This is what it says in the syllabus: You will write one formal paper using standard scientific essay format on a topic of interest that we will cover in A&P1. Make sure to select a specific topic and avoid broad ideas. You must use appropriate scientific peer-reviewed journals to support your research (i.e. no fact sheets or websites). Sources must be cited using APA format. (Reminder, science writing DOES NOT quote. We paraphrase findings in our own words and cite the work after each mention, not just at the bottom of the paragraph or at the end of the paper.) Papers must be no less than 8 pages, excluding title page, graphs, figures, and references. Papers must cite at least 10 peer-reviewed scientific papers of which only 3 can be reviews. The other 7 papers will be primary research papers. Your rough draft (including all required references, sections, and pages) must be checked by either the Concordia Writing Center, online on the Tutor.com website (you have a free account with Concordia for several assignments), or by a qualified faculty/staff member a week before the draft is due. The draft and final paper will be due electronically on Blackboard in order to go through the Safe Assign plagiarism software. We will discuss the paper in more detail during the class and you will also do a 5 minute class presentation about your research topic to share with the class.
So now I will expand on that a bit. First some points on format, moving from basic to more specific. The margins should be 1 inch, the font should be 12 point and I expect the paper to be double spaced. Make up your own title and make a title page, listing the title, course, instructor, date and school. I will not be counting it among the length of the paper. You should have an abstract (single spaced) that is a summary of the paper. You should have an Introduction that tells us about the topic and has your research thesis (or main question or idea) at the end. You should have subtitles in the body of your paper, dividing the different areas you are focusing on (this means subtitles like Causes of X Disease not a subtitle like Body. You should have a discussion where you discuss how all of your research comes together to give a big picture and what things we should have learned. Then you have a Conclusion where you sum up what you have told us, answering your research question and talking about future research in the field. It is followed by a References page that is not counted in the paper total. APA style citation is typical of that in science journals and that is what you should use. See the Purdue Owl or our library for more information about APA style.
If you can not determine the name of the author(s) or the year it was created, it is a very safe bet that it is not a peer reviewed reference. Your instructor will point out how you can access the journals online and they have the ability to select only peer reviewed publications. If you need more help, come see me, or talk with one of the librarians. By the way, not everything in a peer reviewed journal is indeed peer reviewed. At the end of your paper, you will list all of the references that you actually used in the paper. If you cited it, it must be listed, if it is listed it must have been cited. This will be alphabetical by author and will include the names of all authors, the year, the title of the article, the name of the journal, the volume number and the pages of the article. There are other ways to cite chapters or books, ask me about them if you need to.
Web sites are not an acceptable reference. There are wonderful things on the web, they have their place, this is not that place. I want you to go a different route than the simple act of googling something many of you are used to. On the other hand, you do not necessarily want to ignore the web. You may get pointed to some things that you can then look up in the academic journals. In other words, it can be a good source of ideas to get you thinking about phrases to use, or find the names of people working in that field whose papers you might want to look up. There will be parts of this paper in which you will clearly be showing that the ideas being presented our sound, or at least accepted as valid in the scientific community, based on your backing up these thoughts with strong references that set them forth. Other parts of the paper, will not have much in the way of references, because they will be your own thoughts and ideas on the subject, based on what you have learned and read as you studied and reflected on the topic you chose.
One last stylistic comment before I say a word or two more about how you should be approaching the topic. If you directly quote someone you obviously need to put the phrase in quotation marks. However, you rarely see quotation marks in a scientific paper. It is considered very poor writing, as in something you left behind for the most part in high school if not earlier. What you do instead is paraphrase, put into your own words, the idea that the original author is trying to convey. You still must put in the citation, because you need to give credit to those who came up with the idea. Just because you changed the wording slightly it does not follow that the idea is somehow yours.
This is an upper level course, and as such I expect you to be using a higher level of reflection in your writing. I want more than just a recitation that this is the problem, and this is how it is best treated. You need to show me your ability to think. What needs to be done on the topic? What avenues do you think should be explored? What do you think could be done about this situation, from a scientific sense, or from a sociological sense, or from a cultural sense? What is the bottom line message that people should be aware of? Is there a particular segment of society, who need to react differently, have additional information, take specific actions [coaches, athletes in a particular sport, individuals with specific risk factors, etc.]? This paper will explain what the problem is, what is being done to try to address the problem and attempt to explore what may be done to address the problem in the future
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