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Research Paper


									Writing a Research Paper

          Famous Americans
      7th English – Mrs. Hodges
  (adapted from Mr. Dodson, Grade
Research Question
For this research project, your focus will be
notable Americans. The key to success is
to select an American to whom you are
willing to commit several days of work
gathering sources, reading sources, and
synthesizing a paper. Pick someone who
interests you. Your guiding research
question should be, “Why is this person a
famous American?”
Gathering Sources
   You must consult at least 3 sources for your
   Only 1 source from World Wide Web (must
    be published or revised within last 5 years
    and have a named author)
   At least 1 source must come from the
    Kentucky Virtual Library (
   At least 1 reference book (encyclopedia, etc.)
Making Source Cards
(5 Required)
Your first step is to gather 3 reliable
sources and make a source card for each
on a small index card.
Each source should be given a number 1
through 3.
Source Card for Book
(Biography or Autobiography)

                              Source No.
  Last name, First name. Book
        Title. City of publication:
        Publisher, Copyright date.
  Location                      Call No.
Location may be “school library”; library call
no. is listed on spine of book
Source Card for
Encyclopedia Article

                                Source No.
  Last name, First name. “Title of
        Article.” Encyclopedia Title.
        2003 ed.
  Location                        Call No.
If the article is unsigned, begin the entry with
the title. Use editor’s name if given.
Source Card for Magazine

                       Source No.
 Last name, First name. “Title of
       Article.” Name of
       Publication. 19 March 2003:
Citing source from KyVL

Davis, Jerome. “Massacre in Kiev.”
     Washington Post 29 Nov. 1999:
     C12. Pro Quest. Kentucky
     Virtual Library. 26 March 2010.
Source Card for
World Wide Web
                        Source No.
 Last name, First name. Title of
       Web Site. 7 June 2004. 1
       November 2004 <www.>.
 World Wide Web
Other Types of Sources
For other types of sources or other
questions (such as how to cite a work with
more than one author), please refer to the
library’s web page:
Read your sources and take
As you review your sources, keep your
controlling purpose and your research
question in mind. Closely read only those
parts of your sources that are relevant to
your topic.
Note Taking
   Quotation – Copy from the original text
    word for word, including all
    punctuation. Use quotation marks to
    signal the beginning and the end of the
    quotation. Copy the author’s exact
    words when you think they would
    enhance a point you plan to make in
    your report. Use quotations sparingly.
Note Taking
   Paraphrase – Restate the material in
    your own words. A paraphrase is
    approximately the same length as the
    original. Use this method when your
    notes need to be very detailed. Use
    paraphrase more often than quotation.
Note Taking
   Summary – Record the main idea of a
    passage in your own words. A
    summary is about one-third the length
    of the original. Use this method when
    you want to remember the general
    idea. Use summary most often.
Guidelines for Note Taking
   Use a separate large index card for
    each idea, quotation, or piece of
    information. At the top of each card,
    write a brief heading that indicates the
    note’s main idea. Later, you can group
    your cards according to their main ideas
    and arrange them into logical order to
    guide your draft.
Guidelines for Note Taking
   In the upper right-hand corner of each
    note card, record the number of the
    corresponding source card.
Guidelines for Note Taking
   Indicate whether the material is a
    quotation, a paraphrase, a summary, or
    an idea of your own. This will help you
    to remember whether the idea needs to
    be credited to a source.
Guidelines for Note Taking
   Record the number of the page on
    which you found the material in your
    source. This information is essential for
    giving proper credit to the source in
    your report; you’ll also need the page
    number if you want to go back to the
    source to verify a fact or quotation or to
    gather more information.
Guidelines for Note Taking
   As you take notes, remember to keep
    your research question in mind: “Why
    is this person a famous American?”
    Record only information relevant to that
    question. You may include biographical
    information and information about the
    person’s career, but focus on the
    person’s contribution and why he or she
    is notable.
Sample Note Card
(15 Required)
                               Source No.
 Feelings About Battle (main idea)
 Most soldiers felt restless, nervous, and
 impatient before battles began. One
 soldier wrote that nothing “brings such
 crucial trial as the throbbing emotions
 that precede the clash of arms.” 339
 Summary and quotation

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