How to Write a Research Paper
Choosing A Topic
•It must be related to the fields of
Health, Exercise, and Sport Science
•It should be of interest to you,
preferably in an area that you
would like to learn more about.
•It should provide you with an
opportunity to explore, do original
thinking, and make judgments.
How to Write a Research Paper
Choosing A Topic
•It needs to be fairly easy to
research and write about.
•It needs to be something you
know enough about to write about
comfortably.
•It needs to not be too broad (i.e.
too large of a topic to cover in
detail within the page length limits).
•It needs to not be too narrow (i.e.
too small of a topic to fill up
enough pages for the assignment).
How to Write a Research Paper
Choosing A Topic
Brainstorm topic ideas 1
•If you have trouble thinking up
creative topics to write about (and
most people do), start simple.
•Take out a piece of paper or
open a new document on your
computer, and start writing down
whatever ideas come into your
head.
How to Write a Research Paper
Choosing A Topic
Brainstorm topic ideas 1
Here are some questions you might
ask yourself:
•What am I interested in ?
•What do I like to do for fun that
might translate into an interesting
paper topic?
•What do I feel strongly about?
•What do I know a lot about?
How to Write a Research Paper
Choosing A Topic
Brainstorm topic ideas 1
•What would I like to know more about?
•What are some issues or topics that are in
the news right now that I find interesting and
important?
•Can my friends or family members offer me
suggestions for topics that I find interesting
and important?
How to Write a Research Paper
Researching A Topic and
Selecting Scientific Sources
•Use the Daniel Library on Campus
and Perform a Search of Your
Selected Topic
•Search Engines that are specifically
designed to target research sources
in HESS are available.
•General Assistance in Search
Practices are also available.
How to Write a Research Paper
Writing a Title
• Read about your subject and
do some preliminary writing. It is
very difficult to sum up what the
paper is all about unless you've
spent some time with it.
How to Write a Research Paper
Writing a Title
• Think about your audience (who
will be reading your paper) when
deciding on a title.
•What will attract the audience
to your paper?
•Your title may change
depending on the audience.
How to Write a Research Paper
Writing a Title
• Your title should relate to your
topic.
•Don't use many words. If you
can sum up your topic in 4
words as opposed to 6, pick the
4 word option.
•Use the process of reduction.
(example)
How to Write a Research Paper
Managing Sources
•Read article abstracts before
deciding to use an article as a source
•Record the bibliography entry on
your sources (author, title, journal,
etc)
•Order or download your sources
•If possible scan your articles, or
acquire them in electronic format.
This will make it easier for you to
become a “mobile” writer.
How to Write a Research Paper
Managing Sources
•Record the bibliography entry on
your sources into a data
management tool such as Excel or
Database. This will allow you to
alphabetize and sort your articles on
topical areas.
•Keep all of your paper articles in a
single file folder or notebook
How to Write a Research Paper
Managing Sources
Your Responsibilities
•You will need to have at least 10,
and no more than 20 sources for your
research paper.
•All of your sources must come from
scientific journals. No other sources
are allowed, including web site
sources.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Bibliography 2
Basic rules
•
All entries are listed in alphabetical order
of the first author's last name;
•
Number each entry
•
If the same author(s) are cited for more
than one paper, the papers should be
listed in chronological sequence by year
of publication.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Bibliography 2
Journal Article: Single author
1.
Bugjuice, B. 1970. Physiological effects of
estrogen on mouse courtship behavior. J
Physiol 40(2):140-145.
In the citation of Bugjuice's paper, note the
following:
•
•
abbreviation of her first name; no comma (if full
name is given, then use a comma); if multiple
authors, use commas between;
capitalization of the words in the title is just as
though it were a sentence;
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Bibliography 2
Journal Article: Single author (continued)
1. Bugjuice,
B. 1970. Physiological effects of
estrogen on mouse courtship behavior. J
Physiol 40(2):140-145.
•
•
•
•
abbreviation of the journal name; usually
the header on the article will list the
appropriate abbreviation for the journal;
no periods in abbreviated form of journal
name;
"40" is the volume number "(2)" is the
number of the issue; if no issue is given,
the colon follows the volume number;
"140-145" is the inclusive page numbers
of the article;
placement of periods is standard;
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Bibliography 2
Journal: Two authors
1. Bugjuice, B. and T. Timm. 1989. The role of
whisker length in mouse nose-twitch courtship
behavior. J Physiol 61(3):113-118.
Journal: Multiple authors
1. Bugjuice, B., Cratchet, R., and T. Timm. 1990. The
role of estrogen in mouse courtship behavior
changes as mice age. J Physiol 62(6):11301142.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Bibliography 2
Journal: Multiple Authors (More than 4)
1. Bugjuice, B. T. Timm, A. Watts, G. Briggs, et al.,
1989. The role of whisker length in mouse
nose-twitch courtship behavior. J Physiol
61(3):113-118.
* et al. means “and others”.
Example of Bibliography Page
You will need to have at least 10, and no more
than 20 sources listed in your bibliography
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Paper
•
•
•
•
The Body of your paper will be between
8-10 pages in length.
The Body of your paper includes: 1) the
Introduction, 2) The Review of Literature,
and, 3) The Discussion
The Body of your paper will be type
written, double spaced, and use a font
size that is either a 10 or 12 point font
size.
