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Online Guide to Writing and Research

The Research Process

The Research Assignment

Why Perform Research?

When you engage in research, you build valuable critical skills that serve you in other areas of your daily life. You learn to ask probing and thoughtful questions, gather and interpret data, read critically, form intelligent opinions, and manage and understand conflicting information. In addition, when you write about your discoveries, your voice is then added to a scholarly community that you are now a part of.    

Professors assign academic research papers to give you experience in

  • finding and understanding data and information

  • formulating informed opinions through the study of what you found researching

  • adding your voice to the academic conversation of other writers and scholars in your field

  • learning how others in your field use primary and secondary resources  

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of a research paper is to show a student how to enter the stream of discourse within an academic community.

  • Research papers also give you experience in manipulating raw data and information, formulating informed opinions, and learning how others in your field use primary and secondary resources. 

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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing