PNC’s Academic Research Paper Workshop
The Purdue University North Central Writing Center held an informational Academic Research Paper Workshop for students looking to hone their skills in writing academic papers. Writing Center Tutor Phillip Grigalanz and Writing Center Student Coordinator/Director Jennifer Eubanks provided helpful tips and tricks to make research papers the best they can be.
The first concept discussed was forming a well-designed thesis. The first point was sentence structure, as it is vitally important. Making sure you use aspects such as pronouns, direct objects, as well as active and passive voices all aid in getting your main ideas across. Another important point is to keep your reader interested. Continued motion = continued interest.
The second part for a well-designed thesis is making sure your paragraph structure has a strong foundation. The important thing to remember here is The Infamous Paragraph Burger. The argument of your paragraph (or your mini-thesis) is represented by the bun. Your evidence (quotes from the text, etc.) is represented by the condiments, such as ketchup and mustard. Just like using condiments on a regular burger, a little goes a long way. Next, the toppings such as lettuce, tomato, pickles, and the patty, all represent your analysis. Finally, the bottom bun ties it back to your thesis statement that was proposed in the introduction. The Infamous Burger Paragraph is a good way to keep track of your paper and make sure everything is made to order.
The third part is to focus on your thesis statement. A good thesis statement is debatable and provable. If your thesis is not debatable, there is essentially no point in writing your paper. It is also important to make sure it is provable, as you will be able to persuade other readers. Finally, the structure of your thesis is important to form a well-designed one. First and foremost, you must understand your argument and know the state of academia on your subject. This is where the “They say/I say” concept comes in handy as it helps illustrate that your topic is debatable.
Next, citation styles such as APA were discussed. APA style is often times a more intense style as opposed to APA, as its criteria is a bit stricter. You must have a title page followed by an abstract. Following that is your introduction and your lit review (state of academia status on your topic). Next is the discussion, where you discuss your research, as well as your research limitations. Finally, your conclusion restates your thesis and additional opportunities for research.
The Academic Research Paper Workshop certainly aids in helping students who may need that extra help in working on their research papers for their classes. For additional resources, be sure to stop by the Writing Center in LSF 211. Dr. Vivian is the Writing Center Director and the hours for the Writing Center are M/W 9-2:15 and T/Th 9-5. Also be sure to visit The Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ and the APA Style Blog at apastyle.org for additional online resources.