Distinguish between scholarly articles in electronic format and general Internet sites.

14. Was World War II the real birthplace of modern intelligence? Why or why not? Is the essay question Conducting Research Consult a variety of different sources – books, monographs, articles, documents, newspapers, etc. The objective is to show me that you have done extensive research on the topic. Use articles in your essay as they tend to be shorter and more concise than books, and they are always available at the library either in paper or electronic versions. A good strategy is to get your hands on the most recent study (book or article) on the topic. Reviewing the footnotes or bibliography will give you a grasp not only of the most current scholarship on the topic but also an outline of its historiography. While reviewing materials, you should try to define the scope of your topic. The process of defining a topic involves research, thinking, and planning. Once you understand your topic, do further research, focusing on a particular approach or perspective. Continue doing research until you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic and you are satisfied with your evidence that can support your arguments. You should try to use both primary and secondary sources in your research. Primary sources are the documents or the direct evidence of a person or organization of the time period. They can take many forms-books, letters, newspapers, interviews, diaries, etc. A secondary source is one that interprets or comments on the original sources. One of the most effective ways to highlight the originality of your work is to use primary sources. Remember that the more primary sources you use, the more original your essay will be. Creating a Thesis Statement: A thesis is a broad, all-encompassing idea that defines the central argument of your essay. It links all the themes, arguments and issues of your analysis, and provides unity. Your thesis is the answer to the most significant question that you have asked about your topic. It is also one of the most difficult components of an essay so take time to develop it. You must state your thesis (main argument) concisely in one or two sentences. Try to be specific. Explain concisely what you think your argument will be. Avoid ambiguous terms, vague concepts and circuitous arguments. Make your thesis definite and to the point. It takes a lot of time and effort to refine your thesis to the point where every word counts and there are no unnecessary words or expressions. It helps to formulate a central question which arises in your mind after examining the main issues. Then, try to answer your question by stating a hypothesis or interpretation – in other words, your thesis. Developing an Outline: Create a detailed outline–a blueprint of the main ideas that you want to use in your essay. Such a step in the writing process is critical especially for longer research papers. An outline will help you create a structure within which you examine the materials you have collected. You have to present information in a clear, linear and logical manner. A detailed outline will certainly help you execute these steps successfully. Remember, the more detailed your outline will be, the easier it will be for you to write the actual essay. An outline will also help you organize information in a cohesive and comprehensive manner. It can help you deal with what might otherwise feel like an overwhelming amount of information. Consider the following questions: What will you examine first? What will be the main sections of your paper? The Sources You Intend to Use You should continue researching until you feel that you can answer the main questions about your topic satisfactorily, and can include a number of viewpoints. Writing for a university course, you are required to develop a scholarly research paper. It is almost always the case that the more research you do, the better your paper will be. You should consult at least 6 sources (outside of the course materials) for your essay; this includes books and articles. Encyclopedias, general history books and many Internet sites, although resources, are not appropriate academic sources. Be very careful about the type of electronic and Internet sources that you are using. Distinguish between scholarly articles in electronic format and general Internet sites. Note: You are not allowed to use any Internet source without prior consent from your instructor. If you find an interesting website, get approval from your instructor before using it as part of your research. Avoid relying on a single source for your analysis. If you find a book that best expresses your own beliefs, than acknowledge that and show why you disagree with other sources.

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