FORMAT – The paper will be at least 750-1250 words (between 3-5 typed double spaced pages, not including the title page, references, and figures, etc.) Don’t fool yourself, or try to fool us, by using great big print and widely spaced lines. Use 12 point font, 1 inch margins, and double-space the text. Number the pages. The components of the paper are discussed below in the order in which they would appear: Title Page – On the title page, include the following: the paper title, your name, the class and section number, and the date. Choose a title that describes accurately what the paper is about. For example, Dinosaurs is much too broad a title for a paper that is actually about the ecology and feeding behavior of Deinonychus, and Claws and Jaws (a paper about velociraptor anatomy) is ambiguous and a bit corny.
Abstract – An abstract is not a rewording of the conclusions, nor is it part of the introduction. Rather, it is a brief review (usually a paragraph) of the most important findings or points discussed in your paper. Condense the paper into the main points you hope the reader should get out of it. Abstracts are placed first but written last. Use the heading “Abstract.” Introduction – The introduction gives some background information about your subject, and lets the reader know why the subject is worth the research you put into it. Near the end of the introduction, you must state very specifically the purpose/goals of the paper (i.e., what you are trying to investigate or prove/disprove) and how you will go about it. For example: This paper describes how the body morphology impacts hydrodynamics of the Plesiosaur P. dolichodeirus and their prey selection. I discuss the skull and limb geometries and the evolutionary history of these features and their influence on prey selection over time. By the end of the paper, the reader should feel that these stated goals of the paper were adequately addressed. Use the heading “Introduction.” Body (Main Text) – The body of the paper is where you discuss your topic. In papers detailing experimental results (such as a lab report you may have written for a chemistry class), the body is typically composed of sections headed Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion. For a research-type paper such as this, however, the sections can be given whatever heading you want as long as they indicate clearly the subject matter in them. Do not head the section “Body.” Instead, use sub headings to identify main subject discussions. For example: “Anatomy of Plesiosaurs,” “Evolution and body morphology,” and “PredatorPrey interactions”, and “Comparison to Modern Marine Mammals”.
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