Curious Researcher, The

Bruce Ballenger
März 2006


Der Titel ist leider nicht mehr lieferbar. Sorry, This title is no longer available. Malheureusement ce titre est épuisé.



Featuring an engaging, direct writing style and inquiry-based approach, this popular research guide stresses that curiosity is the best reason for investigating ideas and information.


An appealing alternative to traditional research texts, The Curious Researcher stands apart for its motivational tone, its conversational style, and its conviction that research writing can be full of rewarding discoveries. Offering a wide variety of examples from student and professional writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Students are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with “facts.” A unique chronological organization sets up achievable writing goals while it provides week-by-week guidance through the research process. Full explanations of the technical aspects of writing and documenting source-based papers help students develop sound research and analysis skills.


  • Engaging, informal writing style demonstrates as well as advocates interesting writing as evidenced by sections titled, “Magic Words on the World Wide Web,” and “The Internet Itch:  Should You Scratch it First?”
  • Emphasis on inquiry-based investigations challenges students' assumption that research papers are empty rituals of writing up foregone conclusions rather than opportunities for discovery and learning.
  • Five-week structure is designed to overcome procrastination by suggesting weekly activities (and assignments) that keep the process going.
  • Latest information on using the Internet for research includes an extensive discussion of how to evaluate Web sources.
  • Productive exercises help students actually write their papers, rather than engage in busywork not directly related to the assignment.
  • Emphasis on selecting search terms helps students find what they need more efficiently in the library and on the Web.
  • Full treatment of MLA and APA citation formats, including full coverage of electronic citation formats, now provides a comprehensive resource.
  • Coverage of reading like a researcher provides techniques for reading source material strategically and critically.
  • A Companion Website with Online Practice Tests offers additional student tips and exercises and helpful links for students engaged in the research process.

New to this Edition

  • New exercises and suggestions for crafting a good research question help students with this difficult but essential part of successful research (Chapter 1).
  • Advice on structuring a research paper helps students understand how to order information if they are writing an exploratory research essay or a more conventional argumentative essay (Chapter 4).
  • Additional exercises on summary and paraphrasing help students practice these essential note taking skills (Chapter 3).
  • More help with ways to effectively integrate sources into the students' prose (Chapter 5).

Table of Contents



Introduction: Rethinking the Research Paper.

Learning and Unlearning.

Using This Book.

            The Exercises.

            The Five-Week Plan.

            Alternatives to the Five-Week Plan.

The Research Paper and the Research Report.

            Discovering Your Purpose

How Formal Should It Be?

            When “Bad” Writing Is Good.

            Thinking Like an Academic Writer.

“Essaying” or Arguing?

Becoming an Authority by Using Authorities.

            “It's Just My Opinion”

Facts Don't Kill.

            The Question Habit.

1. The First Week.

The Importance of Getting Curious.

            Learning to Wonder Again.

            Getting the Pot Boiling.

            What Is a Good Topic?

            Making the Most of an Assigned Topic.

Developing a Working Knowledge.

Narrowing the Subject.

            Circling the Lighthouse.

            From Landscape Shots to Close-Ups.

Possible Purposes for a Research Assignment.

Reading for Research.

            Reading Rhetorically.

            Reading like an Outsider.

2. The Second Week.

Developing a Research Strategy.

            The Internet Itch: Should You Scratch It First?

            Library Research Strategy.

            Internet Research Strategy.

            Three Drawbacks of Internet Research.

            Three Reasons to Use the Internet for Research.

            The Invisible Web.

Search Languages: Words That Open Doors.

            Controlled Language Searches.

            Boolean Searching.

            Magic Words on the World Wide Web.

Developing Deep Knowledge.

Library Research Techniques.

            Finding Books.

            Understanding Call Numbers.

Internet Research Techniques.

            Types of Search Engines.

Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys.

            Arranging Interviews.

            Planning Informal Surveys.

            Conducting Surveys.

3. The Third Week.

Writing in the Middle.

            Becoming an Activist Notetaker.

            Recognizing Plagiarism.

            I Read What You Said and Borrowed It, Okay?

            Why Plagiarism Matters.

            Sources Are from Mars, Notetakers Are from Venus.

Notetaking Techniques.

            The Double-Entry Journal.

Other Notetaking Techniques

            The Research Log: A Jay Leno Approach.

            Narrative Notetaking.

Digging Deeper for Information: Advanced Searching Techniques.

            First-Level Searching.

            Second-Level Searching.

            Third-Level Searching.

4. The Fourth Week.

Getting to the Draft.

            When the Experts Disagree.

            An Application Example.

            Deciding Whether to Say I.

            Beginning at the Beginning.

            Deciding on a Voice.

            Writing for Reader Interest.

            Considering Patters of Development.

            The Exploratory Research Essay.

            The Argumentative Research Paper.

            Writing with Sources.

Citing Sources.

            An Alternative to Colliding Footnotes.

            I Hate These Theses to Pieces.

            Driving Through the First Draft.

5. The Fifth Week.

Revising for Purpose.

Revising for Information.

            Finding Quick Facts.

Revising for Language.

            Listening to the Voice,

            How to Control Information.

            Scrutinizing Paragraphs.

            Scrutinizing Sentences.

Preparing the Final Manuscript.

            Considering “Reader-Friendly” Design.

            Following MLA Conventions.

            Proofreading Your Paper.

Looking Back and Moving On.

Appendix A: Guide to MLA Styles.

Part One: Citing Sources in Your Essay.

Part Two: How the Essay Should Look.

Part Three: Preparing the “Works Cited” Page.

Part Four: Student Essay in MLA Style.

Appendix B: Guide to APA Style.

Part One: How the Essay Should Look.

Part Two: Citing Sources in Your Essay.

Part Three: Preparing the “References” List.

Part Four: Sample Paper in APA Style.

Appendix C: Tips for Researching and Writing Papers on Literary Topics.

Mine the Primary Source.

Search Strategies.

Sample Essay: Personal Response.

Sample Critical Essay: Formal Response.