Sections of the Term Paper
1. Title Page
2. Abstract
a. An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph, the major aspects of the entire paper
i. The question(s) you investigated (or purpose). State the purpose clearly in the first or second sentence.
ii. Briefly describe the topic (background) without going into excessive detail
iii. Report major findings
iv. A brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions
3. Introduction
a. Establish the context of the work being reported. Summarize the current understanding of the problem you are investigating
i. State the purpose of the work in the form of a thesis statement
ii. Briefly explain your rationale/approach and, where possible, the outcomes your study can reveal
4. Description of the Topic (Background) – literature review
a. Provide a brief and balanced review of the pertinent (important/relevant) published literature that is available on the subject
i. Summarize for the reader what is known about the specific problem before you did your current analysis
ii. Conduct a general review of the primary research literature (with citations) but should not include very specific lengthy explanations that you will probably discuss in greater detail in the discussion section
iii. You should introduce Diamond’s Theory of Societal Collapse in this section
5. Data
a. Provide 1-3 visuals (pictures, graphs, tables) with captions and citations. Be mindful that some visuals may require to be in color if the colors have specific value (ex. demographic data, elevation, etc.)
6. Analysis of Data/Results
a. Objectively present your key results without interpretation in an orderly and logical sequence of events using both text and the visuals from the previous section
i. The section should be crafted to follow a logical sequence and highlight the evidence needed to answer the question(s)/thesis
7. Implications/Discussion
a. The function of this section is to interpret your results in light of what was already known about the subject (as outlined in the Description of the Topic (Background)) and to explain the new understanding of the problem after taking your results into consideration.
i. This section will connect to the introduction but it doesn’t simply repeat
the introduction. Instead, it tells how you have progressed from the
ii. Take Diamond’s Theory of Societal Collapse and show how the points of
the theory add to the understanding of the problem. What is the new
understanding of the problem with Diamond’s theory in mind?
8. Conclusion
a. Provide a general summary. What are some gaps in the literature that still need to
be addressed by future studies? Most importantly, describe the lessons to be
learned by society today.
9. Works Cited
a. In APA format, list the sources cited for the paper.