Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

The Research Writer, Spiral bound Version, 1st Edition

  • John Van Rys
  • Verne Meyer
  • Patrick Sebranek
  • ISBN-10: 0618756221
  • ISBN-13: 9780618756223
  • 528 Pages | Spiralbound
  • COPYRIGHT: 2012 Published
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About the Product

THE RESEARCH WRITER helps students transition from writing “the research paper” to doing research writing, from reporting information to working with ideas. The subtitle--”Curiosity, Discovery, Dialogue”--signals this shift: this handbook promotes research as a curiosity-driven activity that leads to discoveries that are then shared through various types of dialogue. With this practical and reader-friendly handbook, students will learn the research and writing skills needed for any research project and will be able to apply and transfer these skills to their own disciplines. Students can use THE RESEARCH WRITER to become more intelligent, ethically aware researchers, able not just to avoid plagiarism but to write with credibility while navigating the twenty-first century digital landscape.


  • Divided into three parts, THE RESEARCH WRITER is structured around students’ research and writing process. Part 1, Conducting and Writing Up Research, gives students all the tools that they need to complete the research and writing process for any project. Part 2, Research-Writing Forms and Projects, focuses on the most common forms of college-level research writing, from personal-research papers to literature reviews. Part 3, Systems of Documentation, provides a complete introduction, full reference information, and a sample student paper for the dominant documentation systems across the disciplines: MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE.

  • Accessible, flexible handbook design. THE RESEARCH WRITER’s design helps students access exactly the information they need as they work on research projects; each chapter gives students easy access to solid instruction. Guided by the chapter introduction, with its initial “Query” and “What’s Ahead” features, students will find instruction presented in self-contained, manageable spreads filled with tables, examples and illustrations, annotated models, and lists--all focused on the students’ own work.

  • Integrated attention to research ethics, including plagiarism. THE RESEARCH WRITER treats plagiarism as part of a broader commitment to research ethics. While in-depth treatment of plagiarism is offered in a separate chapter, the larger goal of researching and writing to build credibility is addressed in the first chapter and throughout the text in a “Focus on Ethics” feature.

  • Full, thoughtful treatment of today’s global, digital environment for research. THE RESEARCH WRITER offers intelligent instruction for doing research both on and beyond the free Web, offering full guidance for both evaluating digital resources and publishing digital, multimodal research writing.

  • Practical writing-in-the-disciplines (WID) emphasis. Through a variety of strategies, THE RESEARCH WRITER stresses the value of research-writing skills in all college disciplines (and even beyond into other aspects of life). Using a recurring “Focus on Your Major” feature, the handbook also integrates illustrations and case studies across the disciplines.

  • Thorough treatment of research methods and writing with sources. Stressing both primary and secondary research methods, the handbook introduces students to the broad universe of resources to be found or developed for college-level projects. The handbook shows students how to work with sources in their own writing--from proper methods of summary, paraphrase, and quotation to correct citation to conversing with sources.

  • Current and easy-to-navigate treatment of documentation systems. Each system (MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE) is presented for students’ ease of understanding and use, starting with a directory, an “at a glance” overview, a student model showing the system at work, and then all the format, citation, and bibliographic guidelines and examples that students need.

  • Student writing and student project focus. THE RESEARCH WRITER helps students apply what they learn to their own research and writing projects. The “Focus on Your Project” feature, the checklists, the end-of-chapter activities and projects, and guidelines for the forms of research writing, and the sample student’s papers all help students apply the text’s instruction to their own work.

  • Unobtrusive seven-traits framework and pedagogy. THE RESEARCH WRITER offers students a sensible, flexible system for assessing and improving their research writing, namely the seven traits: strong ideas, logical organization, engaging voice, clear words, smooth sentences, correct copy, and professional design. Introduced in Chapter 1 with a contrast between weak and strong research writing, these seven traits recur throughout the text without being obtrusive or prescriptive.

About the Author

John Van Rys

Dr. John Van Rys has taught composition, business writing, creative writing, and literature to college students for more than 30 years. He began his teaching career at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, before moving to Redeemer University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2005. He earned his M.A. and B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. from Dalhousie University. Today, Dr. Van Rys pursues scholarly work in Canadian literature, while also writing fiction and poetry. For more than 20 years, he has worked on writing-across-the-curriculum theory and practice, on connections between workplace and academic writing. He has also pursued strategies for strengthening varied literacies in students, from reading and research to visual literacy. Dr. Van Rys has applied his expertise, co-authoring various writing handbooks for students, from middle school to college. He has also co-authored an award-winning business-writing handbook for workplace professionals, WRITE FOR BUSINESS, with UpWrite Press.

