Kristi Siegel
English Department
Mount Mary College
Module Three - Writing a Research Paper (Women's Leadership)
Women's Leadership?
In Module Three you will be focusing on writing a research paper. You will be concentrating on selecting an interesting and specific topic, gathering information, assessing the information, using quotations effectively, conducting interviews (as a source of information), using interviews in the paper effectively, and documenting sources correctly using either the MLA or APA format.  If it helps, think of a research paper as an essay with documentation.

For the paper, you will need to select a topic that treats some aspect of "Women's Leadership."  
Here's an interesting side-note.  Geocities just added a nice photo collection.  However, when I checked under the category of Photos_Jobs only men were pictured.  Under Photos_People women appear as mothers or as the interesting lady above ... We've come a long way, baby?
Research Paper - Exploring Leadership

Beyond teaching you the proper form and techniques for writing a research paper, I'd like your "research" itself to serve a purpose.  Accordingly, your paper will focus on the leadership challenges, choices, issues particularly faced by women.  You could consider what qualities a (woman) leader possesses and research a woman leader who fits your definition; you could research how to become a "leader" in your chosen field; you could question (and research) whether boys are culturally encouraged more than girls to become leaders; you could focus on what fields seem to discourage women as leaders; you could focus on leadership from a historical perspective, and on and on and on.  You will be required to use the following in your research paper:

* References to at least two secondary books, articles, brochures, manuals, etc.

* References to one or more interviews. You should interview at least one person who relates to the angle of leadership you are researching.

To write your research paper well, I recommend the following procedure:

* Take notes. There is a wrong way and a right way to take notes.  The wrong way to take notes is to take down all the information word for word or to photocopy everything.  With either of these two methods, you are not doing any real thinking or engaging yourself with material.  A good note taker always evaluates the information (does this information suit my purpose?) and then paraphrases the author's words so there won't be any chance of plagiarism. Any words that are taken directly from the source are put in quotation marks.  Clearly identify the source and page numbers on each note card.

* Formulate and refine your thesisWhat did you find was the most interesting aspect of your idea about leadership?  As you cannot cover every aspect in four to five pages, weed out material that is less important or interesting and try to give your paper shape and focus.

* Plan. How will you present your information?  At this point, just as you did when you wrote your previous papers, you will begin to integrate all the techniques of composition (e.g., illustration, definition, comparison/contrast, narration, dialogue, etc.) to best suit your purpose.  By making an outline of your paper's plan you will increase your understanding of the topic and "test" whether you have collected sufficient data.

* Document your sources. When you write your research paper, you must document your sources correctly according to the MLA format or the APA format explained in your text [make sure to specify on your cover page whether you are using APA or  MLA format].  A large percentage of your grade will be based on how accurately you use and document secondary information, so review this section carefully.

* Revise carefully. After you write your rough draft, begin working on your revision.  Review the material on revising in in your text.  Your finished paper should not only be  thorough and accurate, but INTERESTING!

Your research paper will be judged by how well you accomplish the following:

1. Refine and shape your topic.
         2. Organize your information.
         3. Document your sources
         4. Incorporate the information from the interview into your paper
                 And . . .
         5. Interest your reader with your stunning and provocative presentation of materials.

First paper due - Thursday, November 2
Revised research paper due  - Saturday, November 11

Class schedule for Module Three