The Craft of Research

I Research, Researchers, and Readers

1 Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private

1.1 What Is Research?

1.2 Why Write It Up?

1.3 Why a Formal Report?

1.4 Writing Is Thinking

2 Connecting with Your Reader: (Re-)Creating Yourself and your readers

2.1 Creating Roles for Yourself and Your Readers

2.2 Understanding Your Role

2.3 Imagining Your Reader’s Role

II. Questions and Answers

II Asking Questions, Finding Answers

3 From Topics to Questions

Creating a Writing Group

3.1 From an Interest to a Topic

3.2 From a Broad Topic to a Focused One

3.3 From a Focused Topic to Questions

3.4 From a Question to Its Significance

Finding Topics

4 From Questions to a Problem

4.1 Distinguishing Practical and Research Problems

4.2 Understanding the Common Structure of Problems

4.3 Finding a Good Research Problem

4.4 Learning to Work with Problems

Manage the Unavoidable Problem of Inexperience

5 From Problems to Sources

5.1 Knowing How to Use Three Kinds of Sources

5.2 Locating Sources through a Library

5.3 Locating Sources on the Internet

5.4 Evaluating Sources for Relevance and Reliability

5.5 Following Bibliographical Trails

5.6 Looking beyond Predictable Sources

5.7 Using People as Primary Sources

The Ethics of Using People as Sources of Data

6 Engaging Sources

6.1 Knowing What Kind of Evidence to Look For

6.2 Record Complete Bibliographical Data

6.3 Engaging Sources Actively

6.4 Using Secondary Sources to Find a Problem

6.5 Using Secondary Sources to Plan Your Argument

6.6 Recording What You Find

Manage Moments of Normal Anxiety


7 Making Good Arguments: An Overview

Assembling Research Arguments

7.1 Argument as a Conversation with Readers

7.2 Supporting Your Claim

7.3 Acknowledging and Responding to Anticipated Questions

and Objections

7.4 Warranting the Relevance of Your Reasons

7.5 Building a Complex Argument Out of Simple Ones

7.6 Creating an Ethos by Thickening Your Argument

A Common Mistake—Falling Back on What You Know

8 Making Claims

8.1 Determining the Kind of Claim You Should Make

8.2 Evaluating Your Claim

Qualifying Claims to Enhance Your Credibility

9 Assembling Reasons and Evidence

9.1 Using Reasons to Plan Your Argument

9.2 Distinguishing Evidence from Reasons

9.3 Distinguishing Evidence from Reports of It

9.4 Evaluating Your Evidence

10 Acknowledgments and Responses

10.1 Questioning Your Argument as Your Readers Will

10.2 Imagining Alternatives to Your Argument

10.3 Deciding What to Acknowledge

10.4 Framing Your Responses as Subordinate Arguments

10.5 The Vocabulary of Acknowledgment and Response

Three Predictable Disagreements

11 Warrants

11.1 Warrants in Everyday Reasoning

11.2 Warrants in Academic Arguments

11.3 Understanding the Logic of Warrants

11.4 Testing Whether a Warrant Is Reliable

11.5 Knowing When to State a Warrant

11.6 Challenging Others’ Warrants

Two Kinds of Arguments

IV. Planning, Drafting, Revising

12 Planning

Outlining and Storyboarding

12.1 Avoid Three Common but Flawed Plans

12.2 Planning Your Report

13 Drafting Your Report

13.1 Draft in a Way That Feels Comfortable

13.2 Use Key Words to Keep Yourself on Track

13.3 Quote, Paraphrase, and Summarize Appropriately

13.4 Integrating Direct Quotations into Your Text

13.5 Show Readers How Evidence Is Relevant

13.6 Guard against Inadvertent Plagiarism

13.7 The Social Importance of Citing Sources

13.8 Four Common Citation Styles

13.9 Work through Procrastination and Writer’s Block

Indicating Citations in Your Text

14 Revising Your Organization and Argument

14.1 Thinking Like a Reader

14.2 Revising the Frame of Your Report

14.3 Revising Your Argument

14.4 Revising the Organization of Your Report

14.5 Check Your Paragraphs

14.6 Let Your Draft Cool, Then Paraphrase It


15 Communicating Evidence Visually

15.1 Choosing Visual or Verbal Representations

15.2 Choosing the Most Effective Graphic

15.3 Designing Tables, Charts, and Graphs

15.4 Specific Guidelines for Tables, Bar Charts, and Line Graphs

15.5 Communicating Data Ethically

16 Introductions and Conclusions

16.1 The Common Structure of Introductions

16.2 Step 1: Establish Common Ground

16.3 Step 2: State Your Problem

16.4 Step 3: State Your Response

16.5 Setting the Right Pace for Your Introduction

16.6 Writing Your Conclusion

16.7 Finding Your First Few Words

16.8 Finding Your Last Few Words


17 Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly

17.1 Judging Style

17.2 The First Two Principles of Clear Writing

17.3 A Third Principle: Old before New

17.4 Choosing between Active and Passive

17.5 A Final Principle: Complexity Last

17.6 Spit and Polish

The Quickest Revision Strategy