Your research paper topic will be chosen from a disease or health related issue that runs in your family.
Genetics contribute to our risk of developing certain diseases and disorders. Researchers have found a genetic influence in many common disorders including heart disease, diabetes, depression, asthma, alcoholism, and certain forms of cancer. Knowing that a specific disease runs in your family allows you to watch for early warning signs and get screening tests more often than you otherwise would.
Looking at your family health history can help you make important decisions about behaviors such as diet, maintaining a healthy weight, moderate alcohol consumption, and keeping physically active. For example, an individual with a family health history of high cholesterol and early heart disease can increase physical activity and pay special attention to certain aspects of their diet. Generally, the more relatives with a genetically linked disease and the closer they are related to you, the greater your risk of having the disease. Keep this in mind when choosing your research paper topic.
If you do not use proper documentation (MLA or APA format) you will automatically lose 50 points. Grading criteria is given below.
Follow the steps below to help you complete the requirements for your research paper.
- The content of your paper should include the following information about the disease, disorder, health-related condition or habit.
- Effect(s) of diet
- Effect(s) of activity/exercise
- Use a minimum of five reliable sources.
- Professional journals
- Personal interviews
- Reputable Internet sites
***See “Web Sites: Tips for Finding Reliable Health Information” at the bottom of this document.
3. You must document your research. Parenthetical citations must be used throughout your paper. Even if you put into your own words the information you have learned from your research, you must document from whom and where you found the information. This is done, for MLA format, by putting the author’s name at the end of a sentence or paragraph with the page that the information was found and enclosing it in parentheses. An example of this would be as follows:
The six classes of nutrients are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water (Wardlaw 5).
I found the information in our textbook and used it in my research paper. I must give Wardlaw credit for the information and tell the reader what page they can find the information.
4. Write your paper in MLA or APA format. If you are not familiar with either of these writing styles, you can go online to a search engine like Google or www.ask.com and type in either MLA or APA format. This will give you several documents that will help you with proper documentation and format and will give you some examples.
5. The minimum length of your paper is six pages, double-spaced; 12 font with 1” margins. The minimum length does not include a Title page or the Works Cited/Reference page.
6. Write your paper using a word processor, double spaced and a 12 pt. font with 1” margins.
7. Submit your research paper. NOTE: Attachments submitted in a format other than .doc; docx (Microsoft Word) or .rtf (rich text format) cannot be read.
The criteria below will be used to grade your research paper. The research paper is worth 100 points.
50 points for Format
- 12 point font
- Correct margins
- Parenthetical citations with correct punctuation
- MLA/APA documentation – consistent, complete, correct
- Proper format for Works Cited/Reference page
50 points for Content
- Covers subject matter listed above
- Attracts interest
- States thesis – may indicate a “plan of development”
- Sticks to the purpose of the paper
- Meets criteria of 5 reliable sources
- Meets criteria for length (6 pages)
- Clear method of organization, correct sentence structure, readability and sentence length, uses transitions when appropriate and helpful
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation
- Conclusion – brings paper to a natural and graceful end
Web Sites: Tips for Finding Reliable Health Information:
The following suggestions may help when you are surfing the Web for health information.
Choose sites with domain names that end in .gov or .edu, whenever possible. Many sites with a domain name ending in .org also are good sources of information. Although many domains ending with .com are reliable sources of information, this varies widely by site, and consumers should use good judgment when determining the validity and accuracy of information found on these sites.
Look for a mission statement that describes the organization and what its values are.
Credentials and affiliations
Look for the author’s credentials. Registered dietitians (RDs) are the best sources of nutrition information. People with the designations of master of public health (MPH) or certified health education specialist (CHES) also are reliable sources of information. Note that the designation “nutritionist” varies by state and does not always imply a formal education.
Also research the author’s affiliations to determine if any conflict of interest exists.
Look for a recent date of last update to ensure that the information is timely.
Look for peer-reviewed information. This means that the article was checked for accuracy by a team of other well-educated professionals.
Reliable Web sites will provide an e-mail address for questions and feedback.
Articles should include references, as well as other reliable sources of information.
Beware of unrealistic claims, and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never trust a Web site that implies that you can replace the nutrition of whole foods with supplements. Do not believe any claims that ask you to eliminate an entire group of food from your diet (eg, all carbohydrates or all dairy).
Suggested Web sites
www.americanheart.org: Provides nutrition and lifestyle advice to prevent and treat heart disease. Includes sections for patients, caregivers, health care professionals, researchers, and scientists.
www.cancer.org: Offers information about the prevention and treatment of cancer. Features a Great American Eat Right Challenge section, including cooking and shopping tips, weight control guidance, and recipes.
www.cspinet.org: Features useful consumer information through the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization with twin missions—“to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.”
www.diabetes.org: Includes diabetes research and information about the disease and treatment. Also provides information about preventing diabetes, special sections for parents and kids, and advocacy tips and resources.
www.eatright.org: Contains nutrition information, nutrition-related legislation, and a tool for locating a dietitian in your geographical location.
www.fda.gov: Listsinformation from the US Food and Drug Administration about food safety, including food recalls, food additives, dietary supplements, and special interest areas broken down by age and sex.
www.foodallergy.org: Provides information about common food allergies, anaphylaxis, advocacy, and research, as well as recipes and articles written specifically for the newly diagnosed, schools, and child care.
www.mayohealth.org: Offers comprehensive guides on hundreds of conditions and a symptom search tool, as well as information on prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medical tests and procedures, and tools for healthy living.
www.ncahf.org: Contains evaluations or food and nutrition fads and fallacies, provided by the National Council Against Health Fraud.
www.niddk.nih.gov: Features information about diabetes, digestive health, and kidney disease, including nutrition tips, current research, and treatment options. Owned by the National Institutes of Health, the site offers quizzes to test your knowledge base, tutorials, slide shows, videos, podcasts, lesson plans, and classroom activities.
www.nutrition.gov: Lists information on nutrition and dietary guidance from multiple government agencies, including the US Dept of Agriculture and the US Dept of Health and Human Services.
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/: Includes information from the National Institutes of Health about metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis, Paget’s disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, and other disorders.
www.usda.gov: Provides information on food safety, MyPlate guidelines, child nutrition programs, and other information. Also on the Food and Nutrition Page, you can access the What’s in the Foods You Eat search tool, which allows you to view nutrient profiles for 13,000 foods commonly eaten in the United States.
www.vrg.org: Offers vegetarian recipes and nutrition information.