For this project, you’ll be writing an academic paper on a topic that was covered in this course.
Expectations for This Project
You should be able to do the following:
1. Identify a nutritional topic of interest that can be applied to a current nutritional issue
2. Identify information that addresses the nutritional issue
3. Analyze information to apply it to a defined population
4. Examine areas in which additional information may be needed to help a defined population address the nutritional issue
5. Recommend approaches to distribute the nutritional information to a defined population
There are a variety of topics available as the focus of your academic research paper. This paper should be about nutrition, which is a broad topic. You can choose any area of nutrition you would like. Here are a few examples, but please don’t let these examples limit your topic choice. You can pick something that interests you about nutrition.
The impact of nutrition on the development of a chronic pathology, such as
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Note: If you choose to write about a pathology, you need to make sure the paper is about how nutrition prevents or affects the pathology. This paper should not be about medical drugs or surgeries.
General nutrition topics:
Application of nutrigenomics
Analysis of eating plans
Use of MyPlate with a vegetarian eating plan
Economic effects on nutrition
Fluid balance through the lifespan
What Is an Academic Paper?
An academic paper is a document that critically analyzes a specific topic. It begins with general information about the topic and then moves into the specifics. The specifics are explained by answering the who, what, when, where, and why about the topic. Academic papers should be written in the third person and maintain an impersonal tone. This paper isn’t about your opinion and shouldn’t include words like I, me, we, or us.
Sections of the Paper
The paper should include the following sections:
Table of contents
Approaches or treatments
Expected outcomes or recommendations
The title page identifies the title of the paper, your name, the course name, and the date. The title of the paper should reflect the content.
Table of Contents
A table of contents identifies the sections within the research paper. This part of the paper is typically created last, since it lists the topics and their associated page numbers within the paper. In Microsoft Word, you can generate a table of contents automatically by using headings such as Heading 1, Heading 2, and then using the TOC command.
The following is an example of a table of contents:
Vitamin C: An Essential Nutrient—Page 4
Reference List—Page 9
The abstract is a summary of the paper. This part of the paper is also written after the entire paper is complete. The length of the abstract should be about 100 to 200 words and should include information that appears elsewhere in the paper.
Example of an abstract:
Vitamin C has been identified as an essential nutrient for all age groups; however, it has been found to be lacking in those over age 65. Reasons for inadequate amounts of vitamin C include a high intake of processed foods, limited ability to obtain fresh foods, and restricted income. Problems associated with low vitamin C levels in older adults include poor wound healing, frequent infections, fatigue, and the increased onset of chronic illnesses. Strategies to increase vitamin C intake include selecting fresh or frozen foods over those that are processed or canned; purchasing fresh produce when in season; and buying produce from local growers. Increasing the intake of vitamin C will reduce the frequency of acute illnesses and infections, allay the development of chronic illnesses, and improve energy levels. The importance of adequate vitamin C intake should be communicated through wellness programs, community health fairs, health and wellness clinics, and public service announcements targeting the older population.
The introduction is where the topic of interest is introduced to the reader. This is also known as the statement of purpose—that is, what you want the reader to learn from this paper and the perspective they’ll learn it from.
This part of the paper should be four to six paragraphs in length, totaling about one page. Information that appears here may include generalities about the purpose of the paper, who will benefit from reading the information in this paper, why the topic is important, and the overall goal of writing the paper. This section should answer the question of what this paper will be about—but of course, answering that directly with a phrase such as, “This paper is about. . .” is unacceptable. The last sentence in the introduction needs to be your thesis statement.
Body of the Paper
The body of the paper should be three to five pages long. It should include why the chosen topic is important, who the topic affects, when it needs to be addressed, how it can be prevented, any statistical information you’ve found about the topic, where changes can be made, and what’s going well in relation to this topic.
You can break the body of your essay into different parts if it’s easier for you to organize the information this way. For example, you might section it off using these subsections: application, approaches, treatments, outcomes, recommendations, and so on.
The final section of the paper is the conclusion or summary. Here, all of the major points discussed in the paper are reviewed, along with the conclusions you’ve formed by analyzing the topic.
All academic papers must contain a list of the references used when researching and writing the paper. It should be formatted using APA format.
Keep in mind that there are good and bad internet resources.
Primary sources are written by the scientists who are doing the research, carrying out experiments and drawing conclusions.
Secondary sources consolidate and translate the work of the primary sources for more general audiences.
Tertiary sources are sites that gather information from other sites and aren’t necessarily reliable.
When evaluating websites, be aware of who or what organization has created the content. Make sure you use sites without a bias or hidden agenda that might lead them to present material in a deceptive way.
Wikipedia is a tertiary source. While it’s a great place to start your research, you must validate every statement you offer, and that means referencing secondary and primary sources only. No tertiary sources should be used.
Be sure that any website you reference is a primary source or a secondary source such as the following:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Recognized agencies such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), the American Lung Association (ALA), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are also considered valid secondary sources.
Writing the Paper
The following instructions should be implemented when preparing your paper.
1. Set all page margins to 1-inch.
2. Begin each section on a new page. For example, the abstract should be on one page, the introduction should start on a new page, and the body of the paper should start on a new page.
3. Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
4. Support your data by citing specific information from the textbook, websites, and any other references, using correct APA guidelines.
5. Write the table of contents after the entire paper has been written or use the automatic TOC generator in MS Word.
6. Write the abstract after the entire paper has been written.
7. Proofread your completed paper several times to check for typographical errors. You can also use websites such as Grammarly.com to help with these types of errors.
Reading the paper out loud is another excellent way to find your errors. Use spell check and grammar check in Word.
8. Save the completed paper as a Word document (.doc or .docx) file to ensure that your assignment can be evaluated.