English 122:
How is the Writer Writing?
Patricia Bender
and Roberta Tipton
Three Ways

What Skills Do We Need to Write Good Research Papers?

The following list of skills and abilities is in completely random order. The categories are not mutually exclusive. Every one of these skills makes you a better employee and a better boss, as well as an academically successful person. Can you think of more skills that are needed? Which ones do you already have?

Reading for meaning -- denotation (What do the words say?) and connotation (What is the author doing or trying to do in this piece? What could it mean?)
Writing in order to fulfill a requirement
Critical thinking
Researching facts and opinions
Differentiating between facts and opinions
Evaluating ideas
Evaluating presentation styles
Analyzing and identifying issues and problems
Synthesizing and solving problems
Organizational skills, both mental and physical
Analyzing the arguments of others
Constructing your own arguments
Expressing your ideas and arguments effectively
Persuading and impressing others with your ideas and arguments
Presenting and packaging ideas
Following through and completing projects independently
Meeting a deadline
    I took an inventory of myself [as a researcher]. The results amazed me; it appears that I have most of the skills required to do research. I know how to use a computer to research information needed and use the library's database...the part I didn't know was...that there were [competent] and willing people behind the library's reference desk waiting for people like me to ask for help. I did not know they would help me if I needed help or maybe I just didn't want to appear lazy or unintelligent...
Oscar L.
This page was last updated 4 September 2007.
Questions? Comments?