Society’s influence on Hippie Fashion
Step 1: Decide – first subject, topic (narrow enough to fulfill assignment), then thesis
Step 2: Plan – what goes where?
Step 3: Write – body paragraphs and conclusion
Step 4: Cite supporting sources
Step 5: Revise and proofread
- Decide on a topic for research in your major.Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
You may choose any topic related to your AiTN major field of study. We will brainstorm a list of possibilities in class to get you started.
You do NOT yet know what your research topic will be. You must first do preliminary research to find out what’s possible, what’s manageable, what’s accessible, and what’s interesting. You do NOT know any of that without first spending time reading about your area. Although I will give you some class time for research, expect to spend a MINIMUM of 3-6 hours researching and reading about your topic. This is not optional.
You should spend a lot of time just deciding on the right topic for you. Be prepared to choose and discard several ideas before you hit on the right one.
Methods of an initial topic-search can include:
- googling “trends in ____” and “controversy in ____”,
- looking at class textbooks
- asking instructors for ideas, and
- looking at the contents of current trade journals, browsing through magazines in the AiTN library, and searching on-line databases.
As you read preliminary material searching for a topic, start thinking about whether a topic will allow you to create a specific thesis statement. For example, you may consider a focus such as one of these:
- Explain how _____ has changed.
- Describe a specific chapter in the history of _____.
- Show how and why _____ started.
- Explain the influence that _____ has had on _____.
- Explain the current trend of _____.
- Define _____.
- Discuss and explain the controversy surrounding _____.
You must write a one-two sentence thesis that pinpoints exactly what point you intend to make about your subject. You cannot cover every possible aspect of a topic. You must narrow your topic. A strong thesis is specific and clear and will help you plan your Research Report Essay and stay focused. THIS IS A VITAL STEP.
Weak thesis: Blues music has a long history. (too vague and too broad)
Strong thesis: The American South often claims to be the birthplace of the Blues, but the real roots of Blues music go much further back than most people realize.
Weak thesis: India has a lot of interesting festivals. (too vague and too broad)
Strong thesis: Diwali is a particularly important festival for Indians because they celebrate life, remember traditional legends, and enjoy time with their families.
Weak thesis: The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different. (too vague and too broad)
Strong thesis: While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, an important difference between the North and South was that the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.
Weak thesis: Chocolate is a very popular flavor. (too vague and too broad)
Strong thesis: Chocolate’s popularity is at an all-time high in America. This is most obvious in the wide array of new products and unique restaurants in America now featuring chocolate in unusual recipes.
- Decide on sub-topics for your body paragraphs.
Based on your reading of the sources, make a list of 3-6 general sub-topics that you want to use to explain and support your thesis statement. Each of these sub-topics will turn into a body paragraph. Put them in a logical order.
- Choose information for each of your body paragraphs.
Go through all of your sources again, and this time highlight or underline interesting information that you want to include in your Research Report Essay, making note of which body paragraph that information will best fit into. Make a note of which pieces of information you want to copy directly and which you want to put into your own words.
- Write your body paragraphs.
Use an outline to give each body paragraph a job to do before you write any of them. The more differentiated your body paragraph topics are, the easier they will be to write.
Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence. This topic sentence will alert the reader about what that paragraph will discuss. This shows the reader how you have decided to organize and present the information you have on your topic.
Include transitions between each paragraph. You can do this at the end of one paragraph or at the beginning of the next one or both. Consider repeating a word, phrase or idea to make connections for the reader. Google a list of good transition words and phrases and decide whether any of them fit in your essay.
- Include a minimum of 4 cited pieces of information from each of 4 separate sources in your Works Cited page; you may also include new, additional sources.
You must use the research you collected for your Works Cited page to help explain and support your thesis. You are knowledgeable about your subject, but you are not yet an expert. Use the information from your research to support your discussion as you go through your essay.
NOTE: No long direct quotes allowed. You may not use a direct quote that is longer than two of your essay’s text lines long.
You may use direct quotes or paraphrases or a combination of both. Either way, you must cite information you get from other sources. To cite information means to include in parentheses a word or last name and a page number if one is available. This citation refers to the source you listed in your Works Cited from which you got that information.
You must cite
- information that you copy directly (a quote),
- information you put into your own words but is still someone else’s idea (a paraphrase),
- all statistics and research results conducted by someone else,
- any other writer’s comment that could be viewed as controversial, and
- anything unique to a particular source.
You do NOT need to cite
- common, general knowledge (information that can be found by anyone in a number of different sources and that doesn’t change and isn’t controversial); for example, you do not need to cite the fact that Richard Nixon is the only U.S. president to resign the position.
- dictionary definitions (just don’t use them at all).
You MUST use only college-level sources. You can find these in the AitN library’s online databases like Ebsco with no trouble. It will likely take a few hours of digging, so don’t give up if don’t find what you’re looking for right away. Take advantage of the resources you have at hand like our librarian, Cory Lyon, and/or:
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
If you cannot locate 4 college-level sources for your topic, then that topic is not an appropriate choice for this assignment.
You may NOT use generic sources such as Wikipedia, fan websites, Brainyquotes, single and abbreviated online comments, etc. You may use Wikipedia to start your search, but you may not cite Wikipedia itself or any source like it. Make sure you investigate the sources listed at the bottom of a Wikipedia entry. There may be acceptable sources listed there.
NOTE: If you use sources that aren’t from one of our research databases (or a widely-know publication like a major newspaper or journal) and you do not get instructor approval for those sources in advance, be prepared to have to delete a source or sources and find new ones after the rough draft is turned in.
- Write your concluding paragraph.
While your conclusion can restate the thesis, it should also offer a “take away” for your reader. A “take away” is a final thought that your reader can think about after reading your Research Report. You may explain how and why the information in your Research Report is important to the reader, relevant to the reader’s present and future, or can be used productively by the reader.
- How long should your Research Report be?
Your Research Report is required to be a minimum of 3.5-5 pages (no longer). Focus on making your points clear instead of making your Research Report Essay a certain length. Then the length will take care of itself.
- What should you do when you need help or have questions with your Research Report Essay?
Ask your instructor. Get rough draft feedback. Plan to have enough time. Ask your instructor.
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