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Research Project Tips
Your curriculum is
designed to prepare you for a professional career. No matter what that career
may be, you’ll need to be able to follow specific directions, research
information, write effectively, convey information and ideas to others,
maintain ethical standards, think critically, and produce focused, informative
documents that are free of errors. To help you develop and perfect these
skills, Penn Foster Schools requires you to complete research projects and
writing assignments in many of the courses throughout your curriculum. These
projects are related to the specific subject matter you’re studying.
Organization of a Research Project
project may consist of either a topic that you must research and develop into a
paper or a series of questions that you must answer.
If your project involves a research paper, your paper should
have three parts:
Introduction. The introduction should be
a short paragraph of around three to five sentences in which you clearly
state the purpose of your paper.
Body. The body should consist of some
paragraphs in which you develop the purpose you included in the
introduction. In the body, you should clearly and completely explain the
purpose. To do this, add facts, details, and examples from your research.
To write a clear and complete explanation, you should research more than
just one website or artinocle.3(pro and con
not writing your opinion. Rather, you’re clearly explaining the concept
and why it’s important, required, necessary, controversial, and so on, to
a reader who has no prior knowledge of the subject. Since the reader is
presumed to know nothing of the subject, you must cover the material
completely and thoroughly so that the reader gains a firm understanding
without having to go to any other source of information.
In the conclusion, you restate your purpose and bring your paper to a
close by providing a final insight into your research or the significance
of your topic.
If your project
involves a series of questions, make sure to answer each question in a complete
paragraph or two. Include an introductory sentence, a paragraph of explanation,
and a concluding sentence. These three elements should include the same
information as the introduction, body, and conclusion of a research paper.
References and Citations
citations are essential parts of a research project. Now, you’ll explore
exactly what these are.
At the end of your
project, you must include a separate page that includes a properly formatted
listing of all materials used from any outside source. The list should include
any books, magazines, journals, newspapers, interviews, websites, and other
electronic resources that you’ve used in gathering information. Each reference
should have at least one corresponding citation in the text of your project.
The purpose of the reference list is to provide the reader with enough
information to find your sources.
Whenever you use
information from an outside source, you must indicate that the information
isn’t your own but belongs to someone else. You must show (in your written
document wherever the information appears) where you found the information and
give credit to the original author. Any time you use a word-for-word quote,
restate another person’s ideas but change the wording, or summarize
information, facts, studies, or theories, you must cite the source information.
Citations aren’t located at the end of your paper but appear within the
sentences of the document, or as footnotes.
If you don’t give
credit (cite the source) when using someone else’s information or ideas, you’re
plagiarizing that person’s work. Plagiarism is unethical behavior and is
subject to a grade of zero and/or disciplinary action.
The academic world
recognizes several different citation and reference styles. Penn Foster has
chosen to use the style of the American Psychological Association (APA) for
this research project. The Penn Foster Student Library includes extensive
information on research papers in general, and citation and references in
particular including the APA style guide. You can access the library from your
The directions for each research project include six sections:
tell you what you’re to do to successfully complete your project, as well as
how you’ll be graded. Your project will be graded for content, written communication,
and format. The value of each element, which varies from project to project,
will appear in the project assignment.
You must complete
the project as directed. Failure to do so will be reflected in your grade.
You may now continue
with your assignment, or consult the Penn Foster Library’s Guidebooks and Tips
section to read the information provided there on writing a research paper, the
basics of citation, and APA style.
Good luck with your
Prepare a detailed report on the topic you choose, including
Describe the background and
basic issue of your chosen topic.
Describe the basic argument of
Identify the strengths and
weaknesses of both views.
Choose which view you agree
with (only in the conclusion).
Explain why you agree with that
information you learned about your chosen topic from this course, but don’t
limit your discussion to the textbook and study guide. Take advantage of
external resources to provide an in-depth, comprehensive report.
This assignment is
designed to help you apply what you’ve learned from your lessons by researching
and writing about a controversial topic you’ve studied and to give you an
opportunity to demonstrate your written communication, research, and critical
Type your submission,
double-spaced, in a Times New Roman font, size 12. Use a standard document
format with 1-inch margins. (Don’t use any fancy or cursive fonts.)
Read the assignment carefully,
and address the topic suggested.
Be specific. Limit your
submission to the topic suggested.
Use proper APA formatting.
Include in-text citations and a reference page in APA style. On this page,
list websites, journals, and all other references used in preparing the
submission. Also, include a cover page and in-text citations. For
assistance with this project and APA in-text citations and references,