Miami Dade College
Medical Center Campus
Physician Assistant Program
Behavioral and Community Medicine I
Class Project; research paper
Purpose; The purpose of this project is to provide the student with a research and scientific writing experience. This project will allow the student to demonstrate his/her ability to research, interpret, and evaluate the medical literature in a defined area of medicine, investigate a clinical problem in that defined area, and present the results in a written format exhibiting organization logical consistency and depth of knowledge.
Topics: The student may select any topic that is related to clinical medicine.
- An evaluation of different treatment approaches to a disease or disability
- An explanation of a current health threat to a population and what can be done about it
- Advocacy of a particular approach to the treatment of a disease in contrast to other approaches with supporting information.
When selecting a topic, the student should be sure that there are sufficient references in the medical literature for the topic. A minimum of 15 references are required.
- The review of the medical literature format
There will be only One acceptable format for the required paper: The review of medical literature format. This format consists of a review of the current published literature in a defined area of medicine for the purpose of explaining, clarifying, summarizing, analyzing, or evaluating a topic. For example, the purpose of the paper might be to:
- Analyze a trend, process, discovery, method or other activity in medicine
- Evaluate a practice, treatment, discovery, method or other activity in medicine
- Clarify the pros and cons of a treatment or practice in medicine
- Divisions and headings of the Paper
The paper must have four (4) and only four divisions. Each of the four divisions must be identified with the appropriate heading in the paper. The four divisions are: Introduction, Review of the literature, Discussion, and Conclusion. A description of each division you as the writer, must include in the paper follows:
- Introduction: This is a statement of the purpose and scope of the paper. The introduction sets the tone and gives direction to the paper. The introduction should supply any background to allow the reader to understand your intent, rationale, and focus, as well as the usefulness of the information to the reader.
- Review of the literature: This is a review of pertinent published medical literature that summarizes, explains and evaluates each article or publication in order to provide evidence and thus, support for your thesis or rationale. Comments about the purpose, rationale, methods, results, and implications of each article, study or publication reviewed should be included as appropriate.
- Discussion: This is a thoughtful synthesis, or integration and analysis of the relationships among the publications, articles, studies, and other literature you have reviewed in order to support and develop your explanation, problem, evaluation, or position. You should also, at the end of this section, state your conclusions about your findings as a consequence of your review of the literature.
- Conclusion: This is the last or concluding division of your paper. It should contain: 1) a summary of your findings, 2) a discussion of the significance of those findings particularly for patient care, and, 3) a discussion of any theoretical or practical implications for medicine or patient care your findings may have.
NOTE: Papers not having these four divisions (and only four) with the appropriate headings will be considered unacceptable.
- Formats Not Acceptable
The following formats are not acceptable for this paper:
- Case studies. A case study may not be used as a main focus for this paper. However, descriptions of cases may be used as examples or illustrations of a topic.
- “Lists” or “catalogs” of diseases or disorders and their treatments copied from medical texts or journals.
- “How to” papers. For example, papers describing “how to” do a procedure, operation, treatment, etc.
- Students must submit one copy of the required paper. Papers may not be faxed, e-mailed or submitted on disc. The pages of the paper may be stapled, paper clipped or the pages may be loose. DO NOT submit papers in any type of plastic, cardboard, spiral or ring binders.
- The length of the paper must be a minimum of 15 full pages of text without illustrations, diagrams, graphs, or table. The text must contain these four divisions with appropriate headings: 1- Introduction, 2- Review of the Literature, 3- Discussion, and 4- Conclusion. (The title Page, Abstract and reference pages may NOT be counted toward the 15 (fifteen) page total. See item 6 of these requirements below for a description of these sections.)
- The paper must be typed, double spaced, using one side of the paper only, on 8.5” X 11” white paper. Font size must not be greater than 12 fonts. Use one inch margins on all 4 sides of each page. (Margins greater than one inch are not acceptable)
- Pages should be numbered consecutively beginning with the title page. Number all pages in Arabic numerals in the upper right –hand corner. The number should appear at least one (1) inch from the right-hand edge of the page, in the space between the top edge of the paper and the first line of text.
- The paper must have a minimum of 15 (fifteen) different references from the medical literature cited in the paper. These references may be from medical journals, medical textbooks, medical monographs, medical supplements, or medical bulletins. There is no maximum limit on references. However all references appearing in the reference section of the paper must be cited in the text. Conversely, each text citation must be listed in the reference section. Other references that are not from the medical literature may be used in the paper. (E.g. newspapers, magazines,) but a minimum of 15 of the references in the paper must be from the medical literature.
- Students are required to have the following sections in the papers they submit: Title page, Abstract, text and references. Each of these sections should begin on a separate page.
Specifications for each of these sections follow:
- Title page. The title page should be numbered “one” (1) and include the title of the article, full name of the author, academic degree(s), and affiliation (s). The author’s address and telephone number should also be included.
- Abstract page. The abstract must be on a separate single page and should be page 2 of the paper (after the title page). Limit the abstract to 150 words or less. Do not repeat the title at the beginning of the abstract or cite references. Avoid abbreviations. Include the purpose of the paper, main findings, principle conclusions, and major terms (if necessary).
- Text. The text of the paper must have a minimum of fifteen (15) full pages, double spaced, using one side of the paper only, on 8.5” X 11” white paper. Font size must not be greater than 12 fonts. Use one inch margins on all 4 sides of each page. The title Page, Abstract page, and Reference pages may not be counted toward the full 15 pages of required text.
Figures and tables must not be placed in the text. All illustrations including photographs must be placed on a separate sheet of paper and numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals to correspond with their placement in the text. All figures must include short descriptive legends or captions.
- References. The reference list at the end of the paper documents the paper and provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve each source. Students should carefully choose references that are relevant to, and specifically support the topic of the paper. The reference list must include only the sources they were used in the research and preparation of the paper. The reference list must be on a separate page titled “References” All references appearing in the reference section of the paper must be cited in the text. Conversely, each text citation must be listed in the reference section.
You may choose any widely accepted and commonly used reference style or system. Three styles are recommended here:
- The citation Order System. The citation order system is simply a system of citing the reference by Arabic number in the order they appear in the paper. A complete description of this style may be found in the American Medical Association Manual of Style (9thEd.), Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, ISBN# 0683402064.
- Author – Date (or name and year) System. In this system the name of the author together with the date of the publication is cited in the text. Authors are listed alphabetically in the references section. The recommended reference for this style is the Publication manual of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association 95thEd), American Psychological Associatiation, Washington, DC, ISBN# 1557987912.
- Author Page System. In this system the name of the author together with the page number in the publication from which the information was derived is cited in the text. Authors are listed alphabetically in the references section. A complete description of this style may be found in the following manual: Gibaldi, joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers (6th Ed. ) New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
Order of Sections for Submission.
Sections of the paper must be submitted in the following order;
- Title page
This paper constitutes 40% of your final grade for this class. Papers that do not include all the required sections of the format or do not meet the technical requirements will not receive a passing grade.