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Research Papers

Introduction.

This overview of research paper strategies will focus on the type of research paper that uses library resources.

The research paper is a popular academic assignment. Forms of it are also used in various professional fields. The research paper gives you the opportunity to think seriously about some issue. Building on the research of others, you have the opportunity to contribute your own research and insights to a particular question of interest to you. It also gives you practice in important academic skills such as:

  • formulating research questions
  • conducting research
  • managing time
  • organizing information into coherent ideas
  • substantiating arguments with research in the field
  • and presenting insights about the research

Disciplines vary in their ways of conducting research, in writing research papers, and in the form of the final copy. See the  Complete Discipline Listing Guide (Purdue OWL)  of style guide information, with links to useful resources under each discipline.

Individual instructors may also vary in their expectations of a research paper. It is important that  you read the assignment carefully . Writing a research paper can be a very messy and fluid process, and the following is only a representation of commonly used steps.

  • Start by choosing a topic.
  • Then  narrow your topic .
  • Draft a main claim or  thesis statement  (which may easily change as you do the research).
  • Do the research. For more information, see guides on how to  evaluate websites  and other sources;  understanding primary vs. secondary sources ; incorporating references , and paraphrase and summary .
  • Organize the research. ( Outlining  can really help at this point.)
  • Draft. See  The Writing Process  for drafting ideas, tips, and suggestions.
  • Create your  bibliography or works cited  page.
  • Revise your draft.  Revise for content  and  for organization .
  • Edit and proofread  your final draft.

Two major types of research papers

Argumentative research paper: .

The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which you clearly introduce the topic and inform the audience exactly which stance you intend to take; this stance is often identified as the  thesis statement . An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial. To be debatable, someone must be able to argue against your position. For example, “Mozart was a composer” is a fact and cannot be argued against, but “Mozart was the best composer to ever live” is an opinion and can be argued against. 

You would support the thesis throughout the paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade the audience that the interpretation of the situation is viable. 

Analytical research paper: 

The analytical research paper often begins with asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which you have not taken a stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. 

It is not the intent to persuade the audience that your ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, the goal is to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress particular analysis of the topic. 

It is typically not until you have begun the writing process that the thesis statement begins to take solid form. In fact, the thesis statement in an analytical paper is often more fluid than the thesis in an argumentative paper. Such is one of the benefits of approaching the topic without a predetermined stance. 

Updated June 2022

University of Massachusetts Boston Communication Program

Notes on doing research and writing research papers, research skills and resources.

  • Productive Web Searches
  • Searching the World Wide Web
  • Getting started
  • Evaluating a Bibliographic Citation
  • Evaluating Content in the Source
  • Evaluating Internet Sources
  • Further Resources
  • Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format
  • Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
  • Formatting in Sociology
  • Resources for Documenting Sources (in any format)
  • Documenting Electronic Sources (in any format)

Writing Research Papers

  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • Writing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step List
  • Developing an Outline
  • Paraphrasing : exercise and answer key
  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
  • Sample Outline
  • Using Statistics

Purdue University OWL. 2002, retrieved October 14, 2002, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu .

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How to Write an Analytical Essay

Last Updated: February 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,988,113 times.

Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Don't worry! Take a deep breath, buy yourself a caffeinated beverage, and follow these steps to create a well-crafted analytical essay.

Prewriting for Your Essay

Step 1 Understand the objective of an analytical essay.

  • For example, "Stanley Kubrick's The Shining uses a repeating motif of Native American culture and art to comment on America's history of colonizing Native Americans' lands" is an analytical thesis. It is analyzing a particular text and setting forth an argument about it in the form of a thesis statement.

Step 2 Decide what to write about.

  • If you're writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could focus your argument on what motivates a specific character or group of characters. Or, you could argue why a certain line or paragraph is central to the work as a whole. For example: Explore the concept of vengeance in the epic poem Beowulf .
  • If you're writing about a historical event, try focusing on the forces that contributed to what happened.
  • If you're writing about scientific research or findings, follow the scientific method to analyze your results.

Step 3 Brainstorm.

  • Look for repeated imagery, metaphors, phrases, or ideas. Things that repeat are often important. See if you can decipher why these things are so crucial. Do they repeat in the same way each time, or differently?
  • How does the text work? If you're writing a rhetorical analysis, for example, you might analyze how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether you think the argument is effective. If you're analyzing a creative work, consider things like imagery, visuals in a film, etc. If you're analyzing research, you may want to consider the methods and results and analyze whether the experiment is a good design.
  • A mind map can be helpful to some people. Start with your central topic, and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles. Connect the bubbles to identify patterns and how things are related.
  • Good brainstorming can be all over the place. In fact, that can be a good way to start off! Don't discount any ideas just yet. Write down any element or fact that you think of as you examine your topic.

