Writing Research Papers

The Research Paper is a unique genre or "kind" of writing. It is found almost exclusively on university campuses, where it is an occasion for both generating knowledge and for assessing student understanding of a topic or issue.

Recent research into genre theory predicts that the social setting or conditions in which the genres salient to research writing are found--genres like the research paper--will tell us a lot about the people who read and write them, about how researchers hold and express their ideas, and about how and why they do things like modalize their claims or cite other experts and carefully document their sources.

By studying how research papers are written, by paying close attention to their rhetorical features, students will recognize how and why the research papers they write are significant and valuable forms of expression in the modern research university. Writing 1000 is organized to provide students with fundamental skills related to reading scholarly journals and articles and writing research papers, such as summary, analysis, persuasion, research methods, citation, documentation, and so on.

Although not every student who enrolls in Writing 1000 will go into professions that require formal or academic research writing, the rhetorical skills and research methods students learn in the course--skills like writing effective and logical sentences, enacting effective analysis, organizing one's ideas, creating persuasive arguments, perfecting citation, etc.--will be useful in personal and professional contexts, in any situation in which writing or speaking well is required.