the research method

meant to be an October 4, 2012 post

I am not a fan of research papers.  Unless I am shamelessly in love with the topic, for the most part, I just stare at them in complete and utter loathing.  I would much rather spend the weekend hanging out with James Franco, than write a research paper; and let me tell you, I really hate James Franco.  The man-turd.

However, as a college student, I frequently find myself in the unpleasant situation of having to write research papers.  These professors are clever though, they allow us to ‘choose our own topic.’  Sounds great right?  Well it is great.  It’s fantastic!  I can research and write about whatever I want and it is beautiful.  Except now it’s required.  And something I love and am interested in has just become work.  Suddenly James Franco is looking pretty good.

Once a beginning college writer has picked their poison, they need to one of the three methods of research: Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting; or as I like to call them SPQ, pronounced frenetically as “spequa.”  Kinda catchy.  But what is SPQ?  Aren’t they all just kind of the same thing?

No, they are not you Franco-worshiping creaton.

Summarizing: The writing style of taking taking the main points of what you read and putting it into your own words.

Paraphrasing:  The writing style of putting an entire passage into your own words.

Quoting:  The style of writing, where you write down exactly what the text says but with quotation marks around it.  This is also known as “socially acceptable plagiarism.”

Now ideally, one will use a combination of all three styles when writing a research paper.  Summarizing should be used when you wish to give a brief overview of the text.  Paraphrasing should be used when you need to focus on a certain point a text had given.  Quoting should be used when you wish to give evidence to a point, or if you can’t figure out how to paraphrase.  That was joke, I do that on occasion.

This has been Lauren the Largemouth Bass and should I really be giving writing instructions to anyone?


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