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How To Write A Research Paper On A Disease

How to write a research paper on a disease

So you've been given an assignment, and you need to figure out how to write a research paper on a disease. Where do you start? What's involved?

Where to begin

There are three ways in which you can be asked to write about a disease. Your next steps will be different depending on which way the paper's been assigned.

  • You were given a particular disease to write about – This is the easiest, of course.

  • You were given a list of diseases to choose from – Now things are getting a little more difficult. You probably have looked at the list and wondered which disease was the easiest to write about. One thing to keep in mind that the instructor has probably chosen diseases that are equally easy, or difficult if you want to look at it that way, to write a paper about. Instead of trying to choose the easiest, look at the list and see if anything is interesting to you. Maybe there's a disease on the list that has personal meaning for you. However you choose it, you're going to be spending a fair amount of time working on your paper, so finding some kind of connection to your subject will make things easier.

  • Your instructor has left it up to you to choose a disease – You can use some of the same strategy as you would if you had a list to choose from. Is there a disease that you're interested in already, or have some kind of personal connection with? Then you're set. If not, find places where you can get some ideas. They include the class syllabus, course readings, and current journals. Skim materials and see if anything catches your eye.

Getting ready to write

First, find the time. Set up a schedule for working on your paper. Use the library resources available to you to research your disease. Check the section "Format your paper", below, to identify the items that you need to be gathering information about.

Make an outline

The format of a research paper on a disease usually looks something like the following. Make an outline that follows this format, and start filling in the blanks.

  • Title page – Include your name, the course, the date, and your instructor's name.

  • Introduction – Introduce the paper, and define the disease.

  • Body of the paper. You need to include

    • Causes and predisposing factors of the disease

    • Signs and symptoms – Note the signs and symptoms of the disease, and include the origin of each sign and symptom

    • Diagnosis – How is the disease diagnosed? Possibilities include lab work, noninvasive procedures like x-rays and ultrasound methods, and invasive procedures like surgery.

    • Treatment – How is the disease treated? This can include diet, therapy, psychological counseling, or surgery. Make sure these are methods that are considered acceptable in the medical community. Add details on the purpose of the possible treatments.

    • Prognosis – What can a typical person with the disease expect after diagnosis and treatment?

  • Conclusions – Here's where you wrap it all up. This is a mini-summary of your paper.

  • References – You should have at least four.

Write your paper

Using the outline you've developed, the materials you've collected, and the format specified by your instructor, write your paper. If you've made your outline detailed enough, this should be relatively painless. Needless to say, don't plagiarise, or copy directly from your sources. The references in your reference section need to be in the style that your instructor asked for. Typical styles include APA and Harvard. Any citations in the body of the paper also need to be in the assigned style.

And remember – good spelling and good grammar go a long way to getting the grade that you want.

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