Verne Meyer

Dr. Verne Meyer is an educator and businessperson. For nine years, he taught English in high schools in Michigan and Wisconsin. In addition, for fifteen years, he taught dramatic literature, theater history, and composition at Dordt University in Iowa. In 1977, partnering with Mr. Sebranek, Dr. Meyer co-founded Write Source Educational Publishing House, now a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Supplemental. Dr. Meyer earned his B.A. from Calvin College, his M.A. from Marquette University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. In addition to this text, he has co-authored a number of texts for college students, including THE COLLEGE WRITER'S HANDBOOK, COMP, THE BUSINESS WRITER, and WRITE FOR WORK. To meet the needs of students in grades 8 through 12, he has co-authored WRITERS INC, SCHOOL TO WORK, WRITE FOR COLLEGE, and a number of Write Source textbooks. Dr. Meyer's publications for businesspeople include WRITE FOR BUSINESS and EFFECTIVE EMAIL MADE EZ. Dr. Meyer is currently a contributing editor for Write Source and UpWrite Press. He is also a featured speaker in the School Improvement Network's instructional videos, Writing Across the Curriculum.

Patrick Sebranek

Patrick Sebranek (M.A. University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse) taught English, speech, and multimedia classes for 16 years at Union Grove High School in Wisconsin. During that time, he served as the English department chair and worked on several district-wide projects, including a writing-across-the-curriculum program and a K-12 writing sequence. He has studied the works of James Moffett, Ken Macrorie, Linda Reif, Nancie Atwell, and many other contemporary educators dealing with writing and learning. Mr. Sebranek is an author and editorial director for the Write Source Educational Publishing House and works closely with teachers and educators on all new and revised handbooks and sourcebooks.

