Basic structure of a paper

All papers have three components: I. Introduction **Introductory paragraph or two (also called the "organizing theme") lays out what you will do, why, and why it's important. Look at the paper like an upside-down funnel: Start with general overview, then taper down with increasing focus and precision as you develop it. II. Body: This is where you develop ideas in your introduction. Put in some subjections. For example, after the introduction, you can have headers such as: **Methodology (where you explain in detail where you get data, why, and how). For the final paper, you go into great detail. You describe for several pages what your data source was, why you selected it, and other issues related to how and why you obtained your data. This includes how you recorded and stored it. **Ethical issues (if there are any--if not, skip this section or if short, summarize in the methodology section **Review of the Literature: All papers at some point draw from other research on a similar topic. This is where you summarize the key points of what you've read as they relate to your study **Findings/data (this has many different names, but it's where you present your material. There are often subheads in this section, as we'll explain **Weaknesses of the research (explained in class--this can be omitted, but if there are problems with logic or data, it can be explained here) **Directions for future research: How could other researchers build on what you found? There is no magic formula for addressing these. Some people have sub-headers labeling each issue, others create new subheads or combine sections. What's important is that you address these issues in your final paper. III. Conclusion: "Bringing it all back home." A conclusion should NOT be more than a page, give or take a bit. You put nothing new in the conclusion. It's where you summarize and tie things together

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