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Pacific Lutheran University

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Writing 101: What is Academic Research?

Beginning research guide for Writing 101 classes.

Academic Research...

  • is different from searching for answers to simple questions such as what time the bus comes, or whether a class is in Ramstad or Rieke
  • is more like the process of making an important, many-factored decision such as whether to study away, or take a job in a different city
  • poses questions that cannot be answered from a single source
  • requires consulting multiple sources from which to derive your own insights
  • may yield information that supports or contradicts your argument
  • relies on information created by people who have developed expertise through scholarship and/or long direct experience
  • may use more formal terminology than everyday discussion of the same concepts

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