Research Paper Handout

They probably will be major headings in your outline.

Use these ideas as guidelines for reading the articles you gather for your research.

Every article usually contains 2, 3 or 4 major ideas or pieces of information.

Underline or use a highlighter pen to mark these ideas.

Gathering Ideas from the Articles Get a stack of small file cards.

As you read each article, look for the major ideas.Start with the Ideas in Your Proposal In the proposal you wrote for the project should be (1) the main question or issue that you are exploring in your project, (2) two or three sub-questions or sub-issues related to the main one.These questions/issues can serve as a the beginnings of a very simple outline for your paper.Developing the Outline As you read your articles and look over the file cards of other articles you have already read, you will get ideas about how to develop and modify the outline for the paper.Experiment with different ways to organize the outline.The lettered subtopics (A, B, C, etc) will probably correspond to a paragraph or a series of paragraphs in your paper.Here's an example of how an outline might look: Inserting the File Cards into the Outline When you are finished reading the articles, look through your file cards.For each major idea, you will probably will be highlighting a paragraph or so of text. Indicate on the card the page number of the information/idea, the title of the article, and the author's name.This means that for every article you will have 2, 3, or 4 file cards - each summarizing a major idea or information from the article.Go back to the original article and read the text that you highlighted.Incorporate those ideas into the paper (use APA format to cite references).


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