Issue For August 23, 2007
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
Well, I'm an up coming senior and we have to write a 4000 word research paper. I have an outline but I'm afraid that it is not good enough because it sounds more like an informative essay not a research paper. I'm not a good writer either and I am extremely nervous about this assignment. How do I gather and organize all the information I need? I keep putting it off and I'm usually the first student to have my work done. Any suggestions.
First off, try not to panic. It sounds like you expect a lot out of this paper, which is both exciting and frightening. I have a few suggestions for you that might help:
Go back to the assignment and look at what the goal is. What does the professor mean by "research paper?" Is your goal to describe, to make an arguement, to evaluate a topic's information, or all of the above? Make a clear goal for yourself about what needs to be communicated in this paper. If the assignment sheet doesn't do this (which they often don't), go talk to your professor for more information.
In terms of organization, the goal that you define above will imply a kind of organization for your outline. Think about what information is key, is supporting key information, and is background or contextual. Sometimes the down the page outline doesn't help in the early part of your research: try a brain storm or (I do this with some success and am a grad student) print out your research quotes, cut them up and sort them on the floor. Having the information visually and spacially sorted helps me make new connection. I'm including a few links from the OWL that might help. Good luck!
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
Can you please explain the difference and usage of "advice" and "advise"? Is it supposed to "Please advise." or "Please advice."? If you are using Microsoft Word, it underlines "advise" in "Please advise." --Hamza Said, Purdue
Advice is a noun; advise is the verb. When someone advises you, you get their advice.
--Mary Kurtz, Athens, GA
“Advice” is the noun and “advise” is the verb:
Please note that "advice" is a so-called uncountable noun, which means that it does not take a plural-s – just like information, or bread, or milk etc.
Concerning your other question, it should be: “Please, advise me/somebody!” – no underlining in this case by Microsoft Word. This means that “advise” is either used with an object and/or followed by an infinitive: He advised (me) to be cautious.
- Angelika Weichhart, Austria
When used as a verb it is advise, and as adjective or noun it is advice. This is British English, however, so I am not completely sure if the rule changes for US English.
--Moya Daly, West London
Which is the proper way to use "by reply"? 1) Please let me know by reply to this email. Or 2) Please let me know by replying to this email. Or are they both correct? --Cynthia
Perhaps you could say, "Please let me know by a reply to this email". Also, "with a reply'. No 2, seems best.
--GEORGE STEED, Poland
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...Writing for an Business Audiences in Other Countries. We have new materials on Writing for an Indian Business Audience and Writing for a Chinese Business Audience on our OWL. You can check them out here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/674/01/ and here http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/676/01/.
- OWL Eye On...MLA Sample Works Cited Sample Page. We have a new sample works cited page available here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/14/
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
This week's OWL News was edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll, OWL Webmaster and H. Allen Brizee, OWL Coordinator.