet
Living sources: Interviews and surveys
Finding nonexperts affected by your topic
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
Fieldwork: Research on what you see and hear
Preparing for fieldwork
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
The double-entry journal
The research log
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
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
Writing with sources
The weave of research writing
Other quick tips for controlling quotations
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 response
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
Exercise 5.4 Cutting clutter
Preparing the final manuscript
Considering a “reader-friendly” design
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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