Research Notes, parts I and II

This assignment just asks you to read three newspaper articles, to thoroughly understand their ideas, and then to take notes on them. Next quarter, these notes will become the basis for a research paper. The articles are located on the right side of the blog page. I will assign three articles to the class.


Take three kinds of notes, for a total of 250 words per article:

  1. Summarize each article in about 150 words (1/2 typewritten page, double-spaced)
  2. Write down two or more sentences from each article and under each one write your own paraphrase. (50 words total). Only pick IMPORTANRT ideas. Remember that a paraphrase is about the same number of words as the original, conveys every idea in the original, but is in your own words.
  3. Quote at least 50 words in each article – but not the same ones you paraphrased. Pick only the VERY MOST IMPORTANT ideas to quote. Do not feel that you need to quote entire sentences; partial sentences are fine. Here is a good discussion of the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing. if you are unclear about the difference between the two, I’ll go over this in class.
  4. Write out a bibliography reference for your three sources at the end. This reference needs to refer to the original source of the article, not “,” or another internet source that re-published the article. It needs to be the printed source, not a web address – since all of these articles first appeared in print. Make sure that it is in the correct bibliography/works cited format.



Use one more article I will give you and the notes you have already taken to write a short research paper (≥ 750 words).

  1. Look at the notes you took in the previous quarter and organize them in some logical way. In other words, do not use each of your source articles as paragraphs that are unrelated to the previous paragraphs and to following paragraphs, so that your paper is just a list of unconnected ideas. Instead, pay a great deal of attention to the logical connection among your ideas, to the flow of your paper. Use transition words and phrases. Refer to previous points. Repeat key words and phrases.
  2. Write a short introductory paragraph. This is the roadmap for your paper. The job of an introduction is to 1) identify the main idea of your paper (your thesis), 2) mention the main supporting ideas of your paper and suggest their organization and connection to your theses. Sometimes the introduction paragraph even hints at the conclusion of the paper.
  3. In the body of your paper (about 4-6 paragraphs) aim for a mix of summary (≈70%), paraphrase (≈20%), and quote (≈10%). Remember that you do not need to quote entire sentences. You can easily work a quotation into a paraphrase or summary.
  4. In the body of your paper, add in-text citations for the paraphrases and quotes you have pulled from your notes, as well as for ideas that are unique to each author. Remember that the in-text format looks like this: (author’s last name, page#). However, for these articles the page numbers are not relevant, so just add the author’s last name in parenthesis after each detail that calls for a citation.
  5. In class I will pass out several additional articles which will be suitable for your conclusion. These might include, for example, articles about the effects of global warming here in Hawai’i. Refer to just one of them as you write the concluding paragraph.
  6. Add a list of works cited (the four articles), using the original print source, not the internet source.
  7. Turn in a paper that is at least 750 words.


• This assignment falls under the heavy-duty “Major Assignment” category. Grades drop 10% (a full grade) per DAY. Donʻt be late.

• The one way to receive little or no credit for work is to plagiarize. BE SURE you understand what plagiarism is. Hereʻs a good discussion, with examples. When you submit your paper to Turnitin, BE SURE to check the plagiarism index. If it is in the double digits, ask me to delete what you have submitted, so that you can resubmit. This is a good reason to get this assignment in before the deadline.