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Courses Senior year end of term paper, format help please

  1. Dec 3, 2017 #1
    Hello every one,

    End of terms papers always are weird and non natural for me. This is a senior class about solid state physics and we are asked to write a 5-10 pgs term paper on a certain topic.

    My question is how do you go about formatting this kind of paper?
    Abstract(??) -> introduction(little history/background) -> body(bunch of scientific facts and concepts) -> conclusion (??)

    it's not like I did an experiment to write a conclusion about, and hence i get confused on what's the difference between an abstract and a conclusion and if i should be writing both in the first place!
    btw, I didn't go to US schools and I was only introduced to writing papers in college and I only did it for couple of english classes and couple of physics classes, the idea of researching resources and constructing a paper based on them (like recycling informations? ) is very confusing to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2017 #2


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    To me it sounds like you need a little more information from your instructor. Paper formats will vary from school to school and professor to professor. If it's not blatantly clear from the assignment itself, you could go and talk to your professor about it during office hours, or send her or him an email to ask about specifics.

    Failing that, you could read a few review papers on your topic of choice (which you'll probably have to do anyway) and follow the format used.
  4. Dec 3, 2017 #3
    unfortunately I am very tight on time and I kind of missed my chance to ask.

    are "review papers" the same as journal article? or is it more of a scientific paper/ thesis with an experiment or a data analysis (new question to answer) kind of paper?
  5. Dec 4, 2017 #4


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    A review paper is something that comes out in an academic journal that summarizes the recent progress in a field, underscores problems and may even attempt to discuss future avenues for research. They tend not to be as formal in their structure as a scientific paper, because scientific papers tend to focus on one particular problem (or set of particular problems). Usually they're a good place to start for senior undergraduate students interested in learning about a field or new graduates students because they can take a little more space up to explain the more common aspects of the field.
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