RESEARCH PAPER GUIDE
KNES 3400- History of Sport and Physical Activity
Purpose and Paper Structure
The aim of the individual research paper in KNES 3400 is to provide students with the
opportunity to engage in the process of conceptualizing, researching, and writing a historical
research project. The assignment will include the following information:
1) A title that represents the topic and research focus;
2) A thesis statement encapsulating the primary question(s) being examined;
3) Rational and approach to answering the research question(s) (this includes the nature
of the question being addressed and how to go about answering them);
4) A discussion of the evidence supporting the validity of the thesis;
5) A brief conclusion;
6) References/endnotes (depending on referencing style) indicating the sources used in
the research project (see referencing below).
Students are expected to conduct research on a sport or physical culture related historical
question/problem, to construct meaningful and clear arguments, to develop their own ideas
on the subject based on the evidence found in a variety of sources, draw meaningful
conclusions, and express themselves clearly and concisely in written form. Straightforward
narratives (stories) on events and individuals are not appropriate.
The assignment must be type written, double spaced, between 1500 and 1750 words, with a
font size of 12 (use an easy-to-read font such as Arial or Times New Roman) with regular
margins (at least one inch) on all sides. Papers less than 1500 words or more than 1750
words will be penalized. Students will submit the printed assignment in class and
electronically to Moodle. The assignment is due November 24th 2021.
The research assignment must be organized and referenced using either:
1) The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition or later, or
2) The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition or
Both these manuals can be found in the university library:
• APA (https://library.ulethbridge.ca/apa7style)
• Chicago (https://library.ulethbridge.ca/c.php?g=256463)
One of these two paper styles must be employed exclusively.
Students are required to present, for approval by the instructor, a one-page (point form)
1) a preliminary paper title;
2) the proposed topic and the research problem/question(s) to be addressed (a
proposed thesis statement and some brief findings can also be provided here);
3) and in bibliographic form, a minimum of three academic sources that are directly
related to the proposed topic.
The prospectus will be worth 5% of the research project’s final grade and will be submitted
in printed form in class and electronically to Moodle on October 13th 2021. Late
submissions will be penalized.
A) Introduction – Students should try to interest the reader in their research question(s) or
problem being addressed. The thesis statement must be clearly presented in the introduction.
The thesis statement is the main point/focus of the paper. For example, the student may be
interested in demonstrating that ideals and values that are promoted in the modern Olympic
movement have little if any connection to those found in the ancient games, and that these
false/misinterpreted connections were used to justify the manner in which the modern games
were organized in the early 20th century. The student will be expected to find evidence of
specific instances of this within primary and secondary sources. An example thesis statement
could be presented as follows:
“Many of the philosophies, rituals, ideals, and values purportedly drawn directly from
the ancient games including, for example, amateurism and rules governing female
participation, were in fact misinterpretations employed to justify the elitist and
gendered structure and organization of the early modern Olympics.”
The introduction should be general and focussed on setting the stage, with no specific evidence
cited. This section should be used to establish a conceptual framework for the paper. It should
be approximately half to two-thirds of a page in length.
B) The Body – Specific evidence supporting the thesis is presented in the body of the paper,
with the strongest evidence presented first. A series of arguments supported by evidence
should be proposed in a well-organized discussion. Sentences should flow into one another,
and paragraphs should logically follow from the previous one. Any background information that
will assist the reader in understanding the context of the problem should be included. The body
should work to demonstrate your thesis is accurate based on the evidence cited from your
sources. The body should be approximately 4-5 pages in length.
C) Conclusions – This final section should provide closure to the problem/question(s) raised in
the introduction. The main point of the paper should be reiterated in a general sense without
introducing new materials, evidence, or arguments. The conclusions should be roughly half
page or less in length.
Page structure and numbering must appear as per the style employed (APA or Chicago). The
title page must include the following information in order: title of the paper, author’s name and
student number, instructor’s name, course number, and date.
Citations and Referencing
Acknowledgement must be provided for any material that is directly quoted from a primary or
secondary source (see plagiarism below). Both APA and Chicago styles require specific rules to
be followed when directly quoting materials in a paper. For example, in Chicago style, if a
quotation is less than four or five lines, it should be cited in the text of the paper enclosed within
quotation marks. If the material is longer than five lines (roughly 100 words) it should be off-set
and single-spaced without quotation marks. For any direct quote it is imperative that the writer
use a lead-in/out phrase. Quotations do not speak for themselves. Also, avoid the overuse of
direct quotes. The text leading up to or following from the quotation will draw the quotation into
the discussion. The text after the quotation should comment on the quote’s significance. All
citations must be acknowledged (in the text for APA or in an endnote at the back of the paper
APA style requires that the author(s) last name(s), the date, and if a direct quote the page(s)
number. In Chicago style, superscript numbers should come at the end of the quotation relating
to the number of the reference in the endnote (word processing programs will do this for you
automatically). Numbering should be successive (from 1-25 for example, depending on the
number of references used)
The following is a sample of a lead-in sentence and a (long) citation in Chicago style (note: offset and single spaced).
