Graduate School Research Paper Guidelines

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← Back to ESSAYS & ARTICLES Both the academic and professional environments continue to grow more competitive with each passing year.

As a result of this increased level of competition, a greater number of students are deciding to continue their education beyond the undergraduate level.

This is all well and good, and these students should be commended for striving for the highest levels of achievement.

However, recent studies indicate that the average student writing ability, including those students going on to graduate school, has reached a startlingly low level of competency. Technically speaking, there are no specific rules of writing that differentiate graduate-level work from undergraduate-level.

Tables and figures should be representations or summaries of relevant and important data.

Each section (following both a heading and a subheading) should contain at least one paragraph.

The conclusion of the text should include original insight and synthesis of these findings with previous work.

This section should also identify new research questions about your topic and suggest how future studies can investigate these unanswered questions.

Include section headings and all text headings in the table of contents. The text (including the introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, and conclusions) will be 15 to 20 pages, including figures and tables. The introduction should be directed toward a general civil engineering audience.

If you use more than five tables or five figures, include exact titles of tables and figures from both the text and appendices in their appropriate list. The literature review must critically review recent literature, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of previous studies, and/or suggesting alternative explanations for findings from other studies.


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