Step 4 Come up with...

  • This is an analytical thesis because it examines a text and makes a particular claim.
  • The claim is "arguable," meaning it's not a statement of pure fact that nobody could contest. An analytical essay takes a side and makes an argument.
  • Make sure your thesis is narrow enough to fit the scope of your assignment. "Revenge in Beowulf could be a PhD dissertation, it's so broad. It's probably much too big for a student essay. However, arguing that one character's revenge is more honorable than another's is manageable within a shorter student essay. [3] X Research source
  • Unless instructed to write one, avoid the "three-prong" thesis that presents three points to be discussed later. These thesis statements usually limit your analysis too much and give your argument a formulaic feel. It's okay to state generally what your argument will be.

Step 5 Find supporting evidence.

  • Example of supporting evidence : To support a claim that the dragon’s vengeance was more righteous than Grendel's mother's, look at the passages in the poem that discuss the events leading up to each monster’s attack, the attacks themselves, as well as the reactions to those attacks. Don't: ignore or twist evidence to fit your thesis. Do: adjust your thesis to a more nuanced position as you learn more about the topic.

Step 6 Make an ...

  • If you're not quite sure how all your evidence fits together, don't worry! Making an outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress.
  • You can also make a more informal outline that groups your ideas together in large groups. From there, you can decide what to talk about where.
  • Your essay will be as long as it needs to be to adequately discuss your topic. A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and then allow only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it. This makes essays feel shallow or rushed. Don't be afraid to spend enough time discussing each detail!

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your ...

  • Example introduction : Revenge was a legally recognized right in ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The many revenges in the epic poem Beowulf show that retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age. However, not all revenges are created alike. The poet's portrayal of these revenges suggests that the dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than Grendel's mother.
  • This introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument, and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic (revenge) in the poem. This type of argument can be interesting because it suggests that the reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value. Don't: include filler and fluff sentences beginning with "In modern society" or "Throughout time." Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing.

Step 2 Write your body paragraphs.

  • Example topic sentence : The key to differentiating between the two attacks is the notion of excessive retribution.
  • Example analysis : Grendel's mother does not simply want vengeance, as per the Medieval concept of ‘an eye for an eye.’ Instead, she wants to take a life for a life while also throwing Hrothgar’s kingdom into chaos.
  • Example evidence : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294). She does this to lure Beowulf away from Heorot so she can kill him as well.
  • The formula "CEE" may help you remember: Claim-Evidence-Explanation. Whenever you present a claim, make sure you present evidence to support that claim and explain how the evidence relates to your claim.

Step 3 Know when to quote or paraphrase.

  • Example of a quote : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294).
  • Example of a paraphrased sentence : The female Grendel enters Heorot, snatches up one of the men sleeping inside it, and runs away to the fen (1294).

Step 4 Write your conclusion.

  • Example conclusion : The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent.
  • Example conclusion with a ‘bigger world connection’: The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent. As we saw from the study of other characters, these portrayals may tie into an early Medieval perception that women had greater potential for evil.

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Proofread your essay for spelling or grammar mistakes.

  • Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, using a 12-pt standard font (like Arial or Times New Roman) and 1" margins is standard.

Step 2 Read your paper out loud.

  • If you are analyzing a film, look up the list of characters online. Check two or three sources to make sure that you have the correct spelling.

Step 4 Read your paper as if you were your teacher.

Analytical Essay Writing Help

purdue owl analytical research paper

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask yourself "What am I trying to prove?" The answer should be in your thesis. If not, go back and fix it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are writing a formal analysis or critique, then avoid using colloquial writing . Though informal language may bring some color to a paper, you do not want to risk weakening your argument by influencing it with verbal slang. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid being too vague. Vagueness leaves room for misinterpretation and in a coherent, analytical essay, leaving room for misinterpretation decreases the effectiveness of your argument. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

purdue owl analytical research paper

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Write a Language Analysis

  • ↑ https://www.stetson.edu/other/writing-center/media/Handout%20-%20Analytical%20Essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/rsrchppr.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-can-i-create-stronger-analysis-.html
  • ↑ https://academics.umw.edu/writing-fredericksburg/files/2011/09/Basic-Outlines.pdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/proofreading