Notable Toronto horseman E. King Dodds painted an accurate picture of horse racing during the
era in his anecdotal book Canadian Turf Reflections:
When sport is degraded by being conducted for the sole purpose of money making
evils and abuses creep in. Men utterly destitute of sportsmanlike qualities went into
the racing game solely because of the chances offered to make big profits. Tracks
were built all over the country, a liberal proportion of them by men of questionable
reputation, in fact, many…under the absolute control of professional gamblers. The
management of such places was directed solely to extracting the largest possible
amount of money out of their patrons.1
Any material that is paraphrased (i.e., someone else’s idea put into your own words) or
summaries of material from a number of sources, should be referenced with an endnote
(Chicago style) or appropriately referenced using APA style (remember use only one style
throughout). Credit for material borrowed must be given when it is due. An example of a
paraphrased and referenced sentence (Chicago style) is provided below.
Informal games had been played in British North America since the mid-eighteenth century with
the arrival of Scottish regiments.2
Endnote citations (Chicago style) are utilized to:
1. acknowledge the work of others;
2. to establish the historical validity of your evidence; and
3. to embellish or expand upon points that are relevant but not appropriate for the text of the
Citations in APA style also accomplishes this, but do not allow for the inclusion of additional
materials or comments. Included below are examples of appropriately formatted endnote entries
(Chicago style) for books, academic journal articles, theses or dissertations, and newspapers.
The following are a series of endnotes that will provide you with examples of how to cite
various types of sources.
When citing a book3 include all the publication information for the first instance only. If the same
source is cited later in your paper use a shortened form that includes the author’s last name,
shortened title and page number.4 If the next citation is drawn from the same source and page
use the term “ibid.”5 If the next citation is from the same source but a different page use ‘ibid’
and the new page number(s).6 Cite journal articles in the follow manner.7 The same rules apply
with respect to the subsequent citing of journal sources as with a book (see above).
Newspapers and other publications must also be cited.
8 Finally, there are a variety of additional
sources beyond books and journal articles including interviews, web sites (be very careful about
which sites you choose to get information) and government documents that, if used, must be
cited. To properly cite them consult the style guide you have chosen to use for your paper.
If APA style is chosen, the paper must conform to that style. This includes a references page(s)
at the end of the paper. Neither the references/endnotes, or title page is considered part of the
1500-1750 word limit for the paper. Please consult the instructor if you have any questions or
concerns regarding referencing and citation requirements.
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as your own without any or adequate
acknowledgement. This can take the form of direct quotations without reference, paraphrasing
without referencing, or borrowing ideas without proper acknowledgement. If any work (ideas and
writing) is presented as your own but originates from other sources that are not properly cited,
penalties could range from a grade of zero on the paper, failure of the course, and possibly
further sanctions impacting one’s status with the university. There should be extensive
referencing in this research paper. Please consult the university definition of plagiarism
(2021/22 UofL Undergraduate Calendar). Handing in papers from previous years or purchased
work is considered a very serious academic offence and will be dealt with accordingly.
Research and Writing Suggestions
• Pick a topic that interests you
• Do some background reading (secure books from the library or search databases for
• Establish a preliminary research question and thesis (see prospectus above)
• Write a rough outline with provisional title
• Consult with the instructor (you must hand in a prospectus to proceed)
• Do an extensive literature search and source search, making extensive notes
• Write a skeleton outline in point form, arranging your argument very carefully
• Write the body of your paper
• Write the introduction and conclusion
• Finalize an interesting and relevant title
• Proofread extensively, and check spelling and grammar
• Have others read the paper and make comments (also check for spelling and grammar)
• Rewrite and revise as required
• Do not use contractions such as can’t, wouldn’t, isn’t etc…
• Be aware of it’s versus its, and the use of ‘s to denote possession
• Do not use clichés such as ‘kicked butt’ or other slang terms
• Abbreviated forms may be used but only after the long version has been written – the
short form follows in brackets. For example, International Olympic Committee (IOC) – the
short form must be used for the remainder of the paper
• Groups of years are written as 1800s or 1900s, not 1800’s
• Write in the past tense unless you are citing the opinion of another author…for example,
Mott writes, “…”
• Avoid passive voice – ‘they would play hockey’ – write ‘they played hockey’
• Do not begin a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’
• Do not splice two complete sentences together with a comma – use a period and
There will be some leeway with respect to paper topics. However, I may steer you away from
topics that have been overdone in the past unless you propose a novel/innovative approach and
research question. All topics must be approved by the instructor. It is strongly suggested
students check the suitability of their proposed topic with the instructor prior to submitting the
prospectus. If a topic presented in the prospectus is deemed by the instructor to not meet the
assignment’s requirements, the student will be required to resubmit their prospectus for
approval. Finally, because this is a history course all topics must be based substantially within a
time period that predates your own lifetime.