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Writing Research Papers: Chapters 5-6 Summaries, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 803

Essay

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 of Writing Research Papers is titled Gathering Data in the Library. The first few sections of this chapter deal with launching the search, developing a working bibliography and finding books on your topic. These are the first steps to starting a research project once a topic has been chosen, and are vital to the beginning phase of finding relevant and appropriate research materials (Lester & Lester, 2014, pp. 66-73).

The next few sections explain how to use indexes, abstracts and biographies and examines the importance of implementing these methods in the research process. You can find indexes by topics of the appendices, and the text lists indexes that are important to use during the early stages of research in order to find general and relevant information (2014, pp. 74-76). Examples are given of the types of indexes that are available, which include the Social Sciences Index and the Humanities Index (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 77). This chapter also explains the usefulness of abstracts during research, because they provide a succinct summary of longer works, therefore you can conduct your research quicker with the use of one of these indexes (2014, p. 77). Searching for a biography is also extremely useful for research, because biographies provide historical data that can often be used (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 78). Examples are given, which include the Biography Index, the Current Biography Yearbook and The Dictionary of Literary Biography. These indexes will help you find books, articles and abstracts (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 79).

Searching for articles in newspaper indexes, as well as special subject directories is described and examples and hints are given as how to make the search more productive and easier. Searching newspaper indexes will connect you with over 800 newspapers across the nation (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 79). The text explains that subject directories will conduct searches that feature articles with common topics (2014, p. 80). Two special subject directories are Social Issues Resources Series (SIRS) and The CQ Researcher, and both will collect multiple articles on a specific topic and present them in one unit (Lester & Lester, 2014, pp. 80-81). The CQ Researcher will examine topic issues, give background information, show important events, give outlooks on the topic and provide an annotated bibliography (Lester & Lester, 2014. p. 81).

The last topics that chapter 5 examines are searching government documents and searching for essays within books. Government documents provide a great deal of research data that can include congressional bills, congressional record, economic indicators, public laws and the US Constitution (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 81). Searching for essays within books, as stated in the text, is often time consuming and daunting, so it is useful and will save time to use The Essay and General Literature Index, which helps you find essays that are hidden within anthologies (2014, p. 82).

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 of the text discusses and examines how to conduct field research. Field research are studies that take place outside of the library, which can help you find  both primary and secondary data (2014, p. 84). Conducting field research requires investigation of local sources, reading personal papers, attending lectures and public addresses, investigating government documents, examining audiovisual materials, conducting surveys and conducting experiments and tests (Lester & Lester, 2014, pp. 85-93).

Investigating local sources can start with writing letters and emails to directly contact the sources, also important with letters and emails is the written records of the research (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 85). Also included in this chapter is the aspect of conducting field research is reading personal papers, such as letters, diaries and manuscripts, which provide first-hand accounts (2014, pp. 86-87). Attending lectures and public addresses is also sometimes necessary to obtain useful research on a topic, and it is important to take careful notes when in attendance (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 87). The next form of field research included in the text is investigating government documents, which include local, state and federal governments (2014, p. 88). This can be accomplished by visiting local courthouses or clerk offices, phoning state or federal courts and offices, or using online index searches (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 88). The last methods of conducting discussed in chapter 6 of the text is examining audiovisual materials and conducting surveys and experiments. Audio materials are available all over, on campus, off campus, libraries and online (Lester & Lester, 2014, p. 89). Lastly, conducting surveys with questionnaires and experiments will give you current data direct from the source. Conducting experiments include empirical research and observation, and relies on either forming a hypothesis before the research, or letting the results of the experiment lead to a conclusion (Lester & Lester, 2014, pp. 90-91).

References

Lester, J., & Lester, J. (2014). Writing research papers: A complete guide (15th ed.). New York: Pearson/Longman.

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