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The Research Organizer

INSTRUCTORS - Are your students' research papers of the highest quality?

Author: Suzanne Medina,Ph.D.

No? You are not alone. Many professors are disappointed with the poor quality. Yet, they continue assigning the research paper because they believe that the research paper is an important part of a student's education.

Writing a research paper requires strong organizational skills. Students must tend to the details associated with each of the paper writing phases: selecting a topic, searching for articles and books, locating them, organizing notes, creating an outline, writing the paper, formatting the APA reference list.

Unfortunately, many students miss many essential details because the have not been trained to use "expert research strategies." As a result, the papers are disappointing to you, the professor. In fact, sometimes students are so overwhelmed by the enormity of the task that they resort to plagiarizing. While you realize that many students require training, you cannot spare class time to teach these skills. So what can you do ?

One professor who experienced these same problems sought and found a solution: The Research Organizer. This professor created a kit which keeps students on-course and organized through the research process. By reading the Research Organizer booklet, students are guided step-by-step through the process. They learn to use "expert" strategies that help them work "smarter." Students locate numerous, quality sources of information on their paper topics. Furthermore, the pre-formatted APA research slips help students to properly format the bibliography in minutes. By eliminating the frustration and providing direction, the quality of student papers is greater. Because the kit can be used independently, little or no class time is needed to teach these valuable research skills.

BENEFITS TO STUDENTS

With The Research Organizer, students will:

  • Save time searching the internet and library databases for books and journals.

  • Learn"expert" database search strategies that help them find numerous articles on their paper topic.

  • Save hours gathering books and journal articles from the internet and library.

  • Generate an APA-formatted bibliography in minutes.

  • Save money. There will be little need to purchase the APA manual in order to format their references properly.

  • Spend significantly less time performing tedious and time-consuming research tasks.

  • Feel more "in control" of the situation and less stressed.

BENEFITS REPORTED BY OTHER PROFESSORS

When other professors have used The Research Organizer, they have:
  • Enjoyed reading student papers. Rather than focussing on format issues, they were able to concentrate to a greater extent on research paper content.

  • Found that research papers were better organized and more substantive.

  • Found that students were less inclined to plagiarize when Research Organizer use was required.

  • Were surprised to find that reference lists were accurately formatted according to the APA manual and not riddled with formatting errors.

  • Noticed an improvement in the quality of the documents cited in the reference list.

  • Noted that students did not complain about not being able to find information on their paper topics. Thanks to the expert-strategies in the booklet, students found numerous articles on their topics.

  • Noticed that students were less stressed and therefore were less inclined to vent either verbally or on written teaching evaluations.

  • Learned that students appreciated their professors' efforts to save them money on texts.


RESEARCH ORGANIZER CONTENTS

The Research Organizer comes with the following:
  • APA pre-formatted "research slips" that do not allow students to overlook critical information needed to cite books, book articles, journal articles, internet articles, or ERIC documents in their reference lists. As a result, the reference lists were correctly formatted according to the APA.

  • A plastic carrying case that helps students keep their Research Organizer research slips together in one place.

  • Dividers that help students keep students moving through the research process and keep research slips together.

  • A Research Organizer booklet which describes the step-by-step process that is needed to systematically identify and gather information on one's paper topic. It provides numerous time-saving tips that students are able to use in your class and other classes.


FOR WHICH TYPE OF STUDENT IS THE RESEARCH ORGANIZER BEST SUITED ?

The Research Organizer is appropriate for several types of students:

  • Native speakers of English and advanced non-native speakers as well.

  • University undergraduate students.

  • University students working on an M.A. thesis.

  • University doctoral students writing the dissertation literature review.

  • College-bound high school students who want to excel once they are studying at the university or college level.


HOW CAN I USE THE RESEARCH ORGANIZER WITH MY STUDENTS?

We have prepared a document which describes in greater detail how you can incorporate the Research Organizer into your courses so that you and your students reap the full benefits. CLICK HERE if you would like to receive this document and learn about a tool that can help you and your students write quality research papers.

QUESTIONS ?

If you have any questions, please click here. We look forward to hearing from you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

To learn more about the author, Dr. Suzanne Medina, click here.



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