You will select the most relevant articles that provide data and/or insight on a particular biomechanical question, theme, or topic. These should be the
references that you have been gathering as you have completed the weekly assignments. This should be a minimum of 20 sources. You will combine the
separate pieces of information from each research article into a coherent whole (i.e., synthesize the information) to develop your final paper. You will submit
three drafts of this paper during the course of the semester. This paper will take the format of a review paper that you would find in a scholarly journal. The
paper will include a brief introduction, a thorough review of relevant literature and a brief conclusion. A descriiption of how your paper should be completed
follows. You may choose to work with a classmate on this assignment. If you choose to work with a classmate you will be responsible for navigating
technology so that you may collaborate in a productive manner. If you work with a classmate you must also complete the ‘Peer Collaboration Assessment’
that can be found on Blackboard.
General Notes on Preparing a Literature Review
Dean Memering [Research Writing : A Complete Guide to Research Papers] suggests that the development of a research paper can be considered a process
of five steps:
1. Select a General Topic Area
In this step, you select a general topic that you think is interesting and important within the framework of the course for which you are writing the paper.
2. Begin Preliminary Reading
In this step, you begin to familiarize yourself with the literature in the area you have selected.
You learn what issues are currently important in the area, what questions have been answered, and what questions remain to be answered. Preliminary
reading is the first step in framing your research question. You should keep an open mind while reading, and let the literature lead you to your question. At
this juncture, your objective is to educate yourself generally about the problem.
3. Framing the Question
Your question should emerge from your preliminary reading. You are posing a serious, interesting, worthwhile question. [It] should be specific, limited in
scope, worthwhile, and researchable [i.e., it should be a question that can be answered using motion capture technology]. Asking the right question is very
important. The question shapes your investigation and therefore affects the quality of your answer or solution. Be creative in your questioning. You must ask
new questions to get new answers.
You have been working on steps 1-3 through the completion of your weekly assignments; you will finalize these steps as you complete this final review paper.
After settling on a general topic and reading you will present the data you have collected through your reading in this literature review. You will find that
constructing a chart that summarizes all the studies can be very helpful in reviewing and synthesizing many studies. You will use your library research
findings and weigh the existing evidence. This is the most difficult and the most rewarding part of the paper. The empirical findings and expert opinions on
just about anything you can imagine are equivocal. No matter what you study you will find mixed results. It is your job to evaluate and interpret these results
and answer the question you posed. See weekly assignment “02 Reading and Understanding Research” for an example of how you might go about organizing
this information to help you prepare to write this review of literature.
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In the conclusion of the paper you will revisit your main points. Often your conclusion (or answers) will include additional questions and a call for more
research and thinking on the subject.
A paper assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to conduct library research, integrate material from a variety of sources, apply what
you have gleaned from lectures and assigned readings, and write a clear, organized, well-documented paper. If you don’t give yourself adequate time, you will
not adequately demonstrate your abilities in any of these areas. One characteristic of the hastily done paper is that it takes the form of a chronology of what
the student has read. The student merely describes the contents of each article in the sequence in which they were read without attempting to integrate or
synthesize the material. This kind of paper will surely get you a low grade from any honest and competent professor. Take care to write, revise, and seek
input and feedback from others so that your final product is something you can be proud of.
Research Proposal Formatting Guidelines:
• 1-1⁄2 line spacing
• 11-pt, Calibri Font
• 1” margins
• References in APA format ( https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/)
• Your paper will be a minimum of 15 pages (not including your reference list).
Final Paper Suggested Outline
You must develop a biomechanical research question that can be addressed using a peer reviewed literature. You will use this literature to develop a paper
that helps to build a sound understanding of our current knowledge on the biomechanical topic you chose.
A. Introduction – Statement of the Problem
1. This includes your “research” question and importance of the question. Why might the reader want to know about the topic you have chosen?
2. This will include approximately 1-3 paragraphs. The introduction should include the following:
a. General statement of the problem
b. Brief discussion of relevant biomechanical literature as needed. Specific details are not
necessary, but references may be needed.
c. Purpose of the literature review (What are you going to tell the reader? Or what are you
going to help the reader learn?)
B. Review of Relevant Literature
1. This section will comprise the majority of your paper.
2. Synthesize the current evidence on the topic. This means combing results from different
studies. Assessing the similarity and differences between the findings of these papers. Interpreting the findings you are presenting. What do these findings
mean in terms of movement safety, skill, or specificity?
3. Review and assess the current evidence (expert opinion, research, and conceptual or theoretical) relevant to your question.
4. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.a. For example, there is ample evidence regarding men, however, evidence regarding
women is lacking?
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5. This webpage provides some excellent information on writing a literature review http://www.duluth.umn.edu/~hrallis/guides/researching/litreview.html
Pay special attention to steps 5, 6, and 7 as we have already completes steps 1-4 in various forms.
C. Conclusion – Expected Findings
1. What is the “take home” message based on your research? What are the main points you are walking away with after doing all this research and reading?
2. Based on what biomechanists (and you) already know about this topic what do you think the next question is? What are we missing on this topic
3. Why will this information be valuable?
4. This section will likely be 2-3 paragraphs
D. Reference List
1. List of all references cited in your paper should be included