As faculty working with students to explore topics of interests we frequently request that they review the literature to gain an understanding of what is known and unknown about a topic and then present their findings in an integrated manner. While many students are familiar with developing papers termed “literature reviews” or “reviews of the literature,” these types of papers frequently do not afford the students the opportunity to integrate what has been found. Thus faculty have begun to require that students present their findings and thoughts via what is known as an “integrated paper format.”
For graduate students the term, “integrated paper” sometimes stirs up a state of confusion. Is an integrated paper a literature review, a research proposal, or an essay? Well the answer is simple, no. An integrated paper is a type of review of the literature that includes the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information on a well-defined content area and includes the writer’s original thoughts and ideas on the topic which are based upon the available evidence.
The integrated paper begins with a brief introduction to the area of interest and focuses the reader’s attention on the issue and background of the problem. This brief introduction leads the writer into a review of each of the pertinent areas that must be explored to gain an understanding of the many facets associated with the subject of interest. It is the writer’s responsibility to provide logical transitions from one pertinent area to another. It is through these transitions that the reader begins to understand the larger picture. While discussing the findings within a pertinent content area the writer should:
- distinguish between assertion and evidence in the studies
- identify methodological strengths and weakness of the studies
- identify relationships among the studies
- identify major trends or patterns in the results
- note how the reviewed articles relate to your topic
- identify gaps in the literature
- finally, consider designing a table(s) that compares important characteristics of studies reviewed.
After discussing each of these pertinent areas, it is the writer’s responsibility to write a conclusion that provides closure for the reader. The conclusion should be coherent and well pointed and lead the reader’s attention to the direction which the writer perceives is the logical next step. If the review is multifaceted and challenging for the reader to make all the necessary connections the writer should provide a summary section prior to the conclusion. The summary section should present the key points that resonated from your review of each pertinent area presented. Once the reader has processed through this integrated summary the writer can provide the paper’s conclusion and direct the reader to the next logical point of inquiry.
As a faculty member, I have found that reviewing my expectations with regard to the integrated paper at the beginning of the semester provides the students with a clear road map for success. Constructing a grading rubric that coincides with these expectations also adds clarity to the process for the student. But clearly, writing an integrated paper requires reflection and critical thinking, plus ample time to organize your thoughts in both a non written and written format and a willingness to write multiple drafts. Students don’t always immediately recognize the depth that instructors are looking for in these papers so any direction we can offer them at the start will help them better meet our expectations.
Genevieve Pinto Zipp, PT, EdD, is an associate professor in the Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences at Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Tagged with improving student research skills, improving student writing skills, student writing, writing assignment strategies, writing assignments
How to Write Effective and Quality Integrative Paper
Are you looking for an integrative paper sample? This type of paper is a scholarly work that requires much thought. It provides an opportunity to show your opinion about the subject matter. How can you pass this requirement with flying colors?
A Must for Writing Integrative Papers
- Follow instructions given for the integrative paper requirement: If you are given a specific topic, ensure that you stick to it and give it focus on the content.List your personal opinions and feelings about the subject matter. You can use “I” and other personal pronouns.
- Go over the list: Be on the lookout for areas where there is a strong potential for personal bias. Note that though the integrative paper needs your opinions, you should stay away from personal biases.
- Write the paper following the format provided by your professor: If no format is given, you can check out an integrative paper sample to serve as a guide.
- Read and check for consistency of ideas: Check also for any grammatical, spelling or typographical error before finalizing and submitting the paper.
Best Integrative Paper Topics You Can Consider
If you are writing an integrative paper, focusing on a specific topic will help you be able to produce a great output. There are definitely lots of topics you can consider, but it is necessary that you take into account the program you are in and the recommendations that your professor has. And finally, make sure that you also have your interest mixed in the reasons why you chose your topic. Being interested in it will give you the additional boost to work on it and accomplish it in no time. It is necessary that you maintain your interest towards the subject matter throughout the entire duration of the research.
Another factor that you can consider in choosing a topic is that it should at least be relevant in your life. Linking the topic to your life will help you have more interest in it. In addition to that, you can even use this research in the future, especially if you are pursuing creating your own business or a career in the field of politics. If you make it personal, everything about it will be more interesting and in the end a lot easier to handle.
Yes, writing an integrative paper can be incredibly hard. It requires you a lot of time and effort if you really want to end up a high-quality integrative paper. But if you are having a hard time with choosing the topic you want, you can consider some suggestions.
If you do not want to make it hard on yourself, you can always go for general topics so that it will be easier to look for references and sources. But if you want to take it a notch higher, you can go for more specific topics and even resort to solving specific problems.
Great topics are sometimes connected to the mystery surrounding the topic. In this case, you can choose topics connected to controversial issues discussed in the society today. The great thing about choosing these controversial topics is that you will have access to a lot of sources and references. The hard part is to figure out which ones will be most suitable for your study since there is a high chance that a lot of opinions and suggestions will come up that you will be flooded with them, especially if they somehow cross some sort of moral implications. Some examples of these are abortion, women priests, and the like.
Some of the basic subjects that you can choose from are the following:
- Communication and Languages
- Criminal Justice
- Current Events
- Environmental Sciences
Of course, there are more specific subcategories that you have to choose. These subcategories would need to be more specific so that you can limit the scope of your paper and research tasks. This will in return make it a lot easier for you.
There are different topics that can be based on the type of paper you are writing. You can be argumentative in your approach and steadily push your side of the matter or you can be narrative in the approach and simply showcase the results of your research. Some of the topics you can consider are:
The issue of hate crimes is one of the most controversial today, especially with how it seems evident in the U.S. today. You can also consider bullying, gay persecution, and persecution of alternative lifestyles.
Terrorism is another hot topic in the world today. From bombings to cases of violence connected to terrorism, discussing it while horrible can be interesting just the same. War on terrorism can also be given focused on.
Internet will always be an interesting topic to discuss. With the fast improvements and developments of technology, effects and impacts can be a great thing to discuss.
- Health and medical treatments
You can also choose to discuss health and medical treatments. From the AIDS cases to the rise of mental health disorders today, this could also be an interesting topic to explore.
- Interpersonal communication
For interpersonal communication, you can also focus on technology and the continuous rise of social media networks. A great topic can also come from the impact of smartphones to today’s society.
Politics will always be an interesting topic to discuss. While it can be hard, political concepts and theories can be great.
Discrimination is a controversial topic in all aspects. You can explore all possible factors within this topic and present it in your paper.
Alcohol is an interesting topic precisely because of its effect on people and their lives. Exploring everything about it can be great.
- Computer crimes and security
Computer crimes and security are great topics because they are integrated with the development of technology and how the fast-paced tech is affecting the society today.
Bullying is an increasing case today, especially in the academic environment.
These are only some of the topics that you can consider. There are lots of other issues you can explore if you want to.
Integrative Paper Sample to Help You Out
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