Category Archives: Research Paper


From the U C Davis Undergraduate Research website:

What should the abstract include?

Think of your abstract as a condensed version of your whole project. By reading it, the reader should understand the nature of your research question….Although the content will vary according to field and specific project, all abstracts, whether in the sciences or the humanities, convey the following information:

  • The purpose of the project identifying the area of study to which it belongs.
  • The research problem that motivates the project.
  • The methods used to address this research problem, documents or evidence analyzed.
  • The conclusions reached or, if the research is in progress, what the preliminary results of the investigation suggest, or what the research methods demonstrate.
  • The significance of the research project. Why are the results useful? What is new to our understanding as the result of your inquiry?

Whatever kind of research you are doing, your abstract should provide the reader with answers to the following questions: What are you asking? Why is it important? How will you study it? What will you use to demonstrate your conclusions? What are those conclusions? What do they mean?


Here are some other great resources for abstract writing:

UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center:

Purdue OWL:





Business and Technology:



Your abstract can simply go at the top of your research paper and should be between 100-300 words.


Research Presentations

Research Presentations

After doing nearly a month of work examining a single topic, it’s time to celebrate the awesome research you have done by presenting your findings to an audience. These presentations are focused on showcasing your work and giving you the opportunity to share your discoveries with others.

I am not evaluating your public speaking abilities, though I do think it’s important that you learn how to synthesize and concisely present your work to others. In the world beyond my class, this is a skill that really comes in handy, and I want you to have a low-stakes opportunity to practice it; consider this an “A for effort” type of activity.

Presentations should be 4-6 minutes long and should cover:

  • Key concepts
  • Interesting examples and insights
  • Your conclusions

You are welcome to use visual aids, such as Powerpoint, Prezis, posters, or videos, but they are not mandatory by any means.


Presentations will be held on April 29 and May 1. 11 presentations will be held each day, and spots will be signed up for in advance.



Extra credit opportunity:

To make up a late or missed minor assignment, you will have the option to write a blog post of 300+ words reflecting on one or more of the day’s presentations. You may discuss what you learned, how it relates to your own work, or what it helps you to consider in a new way.  If the post does not meet the word requirement and/or demonstrate in-depth thinking, it will not be counted.

Interview Resources

Katie Couric on How to Conduct a Good Interview –

8 Tips for Conducting Great Interviews – Forbes Magazine:



The Interview: Instructions


The Interview

Interviews are a great way to get first-hand accounts and information straight from the source. For this interview, you should select someone to whom you have access who can help you explore possible answers to your research questions.


  1.        You should write a brief introduction to your interview. Tell us a bit about the person that you interviewed. What is her/his name, title, job description, relationship to the community, etc.? Then tell us why you thought that person was the best person to interview to learn about your field.


  1.       Describe the interview settings. Where did the interview take place? How long did it last? Was the location a good one? Do you think it impacted the interview in any way?


  1.       Your interview should include at least 15 questions. Prepare beforehand by having a list of questions ready and having a focus. Do allow yourself to improvise. Don’t ignore something interesting that you think might help your project just because it doesn’t “fit” with your draft of questions.


  1.       You can post the interview as a video or audio clip or offer a written transcript. Make sure to receive permission from your interview subject first. They may not want their name or face used publicly.


  1.       Reflect on the interview. Did it go well? How did the interviewee respond to you? Is there anything you wish you asked more about?


The final complete interview (transcribed or shared as a media file), along with these 5 other criteria above, will be due Thursday, April 10. Post to blog. The post may be password-protected.


Some tips for success:

  •          You may want to record it with a cell phone, video camera, or webcam. It is easier to transcribe after the interview than attempt to write a person’s responses word-for-word as he/she speaks.
  •          Make sure that you explain to the interviewee before you begin the interview that it is for school, that you will be posting the interview to your blog, and that it may end up, in whole or in part, in your final project. They may want to remain anonymous, or they may choose not to participate. That is their right.
  •          Ask open ended questions. Yes/no questions will get you short answers that won’t reveal much.
  •          If a person seems uncomfortable with a question, do not push the question on them.
  •          You are welcome to use quotes from your interview in your research paper. It would count towards your 8 sources.

The Research Review Post

Research is a critical part of academic writing, but it is also just a great way to learn more and be able to think about things from new perspectives. Research review posts are a way to capture and reflect on what you learn during the research process. Each research review post is a single 250+ word blog post that addresses the following criteria:

  • Choose an outside source that may help you to consider your research topic, and read/watch it. This might be a newspaper article, a scholarly journal (check the Pace library databases), a credible website, a documentary, or any number of primary and secondary sources. If you aren’t sure if it is appropriate, ask.
  • Briefly summarize the main points of a single piece of research you may include in your project.
  • Why is this piece credible? Consider the CRAAP test. Think about why and how it is credible. Perhaps, parts are credible, and other parts are not. Perhaps, there is an explicit bias, but if used the right way, the information is still useful.
  • Critique the piece: How well was it written? Is the argument convincing? Is anything missing?
  • Is the piece useful to your research? How and why? Or why not? If the piece is not useful for your purposes, what are the purposes for which it would be useful?
  • Use MLA or APA style citations! At the very least, I expect a works cited/reference page entry for each source.

Remember, the complete post should be 250+ words, posted to your blog before class. Full credit requires that you meet all the criteria and post on time.

The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a great place to find more information about writing research papers and using MLA style citations or APA style citations.

Research Questions Powerpoint

Research Questions <–click here

Research Paper Instructions