The Research Essay
- usually your teacher, sometimes your classmates.
Research paper purpose
- to demonstrate what you have learned from a variety of sources;
- to demonstrate that you have developed your own perspective on the subject as a result of your research;
- to show that you have developed your research skills;
- to prove that you know how to document your sources correctly.
Research essay language
- formal. There should be no contractions (like “doesn’t” for “does not”), little or no use of “I” or “me,” and no slang (like “slacked off” in place of “rested”).
The research essay as formal argument
The research essay is characteristically an argument, a term that has a special meaning in the academic context.
Argument is a type of academic writing, and while argument will be the dominant discourse when you write your research essay, this does not mean that you will not be engaged in other discourse activities. Describing, explaining and informing will all have a place in the process of developing your argument for your reader.
An argument can be thought of as an appeal to reason in which you develop a position, sometimes called a point of view or thesis, on a topic or question. Taking a position involves the exploration of issues, though there can be confusion as to what is meant by this term ‘issue’:
The amount of description or explaining you do, the amount of detail you include, should be controlled by what is needed to ensure your argument is strong.
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