A review is a comprehensive synthesis of results from a wide and complex set of studies
• A synthesis of findings rather than ideas.
• Goal of a review paper is to help readers make sense of all available information
• Direct quotations rarely found in reviews. Do Not Use!
Research reviews focus on primary sources which is provided in the course
• Original scientific experimentation reported in the scientific paper
Formatting the Paper
• Minimum of 3200 characters (not including title, your names, heading etc..)
• Typed, double-spaced
• 12 point serif type fonts (Times, Times New Roman, Palatino)
• Margins 1.5″ left, 1″ top, 1″ right, 1″ bottom
• Indent each new paragraph 0.25″
• Use sparingly
• Make them informative and concise
• Center headings.
• Triple space before the heading and double space after the heading
• Use 12-point font, but bold
Using Numbers in Paper
• Spell out numbers less than 10
• Do not begin a sentence with a numeral, even if it larger than 10
• Always use numerals when reporting quantitative data with a unit: 15 km, 8 g, 5 mL
• Always italicized
• Genus capitalized, species not
• Abbreviate genus name after the first reference: Querus alba becomes Q. alba
• Avoid using common names without scientific names. For example, “corn” is not the same thing in different parts of the world. Give the scientific name instead of or following the common name: The great white shark, C. carcharias, is commonly found—- or C. carcharias is commonly found—- • Do not use articles (the, a, an) with scientific names
• “Species” is a collective singular: There is no such word as specie. For example, “This species is specific to one locale.”
• Genera names can be used alone if you are referring collectively (Some species of Sargassum grow—-)
• Taxonomic levels above the genus level are capitalized but not italicized: the
Chilopoda (centipedes), Animalia, Chordata, Osteichthyes
• Some taxa have been modified to become common names, which are not capitalized: lycopsids from Lycopsida; dipterans from Diptera
Subscripts and Superscripts
• Use superscripts for degree measurements, ion charges, and mathematical expressions: 36oC, Ca++ or Ca2+
• Use subscripts for chemical compounds: CaCl2 Fe2(SO4)3
Writing the Paper
• Remember the basic outline for a review paper (above)
• Adress the question the researchers are asking. Why are they doing this work?
• Summarize the methods, and discuss how they are answering this question e.g. using humans and fMRI or mouse genetics or C. elegans etc.
• Most importantly: what did they find? This will be the main portion of your essay. Don’t just reword their findings, but rather discuss them in your own words. Don’t be afraid to draw your own conclusions
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