Recommended Structure for Your Term-Paper (or Presentation)

ENGL 3373

Modern English Syntax

Dr. Min-Joo Kim

A. Introduction: In this part, state clearly what the global topic of your paper is and what you wanted to find out by conducting this research, that is, the more specific research question you are after. Please make it to the point and interesting so that you can draw your reader's (or audience’s) attention right away. You may choose to provide the outline of your paper, namely, how your paper is structured. But given the short lenghth of the paper, this may not be necessary.

B. Background: In this part, you may give the audience some background on the theoretical context of your paper, that is, what the existing works (i.e., peer-reviewed articles, books, or any other types of publication) have said about your research topic/question. But don’t make it too lengthy. Instead, just mention one or two most representative works or claims that your paper builds on. Note that whenever you’re citing anyone, you must provide the author’s name and year of publication in the text (e.g., In this paper, I’ll show you that English also instantiates some type of verb movement, as claimed by Johnson (1991)). If you’re analyzing a language other than English, then, in this section, you'll want to provide some basic/preliminary things about that language such as where it is spoken; which language family it belongs to; and what kinds of grammatical or morphological features it has. That said, depending on the nature of your paper, this information can be given in the Analysis section instead. If you’ve conducted interviews with people or watched TV shows to gather your linguistic data, then you’ll also want to briefly talk about your research methodology here,  that is, how you’ve obtained the linguistic data presented in  your paper. (Again, depending on what you want to accomplish in the background section, this information can be given at the beginning of your Analysis section instead.)

C. Analysis: In this section, outline your major findings and, when you do this, make it maximally clear which finding is yours and which is taken from existing works. Doing so is extremely important for academic writing since, by conducting research, all of us want to make contributions to the existing body of knowledge while making making novel contributions to it, based on a thorough and accurate understanding of the extant scholarship

D. Conclusion: In this section, summarize the main points of your paper and then say something about the bigger picture issues. In addition, you may state what kinds of questions your paper has raised for future research, i.e., some outstanding problems you have identified although it won't be required; for example, you can end your paper by stating the significance of your findings to the study of the English language (or any other human language), and the teaching or acquisition thereof, as deemed appropriate.