FAQs about the research paper
1. How do I choose a topic? What do I do once I’ve chosen one?
Choose a topic by selecting something of interest to you that we are covering this semester. It can be a topic about cells, genetic diseases, plants, viruses, etc. Once you think you have a topic that works, e-mail it to me through iCollege. I’ll either approve it or make suggestions to alter it that would make it work for your paper. Topics are first- come, first-served—no one may choose the same topic as a classmate, so don’t delay on submitting yours!
2. What happens if I don’t choose a topic by the deadline
You’ll get an e-mail from me by the end of that week with your topic.
3. How long does my paper have to be?
At least 5 full written pages in length, no more than 7 full written pages. Don’t give me a paper that is less than 5 full pages or you will lose points right off the top of your grade! For example, if you give me a paper that is 4 pages, you can earn a maximum of 80%. The title and references pages (which must be part of your paper) do not count towards your 5 pages.
4. Can I put pictures into my paper?
Yes, you can put in pictures; however, they will not count towards your page count.
5. What do you want in the paper?
I’m looking for you to research something in detail. You’re not trying to re-teach something that we’ve done in class; instead, you’re using something that we’ve touched on in class to do some in-depth research and present that material. I want it to be at a level that another student in our class would have the necessary background to read it but would learn a lot of new material from your paper. I want a paper that goes into detail about science, while demonstrating your understanding of the principles that we’ve discussed in class. Your paper should be narrow in scope and profound in depth.
6. Can I work with my friend on the paper?
You must work independently to write the paper. However, it’s a great idea to have your friend read (and the writing center in the Dunwoody LRC) and critique the finished version of your paper for proofreading, to see if it’s at the appropriate level, etc.
7. What about references? Can I use the textbook?
You must have at least 4 references, all of which must have a person for an author (i.e. no Wikipedia or American Cancer Society or other such websites) and be cited in APA or MLA format. You may use your textbook as one of your sources but will need other scientific sources to write a paper of the appropriate level.
8. Do I need to turn in a hard copy of the report to you?
No—let’s save some trees. Your report only needs to be turned in to TurnItIn.
9. Will you look over my report ahead of time and let me know how it looks?
Sure, as long as you bring or e-mail it to me
Other guidelines for the paper:
a. 1” margins on all sides
c. 12-point Calibri or Times New Roman font
2. How to turn in the paper:
Must be turned in on-line to www.turnitin.com
Turn It In information:
Papers turned in to me with over 13% similarity on originality reports will not be accepted and will earn a grade of 0. I would strongly recommend turning it in at least a week early so that you can check the similarity report and make corrections.
Quotes count as similarities—there should be few or no direct quotes in your report. It is better to write the information yourself and cite the source at the end of the sentence/paragraph—this shows me that you understood the information that you read in that source. If you choose to use a quote or two, they must be properly formatted in quotation marks and cited at the end of the quote.
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