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Research essays

Writing a Research Essay

The prospect of writing a research essay can feel overwhelming. In Tools for Teaching, Second Edition, Barbara Gross Davis encourages students to view writing as a "way of learning and discovering what they know and don't know" (306).

The Research Essay

What is a research essay?

  • a body of knowledge compiled from scholarly resources to support a writer’s claims or argument about a particular topic

What does a research essay do?

  • demonstrates a perspective on a particular topic
  • narrows the topic to create a focused thesis and adequate analysis
  • synthesizes information from scholarly sources to support an argument
  • integrates research material through use of direct quotes and paraphrasing
  • refrains from plagiarism (presenting information and ideas as your own when they belong to someone else).