Final Paper / Research Project / Info and Instructions
An effective final paper/research project/scientific paper/end-of-term paper should include and reflect research pertaining to a chosen subject that is of interest to you and relates to the coursework/study. For example, a final paper could concern itself with the question of integrating Waldorf educational principles in early childhood education or the role of art in grade school education, and so on. The final paper should be presented in the following format:
A. Abstract/Summary: An abstract or summary is a succinct (one paragraph) summary of the entire paper. The abstract should briefly describe the question posed in the paper, the methods used to answer this question, the results obtained, and the conclusions. It should be possible to determine the major points of a paper by reading the abstract. Although it is located at the beginning of the paper, it is easiest to write the abstract after the paper is completed.
B. Table of Content: A table of content should be included either at the beginning of the paper (preferable) or at the end of the paper. The table of content should clearly list the different chapters and titles thereof, abstract, introduction, citations, etc.
C. Introduction: The Introduction should describe the question tested by the experiments or research described in the paper, and explain why this is an interesting or important question, further describe the approach used in sufficient detail that a reader who is not familiar with the technique will understand what was done and why, and finally very briefly mention the conclusion of the paper.
D. Materials and Methods: The Materials and Methods section should succinctly describe what was actually done. It should include a description of the techniques used so someone could figure out what experiments or research were actually done. The details of a published protocol do not need to be reproduced in the text but an appropriate reference should be cited – e.g., simply indicate “were done as described by Hughes et al. (4).” Any changes from the published protocol should be described. It is not appropriate to indicate volumes of solutions added – instead indicate the relevant information about the experiment or research such as methods used, etc.
E. Results: Begin each paragraph with an opening sentence that tells the reader what question is being tested in the experiments or research described in that paragraph.
F. Conclusion: The conclusion should be the final chapter and include a summary of the results and conclusions reached concerning the research project.
G. Illustrations and Images: Depending on the subject matter, illustrations and images should be included with the different chapters of the paper.
H. Resources: A listing of citations, quotes and sources including literature used should be placed at the end of the paper.