What is a Research Paper?
"Research paper." What image comes into mind as you hear those words: working with stacks of articles and books, hunting the "treasure" of others' thoughts? Whatever image you create, it's a sure bet that you're envisioning sources of information--articles, books, people, artworks. Yet a research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of the literature in a field. A research paper analyzes a perspective or argues a point. Regardless of the type of research paper you are writing, your finished research paper should present your own thinking backed up by others' ideas and information.
To draw a parallel, a lawyer researches and reads about many cases and uses them to support their own case. A scientist reads many case studies to support an idea about a scientific principle. In the same way, a history student writing about the Vietnam War might read newspaper articles and books and interview veterans to develop and/or confirm a viewpoint and support it with evidence.
A research paper is an expanded essay that presents your own interpretation or evaluation or argument. When you write an essay, you use everything that you personally know and have thought about a subject. When you write a research paper you build upon what you know about the subject and make a deliberate attempt to find out what experts know. A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. And that survey can be orderly and focused, if you know how to approach it. Don't worry--you won't get lost in a sea of sources.
In fact, this guide is designed to help you navigate the research voyage, through developing a research question and thesis, doing the research, writing the paper, and correctly documenting your sources.
Questions or feedback about ESC's Online Writing Center? Contact us at Learning.Support@esc.edu.
- How Research Can Serve Both Product Development and Marketing
IESD releases free white paper explaining the importance of Foundations Research.
NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2017) - Conducting foundational research as part of your design process ensures that your education product is best in class, resonates with academic experts and professional organizations, and is positioned to take advantage of all market opportunities. This research can also be used to prepare a must-have component of your marketing communication strategy. [Read more]
- New Report Demonstrates Value of Digital Museum Resources
Research Suggests Ways Smithsonian Learning Lab Can Achieve Educational Goals
NEW YORK, NY (January 12, 2017) - “Integrating Authentic Digital Resources in Support of Deep, Meaningful Learning,” a white paper prepared for the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access by Interactive Educational Systems Design Inc., reveals instructional strategies and elements educators can use to develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The white paper explores the integration of digital museum resources with research-based educational approaches in K–12 classrooms to prepare students for college and life after graduation. [Read more]
- How Can You Show That Your Education Products Are Research-Based?
IESD releases free white paper explaining how to show that your products are research-based.
NEW YORK, NY (April 8, 2016) - Large education companies often sponsor efficacy research to demonstrate that a product has a direct impact on student achievement. But most companies can’t afford this or can’t wait for results of a yearlong study. Instead, they develop a research foundations white paper (RFWP) to show that the instructional methods and approaches incorporated into the product are research-based. This is now an essential tool in marketing successfully to school district decision-makers across the U.S. [Read more]
- Engaging Deeply with the Education Market Through Online Focus Groups
IESD releases free white paper on online focus group research
NEW YORK, NY (October 15, 2015) - Focus group research is highly effective for understanding your target market—when you seek deep, open responses and want to learn from educators’ interactions with each other. Incorporating focus group research into your product development and marketing plans makes it much more likely that your product will be well-received in the education marketplace. Many education companies are turning to online focus groups as an alternative to traditional face-to-face (F2F) focus groups. [Read more]
- 2015 Business Report: National Survey on STEM Education’ Details the Changing Landscape of STEM Education
Insights in the report provide actionable data to help drive product development and marketing
New York, NY (April 28, 2015) - Published by IESD Inc. in conjunction with STEM Market Impact LLC and MCH Data, the 2015 Business Report: National Survey STEM Education expertly provides insights into the changing landscape of science and STEM education. Essential for any product developer or marketer creating and selling products focused on K-12 science and STEM education, this 187-page report looks at the impact of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on the future purchasing plans of science educators and administrators in the U.S. Approximately 5,000 science and STEM educators responded to the survey. [Read more]
- Third Annual Mobile Technology Study Provides Deep Insights, Pricing Data, and Promising Practices for Instruction
Business Edition: National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education offers year-over-year trends to educational technology companies
NEW YORK, NY (June 11, 2014) - Now in its third year, the Business Edition: National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education takes understanding of the education mobile technology market to the next level by offering deep insights into the instructional approaches teachers are taking with mobile devices, as well as offering year-over-year trends data to help education companies understand the transformation of the market and to identify where the next opportunities are. [Read more]
- EDRoom Online Discussion Service Hosts CTO Roundtable on K-12 Student Data Privacy
Panel shares views, experiences on key issues, policies and procedures, and related professional development
NEW YORK, NY (March 28, 2014) - Maintaining the privacy of student data represents one the most pressing challenges facing district and school technologists today. This past January 29 - February 7, IESD (Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc.), in collaboration with CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) and THE Journal, sponsored an online panel discussion in which chief district technology officers shared opinions and experiences on questions related to student data privacy. The panel shared their perspectives using IESD’s EDRoom online discussion group environment. [Read more]
- 2013 Mobile Technology Survey shows surge in K-12 adoptions
Business Edition of the Report provides keen insight into education market leaders, best price points for educational apps, and shifts in BYOD
NEW YORK, NY (July 22, 2013) - As anyone who attended this summer's International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference can attest to, mobile technologies have expoded onto the education market. The 2013 National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education – Business Edition, published by IESD, Inc. in collaboration with STEM Market Impact, LLC, offers business leaders keen insight into the significance of the mobile technologies industry as it impacts the education market. [Read more]
- A Focus Group for the 21st Century
Companies developing products for the education technology market can do one-on-one market research with potential customers,
without breaking the bank.
