What: You pick a research question and address it with a thesis-driven, evidence-based argument or interpretation. Your argument wont simply be personal opinion; it will acknowledge others reasoned perspectives and then offer reasons and evidence for your position. That is, your argument will have some general features of most college writing, and your role will be that of a novice researcher. You are a college student investigating a significant question and weighing in with an informed opinion.
Why: Most discoveries including most academic papers can be understood as part of a much larger conversation. Other people have been talking they have studied whatever your general issue is, and you will note what their perspectives are. But the conversation is not over. Everything has not been said. There are gaps or missing pieces or questions in the existing conversation. You are someone who is listening to a larger conversation about your issue, and you are about to join the conversation.
You might be thinking yes, but . . .what about . . .? Youre unlikely to completely disagree with everything that everyone else has said; rather, youre likely to notice something that has not yet been addressed from a particular perspective, or youre likely to notice that the issue isnt settled and youd like to recommend a certain policy or way of doing things, or youre likely to notice that the issue isnt settled and warrants more research. In the future, youll be doing some original, primary research; here, however, your discovery is likely to be more limited, perhaps an informed opinion about an existing controversy.
How: Your 1000-to-1500 word (4-6 page DS) paper will meet academic readers expectations by having certain things in places where others might expect to find them, loosely in this order:
Focused title focused enough to help a reader predict the research question
A few sentences to help the reader care about this issuewhat is the issue and why is it significant?
Many sentences that explain what other people (including scholars) have already said about the issue. This might be a very brief literature review, but a longer more detailed literature review usually follows the introduction. This is the they say of the conversation. It will include in-text citations.
A gap or question about the existing conversation. As it says in Knowing Words, on page 57, you might be attempting to persuade your audience to become more informed . . . , to change their minds . . . , or to take action. Because youre not doing original empirical research, your argument is likely to be urging the reader to take a particular action or support a particular perspective. That is, you are likely to come into the conversation with an informed opinion rather than with new primary research.
An answer to your question, your thesis. Your thesis will very briefly hint at why youre taking the position you do. (Although somebody says XYZ, I say Z and A because 1, 2, and 3.) Note: We are not doing original empirical research, but, if we were, your thesis (or your answer to your hypothesis) might come later in the conclusion, not at the end of the introduction. Different disciplines will have different variations of the academic introduction.
More detailed answer in the body of the paper. Here you will unpack the ideas briefly mentioned in the introduction. You may need to provide more historical background or context for the issue youre investigating and may need to define some key terms. Any sources referenced will need in-text citations (author date if using APA). This might take several paragraphs. You might agree with some ideas that other people have already presented. You could summarize the ideas you plan to concede and explain why you find them convincing. But then you will probably have some sort of transition paragraph that echoes your thesisyes, but . . . What do you agree with and what do you question? This might be a very short but critical paragraph. You will have multiple reasons to defend your thesis. Each reason will need to be explained and supported, and the support will be research-based. Again, you will unpack some of the sources briefly referenced in the introduction. Explain in more detail (with some quotations and in-text citations) these ideas and information.
Conclusion . Here you will again summarize your key ideas. In the introduction, you ended with a focused thesis, but in the summary you typically begin with the focused thesis and then your key findings in support of it.
Works cited. Use the citation conventions for either APA or MLA, even though APA and MLA are only two of many style guides.
my title is “which one is better? Dangdang, Alibaba or Jingdong?”
use 5 resources search on the internet and at least one is scholerly
write introduction and resources and personal ideas then the summary
use “they say” “gap” “i say”
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