Research Paper


Research Paper


  • Your paper must have a proper Abstract. This is a summary of the paper--but it is put at the beginning of the paper, not at the end. This is a common practice in scientific writing. If you have questions, spend some time looking through scientific publications such as Science or Nature for examples of abstracts. If you still can't figure it out, ask for advice.

  • Proper references must be included, and cited correctly. Footnoting as necessary should be done in the form of "endnotes" (again, this is the general practice in scientific writing). There are a variety of acceptable formats, but whichever format you select, you should be consistent, and make sure that your references include all pertinent information. Check out some of the journals available to you for ideas. Consult the College of DuPage's Library page for guidelines for citations.

  • You must draw your material from more than one major source. Otherwise, you are essentially plagiarizing. Investigate the offerings in the various science sections of the Library with the intention of noting possible topics for your paper and seeing what kinds of information are available there. Don't neglect the possibilities of periodical literature. Remember that it takes about 2 years for a book to make it from the author's hands into publication, and that means that books are automatically about 2 years out of date on the day of publication. Use recent sources for your paper unless "classic" sources are appropriate.

  • Formal papers must be typed. If you type, but don't have a typewriter, you will need to make arrangements to get someone to type your paper for you. Keep deadlines in mind, and remember that the best of typists can't turn out a 15 page paper in an hour! If you go to a professional, remember that business is surely going to be very brisk at the end of the semester, and give your typist lots of lead time. This means get your paper written in legible draft at least a week before you plan to turn it in! Give your typist several days to get the original typing done, and plan to spend an hour or so carefully proofreading the typescript. Don't ever leave the proofreading to your typist. If you want your paper proofed for spelling and grammar, expect to pay extra for it. And, on that note...

  • Yes, spelling, grammar, punctuation, appearance, format, etc., all count. This is, after all, a formal paper. Your final 75 point evaluation will be 67% (50 points) on content, and 33% (25 points) on mechanics. "Mechanics" means proper format, and proper use of the language. If you are concerned that you might not be able to do a very good job of this, take advantage of CoD's Writing Center. Above all, PROOFREAD! And remember that spell-check is a very poor proofreader.

  • You will be required to submit two progress reports on your paper. Both must, of course, be typed. The first of these will be due by the end of the sixth week of the semester, and will consist of a working title, a general content statement (2 or 3 sentences should be plenty), and complete references for at least three of the sources which you will be using. The second will be due by the end of the ninth week of the semester, and will consist of a working abstract, a topical outline, and a reference list (in proper format) for the paper. The final paper will be due on the final Monday of the semester. All late reports will be penalized at the rate of 10% per CoD class day.

First Progress Report: 10 points
Second Progress Report: 15 points
Final Paper: 75 points
Total: 100 points

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