Pathophysiology & Exercise



Term Paper Guidelines for EXS 453—Pathophysiology & Exercise

Each student is required to complete a literature review/term paper. The topic will pertain to some area relevant to the course and emphasis the role of exercise in a disease or medical condition of choice. The primary consideration is that the topic selected be well defined and carefully researched. In addition, the paper must be submitted according to the appropriate standards. Referencing should be in APA format (the relevant formatting guidelines are detailed below).

Similar to the paper assigned in Physiology of Exercise, this should be a modestly thorough review of the topic and the peer-reviewed scientific literature that has been published in this area. This paper should indicate that you have completed an in-depth search of the topic, have read the pertinent research articles, synthesized the information and are able to present the information in a logical, easy-to-understand format. 

Begin with a brief introduction providing a background and etiology of the condition being addressed. Follow with a discussion of the disease progression and prognosis, how the condition affects one’s ability to exercise, and how exercise effects the prognosis. Conclude with exercise recommendations based on the current literature.

The body of the paper should synthesize the research and not be a mere summary of the pertinent research. Remember that you will have a leg-up on the instructor at this point, because you are the “expert” on the topic. The relevant research must be well organized and written in such a way as to keep my attention and make your point clear. (HINT: Assume I know nothing about the topic.)

In general, the topic should be focused and of interest to the writer. The assignment is to produce a well-researched document limited to approximately 8-12 pages. In general, I would expect at least one reference per page (e.g., a 12-page paper should have at least 12 references), though a succinct and thoroughly synthesized paper may be shorter (and is desirable over a wordy series of summaries).

Unlike the paper in Physiology of Exercise, this paper will not be completed in stages. There is a single due date (see syllabus), so don’t delay in starting the paper. Avoid rushing to complete the paper at the last minute. A rushed paper will invariably lead to a poor paper. This assignment should reflect a progression in writing literature reviews from the paper in Physiology of Exercise, so expect me to grade to a higher standard, and be diligent in correcting the deficiencies that might have been identified in the earlier paper. Guidelines are provided below for your benefit. Read and follow them.

The most common deficiencies at this level include incomplete or inadequate citing of information (remember most statements will be derived from other researchers and, therefore, require citation in APA format), summarizing individual studies rather than succinctly synthesizing multiple studies, reliance on webpages and popular press articles rather than quantitative and/or qualitative research, and limited use of primary sources (i.e., original research studies.

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