For this paper, we are doing a Pro/Con Analysis. The introductory paragraph explains the problem you are attempting to solve. Use what you learned about the issue when you did your preliminary research, but you shouldn’t quote from those sources. Instead, this kind of writing is known as “synthesis,” which means you take all you learned about the problem from different sources to help you summarize and explain the problem to the reader. This synthesis will make up the bulk of the introduction. For the last sentence in the introduction, you do not write a thesis statement. Yes, that’s right — no thesis statement. Instead, you have a choice of writing the question you are analyzing these sources to solve (example: “This leads to the question: Can writer’s block be cured?”) OR you may write a purpose statement (example: “The purpose of this paper is to analyze solutions to the problem of _____.”). The Body Paragraphs — Discuss the sources in any order you wish, but structure the paragraphs so that you’re discussing only one source at a time. This is only a problem for those of you who may choose to write a comparison/contrast analysis (if that’s you, make sure you read the section below “Structuring Comparison/Contrast Research Analysis Papers”). The analysis is mostly your own analysis. You must use one quote (or summary or paraphrase) per paragraph, but you are discussing the pros and cons as you see them. As the sample shows, for each source you analyze, you should write one paragraph for the positives and one paragraph for the negatives. Again, make sure that each paragraph includes one cited passage from the source that ties into the analysis, but if your paragraph is full of quotes and citations, you didn’t write it correctly. You do not summarize the source but analyze the positives and negatives of each solution, as you see them.
Finally, for those of you used to writing a five paragraph essay, you can’t do that here. How many paragraphs do there need to be in a good pro/con paper? Let’s do a little math. Each source being analyzed will require two paragraphs: One paragraph for the positive and one paragraph for the negative. So, that’s six. Add the the introductory paragraph, and you’ll have seven paragraphs for this portion of the paper. Do not write a concluding paragraph. Remember, this is the first half of the final research paper. I know this is going to feel goofy or wrong, but it’s fine. Just end this portion of the paper after you’ve analyzed the third solution.
Works Cited — A works cited list of the sources you analyzed must be included at the end of this portion of the paper. Arrange the list in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation. Do not number the list or indicate if it’s a website or database (last item in the citation will tell me that). If your prior list is correct, then you simply have to copy and paste the correct citation for the sources at the end of the research analysis paper and arrange it in alphabetical order. If you didn’t do that list correctly, here’s your chance to improve it.
Look at the sample’s list. The first word in each entry begins with a C, M, and W, so that’s the way the list is arranged, even though the paper discussed the the M source (Mogilner, Chance, and Norton) first. Once again, arrange your list in alphabetical order. Length
A good length for the introductory paragraph is between 100-150 words. The length of the analysis (not including the Works Cited list) must be 600-1,000 words. No more, no less. Tone
Remember, the tone of the writing is academically neutral. You may be convinced by one side or the other, but when I read your analysis, I should not know which solution you think is best. That’s how you write a neutral analysis.
Structuring Comparison/Contrast Research Analysis Papers
If you plan on using this technique to write your analysis, I’d advise you to structure the paper in this way: Start the first body paragraph by discussing the first source without mentioning the others. Then analyze the second source, which you can compare/contrast with the first. When you analyze the third source, you can compare/contrast it to source 1 and source 2. Sources needed in essay