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Other titles in the English MLA Updated Books series:
The Curious Researcher, MLA Update Editionby Bruce Ballenger
Synopses & Reviews
Featuring an engaging, direct writing style and inquiry-based approach, this popular research guide stresses that curiosity is the best reason for investigating ideas and information.
An appealing alternative to traditional research texts, The Curious Researcher stands apart for its motivational tone, its conversational style, and its conviction that research writing can be full of rewarding discoveries. Offering a wide variety of examples from student and professional writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Students are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with “facts.” A unique chronological organization sets up achievable writing goals while it provides week-by-week guidance through the research process. Full explanations of the technical aspects of writing and documenting source-based papers help students develop sound research and analysis skills.
Up-to-the-minute coverage of documentation styles reflects the 2008 MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, Third Edition and the 2007 supplement APA Style Guide to Electronic References.
An appealing alternative to traditional research texts, The Curious Researcher stands apart for its motivational tone, its conversational style, and its conviction that research writing can be full of rewarding discoveries. 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.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Rethinking the Research Paper.
Learning and Unlearning.
Using This Book.
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.
Narrowing the Subject.
Circling the Lighthouse.
From Landscape Shots to Close-Ups.
Possible Purposes for a Research Assignment.
Reading for Research.
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.
Understanding Call Numbers
Advanced Internet Research Techniques.
Types of Search Engines.
Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys.
Planning Informal Surveys.
3. The Third Week.
Writing in the Middle.
Becoming an Activist Notetaker.
I Read What You Said and Borrowed It, Okay?
Why Plagiarism Matters.
Sources Are from Mars, Notetakers Are from Venus.
The Double-Entry Journal.
Other Notetaking Techniques
The Research Log: A Jay Leno Approach.
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
Essaying or Arguing: An Example
Writing with Sources
Quick Tips for Controlling Quotations
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.
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
What Our Readers Are Saying
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