1. stonecold
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    stonecold Member

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    How to write a long research paper?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by stonecold, Apr 18, 2009.

    In Sophomore year, I had a five pages persuasive research paper. I was taught to make a statement or a persuasive quote, then write aleast two to three personal opinion supporting or against it. In a paragraph I can only have two to three quotes max. That's all I knew about writing long paper. What other STRUCTURES out there that everyone uses when writing a long paper (not just persuasive paper) like from five to eight pages?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You still use the same structure, but each of your arguments will be expanded in more detail. In many cases, the individual arguments can also be broken down into a subordinate essay using the same formula. In other cases, each argument may have a history or detailed explanation.

    There are a number of sites, especially those associated with universities, that give very detailed primers on essay development. Look for .edu domains. Just be careful, there are a lot of academic cheat sites out there that will try to sell you their services. The problem is, using those "services" can earn you failing grades, expulsion, and even legal problems for years to come.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uh huh. I would never trust those on-line services. Asking questions here is good, but your best bet is tutoring services at your school, or the writing centre if they have one.
     
  4. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I was taught the same structure as the one you mentioned--no more than two to three supporting quotes per paragraph. You just have to make sure you can use your own words to explain why those quotes are pertinent without stating outright "This quote is important because" etc...

    I also find that when I'm writing a long research/persuasive paper, it helps to really be interested in the subject that you're doing the research on. It's not any fun to research something you have no interest in.

    ~Lynn
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Fun or not, I had to write anywhere from one to five research papers for every course in college, ranging from 1500 to 3500 words each.
     
  6. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    I never heard about a limit to the amount of quotes in a paragraph...

    There are many different structures out there, but your professors might not like them. In fact, they're almost sure to be looking for the standard layout, and they'll probably think you don't know how to write a paper if you 'experiment.'
     
  7. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    each paragraph should be set out
    P point
    E evidence
    E explination
    L link

    i was taught to use PEE for all but the last paragraph where you use L
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's a nice way of remembering it, thanks, Fantasy girl!
    We teach:
    point, followed by clarification/definition if necessary
    example (a)
    example (b)
    example (c)--optional, depending on length of 2 above.
    link to next paragraph/summary.

    Btw, I'm puzzled by the 'personal opinion' bit--it's not usually your personal opinions that the professors are interested in, so much as the way you interpret and evaluate the data you've researched.
     
  9. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    what do you mean the personal opinion?
    P a point
    E the evidence to back up the point
    E what the evidence shows (inferences and such things)
    L link back to the question/topic
     
  10. stonecold
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    stonecold Member

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    Personal opinion like your point of view. I would make a statement/quote, then I would write something how I feel about that statement. I could be against it "this is a wrong way of doing it....." or support it.
     
  11. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Personal opinion is used in persuasive essays, although it's always good to be subtle about it...that way it doesn't come across as too biased towards one viewpoint.

    ~Lynn
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why don't you just ask the person who made the assignment, what his/her rules are?... no one else can possibly know what that teacher/professor wants...
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    A persuasive essay is still not exactly like normal persuading. You have to go by the evidence (like a lawyer persuades), and not rely on your feelings being of interest to the professor--they usually aren't, s/he wants to see how well you've researched the topic, primarily. Of course, in anything involving emotions, like creative writing, you can involve yourself more...
     
  14. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Assuming you're undergrad, your opinions don't really count for much in research essays. When they ask for opinions, they expect you to have researched other critical essays and opinions and have considered these, so that when you say you side with the argument, you're supporting it by considering all of the critical opinions that convinced you to take that argument. Also, you need to counter-argue, especially in long essays, so that you talk not quite equally but almost as much about the opposite viewpoint, especially why you feel it is inferior (again based on other critical viewpoints by other researchers).

    And yeah, I've never heard of a maximum quote limit. You probably shouldn't quote more than 3 or 4 times per paragraph, but that's only because if you're quoting that much it starts to suggest that you haven't interpreted the research but are just copying out other people's opinions (which is different to evaluating them in the context of your own opinion).
     

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