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Guided Reading Essay

What is the typical organization of an argument essay?

An introduction that states the issue then an objective summary of the opposing views followed by a point-by-point discussion of their limitations. Then a summary of your viewpoint with a point-by-point discussion that strengthens your position, and then lastly a conclusion. What are points of contention and how do you identify them?

The points of contention are the two to five most important issues on which you disagree with the other side. The best way to figure these out is brainstorming, try to see things from their perspective. Why is it important to know the stance of your opposition?

You need to know what you are trying to argue so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses of your position and to be able to build your case against the opposing viewpoints. What is the difference between argument and research writing?

An argumentative essay is more subjective and usually controversial where you are trying to prove that one side is better than the other. A research paper is presenting facts about a topic.

Chapter 24

What is a good way to start the research process?

Define your research question, develop a working thesis, devise a research plan, collect sources, assess the reliability of each source, triangulate facts among the sources, determine whether facts verify working thesis, and lastly either accept or modify working thesis. Why is it important to have a sharp research question?

It will help you narrow the scope of your research thus saving you time and effort by allowing you to target the best of sources and information. What is a working thesis? How is this used in research?

Defining your research question or hypothesis. It is your best guess about how you will answer your research question, it is your overall claim about your topic. What are the key elements of a research plan? Why is it necessary for researchers to have a research plan?

Research question, working thesis, results of start-up research, description of electronic, online, print, and empirical sources available, schedule of conducting and completing the research, and a bibliography are key elements of a research plan. Having a research plan helps to better target sources and the streamline your research. When conducting research where should writers go for reliable information?

Surf the Internet, look through online encyclopedias, and browse your library’s catalog. How do writers know whether a source is credible? Use the Internet to search for the backgrounds and expertise of the author and publisher to make sure they are trustworthy. If you find questionable credentials or reputations use something more reliable instead. What is bias and how can researchers overcome it?

Putting your own ideas and opinions into your research where it seems like you want the information to be true rather than right. If you know what your biases are then you can use them to gain a richer understanding of your topic. How do researchers determine whether a resource is up to date? Depending on your topic and how quickly information in that field becomes obsolete. Medical information is usually outdated in a few years where something like geology doesn’t really change so decade’s old info can be used. List three steps for setting up a research schedule.

List all the tasks you need to complete, set a deadline for finishing your research, drafting, designing, and revising, then work backwards form your research deadline on which task needs to be completed. What are some reasons why a researcher would have to modify his or her research plan?

Roadblocks to research, ideas, and information that changes your research question or working thesis.

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