The first section of this chapter will introduce you to broad concepts associated with adding support to your ideas and providing documentation—citations and references—when you use sources in your papers.
Using Primary and Secondary Research As you write your draft, be mindful of how you are using primary and secondary source material to support your points.
For instance, if a writer’s purpose is to inform readers about how the American No Child Left Behind legislation has affected elementary education in the United States, a magazine article on the subject would be a secondary source.
However, suppose the writer’s purpose is to analyze how the news media has portrayed the effects of the No Child Left Behind legislation.
Because he was relying on secondary sources to support his ideas, he made a point of citing sources that were not far removed from primary research.
Tip Some sources could be considered primary or secondary sources, depending on the writer’s purpose for using them.In that case, articles about the legislation in news magazines like would be primary sources.They provide firsthand examples of the media coverage the writer is analyzing.Avoiding Plagiarism Your research paper presents your thinking about a topic, supported and developed by other people’s ideas and information.It is crucial to always distinguish between the two—as you conduct research, as you plan your paper, and as you write. Intentional and Accidental Plagiarism Plagiarism is the act of misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own.A paper that presents an original experiment would include some discussion of similar prior research in the field.Jorge, who is preparing his essay on low-carbohydrate diets, knew he did not have the time, resources, or experience needed to conduct original experimental research for his paper.In this chapter you are going to learn more about compiling references and citations.You will also learn strategies for handling some of the more challenging aspects of writing a research paper, such as integrating material from your sources, citing information correctly, and avoiding any misuse of your sources.A writer who procrastinates may rush through a draft, which easily leads to sloppy paraphrasing and inaccurate quotations.Any of these actions can create the appearance of plagiarism and lead to negative consequences.