Table of Contents

1. Thinking through Research.
Introduction. Research Rhetoric: Purpose, Reader, Context. Your Research Purpose. Your Research Audience. The Context of Your Research. Weak vs. Strong Research Writing. Strong Ideas. Logical Organization. Engaging Voice. Clear Words. Smooth Sentences. Correct Copy. Professional Design. Weak Research Writing: An Example. Strong Research Writing: An Example. Following the Research Process. Understanding Assignments and Expectations. Research Expectations. Assignment Keywords. Topic Options and Restrictions. Project Parameters. Assignment Connections. Brainstorming and Refining Topics. Brainstorming Viable Topics. Choosing a Narrow, Manageable Topic. Developing Research Questions. Simple and Substantial Questions. Main and Secondary Questions. Framing a Working Thesis. Drafting a Strong Working Thesis. Focus on Ethics: Preventing Plagiarism. A Principled Beginning. Practices that Prevent Unintentional Plagiarism. Practices that Prevent Internet Plagiarism. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
2. Planning Your Research.
Introduction. Exploring Your Resource Options. Focus on Your Major: Case Studies in Resource Choices. Considering Information Sites. Focus on Ethics: Identifying Challenges for Your Project. Distinguishing Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources. Primary Sources. Secondary Sources. Tertiary Sources. The Primary-Secondary Symbiosis. Focus on Your Major: Following Methods of Inquiry. Locating Your Major within the Division of Disciplines. Inquiry in the Humanities. Inquiry within the Social Sciences. Inquiry within the Natural and Applied Sciences. Getting Organized to Do Your Research. Establish Priorities. Establish Best Practices. Establish a Schedule. Focus on Your Project: Research for Different Forms of Writing. Writing a Research Proposal. Parts of a Research Proposal. Sample Research Proposal. Making Effective Keyword Searches. Keywords/Search Strategies. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
3. Doing Research in the Wired Library.
Introduction. Getting into Your Library. How to Get Familiar with Your Library. An Overview of Library Resources and Services. Employing the Library. Searching the Online Catalog. Starting Your Search. Searching the Catalog Using Distinct Methods. Building on Your Initial Search Results. Employing Full Citations. Locate Resources Using Call Numbers. Focus on Your Major: Finding Your LOC Classification Home. Connecting with Other Online Catalogs. NetLibrary. State Libraries. Library of Congress. Global Libraries: WorldCat. Search Subscription Databases for Periodical Articles. Understand Periodicals. Identify Your Library’s Subscription Databases. Select and Search Databases. Generate a Citation List. Study Citations and Capture Identifying Information. Retrieve the Article’s Full Text. Focus on Your Major: Databases for Disciplines. Using Print and Electronic Reference Works. How to Find and Use Reference Works. Types of Reference Works. Using Books: Trade, Scholarly, and E-Books. Identify Types of Books. Working with Print Books. How to Work with E-Books. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
4. Doing Research on the Free Web.
Introduction. Understanding the Web: A Primer for Research. What Is the Internet? What Is the World Wide Web? What Does an Internet Address Mean? What Is the Free Web vs. the Deep Web? Using the Free Web for College Research. Benefits of Free-Web Research. Drawbacks of Free-Web Research. Guidelines for Researching the Free Web. Focus on Your Project: Saving Web Information. Recommended Web Resources for College Research. Using Wikis in Your Research. Understanding Wikis. Wikipedia as a Resource: Strengths. Wikipedia as a Resource: Weaknesses. Guidelines for Using Wikipedia. Finding Other Wikis. Evaluating Free-Web Resources. Signs of a Quality Website. Testing a Web Site’s Quality and Reliability. Locating Information: URLs, Menus, Links, and Site Searches. Work with URLs. Follow Helpful Links. Explore Menus. Try the Site’s Search Feature. Locating Information: Subject Trees or Directories. The Structure of a Subject Tree. Subject Trees: A Sample Search. Locating Information: Search Engines and Metasearch Tools. Understanding Search Engines as Research Tools. Guidelines for Using Search Engines. Choosing Search Engines for College Research. Conducting Advanced Searches with Search Engines. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
5. Doing Primary Research.
Introduction. Planning for Primary Research. Considering Primary Research. Choosing a Method of Primary Research. Doing Effective Primary Research. Focus on Ethics: Respecting and Protecting Your Sources. Doing Primary Research with Integrity. Handling People with Care. Conducting Interviews. Choosing and Finding People to Interview. Preparing for an Interview. Doing the Interview. Sample Interview Note-Taking Sheet. Following Up the Interview. Requesting Information in Writing. Finding Contacts. Making Your Request. Focus on Research Essentials: Observing Netiquette. Sample Request Message. Conducting Informal Surveys. Finding and Selecting People to Survey. Developing a Sound Survey. Doing Your Survey. Sample Informal Survey. Analyzing Texts, Documents, Records, and Artifacts. Choosing Primary Texts. Locating Primary Texts. Analyzing Primary Texts. Focus on Your Major: Questions and Documentation. Making Observations. Finding a Site for Your Project. Getting Ready to Observe. Conducting Your Observation. Making Sense of Your Observations. Conducting Experiments. Understanding Experimentation. Following the Experimental Method. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
6. Working with Sources and Taking Notes.