NEW YORK, NY (February 13, 2013) - EDRoom, developed by Interactive Educational Systems Design (IESD), offers a private web space where vendors can take a pulse on their new products through in-depth, targeted discussions with administrators and teachers. [Read more]
- Education Market Research Company IESD Highlights Latest Projects with Launch of New Website
Site provides seamless integration to EDRoom, the private web space for conducting deep discusssions.
New York, NY (January 15, 2013) - IESD (Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc.), the leading market research organization for education, has launched a redesigned website featuring recent projects the company has undertaken and providing seamless integration with the company’s online EDRoom focus group environment. The site, www.iesdinc.com, offers easy access to information about services IESD offers in the areas of marketing/ product research and analysis, product evaluation, and customer communication. The site also provides descriptions of IESD’s management team, recent projects, client list, and news items involving IESD, such as national survey reports coauthored by IESD during 2012 on STEM education and on mobile technology for K-12 education.[Read more]
- iPads and Digital Textbooks of Most Interest to District Leaders in National K-12 Education Survey on Mobile Technology
‘National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education’ helps define education opportunities for mobile product developers and marketers.
New York, NY (July 9, 2012) - Mobile technology has the potential to be the next boom industry for education. Companies interested in tapping into this market now have a resource that defines the wants and needs of district leaders related to mobile devices with the National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education, published by IESD Inc. in collaboration with STEM Market Impact. The most focused survey of district technology and media leaders to date, it defines both the opportunities and the challenges of breaking into this new market and it will help company executives make smart decisions about mobile technology development. [Read more]
- 2012 National Survey on STEM Education Identifies Growth Areas of STEM Market
Comprehensive report covers funding priorities identified by STEM leaders, BYOD initiatives, and tablet devices for STEM.
New York, NY (March 29, 2012) - The 2012 National Survey on STEM Education is the third report released by IESD, Inc. and STEM Market Impact, LLC to address the growing needs of STEM administrators and educators across the country. An essential resource for companies and organizations developing products and services for the STEM market, the report offers detailed information defined by educators as areas of potential growth. [Read more]
- New Report Shows District Leadership and Support Are Key to Empowering Teachers to Use Web 2.0
White paper from Lightspeed Systems, netTrekker and IESD/EDRoom provides comprehensive source of Web 2.0 research findings,
best practices, and recommendations to apply lessons learned.
BAKERSFIELD, CA. and CINCINNATI, OH (Nov. 17, 2009) - New research indicates educators view Web 2.0 technologies as a means to transform education and meet 21st century learning goals, but district leadership and support are critical to ensure safe and effective use. Commissioned by Lightspeed Systems Inc. and netTrekker, the Safe Schools in a Web 2.0 World white paper from Interactive Educational Systems Design (IESD; EDRoom), an independent research firm, offers a picture of Web 2.0 use in education through an analysis of several recent research studies, and outlines the implications for educators.
- SIIA Employs EDRoom to Gather Feedback from Innovation Incubator Participants
NEW YORK, NY (June 26, 2009) - The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade association serving the software and digital content industry, took advantage of the EDRoom online discussion service to gather feedback from companies that recently participated in SIIA’s annual Innovation Incubator Program (IIP). The Innovation Incubator Program was held at the SIIA 2009 Ed Tech Industry Summit in San Francisco in May.
- SIIA Uses EDRoom Online Discussion Service to Gain New Insights About Practical Applications of Gaming and Simulations for
NEW YORK, NY (December 9, 2008) - The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), a professional association serving the educational technology community, turned to EDRoom to gather critical information for an upcoming report, Best Practices for Implementing Games and Simulations in the Classroom. SIIA’s EduGames working group used EDRoom’s online discussion space, available anytime, anywhere, for thoughtful interactions leading to a new depth of understanding about the practical aspects of using games and simulations as learning tools.
- eSchool News Uses EDRoom Online Discussion Service to Strengthen Its Editorial Process
NEW YORK, NY (August 17, 2008) - eSchool News, the popular educational technology-focused publication, recently took advantage of the EDRoom online discussion service and found that it adds significant value to the development of its special reports. EDRoom’s research experts worked with eSchoo lNews feature writers for the report in the June issue, Rating the E-rate, to develop a discussion guide of topics and questions about E-rate, the federal program that provides funds to build online capacity for schools.
- EDRoom Web-based Discussion Service Delivers Product Positioning and Sales Process Insights
NEW YORK, NY (July 11, 2008) - Scientific Learning, Inc., developer of K-12 intervention solutions, reported that its use of the new online discussion service, EDRoom, delivered fresh ideas to inform its product positioning and sales process with district decision makers.
- Texas Instruments Embraces EDRoom Online Discussion Service to Ensure Consistent Input from Field Sales Organization
NEW YORK, NY (June 17, 2008) - Texas Instruments (TI), like many large companies with sales representatives spread throughout the country, sought to improve its ability to get input and meaningful dialogue with its field sales team. To accomplish this, it embraced EDRoom, an interactive online discussion service. TI chose EDRoom to enable more flexible scheduling of meetings with field sales and to address the need for deeper engagement and involvement of field sales. This need was heightened because of a major new strategic initiative, TI MathForward, a new kind of Algebra Readiness program that requires a new kind of selling process.