Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Research Terminology and Structure

So far, we've taken a look at research as a process, starting with individual articles. We summarized and responded to each article one-by-one. In Essay 2, some of us even started to put two or more articles together. The important thing to notice here is just how effective summarizing and responding can be. Many writers nowadays get a lot done by just sticking to this basic structure.

But now, let's see if we can add another kind of structure to our tool belt. Let's try to integrate paraphrase (the same thing you do in summaries, putting someone else's ideas in your words) and quotes (taking ideas word-for-word from another writer) into our own discussions. The difficulty with this kind of structure is this: Your writing is different from other writers' writing, so you can't just mix them together. Still, there's a simple solution to this difficulty: Carefully introduce beforehand, and thoroughly explain afterward.

In other words, to use paraphrase and quotes effectively in your own paragraphs, you just need to give paraphrases and quotes a little bit of padding. Seriously, it's that simple. Keep this idea of "padding" in mind.

Let's start by taking a step back. Here's a general view of some important research terms:

And here's a document that one of our campus librarians put together to explain the "padding" structure for integrating quotes and paraphrases into a paragraph:

Finally, here are a few examples of quotes and paraphrases integrated into a paragraph (notice: There are only four examples here -- that's basically how simple it is):

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