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Purpose: Write a research memo that convincingly summarizes evidence regarding your writing project topic. This exercise will give you practice in providing evidence to support ideas.
What is a Research Memo?
Typically a memo is a form of formal communication within an organization. In this instance, imagine you hold the position of Scientific Advisor in your company or organization. Your research memo should inform your colleagues of the evidence pertaining to your topic so that they can make appropriate decisions, policies, or recommendations. In this paper, you should synthesize and integrate your annotated bibliography sources. Your Research Memo should include the following elements:
A Focused and Clear Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay. It may also preview your supporting points. Your thesis statement should be clear and focused. Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. Typically, a thesis statement is found at the end of the first introductory paragraph. Please label your thesis statement in your final memo with (thesis).
Your memo must present evidence pertaining to your thesis. Every time you make a statement of fact, you must cite scientific evidence. It is not uncommon to have most sentences in a paragraph followed with a citation (even if they all come from the same source). You should also draw logical connections between research articles. Do NOT simply summarize your scientific papers from your annotated bibliography. You must clearly demonstrate how each paper is RELEVANT to your thesis.
Do NOT include quotations. Quotations are not acceptable in scientific writing. You should be paraphrasing from your references.
It is acceptable and welcome to provide conflicting evidence, if that is the nature of your topic. A Clear, and Appropriate Conclusion
Your conclusion is NOT a summary of everything already stated. Your conclusion is the position you think your company should take regarding the topic. It should also acknowledge limitations and suggest future directions for the research. If there is conflicting evidence for your topic, your conclusion does not have to “choose a side”, but must clearly identify gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed.
Grading of the conclusion includes an evaluation of your critical thinking abilities about the topic and the effort devoted to making the most logical conclusions.
Professional, Formal Tone
Memos are a place for just the facts, and should have an objective tone without personal bias, preference, or interest on display. Do NOT use the first person (“I” or “we”). Use precise and clear language and avoid vague statements. Eliminate wordiness including most adverbs (e.g. “very”).
Use scientifically accurate language. You cannot “prove” a hypotheses (especially with just one study). You “support” or “fail to find support for” them.
Begin each paragraph with a clear and effective topic sentence. The first sentence in each paragraph should tell the reader EXACTLY what that paragraph is going to be about.
One inch margins
Double-spacing throughout (including references)
Arial font, 11-point type throughout
Section Headings (Introduction, Current Research, Conclusions, Works Cited)
Paper length should be around 1000 words (not including bibliography)
Citations in AMA Style (References in the Bibliography are ordered and numbered by first appearance).
File format for your submission should be either .doc, .docx or .pdf
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