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The abstract is a short paragraph that gives the barest of bones (ie, ~ 3-5 sentences) summary of your paper. There should be no information in the abstract that isn’t in the paper, and since it’s a summary of what you’ve written, it’s usually best to write it last. Your abstract should briefly summarize your entire paper, including any discussion or conclusions you draw. There should be no filler and no unnecessary words; it is not a place for flowery language or convoluted sentence structure. It should be either on a page of its own (not the title page) or in a labelled section above the text. If it has its own page, this page does not count as a full page in your page count.
« Introduction (introduce Hurricane Katrina and the sorts of damages in its path. Give an idea of the specifics of each – how big the hurricane was, its path, etc, as well as the effects, size of the industry, etc. Do not reiterate basic information from class about the type of disaster you are writing about, ie, don’t spend time explaining what a hurricane is and how it forms.)
« Description of the effect of the disaster (Enumerate the damage, but also think deeply about the effect of the disaster. This section should not be just a list of numbers.)
« Response to the disaster / Efforts to repair the damage (How did people respond? Was anything salvageable? What issues complicated their response? What problems did they have dealing with the disaster?)
« Discussion (Some analysis tying together the pieces of information you’ve gathered in previous sections)
« Conclusion (Summarize what you’ve discussed throughout the paper, but don’t just reiterate a bunch of numbers.)
Your paper should be well cited, using at least ~ 10 sources. While web sources are admissible, make sure that the majority of your sources are academic (like books, journal articles, or conference proceedings) as well. Academic sources you access through the internet (like journal articles) are counted as academic sources, not web sources. Any web sources used should be retrieved from reputable sources, like government agency sites.
Your paper should have 5-10 figures that contribute information to your paper and are relevant to your topic. Images that are merely illustrative or only tangentially related are not encouraged. Images can be interspersed throughout the text, or collected at the end of the paper in an Appendix, but the text itself (ie, without pictures) should still be 5-10 pages long. Your figures should not all be similar.
For example, having a single picture of a damaged community, and four other figures with different information is much better than having five pictures of damaged communities and nothing else. All figures should have a caption, and be referenced directly in the text. For example, if Figure 1 is an image of a damaged community, you may have a sentence like: “The community of <place name> was severely damaged in <disaster>; see Figure 1.” and the caption for Figure 1 may read “Figure 1: An image of <place name> shortly after <disaster> hit, causing immense damage.” Your figure sources should also be listed in your bibliography.