Maintaining a Working Bibliography. Setting Up Your Bibliography. Sample Working Bibliography Entries. Developing an Annotated Bibliography. Focus on Multimedia: Using Bibliographic Software. Developing a Note-Taking System. Note-Taking Strategies. Note-Taking Systems. Focus on Multimedia: Using Note-Taking Software. Engaging Your Sources through Critical Reading. Testing Each Source for Value. Reading Key Sources Systematically and Critically. Evaluating Your Sources. A Rating Scale for Source Reliability and Depth. Criteria for Assessing Sources. Focus on Multimedia: Interpreting and Evaluating Visuals. Sample Visual and Analysis. Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Source Material. Summarizing Useful Passages. Paraphrasing Key Passages. Quoting Crucial Phrases, Sentences, and Passages. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
7. Building Credibility: Avoiding Plagiarism and Other Source Abuses.
Introduction. Recognizing Plagiarism. What Is Plagiarism? What Does Plagiarism Look Like? Avoiding Source Misuse. Why Is Plagiarism So Serious? How Do You Avoid Plagiarizing in Your Writing? What Other Source Abuses Should You Avoid? What Other Academic Violations Should You Avoid? Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
8 Drafting Papers with Documented Research.
Introduction. Shifting from Research to Writing. Revisiting Your Research Rhetoric. Understanding the Writing Process. Reviewing Your Findings. Conducting Q & A. Deepening Your Thinking on the Topic. Imagining Your Paper. Sorting Out Your Notes. Sharpening Your Working Thesis. Deepening Your Thesis. Questioning Your Thesis. Considering Methods of Organization. Organizational Practices to Avoid. Organizational Practices that Consider Sources. Basic Essay or Paper Structure. Patterns of Reasoning. Traditional Organizational Patterns. Developing an Outline. Choosing a Type of Outline. Connecting Your Outline and Your Notes. Considering Drafting Strategies. Choosing a Drafting Method. Respecting Your Sources While Drafting. Drafting the Introduction. Engaging Your Reader. Establishing Your Voice. Establishing Focus and Scope. Introducing Your Line of Thinking. A Strong Opening. Drafting the Body: Reasoning with Evidence. Featuring Research in Your Discussion. The Full-Bodied Paragraph. Choosing and Using Evidence. Drafting the Body: Smoothly Integrating Source Material. A Pattern for Integrating Sources. Practices for Smoothly Integrating Quotations. Guidelines for Correctly Documenting Sources. Drafting the Conclusion. Deepen Your Thesis. Complete and Unify Your Discussion. A Strong Conclusion. Drafting the Title. The Purpose of the Title. Patterns for Academic Titles. Focus on Multimedia: Using and Integrating Graphics. Uses of Visuals in Your Research Writing. Planning Visuals for Your Paper. Parts of a Visual. Types of Visuals. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
9. Revising and Refining Your Research Paper.
Introduction. Practical Strategies for Improving Your First Draft. Break Down Revising and Refining into Manageable Steps. Review Your Draft from Multiple Points of View. Use Your Software’s Editing Tools as an Aid. Revising in Action: Fixing Global Issues. Editing in Action: Fixing Local Issues. Testing Your Ideas and Organization. Improving Your Reasoning. Eliminating Logical Fallacies. Improving Organizational Flow. Improving Paragraphs. Checking the Voice of Your Writing. Testing Your Level of Confidence. Testing for an Academic Style. Editing for Sentence Smoothness. Fixing Primer Style. Fixing Rambling Sentences. Fixing Unparallel Structures. Fixing Sluggish Sentence Structures. Using Active and Passive Voice of Verbs. Editing for Sentence Variety. Editing for Energetic Word Choice. Eliminate Wordiness. Replace Vague Wording with Precise, Concrete Terms. Hit the Right Diction Level. Replace Slanted Terms with Neutral Ones. Cut Clichés. Rework Pretentious and Flowery Language. Eliminate Jargon. Focus on Ethics: Plain and Fair English. Striving for Plain English. Striving for Respectful Language. Proofreading for Correctness. Test Your Draft for Accuracy. Check Quotation Integration and Punctuation. Check Titles of Works. Check Your Use of Historical Present Tense. Check for the Top Ten Grammar Errors. Check for Common Usage Errors. Focus on Your Major: Developing a Summary or Abstract. The Content and Style of a Summary. Writing a Summary. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
10. Sharing Your Research Writing.
Introduction. Designing Your Research Document. Making Rhetorically-Driven Design Choices. Planning Your Research Document’s Format. Thinking through Page Layout. Using Color. Making Typographical Choices. Submitting an Academic Paper. The Character of an Academic Paper. Submitting or Posting a Digital Document. Developing a Website. Contributing to a Wiki. Sharing Findings in a Blog. Preparing Research Presentations. Planning Your Presentation. Organizing and Developing Your Presentation. Delivering Your Presentation. Focus on Your Major: Developing a Poster Session. Focus on Multimedia: Using Presentation Software Effectively. Building Your Research-Writing Portfolio. Explore Your Project’s Fit in Your Portfolio. Add Your Paper to Your Portfolio. Focus on Your Major: Writing into Your Discipline. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
11. Completing Team Research Projects.
Introduction. Understanding Principles and Types of Collaboration. Principles of Collaboration. Types of Collaboration. Leading a Team Research Project. Leading Individuals. Leading the Group. Communicating in a Group. Brainstorming. Solving Problems. Making Decisions. Giving Criticism. Taking Criticism. Resolving Conflicts. Using Peer-Review and Peer-Editing Strategies. Writer’s Role. Reviewer’s Role. Peer-Review Systems. Integrating Teamwork into the Research and Writing Process. Dividing Tasks. Prewriting. Drafting. Revising. Refining. Practicing Your Research: Activities and Checklist.
