Approach: There are several ways to approach your paper. A common organizational approach is a chronological one. The advantage of this approach is that it uses the passage of time as its organizing mechanism. The disadvantage of a chronological approach is that it can easily become a "laundry list" of events, both important and unimportant. Students often list everything they find, leaving it to the reader to determine which factors are most important. Chronologies are also no substitute for analysis. There is nothing wrong with a chronological approach if it is done well; just be sure to put more emphasis throughout on things happened than on happened.
Besides organization, the other hallmark of a good paper is clarity in writing. Remember that if a paper fails to communicate well, then its research-no matter how well done--will have little impact. There is an old piece of advice that says, "write like you speak." This is terrible advice, at least for formal papers. Good written communication is somewhat different from good spoken communication. When you speak to someone, especially face to face, you can convey meaning through voice inflection, gestures, and other methods in addition to your words. These methods are not available in written communications. Therefore, choice of words, punctuation, and other considerations are particularly vital when you write. Good writing can be divided into three parts: effort, style considerations, and technical matters.
That said, professors dislike it, ostensibly because it can contain errors but mostly because it makes gathering information for student essays too easy, and diverts students from learning how to use other sources that are closer to the actual research and reasoning on which published scholarship and student termpapers (and Wikipedia articles) should be based. This is a futile but entirely legitimate objection. I have heard of professors who grandly declare that they will give an F to anyone who uses Wikipedia (which of course merely forces its use underground).
Throughout the course of our studies, we have all read a lot of literature reviews or scientific papers, those whose methodological standard we could have learned from and improved and others that make us wonder how they ever made it through the peer- review process of the journal. Nevertheless, we have to admit that we all still make mistakes and sometimes submit manuscripts that do not match APA guidelines. In order to improve our general knowledge about how to format papers in our beloved APA style or to refresh our previous knowledge related to it, this post intends to give a brief overview over the structure of a scientific paper and some other crucial APA features your paper should contain.
Main sections of your research paper
Whereas a literature review summarizes the most important experimental and qualitative studies that have been conducted in a specific are of interest, the experimental report is the most common form, one that you will employ when reporting the results of your own thesis or study. Its structure reflects the scientific method and the steps relate to the course your research project follows. It helps interested readers to quickly find the section they are looking for and as it is universally determined by the APA guidelines, it is easy to memorize since you will always have to follow the same structure. Thus, your paper should cover the following areas of interest:
For example: if the student is writing a twelve page research paper about ethanol and its importance as an energy source of the future, would she write with an audience of elementary students in mind? This would be unlikely. Instead, she would tailor her writing to be accessible to an audience of fellow engineers and perhaps to the scientific community in general. What is more, she would assume the audience to be at a certain educational level; therefore, she would not spend time in such a short research paper defining terms and concepts already familiar to those in the field. However, she should also avoid the type of esoteric discussion that condescends to her audience. Again, the student must articulate a middle-ground.
"Academic dishonesty" as used in this policy includes, among other things, cheating, recycling, plagiarism, fabrication, and unauthorized collaboration. Specific examples of conduct listed below are provided as examples only. They are not an exhaustive list of prohibited conduct.
Traditionally, information literacy skills have been most commonly used for evaluating students’ information literacy skills. Many instructors, however, have lost confidence in the learning effectiveness of the traditional undergraduate research paper. Concerns over “cut-and-paste” plagiarism and term paper purchasing have created a need for different approaches towards information-based assignments. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to incorporate information resources into assignments and to foster information literacy skills, without requiring a full-scale research paper. Students may actually respond better to alternative assignments that enable them to focus on specific resources, aspects of the research process, or aspects of the discipline.
It is typically not until the student has begun the writing process that his thesis statement begins to take solid form. In fact, the thesis statement in an analytical paper is often more fluid than the thesis in an argumentative paper. Such is one of the benefits of approaching the topic without a predetermined stance.
Answering this question is a good place to start thinking about term papers because if you know why papers are such a common assignment, then perhaps you can approach the task with added enthusiasm and dedication. Two goals usually motivate this assignment. One goal relates to the specific subject of the course; the other goal is based on your professional development. The first course-specific goal is to increase your expertise in some particular substantive area. The amount that you learn from this or almost any other course will be expanded significantly by doing research and by writing a paper. The effort will allow you to delve into the intricacies of a specific topic far beyond what is possible in the no doubt broad lectures that your instructor must deliver in class. Your research will go beyond the necessarily general commentary found in this text.
Please also note that when developing information-based assignments, the following resources are available to King's College instructors:
Faculty Consultations: Librarians at King’s College are available to discuss various information resources and term-paper alternatives with you. Faculty consultations with librarians help to clarify the learning goals of the assignment, particularly as those goals relate to information literacy.
Study Guides: In addition to consultations, the library has a number of instructional handouts and online research guides that assist students with different types of assignments. Topics covered include writing annotated bibliographies and writing book reviews. Copies of the handouts, or “Study Guides,” are available on the first floor of the library, as well as online at . Online research guides can be accessed at .
Anatomy of a Term Paper
Assignment: Conduct the research for a term paper. Do everything except write it. At various stages, students submit: 1) a clearly defined topic, 2) an annotated bibliography of useful sources, 3) an outline of paper, 4) a thesis statement, 5) an opening paragraph and summary.
The comparative analysis considers similarities and differences between public/non-profit versus for-profit universities in terms of admissions requirements, types of degrees pursued, pedagogy, academic resources, academic standards, and student outcomes.