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Community Education

Suggestions for Research Papers
Introduction
A number of items are included in this section. Keep in mind that you are writing the introduction to provide background, details, or the setting of your specific research problem. Presume that the reader will be scientifically literate, but may not be familiar with the details. First in the introduction, state the purpose of the research study. Secondly, state the hypothesis that you are testing. Lastly, describe what is already known about the research as reported in relevant and referenced literature.

Materials, Methods, and Procedures
State the materials, methods, or procedures used to conduct the research in a step-by-step manner. This section should be written specifically enough so that the research could be replicated.

Results (Data or Findings)
Present the results of your research findings in logical order. Use graphs, tables and/or other representation. Tables and graphs should be numbered separately and include captions and may be referenced in the text but included in an appendix. Numbering will enable you to refer to them in text quite easily. Even though you may present your results in a graphic form, you must explain in text the important features of each table, graph, etc. This is also the appropriate place to report the results of statistical analysis of your data. Remember to report the type of statistical test used.

Discussions and Conclusions
You interpret your results in this section. First restate your hypothesis and explain how your data either supported or rejected you initial research questions. Discuss your research findings in relationship to what is already known about the research problem(reported in the introduction section). Draw conclusions based upon your research findings (as reported in the results section). Your conclusions can include relevant, subjective observations or comments, but do state that these are speculation.

Acknowledge any limitations which effect the research results. For example, what further experiments need to be performed? Statistical techniques used to manipulate the data may have limitations. Some of the treatment effect might have been caused by a random, uncontrolled intervening variable. Again, acknowledge these limitations and other factors over which the research had no control and state how these might have influenced the study outcomes. Possibilities for further research suggested by your study may also be presented.

Literature Cited (references)
This is a list of citations for every article cited in your text. End notes are needed for all direct quotations and for all important statements of fact or opinions that are taken from written sources. Figures, dates, descriptions of situations, scientific data, opinion, representations and the like which are presented to advance the subject of the paper need a stated source. Check with your teacher or other advisor if you need further advice about the format for end notes.

Appendices
Tables, graphs and diagrams may be included in appendices rather than in the body of the paper. In some cases, you may wish to include large tables of raw data in your report. You should also include such items in an appendix at the very end of your research report. Label and paginate your appendices as well as the body of the report
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