12. The Personal Research Paper.
Introduction. Guidelines for Writing a Personal-Research Paper. Sample Student Paper: Personal-Research Writing. Writer’s Reflection Student Model: “The Pi-Nee-Waus Powwow: A Place to Gather” by Michelle Winkler. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
13. The Analytical Research Paper.
Introduction. Guidelines for Writing an Analytical Paper. Analytical Modes: An Overview. Definition. Process. Classification. Compare-Contrast. Cause-Effect. Sample Student Paper: Analytical Research Writing. Writer’s Reflection. Student Model: “‘I Did Not Get My Spaghetti-O’s’: Death Row Consumption in the Popular Media” by Stevie Jeung. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
14. The Argumentative Research Paper.
Introduction. Guidelines for Writing an Argumentative Paper. Argumentation: A Primer. Appealing to Character. Appealing to Emotion. Appealing to Reason. Sample Student Paper: Argumentative Research Writing. Writer’s Reflection. Student Model: “Making Waves: Finding Keys to Success in the Failures of the Fish Industry” by Andrew Skogrand. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
15. The Primary-Source Research Report.
Introduction. Guidelines for Writing a Primary-Research Report. Sample Student Paper: Primary-Research Writing. Writer’s Reflection. Student Model: “Chew-Toy Color Preference in Kenneled Dogs (Canis)” by Terri Wong. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
16. Analysis of a Literary Text. Introduction. Guidelines for Writing a Literary Analysis. Literary Research: A Primer. Critical Approaches. Secondary Research. Literary Terms. Poetry Terms. Sample Student Paper: Literary Research Writing. Writer’s Reflection. Student Model: “Stephen Dedalus: Finding Identity in Myth” by Rebecca Mombourquette. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
17. The Literature Review.
Introduction. Guidelines for Writing a Literature Review. Sample Student Paper: Reviewing the Literature. Writer’s Reflection. Student Model: “The Role of MicroRNA in Cancer” by Dmitriy Kolesnikov. Reading Research Writing: Questions. Practicing Your Research: Projects and Checklist.
18. MLA Style and Sample Paper.
Introduction. Directory to MLA Documentation. MLA Documentation at a Glance. In-Text Citation: The Basics. Works Cited: The Basics. Sample MLA Paper: “A Picture before a Thousand Words: Art Therapy and the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa” by Rubi Garyfalakis. Writer’s Reflection. Sample First Page. Sample Middle Pages. Sample Works-Cited Page. MLA Format Guidelines. MLA Format at a Glance. Whole-Paper Format and Printing Issues. Typographical Issues. Page-Layout Issues. Footnotes and Endnotes in MLA Documentation. Content Notes. Bibliographic Notes. Format for Endnotes. In-Text Abbreviations in MLA Format. General Guidelines for In-Text Abbreviations. Acceptable In-Text Abbreviations. Conventions for Names, Titles, and Internet Addresses. Names of People. Capitalization and Punctuation of Titles. Listing an Internet Address. MLA In-Text Citations. General Guidelines for In-Text Citations. Guidelines for Sources without Authorship and/or Pagination. Sample In-Text Citations. MLA Works-Cited Entries. General Guidelines for the Works-Cited Page. Abbreviations of Publishers’ Names in Works-Cited Entries. Other Abbreviations for Works-Cited Entries. Works-Cited Entries: Print Books and Other Nonperiodical Documents. Works-Cited Entries: Print Periodical Articles. Works-Cited Entries: Online Sources. Works-Cited Entries: Other Sources (Primary, Personal,and Multimedia). MLA System: Checklist.
19. APA Style and Sample Paper.
Introduction. Directory to APA Documentation. APA Documentation at a Glance. In-Text Citation: The Basics. References: The Basics. Sample APA Paper: “The Acculturation of Sex and Health: An Asian American Dilemma” by Lanjun Wang. Writer’s Reflection. Sample Title Page. Sample Abstract. APA Research Paper: The Body.
Sample References Page. Sample Appendix. APA Format Guidelines. APA In-Text Citations. Guidelines for In-Text Citations. Sample In-Text Citations. APA References Entries. General Guidelines for the References Page. Reference Entries: Books and Other Documents. Reference Entries: Print Periodical Articles. Reference Entries: Online Sources. Reference Entries: Other Sources (Primary, Personal,and Multimedia). APA System: Checklist.
20. Chicago/Turabian Style and Sample Paper.
Introduction. Directory to Chicago Style. Chicago Documentation at a Glance. In-Text Citation: The Basics. Footnotes and Endnotes: The Basics. Bibliographic Entries: The Basics. Sample Chicago Paper: “A Thorn Beneath the Shining Armor: Churchill, Bishop Bell, and Area Bombing” by Robert Minto. Writer’s Reflection. Sample First Page. Sample Middle Pages. Sample Endnotes. Sample CMS Notes and Bibliographic Entries. Books and Other Nonperiodical Sources (Print and Digital). Periodical Articles (Print and Digital). Online Sources. Other Sources (Primary, Personal, and Multimedia). CMS System: Checklist.
21. CSE Style and Sample Paper.
Introduction. Directory to CSE Style. CSE Documentation at a Glance. In-Text Citation: The Basics. Reference Entries: The Basics. Sample CSE Paper: “Human Papillomavirus Infection in Males: Penile Carcinoma” by Aurora Cruz. Writer’s Reflection. Sample First Pages. Sample Middle Pages. Sample References Page. CSE References. Books and Other Nonperiodical Sources (Print and Digital). Periodical Articles (Print and Digital). Online Sources. Other Sources (Field and Multimedia). CSE System: Checklist.