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IWU OCLS Tutorials: Introduction to Research


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A note about assignment requirements


Assignment requirements are important and will determine what types of sources you need. 


Your assignment says to use 2 scholarly, peer-reviewed references. So what does this mean? Well, it means you must find, read, and analyze two academic journal articles that are peer-reviewed to write your paper. You will also need to reference them correctly on your references page and provide correct in-text citations within your paper's text.



Research Paper Process: Step by Step


1. Develop your Research Question.  


Think about:

  • What research is and what it isn't.
  • The kind of research paper you will write.
  • Ways you can choose a topic for your research paper.
  • Who you are writing to (your audience) and why you are writing to them.
  • Whether or not you understand the assignment.





2. Decide what type of information you will use in your research.  


Think about:

  • Will you need print or e-books?
  • Academic journal articles?
  • Magazine or Newspaper articles?
  • Web sites or other multimedia?





3. Determine the kind of information you will need.


Think about:

  • Are you looking for current or past (historical) information?
  • Will you need Primary Sources or Secondary Sources?
  • Should you use Popular, Trade, or Scholarly Journals?
  • How will you evaluate the information you find for accuracy, audience, bias, or purpose?





4. Read the articles you find in your research.




5. Enter your references into Academic Writer. 





6. Start the process of writing your paper. 


Think about:

  • Pre-Writing: Get your paper off to a good start.
  • Think about the entire Writing Process.
  • Write your Thesis Statement.
  • Develop an Outline.
  • Start your First Draft.
  • When you find important information and quotes in your research, remember to cite them in the text of your paper.
  • Proofread your First Draft.
  • Revise your Draft using the Revising Process.
  • Proofread and Revise again.





7. Avoid Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism by citing and referencing the sources you use.  

Indiana Wesleyan University uses APA Style, a set of writing and citation rules developed by the American Psychological Association for all of its academic programs. Check out the APA Style & Grammar Help tab of this guide for more information. 

The Wesley Seminary requires that papers be written using The Chicago Manual of Style, a set of writing and citation rules. Check out the Chicago Style Helps tab of this guide for more information. 





Forming a Research Question


Formulating a research question pyramid



Ask Open-Ended Thoughtful Questions


Good research explores a question without an easy answer. Narrowing a topic to a primary question will get your research off to the right start.
Questions require answers.
A topic is too broad to cover thoroughly, but a question has an answer.



The Influence of Drugs on Crime

Could the legalization of less harmful drugs like marijuana reduce crime in the U.S.?


Are laws requiring waiting, counseling or sonograms effective in reducing abortions?

Sports Injuries

Why do heat exhaustion deaths occur and how can they best be avoided? 

Working Women

In what fields have women achieved the greatest equality and through what means?

A question is a way of evaluating the evidence. 
A clearly stated question helps you decide what information is needed in your paper and what is not relevant.
An open-ended question calls for real research and thinking.
A question with no easy answer makes research and writing more meaningful to both you and your audience. Your research may then solve a problem or contribute to the field of knowledge.



What is Research?


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