||Format for the Research Paper
Please follow these rules:
Each student must choose a topic and write a paper between 10 and 15 pages (including figures,
tables, and references).
· The paper should be typed, double-spaced (you don't need
to put it in a folder).
· The paper is due by the last week of the semester (see Lecture menu item on the we site!).
Format for the Research papers.
The paper should consist of five basic sections as follows:
A summary should not exceed 400-500 words. Despite its short length, this
is an important part of the paper. Based on the contents of the summary,
readers often decide whether to continue reading the paper. A good summary
includes concise, to-the-point statements regarding the purpose, results
(a statement about the methods of analyses may also be given here) and,
conclusions of the article in well-structured paragraphs. Short and simple
are the key points when writing a summary for your article.
About 1-2 pages long. As the name implies, it introduces the subject to
the reader. It should give:
1. A short historic background (e.g. when, and by whom the matter
was raised first; connection to people lives; chronology of events if
2. Outstanding questions remaining to be answered.
3. What the paper is set to do (objectives).
An introduction usually contains citations from other works on the subject
such that the readers are informed as to where they can locate key sources
about the subject under discussion. The introduction section should also
be the most non-technical part of the paper so that readers can decide
whether the reading benefits them. As a courtesy to readers, you may add
a paragraph at the end, describing how you plan to proceed with your analyses.
Analyses and Discussion
This will be the bulk of your paper, typically 4-7 pages long, including
text, data tables, maps, photos and graphs. The analyses and discussion
must be your take from what you have read and researched, and come in
your own words. The best approach is to break it down into a number of
subheadings so that a reader does not get lost. You may number the subheadings
in order of their importance, or just have subheadings.
This approach allows the readers to skip unwanted sections as well as
letting them see the order and structure of your paper. It also makes
it easy for you to keep track of the development of the subject as you
write. It is advisable that you design the paper with all its subsections
in mind before you write, but this may not always be possible. If you
include diagrams, maps, charts, photos or graphs, they must be labeled
and have captions, complete with a figure number assigned at the beginning
of the caption, like: Fig. 2. Graph showing the fractal distribution of
clasts in a cataclasite (reference here); Table 3. Orientation data of
foliation in the mylonite... (reference).
No more than a page, usually one or two paragraphs. Put all the salient
points of the paper here. However, you need to present these points in
some order of importance commensurate with the way you posed the issues
in the analyses/discussion part. Without the conclusion section, a paper
sounds like a story or a newspaper article. Do not conclude something
that is not supported by what you presented in the discussion.
You may have cited a number of scientific articles, books, newspapers,
websites, or other sources in your paper. Now you need to tell the reader
about them in sufficient detail such that if needed, they can locate the
sources. There are several standard formats for giving references. You
would adopt the following format.
In the text:
Smith (1989) has suggested that..., or ... It was inferred that the natives
were capable of defending themselves (Smith, 1989).
In the reference list:
Smith J. D. "A History of Kentucky", 2nd Edition 1989, Goodwill
Publishers Inc. Lexington KY.
Journal Articles, Newspaper Articles:
In the text:
Poet & Albridge (1992) contended that Illinois basin was... or: Several
communities along the river complied (Poet & Albridge, 1992).
In the reference list: Poet James K & Albridge C. D. (1992), The great
mining towns of Illinois, Journal of Exploration, Vol. 132, # 12, 435-455.
In the text: ...In this respect the data published by the USDA is conclusive
In the reference list:
W5: US Department of Energy. http://www.usde.gov/epon.usde/html
Criteria for Grading the Research Papers
Your research paper must be a balanced discussion of different aspects
of the environmental issue. The paper is graded based on the following
Criteria % of grade
Paper follows the format provided above. 20
Paper is divided into sections that make the arguments and interpretations
easy and clear. 20
Paper has enough evidence, explanation, previous work, to justify its
analyses and conclusions. 30
Paper uses properly captioned graphs, models, maps, tables, etc., with
relevant references. 10
Paper is reasonably free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
Paper has an alphabetical list of proper references, that are appropriately
referred to in the text. 10