GUIDELINES FOR RESEARCH PAPER
* The written portion of your research paper should be 7-9 pages in length (excluding the cover page and bibliography), typed, double-spaced (with standard margins) in 12-point Times New Roman font (about 1750 words or more).
* Your topic should be something relating to the history of modern science.
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* The research project requires that you use at least five sources from the library, from the library’s electronic resources, or from Interlibrary Loan.
Since time is so short for this summer class, I will assume most of you will use electronic sources unless you are near campus and can go to the library.
You should avoid using sources directly from the web
There are many very dubious sources out there and I would like you to use legitimate sources.
This is a collection of scholarly journals, some from history.
* A biography of an important scientist is a good topic for your research paper.
here are many biographies of some of the most famous scientists, such as Newton, Darwin, and Einstein.
You can read some of these biographies and synthesize the information you find there for your paper. You can also read original works by these scientists (a plus for your grade). Some original information is posted on websites. For example, a large amount of the works of Darwin
* Citations to those sources within the text of the written project should indicate the source and specific page from which the reference was obtained.
* Wikipedia is NOT to be used as a source. You can use Wikipedia to gain background information, but it is too unreliable to use as a source.
* Bibliography page: Citations in the bibliography must include the author’s name, the title, and publication information, including the city/state of publication, publisher’s name, and the year of publication.
* Plagiarism: Please be careful to use your own words! Do not use other people’s work without using the proper procedures for quotations, footnotes, and paraphrasing. If you have questions about this, please see me.
ORGANIZING THE PAPER
OUTLINE: No one would think of building a house or computer without a plan. However, students regularly write without a plan. As a result, poor organization is a common weakness in undergraduate papers. The best way to construct your plan and organize the information for maximum effect is to put together an outline. An outline allows you to lay out your paper’s structure, ensures that it is complete and logical, and prevents you from getting off track. Determine what you wish to accomplish in the paper; then prepare an outline specifying every step from Introduction to Conclusion. Linear writing is crucial in professional papers and reports. An outline also serves to help you later: It ensures that you stay on track, provide an accurate summary for your conclusions, and cover all of the relevant issues and arguments.
PARTS: All papers should have three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction is the key to letting your reader know where you are headed and what you will accomplish. Remember always that while the organization of the paper may be clear to you, it is not clear to the reader. Therefore, the introduction is something like a road map that acquaints the reader with the journey ahead. This will make it easier for the reader to understand what follows and will improve the reader’s evaluation of your paper. Tell the reader in concise terms (1) what the subject of the paper is, (2) what it is you hope to find out, and (3) how you will go about it.
The main body is the largest part of the paper. It should have a logical organization. Especially if the paper is long, it is often a good idea to divide the main body into several sections designated by headings and subheadings. Look at almost any text and you will see that it uses headings to help keep the reader aware of the organizational structure.
Also with regard to your main body, do not assume knowledge on the part of the reader. Include all important information, explain its significance, and detail your logic. Write your paper as though its reader will be a reasonably intelligent and informed person but not your professor or another expert on the topic. Your instructor wants to know what you know and will not “read into” the paper information that is not there.
The conclusion should sum up what you have found and stress the evidence that supports your analysis. There is something very human about wanting to have things summed up, so do not leave your reader hanging without a conclusion.