Have you checked out Questia’s Research Tutorials yet? The self-study research tutorials are designed to guide you through the steps of persuasive writing. Offering a virtual library of lesson plans, the tutorials provide tips and guidelines so you can write a more persuasive, researched and effective paper. You can access one or all of the tutorials, work at your own pace and stop and resume them later at a more convenient time.
Questia’s interactive tutorials cover many elements of a paper, including planning and outlining, conducting research in the library, integrating sources into your report and summarizing information. They even address plagiarism and writing in different documentation styles. Each of the 10 tutorials offers five video lessons, 10 quizzes to test you on what you just learned, and valuable tips.
Try Questia’s research tutorials for a free trial
To entice you to try the tutorials, the first one, Planning a Paper, is free. This tutorial gives advice on discovering what topics you’d like to write about, how to share ideas with your readers, and how to begin researching an effective argument or theme. You can also access all of the research tutorials with a free, one-day trial of Questia.
Now let’s visit some of the tutorials that can help you write with more authority and offer a persuasive argument.
The Integrating Sources Tutorial describes how integrating researched sources into your own writing smoothly helps you write a quality research paper.
The tutorial begins by explaining that you must first read your sources thoroughly and critically so you can gauge their value, credibility and usefulness as they apply to your particular report. Is it relevant to the claims you want to make in your paper? Examine the source to see if it explains and supports the specific points you are writing about. Next, the tutorial gives examples of how to extract the pertinent information you need.
Once you have valuable information, data and quotes, the tutorial helps you interpret those ideas and learn to connect them to your thesis or argument. How does it all quantify, qualify or perhaps even oppose your viewpoint? What are the relationships among the ideas you are presenting? The tutorial also offers tips on taking notes, excerpting, annotating and summarizing your source material.
To avoid plagiarism and passing someone else’s research and findings off as your own, you must paraphrase information you discover during your research. The Paraphrasing Sources Tutorial offers reasons and occasions when to paraphrase information, how to incorporate your paraphrased words into your report, and how to apply the words effectively to make a persuasive essay.
Paraphrase when you need to present information accurately and to reflect the main ideas and themes of another writer, scientist, politician, business person or any other source. The tutorial also gives you situations in which it is inappropriate to paraphrase. Besides avoiding plagiarizing another’s writing, you must also not alter or distort the information and inadvertently attribute ideas or words to a source that are incorrect.
While similar to avoiding plagiarizing, the art of summarizing is very important in writing with authority. The Summarizing Sources Tutorial helps you determine when and why you need to summarize information. Summarizing also allows you to keep your reader’s attention while you focus on your argument or theme.
When summarizing, be careful not to interject your own opinions or beliefs. Sometimes it’s easy to think the source agrees with you and you end up misinterpreting the material. The tutorial explains how to accurately read and analyze the source’s content and how to step back and be objective about what you’re reading. This is another good time to verify whether or not the source’s information will support your essay. The tutorial also offers guidelines on using summaries in an annotated bibliography.
Have you tried Questia’s research tutorials? Were they beneficial for you?
Still need some convincing? Why not try out a Questia free trial instead? Then you can access Questia.com’s Research Tutorials to start writing a more persuasive research paper.