Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The Research Process: From Assignment to Finished Papers: Writing

This guide contains information presented at workshops held jointly by Moon Library and the Writing Resource Center.

Developing a Thesis Statement

Thesis statement

  • A thesis statement provides you with a goal as you write. 
  • A thesis statement is clear, concise and, most importantly, helps your reader to understand your purpose. 
  • A thesis statement is often your research question + a claim about the topic. 
    • Too General: Global warming impacts the environment. 
    • Focused:Increasing temperatures in the Northeastern United States are transforming forests from coniferous to deciduous vegetation.[1]

 

 

[1]Adapted from: Richardson, J. B., Friedland, A. J., Engerbretson, T. R., Kaste, J. M., & Jackson, B. P. (2013). 

Spatial and vertical distribution of mercury in upland forest soils across the northeastern 

United States. Environmental pollution182, 127-134.

 

Formulating Arguments

Your argument should include what other scholars have said about the topic

  • Formulating arguments
    • Speaking to and with academic sources
    • Accurately summarizing and paraphrasing other scholar’s work 
    • Situating your claims and arguments within a scholarly dialogue

In longer research papers, such as journal articles, thesis, and dissertations, this is called a literature review. However, even in short essays you should reference the work that others have completed to understand the problem you are investigating. A good source for this kind of writing is: 

Birkenstein, C., & Graff, G. (2018). They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. WW Norton & Company.

 

Proof Reading and Revising

Proof reading and Revising    

  • Writing your conclusion doesn’t mean you are finished! 
  • Check your argument and evidence – does it match your thesis? 
  • Organization – do you have one long paragraph? 
  • Sentences and syntax – Read your work out loud. 
  • Don’t be afraid to delete! It’s ok to delete a sentence (or three!) if they don’t align with your argument. 
  • Visit the writing tutors! The Writing Resource Center https://www.esf.edu/wrc/wrc.htm