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WELCOME TO JOHN B. CADE LIBRARY

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Introduction

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Do not be tempted to insert large numbers of graphs and figures just for the sake of it; each figure and graph should be mentioned, referred to and discussed in the text. Try to avoid putting in tables and graphs showing the same information; select the type that shows your results most clearly. It is usually preferable to use graphs and relegate the tables to the appendix because it is easier to show trends in graphical format.

Figures and graphs should be clear and occupy at least half a page; you are not a magazine editor trying to fit a small graph into an article. All such information must be numbered, as diagrams for graphs and illustrations, and figures for tables; they should be referred to by this number in the body of the report.

You do not need to put the full breakdown of the calculations used for your statistical tests; most scientists hate statistics and are only interested in whether your results were significant or not. Relegate the calculations to the appendix. The results section of your report should be neutral and you should avoid discussing your results or how they differed from or compared with what was expected.

This information belongs in the next section. This is the pivotal section of your hard work in obtaining and analyzing your results. In your discussion you should seek to discuss your findings, and describe how they compared and differed from the results you expected. In a nutshell, you are trying to show whether your hypothesis was proved, not proved or inconclusive. You must be extremely critical of yourself in this section; you will not get marked down for mistakes in experiment design or for poor results, only for not recognizing them.

Everybody who has written a dissertation or thesis has had to give a presentation to a room full of fellow students, scientists and professors and give a quick synopsis. These people will tear your report apart if you do not recognize its shortcomings and flaws.

Very few experiments are per cent correct in their design and conception so it is not really important what your results were, only that you understand their significance. Usually you will have had some promising results and some that did not fit with what you expected.

Discuss why things may have gone wrong and what could be done to refine the results in future. Suggest what changes in experimental design might improve the results; there is no right or wrong in science, only progress.

Finally, you can discuss at the end ideas for further research, either refining the experiment or suggesting new areas. Even if your paper was a one off, somebody may come along and decide that they find your research interesting and that they would like to continue from where you left off.

This is really just a more elaborate version of the abstract. In a few paragraphs you should summarize your findings. Your abstract will do most of this for you but, as long as you do not get carried away, especially for longer reports, it can help the reader absorb your findings a little more. Include all of your direct references here, even if you only found a couple of sentences. In the case where somebody referred to an original source, reference that too, but if you did not manage to get hold of it, try to rewrite so that you will not have to reference or use "referred in"-citation.

Here it is polite to acknowledge anybody who helped you with this report, although do not go overboard; it is not an Oscar speech. Your supervisor is a good start, as well as others who helped.

If a landowner gave you permission to take samples then it is good practice to acknowledge them and give them a summary of your results, if permitted. Appendices are very useful because they give you a place to dump raw data and calculations. They must still be laid out correctly; the data must be relevant and referred to in the main report. If you have a lot of relevant photographs of sample sites and methods then they belong here. It is also useful to insert a Google map plan to show from where you took samples.

Hopefully this will have given you a good oversight into writing that perfect report. An outline presents a picture of the main ideas and the subsidiary ideas of any subject.

Some typical uses of outlining are: Some professors will require an outline in sentence form, or require the main points to be in chronological order, or have other specific requirements. What follows illustrates only the basics of outlining.

The library presents it as a quick reminder because students often ask about outlining, and the information is not easy to find quickly in various reference books. Below is a synopsis of the outline form. The main ideas take roman numerals. Sub-points under each main idea take capital letters and are indented.

Academic Writing Research Papers. You may have been given an assignment or prompt for your paper, or a description of it may be found in your syllabus. Do not wait until a day before the paper is due to email your instructor a question about the paper. This delay also suggests to your instructor that you have not planned ahead or given the assignment the proper attention.

Decide on a topic. You may have been assigned a topic, or you may be free to choose your own. Is it to persuade, inform, argue, or analyze? Most term papers require research. You should begin to gather research materials before you outline and write your essay. Librarians are excellent resources who can guide you to credible and relevant research sources.

Make sure your sources are reliable. Keep track of your sources. EndNote and RefWorks are very handy for keeping a record of sources you consult. You may have access to these through your school. Make sure you record the page numbers and sources for any quotations you copy out.

You should generate some ideas about your topic before you try to organize your paper. You may find that prewriting exercises can help you get started. Here are a few you can try: Write for minutes about whatever comes to mind about your topic. You can repeat this exercise multiple times to generate ideas. Clustering is a type of mind-mapping that can help you see connections between ideas. Start by writing your topic on the center of a piece of paper and draw a box around it.

Then, draw a few lines extending from the box. At the end of each of these lines, write down an idea that corresponds to this topic and circle each. Write each question on a separate sheet of paper and respond to the question in as much detail as you can. Write a working thesis. Your thesis statement will likely evolve as you write your term paper.

This type of thesis rarely works for term papers, as they are longer and more complex essays. Go with a statement that states the main focus or claim for your paper. A term paper is usually longer than other types of essays, and it often counts for a significant portion of your grade. Additionally, a term paper usually requires research that takes time and work to produce.

Work on your paper in stages, if you can. Give yourself at least a day between each stage to allow you to come to the paper with fresh eyes. Begin with your introduction. This may involve explanatory remarks of what your field entails, what the purpose of your paper is, and contextual information that your reader needs in order to understand your argument.

Your thesis and argument is likely to evolve as you write, so spending too much time on the introduction up front may be a waste of time. Introductions usually begin with a broad statement and narrow in until you present your thesis statement.

Provide a few bullet points about where you will start and include your thesis statement. Write topic sentences for each paragraph.

Separate different topics into different sections or paragraphs, so that each paragraph deals with one main idea. A good topic sentence will be informative, directional, and interesting. Once you have your topic sentences, you will have an idea of what your paragraphs will discuss.


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Outlining your first draft by listing each paragraph's topic sentence can be an easy way to ensure that each of your paragraphs is serving a specific purpose in your paper. You may find opportunities to combine or eliminate potential paragraphs when outlining—first drafts often contain repetitive ideas or sections that stall, rather than advance, the paper's .

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The Basic Outline of a Paper The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion.

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Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion. But to make sure your paper is complete, consult your instructor for specific parts they wants to be included in your research paper. Sample outlines for research papers will follow. For a short and straightforward paper it may not be necessary to include a contents page. This is not mandatory for a research paper. Introduction This section of your report is where you will document all the painstaking research .

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Jul 07,  · Most outlines include short phrases, which are also called topic outlines. However, using full sentences can help you better understand your ideas. If you’re writing a paper based on your outline, then full sentences will 77%(12). Aug 26,  · How to Outline a Term Paper. A term paper is usually, but not always, a research-based essay due at the end of a semester or term. In it, you are expected to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of the material covered over the previous term%(3).