to write an research paper

Format of Literature Review Paper

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  • 200 words, no references.
  • Not a location for literature review, but summation of your paper.


  • Probably ~2 pages. Location of general background material.
  • Ultimately leads to a statement of the question


  • This the extensive literature review where you present information obtained from various published sources.
  • Normally should use a number of headings and subheadings to emphasize the logical organization to the paper.
  • Each section should flow into the next. Use transition sentences to tie together different topics.
  • Do not include your results here if your study has already begun. Do include results from completed studies.
  • End with a description of the specific question/hypothesis in which you are interested (in more detail than in introduction).


  • Describe the rationale for the actual experiments proposed.
  • Explicitly state the hypothesis.
  • Provide details of experimental design. You do not need to provide details of each step of protocol. Instead, provide details of types of data collected. Identify the various independent and dependent variables, type of experiment, treatments, etc…. Include a discussion of statistical tests to be used.
  • Explain the types of analysis. Most will use a factorial design: what are the factors?
  • Make predictions of your results and how they will relate to your hypothesis. Do not “state” what your results will be. State how outco


  • Use citations in text (Name-Year or Number system – see your textbook). Do not list title of articles and author’s full names and the places of employment.
  • Two formats are common:
    Smith and Jones (1967) showed that frogs like latex beads. And Frogs hop further when dunked in acid (Vatnick et al., 1995).


  • Each must have legend and number.
  • Renumber all material taken from other sources. Do no use figure legends directly
  • Don’t be afraid of making your own figures.
  • Easiest to provide all tables in order and all figures in order at end of paper.

from source material, but write a legend in your own words and provide a citation at

the end of the legend.

Avoid: First person (passive voice preferred) and contractions. One concept per paragraph. Identify Sections of the Paper clearly.

ORGANIZATION is a critical feature of this project.

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