Does Shoe Collar Height Affect Rapid Ankle Cutting and Reaction Time in Basketball Players?

General form of a research paper


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• Print or type using a 12 point standard font, such as Times, Geneva, Bookman, Helvetica, etc.

• Text should be double spaced on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper with 1 inch margins, single sided

• Number pages consecutively

• Present your points in logical order

• Use present tense to report well accepted facts – for example, ‘the grass is green’

• Use past tense to describe specific results – for example, ‘When weed killer was applied, the grass was brown’

• Avoid informal wording, don’t address the reader directly, and don’t use jargon, slang terms, or superlatives

• Avoid use of superfluous pictures – include only those figures necessary to presenting results

• Indent the first line of each paragraph

• Avoid placing a heading at the bottom of a page with the following text on the next page (insert a page break!)

•Dividing a table or figure – confine each figure/table to a single page


1. Title Page

Select an informative title that clearly explains your research study. Include the name(s) of all authors, and date submitted. “Biology lab #1” would not be an informative title, for example.

2. Introduction/Review of Literature

The purpose of an introduction is to acquaint the reader with the rationale behind the work, with the intention of defending it. It places your work in a theoretical context, and enables the reader to understand and appreciate your objectives. Your introductions should not exceed two pages (double spaced, typed).

This section should include:

                • Describe the importance (significance) of the study – why was this worth doing in the first place?

                • Provide an overview of the research pertinent to your study?

• Provide a rationale. State your specific hypothesis(es) or objective(s), and describe the reasoning that led you to select them.

Important points:


• Use past tense except when referring to established facts. After all, the paper will be submitted after all of the work is completed.

• Organize your ideas, making one major point with each paragraph.

• State the hypothesis/objective precisely – do not oversimplify.

3. Methods

This will likely be one or three pages, depending the amount of equipment used in your study. The objective is to document all specialized materials and general procedures, so that another individual may use some or all of the methods in another study or judge the scientific merit of your work.

This section should include:

• A clear and specific explanation of every step taken, every test done and every piece of equipment used. BE VERY DETAILED IN THIS SECTION.

• Write this section so someone can repeat your study 100% by only reading your Methods section.

• When discussing equipment used, be specific about its type, model, brand and manufacturer.


Important Points:

• When writing the method, use third person passive voice.

• Avoid bullet points or lists

4. Results

The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Use figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively. The purpose of a results section is to present and illustrate your findings. Make this section a completely objective report of the results.

This section should include:

• A summary of your data in paragraph and figure/table form.

• In text, describe each of your results, pointing the reader to observations that are most relevant.

• Describe results of control experiments and include observations that are not presented in a formal figure or table, if appropriate.

Important Points:

• DO NOT discuss or interpret your results, report background information, or attempt to explain anything. JUST THE DATA!!!

• Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper.

• Do not present the same data more than once.

• Please do not confuse figures with tables – there is a difference.

• Use past tense when you refer to your results, and put everything in a logical order.

• Make sure tables and figures have titles and labelled axises and are numbered consecutively.

• When presenting mean values, be sure to include standard deviation as well.

•Each figure and table must be sufficiently complete that it could stand on its own, separate from text

5. Discussion

 This may be 1-3 pages. The objective here is to provide an interpretation of your results and support for all of your conclusions, using evidence from your experiment and generally accepted knowledge, if appropriate. The significance of findings should be clearly described.

Things to include in a discussion:

• Decide if each hypothesis is supported, rejected, or if you cannot make a decision with confidence. Do not simply dismiss a study or part of a study as “inconclusive.”

• Research papers are not accepted if the work is incomplete. Draw what conclusions you can based upon the results that you have, and treat the study as a finished work

• You may suggest future directions, such as how the experiment might be modified to accomplish another objective.

• Explain all of your observations as much as possible, focusing on mechanisms.

• Decide if the experimental design adequately addressed the hypothesis, and whether or not it was properly controlled.

• Try to offer alternative explanations if reasonable alternatives exist.

• Recommendations for specific papers will provide additional suggestions.