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write an analytical essay, first write an introduction that gives your reader background information and introduces your thesis. Then, write body paragraphs in support of your thesis that include a topic sentence, an analysis of some part of the text, and evidence from the text that supports your analysis. You can use direct quotes from the text that support your point of view or paraphrase if you’re trying to summarize information. Finally, complete your essay with a conclusion that reiterates your thesis and your primary support for it. To learn from our English reviewer how to come up with your thesis statement and find evidence that supports it, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Writing Literature Reviews

  • Literature Review Overview
  • Organizing Your Lit Review
  • Tips for Writing Your Lit Review

Need Assistance?

Find your librarian, schedule a research appointment, today's hours : , what is a literature review.

A literature review ought to be a clear, concise synthesis of relevant information. A literature review should introduce the study it precedes and show how that study fits into topically related studies that already exist. Structurally, a literature review ought to be something like a funnel: start by addressing the topic broadly and gradually narrow as the review progresses.

from Literature Reviews by CU Writing Center

Why review the literature?

Reference to prior literature is a defining feature of academic and research writing. Why review the literature?

  • To help you understand a research topic
  • To establish the importance of a topic
  • To help develop your own ideas
  • To make sure you are not simply replicating research that others have already successfully completed
  • To demonstrate knowledge and show how your current work is situated within, builds on, or departs from earlier publications

from Literature Review Basics from University of La Verne

Tips & Tricks

Before writing your own literature review, take a look at these resources which share helpful tips and tricks:

Lectures & Slides

  • Literature Reviews | CU Writing Center
  • Writing a Literature Review | CU Writing Center
  • Revising a Literature Review | CU Writing Center
  • Literature Reviews: How to Find and Do Them
  • Literature Reviews: An Overview

How-To Guides

  • Literature Reviews | Purdue OWL
  • Literature Reviews | University of North Carolina
  • Learn How to Write a Review of Literature | University of Wisconsin
  • Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide | University of Connecticut
  • Literature Reviews | Florida A & M
  • Conduct a Literature Review | SUNY
  • Literature Review Basics | University of LaVerne

Sample Literature Reviews

  • Sample Literature Reviews | University of West Florida
  • Sample APA Papers: Literature Review | Purdue OWL
  • Next: Organizing Your Lit Review >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 24, 2020 3:12 PM
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APA Style Help & Tools

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  • Adding References to Papers (PDF)
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Learn how to avoid plagiarism and self-plagiarism, including how to identify plagiarism, understand its risks and consequences, cite sources properly, and develop sound writing practices.

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Learn how to set up the title page of an APA Style paper, including the page header and running head, title, author name and affiliation, and author note.

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Paper Template: ("Merenda" Sample Student Paper)

This sample response paper presents a university student's personal reaction to an article about whether medication is prescribed too often to young children to treat psychological disorders. The title page demonstrates the simple default layout for a student paper. The paper has a simple setup with only a title page, body of text, and references. No "running head"! Response papers typically do not include author notes or abstracts, though this may vary by assignment.

Visit the Writing Center

Need writing help?  Visit the Writing Center to contact a tutor, submit your paper for review and feedback, or ask APA Style-related questions, as well as access dozens of writing tutorials, videos, webinars, and other instructional resources.

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PG Writing Center's Top APA Links

  • Common Citations in APA Format
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  • APA (7th Edition) Demystified in 5 Minutes Video
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Zotero: Free Reference Management Tool

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. This tool is especially popular for heavy researchers at the grad level and above.

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IMAGES

  1. Purdue Owl Research Paper

    purdue owl analytical research paper

  2. Mla Paper Sample Purdue Owl

    purdue owl analytical research paper

  3. Purdue OWL_ APA Formatting and Style Guide

    purdue owl analytical research paper

  4. Example Of A Research Paper Purdue Owl

    purdue owl analytical research paper

  5. Apa Paper Purdue Owl Sample

    purdue owl analytical research paper

  6. Apa Paper Purdue Owl Sample

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VIDEO

  1. Purdue OWL: Thesis Statements

  2. Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

  3. How To Use The OWL @ Purdue Online Writing Lab Overview

  4. APA: Overview of Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)

  5. Using the Purdue/Owl Citation Generator

  6. APA Reference Lists: A More Detailed Explanation

COMMENTS

  1. Writing a Research Paper

    The pages in this section cover the following topic areas related to the process of writing a research paper: Genre - This section will provide an overview for understanding the difference between an analytical and argumentative research paper. Choosing a Topic - This section will guide the student through the process of choosing topics ...