No less than 1 inch and no greater than
1.5 inch margins (Top, Bottom, Right, and
Left) will be used
How to Write a Research Paper
Basic Outline
•
•
•
•
Working with your articles
Review the information you collected
and type phrases/titles that best
summarize the material
Sort the phrases/titles under Major titles
that describe the collection grouped
together.
Preparing the Paper
Type three main sections
Place Major Headers then Sub-headers
How to Write a Research Paper
Basic Outline
•
•
You should begin by preparing
your outline into the three major
areas of the paper: The
Introduction, The Literature
Review, and the Discussion.
Within each section you should
have general headings, followed
by subheadings. Each heading
should define the main point of
discussion that follows in the
text.(see next slide for example)
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing A Basic Outline (example)
Introduction
Muscle Fatigue
Literature Review
Muscle Physiology
Muscle Contractions
Role of the Nervous System
Role of Ions
Calcium
Sodium
Muscle Dysfunction
Muscle Repair
etc…,
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing A Detailed Outline
Here we will look at the previous outline and turn it
into a detailed outline. In the detailed outline,
you will write a sentence or clause to indicate
what information will go in each section of
the outline (below is a section of the previous
outline)
Literature Review
Muscle Physiology
Muscle Contractions
Role of the Nervous System
Role of Ions
Calcium
Sodium
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing A Detailed Outline
Literature Review
Muscle Physiology
Muscle Contractions
(Information that introduces the
physiological components of muscle
contractions)
Role of the Nervous System
(Information that defines the anatomy of
the nervous system, including the action at
the motor end plate)
Role of Ions
(Information that introduces the importance
and function of the ions involved in muscle
contractions)
How to Write a Research Paper
Constructing Paragraphs
•
•
Once you have constructed your outline,
then you can begin constructing
sentences within the sections of the
outline.
The first sentence should convey the
principle thought you would like to
further define. The second sentence
should make a major point in defining
the principle. The remainder of the
sentences supply support information.
How to Write a Research Paper
Constructing Paragraphs
•
Example: Calcium is one of the
major ions required for muscle
contractions. Calcium must be
present for actin and myosin to
engage. When actin and myosin
are engaged, the fiber will
contract and shorten. When
calcium is absent, actin and
myosin will disengage and the
fiber will rest and lengthen.
How to Write a Research Paper
Constructing Paragraphs
•
•
Notice in the example how
comparison and contrast were
used to make a relevant point.
This practice helps the reader to
“solidify” or frame the major
thought produced in the first
sentence.
Each paragraph of your paper
should address one major thought
How to Write a Research Paper
Citations in text
•
•
You will use the scientific
numbering system when citing
text references(1).
For example, if you typed the
statement above in your paper as
a reference from the first author in
your bibliography, you would list
the numbered bibliography
reference number in parenthesis.
How to Write a Research Paper
Citations in text
•
•
•
You will use the scientific
numbering system when citing
text references(1,3,4).
The references above mean that
authors 1,3, and, 4, are all in
agreement with the statement
Remember to place all copied
statements in quotation marks.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Introduction
•
The opening sentences should be
statements to establish the context of
the work that you will be reporting.
•
This is accomplished by discussing the
relevant primary research literature (with
citations) and summarizing our current
understanding of the problem you are
investigating.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Introduction
•
•
The structure of the Introduction can be
thought of as an inverted triangle - the
broadest part at the top representing
the most general information and
focusing down to the specific problem
you studied.
The last two sentences of your
introduction should be 1) a clear
statement of the problem that you are
studying, and 2) the purpose of your
research (to address the problem)
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Literature Review
•
•
•
All of the information in the literature
review must pertain to the purpose
(problem) stated in your paper
The information included in the literature
review should address the different types
of research that has been conducted on
you’re the topic that you are addressing.
Thus, the literature review will provide a
general overview of the type, quantity,
and description of the research studies
conducted on the topic.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Literature Review
•
•
The literature review should be divided
into sections with headings that describe
the content that follows in the
paragraphs below the heading
Headings should be “general” and
subheadings should be more specific.
Example:
Muscle
Fiber Type
Aerobic Mechanisms
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Literature Review
•
•
•
Headings should not be indented and should
be underlined.
Subheadings are indented and not
underlined (see previous slide)
Each General Heading should contain key
words that are important in focusing reader
on necessary background information
needed to understand the topic. For
example, if you were writing about a disease,
you would want the reader to know about
the pathophysiology, etiology, and prognosis
of the disease. So each of these terms would
be a General Heading.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Discussion
•
•
•
In the discussion section, you should compile
the information from the review of the
literature and present it in a fashion that is
meaningful in addressing the problem stated
in the introduction
Thus, summarize the information from the
sections of the review of literature into
paragraphs that make the information
meaningful in addressing the problem
i.e. - Most authors (researchers) agree that x =
y, OR X does equal Y in 9 of the 10 studies
researched, thus it is likely that x = y.
How to Write a Research Paper
Preparing the Discussion
•
•
•
•
The discussion section must have several
paragraphs that address findings from the
literature reviewed (Summary of Findings).
The discussion section can compare
common findings and inconsistencies in the
literature
The end of the discussion section must
deduce some common findings in the
literature that address the problem stated in
the introduction
Thus, the end of the discussion section must
bring “closure” to answering the problem that
was stated in the introduction.
END OF PRESENTATION
Sources Cited
1.
2.
http://collegeuniversity.suite101.com
http://abacus.bates.edu
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How to Write a Research Paper