Research writing is important to learn, because it involves a process that can be useful in various fields and applicable to a variety of situations. The research process assists writers in developing better organizational and planning skills while simultaneously increasing insight and knowledge. Incorporating research writing and reading into the classroom enhances students' connection to their own learning.
Structure and Formatting
Starting research papers is challenging at any level, especially for a novice with no prior experience. Like concept maps and flow charts learned in grade school, research papers also have an organizational outline. An article published in the journal "Contemporary Educational Psychology" explains that understanding the structure and format of research writing can provide a student with a solid understanding as to how to start any paper or project. The style and format employed in research writing are often used at the collegiate level and beyond, and learning this process can develop a student’s writing and language abilities.
Students at every grade level are contributing to the research process, whether they are actually writing a research paper, participating in a research study or providing an idea worth exploring in research literature. The National Center for Research on Teaching Learning says that educators need to start encouraging students to become more perceptive and involved in their surrounding environment. Greater engagement will help students become more actively involved in the learning process. Research writing is based on the inquiry method, and inquiry-based learning -- where students actively ask questions of the teacher and are not simply spoon-fed information -- can be an effective method of learning, the organization notes.
Students should be encouraged to inquire about what they read and hear because in research, an article older than five years is considered less current given how much research is being regularly published. By becoming more familiar with research, students can begin to start forming their own ideas about what could be answered that hasn’t been yet. Also, this notion enables students to feel more involved in their learning, increases their involvement in classes and better connects them to the content material.
Many teaching strategies and classroom exercises being applied in education have been proved valid through research. According to a 2012 article published in the journal "American Educator," the earlier teachers start incorporating research papers into their curriculum and/or requiring students to read more research articles, the quicker students will begin to understand the connection between their classroom activities and course content, along with enhancing their literacy knowledge. This idea also provides teachers the opportunity to slowly introduce their students to research formats such as the American Psychological Association writing style. Through this process, students can begin to learn how to properly identify and cite reputable sources in their own writing.
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison: Writing a Research Paper
- Purdue Owl: Writing a Research Paper
- Dartmouth: What is an Academic Paper?
- American Educator: Meaningful Work: How the History Research Paper Prepares Students for College and Life
- The National Center for Research on Teaching Learning
- Contemporary Educational Psychology: Learner-Generated Drawing as a Strategy for Learning from Content Area Text
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