Misericordia University TED 121 -- Educational Technology


Typing a formal research paper can seem like a daunting task. You may already have a method with which you are very comfortable. If so, keep doing what you always do. This page is created for those who are searching for a new approach.

In class, download the APA example notes.doc (27 Kb) and APA checklist.doc (24.5 Kb) to use during the discussion and demonstration.

  1. Select a topic area.

  2. Search articles and other scholarly materials to help make your case.
    Perform searches in the Misericordia library online catalog, in the Ebsco Host electronic databases, in ERIC, and in other online educational journals.

    Be careful if you are searching the Web in general -- make sure that the material you plan to use as a resource is respected, scholarly, and valid. Ebsco Host and ERIC are respected repositories of scholarly materials, and thus are a good place to start your search.

  3. Read each article and take notes.

  4. Type in your notes. Type your notes in a word processor (if you have not already done so). So you can identify each idea and where it came from, create a citation for each. Clearly indicate your thoughts, opinions, and original ideas.

    Drucker, P., & Schwartz, P. (1993, July/August). Post-Capitalist. Wired, 80-83.

    Summary: In this interview, Peter Drucker discusses how knowledge, not capital, is becoming the basis of corporate wealth. Considered are the following topics: the effect of knowledge on production, the knowledge worker, and aspects of preserving intellectual property.

    According to Drucker, continuous learning is an American innovation which is considered "unimaginable" in Japan or in Germany (Drucker & Schwartz, 1993).

    There are two ways to increase the productivity of knowledge workers. In knowledge work, ask "What should you be doing?" rather than how. Second, make sure that people can concentrate on results rather than spending time performing nonessential or unproductive tasks (Drucker & Schwartz, 1993).

    Drucker states that a corporation must redesign the process around the information, costing very little (Drucker & Schwartz, 1993).

    "The traditional factors of production (land, labor, capital) are becoming restraints rather than driving forces. Instead, knowledge is becoming the one critical factor of production.:Education in the U.S. has historically followed changes in industrial production models. Logically, then, the concept of agile manufacturing should also greatly influence the educational paradigm in the future" (Drucker & Schwartz, 1993, p. 54).

    It appears that an organization must build in organized abandonment into an organizational system. It cannot successfully innovate unless it systematically abandons. (Dr. Steve)
    Note that I will not cite myself in the paper. My name in parentheses here is just a reminder to me that this is my original idea or comment.

  5. Gather additional resources as needed. After reading several articles, you will have a better understanding of your topic. You will also have a better "feel" for whether you need to collect more information. Did you gather enough information to make your case? Is something missing?

  6. Prepare an outline for the paper. Based on what you have learned from the resources you have gathered, prepare an outline for the paper. This outline (in its final form) will become actual headings in your paper.

    1. Introduction
      Introduce the topic of the paper, the case that you will attempt to make, and introduce the topics (the outline) that will be covered.
    2. What is Distance Learning?
      Define and introduce the topic.
    3. Technologies Used in Distance Learning
      This section was determined after reading the articles. Summarize literature you have researched in this topic area.
    4. Good and Poor Practices in Distance Learning
      This section was determined after reading the articles. Summarize literature you have researched in this topic area.
    5. Discussion
      In this section, you pull everything together and finish making your case. Discuss what you have found in your research. What does it all mean? Here you can present your own original ideas based on what you have learned. What are your views, based on the research you conducted?
    6. Conclusion
      Briefly summarize the entire paper. Review the purpose of the paper, and its main points. Draw a conclusion. You may want to suggest areas/ideas for future research.

  7. Copy and paste your notes under the appropriate headings. Type your headings (main points of the outline) in a Word document. Revisit the notes you took from the sources you located. Cut and paste your notes under the appropriate headings.

  8. Gather additional resources as needed. Review your work thus far. Do you still need to locate any additional materials? Are there any "holes" in your case? Conduct additional research as needed.

  9. Begin writing the paper. Visit each section of the paper (organized by headings). Reread all of the material listed under a heading. Reorganize the material as needed. Finally, using connecting words and phrases, begin to formulate the material into narrative form.


For More Information

For access to APA resources and for more information,
visit Dr. Steve's Help with APA page.

Go to home page.

E-mail Dr. Steve.