NR 512 – Extended Outline

The goal of this assignment is to create an extended outline for your final class project. The purpose of the extended outline is to help you develop all components of your research project. Specifically, you should use this exercise to organize and develop a consistent logical flow for the overall structure of your paper. Furthermore, this exercise will help you determine the methods you will use to both process your data and analyze your results.

Your extended outline should have the following major headings:

Abstract: A concise overview of the entire research project. This should include a description of the general problem or research question, a brief overview of the specific methods you employed, key results, and a brief description of your conclusions.
Introduction: Begins with a brief problem statement, transitioning into a brief description of what research has already been done, and closes with a brief description of your objectives and or hypotheses. The purpose of the introduction is get the reader excited about your work (why is this research important and how is it going to save the world?).
Methods: The purpose of the methods section is to provide the geeky, technical details of you project. This includes brief descriptions (separated out by subheadings) of the study area, field data, and remote sensing data collection protocols, as well as a description and explanation of the statistical analysis methods you employed.
Results: A very brief description of your results. Do not explain or justify the results here. This is simply a statement of what the statistics and analyses reports. If hypotheses were stated, did you find evidence to support them?
Discussion: An in-depth explanation and interpretation of your results. What do your results mean in the context of the problem statement? Did you find what you expected? Why or Why not? How do your results compare with previous published work (look at the literature and cite other studies)? Point out any limitations of your approach and suggest how future research could improve upon what you did.
Conclusions: A brief reiteration of what you did, your overall objectives, your hypotheses, and what you found. Be sure to describe the overall significance of your research to the scientific and/or management communities. What is the take home message?
Figures: What maps, graphics, or charts do you anticipate needing to support your study description and analysis?
Tables: What tables do you anticipate needing to support your study description and analysis?

Under each of the headings you should include a combination of subheadings and sentence length bullets that describe complete thoughts about aspects of the project that need addressed in that section. There should be logical flow from one subheading to the next.

A good strategy for completing this assignment: Find a published paper (that you like and understand) that does something similar to your proposed project. Look at how each of their sections is laid out as well as the types of tables and figures they use. Use this paper as a template for your extended outline.