Writing Research Papers
A Facebook Age
By Harriet Tramer
Table of Contents
Section One: Writing Hints One and Two; Chapter Two: Writing Hints Two, Three and Four
Section Two : Chapter 3: Writing Hint Five; Chapter Four: Grammar
Section Three : Chapter Five: Research; Chapter Six: Endings Chapter Seven: List of References Cited
These days, people socialize, voice their strongly held opinions, market their wares, hunt for jobs and do just about everything else through their Social Media – Facebook, Twitter. And, as that has happened, the writing style that flows through these communication channels has become the new norm.
There is not necessarily anything wrong with that. It might simply be a sign of the times. But when you write a research paper you have to transition away from the writing style that might pass muster online and adopt a more academic mode of expressing yourself. Making the leap from one style to the other can prove challenging, but following the writing hints that are outlined in this booklet should help make it manageable.
Before you begin acquainting yourself with any of those guidelines, however, it is important that you come to understand some basics. What are the major differences that separate these two styles of writing – the one that Social Media has popularized and the one that research papers quite literally demand?
Much of the writing you encounter online is, almost by its very nature, quite abbreviated.
As you compose a Tweet, you have to constantly keep one thing in mind. The message you are scripting must not exceed the 280-character limit that Twitter has established. And while that figure is twice the previous 140- character norm, it is hardly generous. So, you often have to use abbreviations and symbols to fit your message into it. (Newton)
When you write research papers, however, you have to assume a completely different mind-set, one that will allow you to expand your writing far beyond the limit Twitter has mandated. In fact, you might have to mesh together several thousand words into a cohesive and impactful whole. And accomplishing that objective is often hard work.
Posts on Facebook and other Social Media often tend to be quite opinionated.
People who post comments on Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media are rarely asked: “What resources can you present to back up what you are saying?” “Can you be more precise in indicating how you arrived at your conclusions?”
And, no doubt, some people use these outlets to escape from having to withstand that type of scrutiny. They might be working to gain “likes,” “shares” and “followers” by being opinionated, even a bit outlandish at times, not by following strict academic guidelines. (Comm)
You cannot, however, be that lackadaisical about these matters when you are completing research papers. Rather, among other things, you must do a professional job of researching the information you present in your final product. And you also be prepared to show precisely where you got (cite) your information and to present your citations in a manner that will pass muster with your instructor.
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