Journal | writing 2010 | University of Utah

In academic writing, writing a research paper means much more than just summarizing the information that is stated in all of your research. 1. It requires using synthesis to put all of the information that you have learned about together into one cohesive whole. You’ve already done this work when writing your Mini-literature review. 2. Whenever you write a paper in an academic context, you need to add new information to the body of literature. Otherwise, why bother writing a paper? Scholars respond to each other, challenge popular theories, look at things from a new perspective, and add more information to the research work they do. You will be expected to do this in your contribution paper.

To help you understand what that kind of work looks like, choose one article that we have read in this course previously OR choose an article you have read for a different course. Write the name of the article and the author at the top of your paper. You will write 750 words in this journal.

Read through the article again and in 400 words respond to the following questions.

1. What research is this article responding to? What questions does the author ask about the work they have seen done previously?

2. What is the author’s argument? Do they have an explicit thesis statement or hypothesis? How can you tell that the author has an argument?

3. What is the author contributing to that body of knowledge? Is the author challenging a theory? Finding new information? Shifting a perspective? Responding to a different scholar? Are they challenging an assumption previous research has operated on?

For the second 350, think about your own research. What do you have to contribute? Is there a gap in the research that you could fill? A new perspective to share? Someone to respond to? Brainstorm what your contribution could be. As your final sentence write a potential thesis that shares the new information you plan to present in your Contribution Paper.

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