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The Curious Researcher


The Curious Researcher Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Featuring an engaging, direct writing style and inquiry-based approach, The Curious Researcher stresses that curiosity is the best reason for investigating ideas and information. Offering a wide variety of examples from writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Readers are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with "facts." Full explanations of the technical aspects of writing and documenting source-based papers help students develop sound research and analysis skills. Topics include information on selecting a research topic, the latest information on Internet research, advice on structuring a research paper, and full treatment of MLA and APA citation formats.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Rethinking the Research Paper.

Learning and Unlearning.

Using This Book.

            The Exercises.

            The Five-Week Plan.

            Alternatives to the Five-Week Plan.

The Research Paper and the Research Report.

            Discovering Your Purpose

How Formal Should It Be?

            When “Bad” Writing Is Good.

            Thinking Like an Academic Writer.

“Essaying” or Arguing?

The Research Essay and Academic Writing.

Becoming an Authority by Using Authorities.

            “It’s Just My Opinion”

Facts Don't Kill.

            The Question Habit.

1. The First Week.

The Importance of Getting Curious.

            Learning to Wonder Again.

            Getting the Pot Boiling.

            Other Ways to Find a Topic

            What Is a Good Topic?

            Making the Most of an Assigned Topic.

Developing a Working Knowledge.

            Research Strategies

Narrowing the Subject.

            Circling the Lighthouse.

            From Landscape Shots to Close-Ups.

Possible Purposes for a Research Assignment.

Reading for Research.

            Reading Rhetorically.

            Reading like an Outsider.

2. The Second Week.

Developing a Research Strategy.

Google vs. the Library

A Complementary Research Strategy

            Find Sufficient Information by Using the Best Search Terms

            Find Varied Sources

            Find Quality Sources

Developing Focused Knowledge.

            What About a Thesis?

Library Research Techniques.

            Finding Books

            Understanding Call Numbers

Advanced Internet Research Techniques.

            Types of Search Engines.

Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys.

            Arranging Interviews.

            Planning Informal Surveys.

            Conducting Surveys.

3. The Third Week.

Writing in the Middle.

            Becoming an Activist Notetaker.

            Recognizing Plagiarism.

            I Read What You Said and Borrowed It, Okay?

            Why Plagiarism Matters.

            Sources Are from Mars, Notetakers Are from Venus.

Notetaking Techniques.

            The Double-Entry Journal.

Other Notetaking Techniques

            The Research Log: A Jay Leno Approach.

            Narrative Notetaking.

            Online Research Notebooks

When You're Coming Up Short: More Advanced Searching Techniques

            Advanced Library Searching Techniques

            Advanced Internet Search Techniques

            Thinking Outside the Box: Alternative Sources

4. The Fourth Week.

Getting to the Draft.

            When the Experts Disagree.

            An Application Example.

            Deciding Whether to Say I.

            Beginning at the Beginning.

            Deciding on a Voice.

            Writing for Reader Interest.

            Organizing the Draft

            Delaying Thesis Structure

            Question-Claim Structure

            Essaying or Arguing: An Example

            Writing with Sources

Quick Tips for Controlling Quotations

            Grafting Quotes

            Sandwiching Quotes

            Billboarding Quotes

            Splicing Quotes

Citing Sources.

            An Alternative to Colliding Footnotes.

            I Hate These Theses to Pieces.

            Driving Through the First Draft.

5. The Fifth Week.

Revising for Purpose.

            The Thesis as a Tool for Revision

            Using a Reader

            Attacking the Draft

Revising for Information.

            Finding Quick Facts.

Revising for Language.

            Listening to the Voice,

            How to Control Information.

            Scrutinizing Paragraphs.

            Scrutinizing Sentences.

            Stock Phrases in Research Papers

Preparing the Final Manuscript.

            Considering “Reader-Friendly” Design.

            Following MLA Conventions.

            Proofreading Your Paper.

Looking Back and Moving On.

Appendix A: Guide to MLA Styles.

Part One: Citing Sources in Your Essay.

Part Two: Format

Part Three: Preparing the “Works Cited” Page.

Part Four: Student Essay in MLA Style.

Appendix B: Guide to APA Style.

Part One: How the Essay Should Look.

Part Two: Citing Sources in Your Essay.

Part Three: Preparing the “References” List.

Part Four: Sample Paper in APA Style.

Appendix C: Understanding Research Assignments

Analyzing the Purpose of the Assignment

Argumentative Research: Open or Closed?


Emphasis on Formal Qualities

Types of Evidence: Primary or Secondary


Product Details

Ballenger, Bruce
Barker, Tommy
Composition & Creative Writing - Academic
Report writing
Composition & Creative Writing
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Ballenger Series
Publication Date:
February 2006
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
9.00x6.32x.60 in. 1.08 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Reference » Research
Reference » Words Phrases and Language
Reference » Writing » General
Reference » Writing » Nonfiction
Textbooks » General

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