Importance of results, why the researchers found their results


Write twenty one-page abstracts using the described format. Submit the abstracts as one document.

Include 20 abstracts from primary sources. All abstracts must be typed and conform to the described style. Each abstract should be a maximum of one typed page. The top lines of the abstract should list the citation (see above for proper style).

The abstract should consist of four parts– (1) Purpose of the study (2) Methods (3) Results, and (4) Discussion.

(1) Purpose of study: Describe the purpose of the study and the background behind the research (e.g., the need for the study and relevant related research)

(2) Methods: Briefly describe the procedures used in the study, including number of subjects, sex, age, training status, and lab methods (briefly).

(3) Results: Describe the findings of the study. Include data: means and standard deviations, percent changes, etc.

(4) Discussion: Importance of results, why the researchers found their results.

Purpose of the Paper:

1. Learn to read epidemiological studies.

2. Learn to assess the state of knowledge in an area based on evidence gathered from original resources (primary sources).

3. Learn to compare and contrast the results of scientific studies.

4. Develop critical thinking skills.

4. Develop a thorough knowledge of a topic related to exercise physiology.


Description of the Assignment

Students will prepare a review of literature on a topic assigned to them based on at least 20 primary sources. The paper should be at least 15-20 typed pages (New Times Roman, 12 point font). The paper should include a bibliography and summaries of 20 primary sources. Summaries must conform to the style described in this guideline. When turning in this assignment, attach it to the assignment page as a Word file (.doc or .docx).


Guidelines for Preparing Term Papers

Your paper should present the essential information on your topic. Statements should be supported by evidence (data) presented in the primary sources. Cite data— I am more concerned about experts‘ data than their opinions. Students should compare and contrast the results of studies. Try to determine why studies might have found conflicting results. Possible explanations might include differences in subjects (age, health, sex, training status, etc.), research design, analytical methods, etc. Center your paper around ideas rather than specific studies. Your paper should not be a series of study abstracts!


Quantify your statements. For example, if you were making a statement about heart rate and exercise, do not just say that heart rate increases during exercise. Rather, state how much heart rate increases and cite evidence for your statement.


Reference statements that did not originate with you. When citing information from a study, refer to the senior author by last name only. If there is more than one author, refer to the other authors as coworkers, et al., or others. It is unnecessary to refer to the institution of origin or to the authors’ academic degrees.


This is a scientifically-based paper. Try to determine the physiological mechanisms behind your topic.


Citation format:



Smith and coworkers (Smith et al. 1972) found that a 1°C increase in temperature caused a 5 % increase in oxygen consumption.



Dr. Harriet Smith of the prestigious Physiology Laboratory at Harvard University located in Boston Mass. found a 1°C increase in temperature caused a 5 % increase in oxygen consumption (Smith et al. 1972).


When citing an author, put the reference after the author’s name:  Smith (Smith 1992) found that blood glucose . . .

When citing the origin of a concept or finding, put the reference at the end of the sentence: Blood glucose increases during the first ten minutes of exercise (Smith 1995, Jones et al. 1989)



Include an alphabetized list of references at the end of your paper. Include all references, including secondary sources (chapters, review papers, etc.). Use the citation format from Journal of Applied Physiology or Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Examples:

Journals Smith, J.D., B.L. Jones, and A.D. Washington. Heart rate during exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 77: 677-682, 1993.


Smith, J.D. and B.L. Jones. Heart rate during exercise in the rat. J. Appl. Physiol. 78: 577-582, 1994.


Book Chapter


Smith, J.D. Exercise in the rat. In: Jones, B.L. Textbook of Rat Exercise Physiology. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1995. pp. 165-179.


Use sources from scientific or medical journals such as Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, J. of Applied Physiology, New England J. Med., Physician and Sports Medicine, Circulation, Research Quarterly, European J. Applied Physiology, J. Amer. Med. Assoc., Int. J. Sports Medicine, Sports Medicine, etc.

Sometimes, you may find important information in newspapers and popular magazines. These should be in your references but should not constitute the bulk of your sources. Remember, you need at least 20 references taken from primary sources found in recognized scientific and medical journals.

Start off with a good review paper (a paper that summarizes the literature). You can find good literature reviews in journals such as Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, International Journal of Sports Medicine, and Journal of the American Medical Association. Reviews will help structure your paper and lead you to primary sources (i.e., their references).

Use literature search services such as Pubmed, JSTORS, and Science Direct. You will find useful information in Lexis data bases, such as Medlne, Genmed, and Disease and Trauma abstracts. These computer databases will provide abstracts, articles, and citations. I urge you to purchase a program called Endnote, which is available at a discounted rate at the bookstore or a one-month free demo edition.

Writing the Paper

As discussed, start off with a good review paper or chapter on your topic. This will help you understand the subject, and help get you on the right track. Gather your primary sources, read them, and write the abstracts. Make an outline. Try to find data and studies to support major statements regarding the topic. List controversies and possible reasons for them.

A good practice is to construct a chart that summarizes the findings of major studies in the area. Journals, such as Sports Medicine often use this device.

The important thing is to support statements with evidence from studies. The skills you learn writing this paper will help you become a productive professional in our field.

This paper may be very different from others you have written in school. Do not reword information from book chapters or reviews. Rather, support statements with evidence taken from original experiments. Do not take anything for granted. Look for concrete evidence before you accept something as fact. Try to compare and contrast the results of different studies.


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