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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Procedure for Writing a Research Paper

1. Look for the books and articles that are related to the topic

a) Primary Sources:

i) Concept

ii) Work done as historical survey in the area. Papers in Research Journals have recapitulation of the historical developments which saves you time

iii) Primary Text: Look for authentic texts, Look for the publishers

Times of India or wikipaedia are not authentic sources

b) Secondary sources: Look also to secondary sources. People who have explained the concepts of the key, original authors.

2. Where to look for books:

a) Library

i) Library usage: Find the library classification number of your interested area or areas.

ii) One must know the classification of language. E.g. Derrida may be found in Linguistics, not in philosophy

iii) Go to OPAC, use key word searches and other options. (some libraries give the content page also in the search programmes

iv) Look at journals. Well researched journals will have articles of about 20 pages. In the first five or six you will have the review of the literature in the field.

v) Then go to the bibliography of these articles

vi) Do not reinvent the wheel. So build on what others have established.


How to distinguish a good article from a bad one?

1. Look at the bibliography

2. You know them intuitively. Gadamer, Heidegger and the like tell us that we have a prereflective knowledge. Even so you will know an article for its worth when we read it.

3. The clarity of thought, is one way to look at the worth of the article

3. Make a list of all the articles and books you will have to read.

4. Start collecting them

5. Read them

6. Write or key in as you read. Do not think of writing from Alpha to Omega at one go.

7. When you write, see that complete citation is given at the time of writing. If you postpone this you waste time.

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