Writing Assignment 6

Writing Assignment 6

Writing Assignment:

For this week’s critical skills assignment, you formulated a research question from a broad topic.  This week’s writing assignment will teach you how to write the introduction and a supporting paragraph for a research paper.

A research paper starts with an introductory paragraph that generally explains the broad topic of interest and narrows sentence after sentence until you as the author reveal your research question.  In order to come up with a specific research question, you had to perform preliminary research where you learned more about the topic.  For instance, I was researching “Climate Change” and came across the concept of a “Polar Vortex”.  In researching a Polar Vortex, I learned a bit about climate change, and how a polar vortex is a symptom of receding polar ice and specifically what causes it to occur.  So if my research question is “will the reduction in polar ice cause an increase in the number of polar vortex events annually?” I am going to need to introduce some of the same background information I researched to the reader so that they can understand my specific question.

For a walkthrough that will show you how to craft your paragraph, look here (Writing an introduction)

  1. Your introductory paragraph should introduce your topic and sentence by sentence, get more specific with presenting information until you can state your research question.  Make sure to include your broad topic and your research questions should be near the end of the paragraph.  The example below is an introductory paragraph

“Although use of the geomagnetic field in spatial orientation has been documented in a wide range of taxa, discovery of the underlying morphological structure(s) and physiological mechanism(s) remains enigmatic.  Evidence for magnetoreception has been obtained in groups as phylogenetically diverse as all major classes of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals) and several classes of invertebrates.  Recent studies have provided evidence for a light dependent magnetoreception mechanism involving specialized photoreceptors.  Ritz et al. (2000) proposed that the light-dependent magnetic compass of most animals may be mediated by a photo-excited biochemical reaction that forms long lived radical-pair intermediates (“radical- pair mechanism” or RPM). Cryptochromes, best known for their role in circadian rhythms, are the only class of animal photopigments that form radical-pair intermediates, and have been proposed to be an essential component of the light-dependent magnetic compass.  This research aims at determining the possible link between cyrptochrome proteins and their potential involvement with light mediated magnetic orientation.”

The introduction starts with broad information letting the reader know about magnetic orientation, and that while know for a while, how magnetic orientation is performed is still a mystery.  We get more specific by talking about the broad range of animals that can use magnetic information, and then more specific to indicate what research is out there to show what type of mechanism it could be.  Finally after more information, you wind up at the end of your paragraph with your specific research question, and will then use information from your sources to attempt to answer the question and provide the reader with more information.  Don’t focus on the complex terms in the example but instead look at the format.  It’s written in the third person, starts with broad ideas and focuses, like a funnel, until you reach your research question.

  • You will also write 1 supporting paragraph.  Choosing your strongest of your 3 articles, use information from that article to present more information about your research question.

For this assignment, you do NOT need to fully format your paper in APA.  Please use APA in text citations, an APA citation or references page, and use 12 point font of your choosing with 1 inch margins to complete this assignment.  

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