Before we can write social research, we need to read it. When we’re just starting out, reading the large volumes of material we need to become familiar enough with a topic can become really overwhelming sometimes. Here are a few tips I’ve offered to students to help them read more effectively for coursework or for their own research projects.… Read More “Reading Social Research”
Although there are differences across journals, methodologies, and disciplines for how one is to organize a research paper. In general, a basic research paper in the social sciences will be organized more or less along the following lines:
- Review of the Literature
Sometimes, the review of the literature and the theory get smooshed into the same section and the same goes for discussion and conclusion.… Read More “Paper Outline”
Below is a checklist you can use to help guide your writing, whether it’s for a term paper, a thesis, or a peer-reviewed publication. Good papers should be able to answer yes to all of the questions.
- Does the title clearly and accurately tell the reader what the paper is about?
Sometimes starting a paper feels like the hardest part, especially you when have a lot of information in your head you just want to get down on paper. To simplify the process, I almost always give my students the following template for writing a basic introduction to any research paper:
Paragraph 1: Contextualize the issue, end with the last sentence giving the research question and/or thesis statement
Paragraph 2: Explain how you’re going to answer this question, give some details about what method you’ll be using
Paragraph 3: Explain why the reader should care.… Read More “A Formula for the Introduction”
A “lit review” or a literature review or a review of the literature is the section of a research paper that provides an overview of the state of the research on the topic of the paper. This is where one would explore all the empirical evidence for what “is” with the issue.… Read More “Lit Review vs. Theory Section”
The methods section of a research paper is kind of like the instructions you get with a piece of furniture from IKEA. It tells you how the furniture was or will be put together but not why it works, why we care, and it’s not the thing itself.… Read More “Methods Section Components”