Share this Page URL

Chapter 17. Paper Chase > Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Pg. 188

Paper Chase 188 Yes, every child dreams of becoming a researcher. Not very likely, eh? However, the odds are great that every child will do hard time in the library or in cyberspace hunting for the facts they need. They'll be standing right next to every adult in town, too. That's because research is essential to our lives. Whether you're looking for information about a van's safety record, a town's schools, or a company's stocks, you'll need to know how to gather, sort, and track the facts and opinions available to you. Author! Author! In America, research papers were first assigned in schools in the 1870s. By the turn of the century, most universities required seniors to write a research paper as a prerequisite for graduation. These essays were four to 12 pages long. Realizing that they had stumbled upon a good way to prepare students to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens, instructors decided to require underclass students to churn out a research paper as well. By the 1930s, high school students were writing term papers, too. Now, students as young as the first grade are learning the basics of writing a research paper. You can run, but you can't hide. Employees in the public as well as private sector are often required to write research papers, es- pecially in hot fields where information is flying around at dizzying speeds. The logic is strong: If you can gather the facts in a readable format, then you've got the power to make logical decisions and reasonable judgments. That's why you need to know how to write a research paper.