A research essay in a special kind of a writing since it requires the student to make a claim or claims and defend them using the existing irrefutable evidence that is obtained through intensive research. The research is obtained from primary or secondary information either from respondents who have the relevant knowledge on the issue under consideration or documented information from different sources. The sources may be peered-reviewed articles, journal, magazines, newspapers, credible websites, the internet, or books. In writing an academic research essay, the sources used must be credible and approved to facilitate the authenticity of the defense the write puts across to support his or her claims.
A research essay has three distinct parts that every essay must have for it to qualify against academic standards.
The first part of a research essay is a thesis statement. The writer should take caution when selecting a thesis statement of the research essay. Since a research essay should be more persuasive to the reader, but one should not recycle other people’s ideas by repeating them all through the essay. On the contrary, the writer should use other people’s ideas in terms of quoting directly or paraphrasing them to prove that their argument is correct. This is precisely why a research essay must contain a thesis statement.
A thesis puts across the claim that the writer looks forward to supporting through the available evidence obtained from his or her research. Usually, a thesis is an answer to a question that the writer asks himself rhetorically and states it in the last sentence of an introduction. For instance, one may asked such a question as “What gender is George?” The answer to this question may be “George is a male.” The second part in the bracket is the answer to the question. In such a case, if one was to write a research essay about the above issue, “George is a male” would be the thesis statement of the essay. However, a thesis statement comes after the write has introduced the topic under consideration. A thesis must be well-framed and should highly attract the reader to read the whole essay.
The body is the second part of a research essay. It entails a comprehensive discussion intended to prove that the claim made in the thesis statement is true. As such, the writer must present as many facts as possible obtained from the intensive research. For instance, in the above example of a thesis “George is a male” the writer should be involved in proving that George is a male using several facts from research. For instance, the writer may use biology sources to prove that George’s anatomy conforms to a male. Other sources may be psychological ones that may prove that George’s behaviors and traits conform to those of males. However, each argument supported by facts should be in each paragraph. The points should be arranged in the order of their weight. As such, strongest points should be in the starting body paragraphs.
Conclusion is the third part of a research essay. It entails restating the thesis but in different wordings. Also, the conclusion must incorporate a summary of what have been discussed in the body paragraphs.
An example of a research essay
Research Essay Topic: Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous People of Canada
European colonization of indigenous communities in Canada and other parts of the world resulted broadly in loss economic, social, political and religious rights. The two most significant impacts of colonization on indigenous people that still affect their lifestyle today are the loss of economic and socio-religious rights and privileges (This is the thesis statement of this research essay that must be justified in the body paragraphs).
Economic impact of colonization on Indians
European interaction with the Indian communities of Canada before the 17th century was mutually beneficial particularly in the trade of fur. Europeans relied on Indian trade routes and cooperation to access interior regions for trade in fur and other valuable commodities (Aboriginal affairs and Nothern Development Canada, 2011). In 1876, the colonial government signed the Stone Fort Treaty that provided for acquisition of native land for use by the government. Subsequent treaties also annexed indigenous Indians lands for the purposes of settling European settlers and infrastructure projects such as railway expansion. Indians were restricted to farming activities in reserve areas that were generally characterized by low soil fertility and economically unviable land sizes. In addition, the Indians could not compete effectively with settlers as sale of their produce was heavily regulated by the federal government to Europeans. In 1890, the government restricted the natives from farming for export thus limiting their involvement in mainstream agriculture (Trovato & Romanuik, 2014) (This is the second paragraph of the research essay that involves a critical presentation of preliminary facts that about the topic).
Indians provided a vital source of cheap and exploited labor in Canada in commercial fishery, mining, construction and agriculture. By the year 1990, it was estimated that 85% of workers in production of sugar beets in Canada were of Indian ancestry. Through the Indian Act, the federal Canadian government has over the years been able to use policies meant to exploit Indians as sources of cheap labor. Termination of welfare payments in Indian communities in reserve areas was an indirect method of forcing Indians to seek work opportunities in the agricultural sector. The Indian community in Canada has the lowest standards of living in terms of income levels and access to quality education, healthcare and social security (Bourassa, 2004). (This paragraph of the research essay is the continuation of the facts presented in the above paragraph. Remember that if the elucidation of facts under a given subtopic exceeds 200 words, it is vital to stratify the facts into several paragraphs to avoid accumulation of too many facts in one paragraph).
Socio-religious Impact of colonization on Indians
Colonization also impacted on the socio-religious aspects of Indians lives in Canada. The Europeans considered Indians as generally uncivilized, barbaric and idolaters (Coombes, 2006). The government established residential schools and made it mandatory for Indian parents to send their children to these institutions. Residential schools aimed at assimilating Indian children into the European way of life. Children were not allowed to have contact with their parents except during summer breaks. In addition, children could not speak in their native languages or practice their spiritual or cultural beliefs. Residential schools for Indians remained in place until 1996 when the last one of the schools was officially closed (Bourassa, 2004). Section 114 of the Indian act in 1895 prohibited Indians from celebrating an Indian festival, dance or other ceremony. The Indian act also interfered with intermarriage between Indians and non-Indians. An Indian woman married to a non-Indian lost her identity and rights as an Indian and could no longer live in the reserves (Cannon & Sunseri, 2011). Indigenous knowledge delivered through historical accounts of injustices as narrated by members of the Indian communities, can be used to understand the experience of European colonization on indigenous people of Canada. Sociological knowledge supported by prevailing economic and social aspects of Indians’ lives may be used to understand the long-term impact of European colonization in Canada (This is the first paragraph under the second subtopic of this research essay. It entails a detailed elucidation of facts from different credible sources that support the subtopic. Make sure to include in-text citations in every instance whenever you paraphrase information from these sources. Also, you should include direct quotes from these sources to reinforce the presented ideas and facts).
The Overall Effect of Bill C-31
Section 12 (1) (b) of the Indian act expressly stated the rights of Indians upon intermarriage with non-Indians. According to this law, an Indian woman married to a non-Indian man ceases to be identified as an Indian. Such a woman can no longer enjoy treaty benefits in matters such as health and social support. Furthermore, an Indian woman married to a non-Indian could no longer live or inherit her family property in the reserve. On the other hand, Indian men married to non-Indians retained all their rights and benefits as before their marriage. Women could no longer claim their status with their original band once they got married to non-Indians (Trovato & Romanuik, 2014) (This is the first paragraph of the third subtopic of this research essay. It also entails the facts that support the elucidation of the subtopic. You must also acknowledge the sources of information whenever you quote or paraphrase any information from these sources. If the information from the sources is more, you may include another paragraph that elucidates the available facts).
Towards the end of 20th century, the place of women in society all over the world had improved substantially. Section 12 of the Indian act was evidently discriminative against women and a violation of human rights. The section was amended in 1985 through Bill C-31 to remove discriminatorily elements and links between marriage and status of Indian people. After the passing of Bill C-31, Indian women were treated equally as men in relation to their rights upon marriage. All children Indian children were to be treated the same even if born out of wedlock or adopted. Indian women who had lost band membership through sexual discrimination were granted the right to regain their status. Bill C-31 also granted Indian bands a greater control of their affairs including membership (Aboriginal Affairs and Nothern Development Canada, 2011). Essentially, the overall effect of Bill C-31 was elimination of marriage and status for Indian women and their children. Bill C-31 ensured that Indian women could not lose their status on marital grounds (This is the third and the last part of this research essay. It entails restating the thesis but in different wordings. Also, incorporates a summary of what have been discussed in the body paragraphs).