  2. APA Sample Paper

    However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in student style and one in professional style. Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples. Those authored by [AF] denote explanations of formatting and [AWC] denote directions ...

  3. Research and Citation Resources

    APA Style (7th Edition) These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

  4. How to Write an APA Methods Section

    To structure your methods section, you can use the subheadings of "Participants," "Materials," and "Procedures.". These headings are not mandatory—aim to organize your methods section using subheadings that make sense for your specific study. Note that not all of these topics will necessarily be relevant for your study.

  5. A Resource Guide for Consulting with Graduate Students

    Purdue Writing Lab/Purdue OWL 12-2020 A Resource Guide for Consulting with Graduate Students Mitch Hobza ... between disciplines. These are the means, or analytical tools, used to collect and interpret data. These are the ... IMRaD Model of Research Paper Organization • Establish a Step 2:

  6. MLA Sample Paper

    MLA Sample Paper. This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, click this link.

  7. Research Papers

    See the Complete Discipline Listing Guide (Purdue OWL) of style guide information, with links to useful resources under each discipline. Individual instructors may also vary in their expectations of a research paper. ... Analytical research paper: The analytical research paper often begins with asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on ...

  8. Purdue Writing Lab/Purdue OWL

    The Online Writing Lab (OWL) has been an extension of the Writing Lab since 1993, and offers global support through online reference materials and services. The Writing Lab and OWL, both part of the Department of English, are informed by and engage in research within the discipline of Composition and Rhetoric, including the subfields of writing ...

  9. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) Research Report

    Abstract. This report outlines the history of the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and details the OWL Usability Project through the summer of 2006. The paper also discusses test methodologies, describes test methods, provides participant demographics, and presents findings and recommendations of the tests.

  10. Sample papers

    The following two sample papers were published in annotated form in the Publication Manual and are reproduced here as PDFs for your ease of use. The annotations draw attention to content and formatting and provide the relevant sections of the Publication Manual (7th ed.) to consult for more information.. Student sample paper with annotations (PDF, 4.95MB)

  11. Purdue OWL Guidelines for Researching and Writing

    The following links -- each to "places" on the Purdue University OWL (Online Writing Lab) -- should be referred to *always*. They provide you with sound advice and guidelines concerning everthing from planning your research and assessing your electronic sources to the mechanics of citing your sources in your text and listing them at the end of ...

  12. PDF PowerPoint Presentation

    The analytical research paper relies on your ability to gather data from reliable sources. It is important to have a clear and deep understanding of your topic since ... Purdue Owl. "Genre and the Research Paper." Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab. 2021. University of Minnesota Libraries. "The Purpose of Research Writing." Writing For Success.

  13. How to Write an Analytical Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

    Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing. 2. Write your body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should have 1) a topic sentence, 2) an analysis of some part of the text and 3) evidence from the text that supports your analysis and your thesis statement.

  14. 13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

    Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch. Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point). Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section.

  15. Literature Review Overview

    A literature review should introduce the study it precedes and show how that study fits into topically related studies that already exist. Structurally, a literature review ought to be something like a funnel: start by addressing the topic broadly and gradually narrow as the review progresses. from Literature Reviews by CU Writing Center.

  16. Purdue OWL

    Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Sixth Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 56). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences.

  17. Library: Purdue Global Library: APA Style Help & Tools

    Using Academic Writer's Writing Tools. Academic Writer contains a Writing section where you can create and write a full APA-formatted paper. You can write the entire paper in Academic Writer or just use it to setup the title page, headings, and references. Export your work at any time to a Microsoft Word document.

  18. PDF Sample Student Paper

    Sample Student Paper paper title, 2.4, 2.27, Table 2.1, Figure 2.4 parenthetical citation of a work with two authors, 8.17 parenthetical citation of a work with one author, 8.17 group author, 9.11 use of first person, 4.16 italics to highlight a key term, 6.22 narrative citation in parenthetical running text, 8.11 repeated citation needed, 8.1

  19. PDF Original Proposal Field Survival Manual

    Keep this point in mind: Your work must yield a paper. Consider this proposal as a document you will submit to a funding agency such as the National Science Foundation or the National Institute of Health. These days funding is painfully difficult to obtain. Proposal funding rates are often below 10%.

  20. Purdue Owl Analytical Research Paper

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