research paper on Health Effects of Air Pollution in Toronto

Paper Guidelines

Structure: Clearly distinguish between the Introduction, Main Part/Body, and Conclusion. But don’t call the Main Part Main Part. Each section of your paper should have a particular function and individual sections should be divided into paragraphs to separate ideas. The introduction must introduce the essay, i.e. you explain to the reader what they are about to read and why it matters. Literally think about you as the author speaking to your readers. The main part is the core development of your paper and argument. The conclusion needs to tie it all together, for example, summarize the findings and main points. No new material should be included.

Important steps to think about when composing this paper: Introduce the topic and explain its relevance, talk about your research method, review the literature (what do we know about the topic?), talk about your findings, i.e. the answer to your question, provide evidence whenever making claims, discuss the relevance of your findings, conclude.


  • Have I properly introduced my research? Is the connection to the course (urban social policy) clear?
  • Have I identified the literature to which my paper contributes?
  • Have I fleshed out and explained how my research (i.e. my paper) adds to the existing knowledge on the topic, in other words, have I made clear what readers will learn from my paper?
  • Is the question clear?
  • Is my method clear? Even if you “just” do a literature review, explain what you have done. There are different ways of conducting lit reviews, different types of literature review, etc.
  • Do I properly introduce my research focus, research area, empirical focus? In policy research, you need to be very specific which jurisdiction(s) you are looking at. For example, don’t just write “the government.” We will ask “which one?”
  • Are my data sources clear? Explain what data/information you use (this is linked to method section). Explain if this is based on scholarly literature, grey literature, government publication, census data, media, etc.
  • Do I provide sufficient context for readers who might not be familiar with my empirical case? Think about the reader… What do they need to know to follow and appreciate my argument?
  • Do I provide sufficient evidence for the claims I am making?
  • At the end, do I relate my discussion back to the broader issues identified at the beginning of the chapter in terms of the theoretical framework, the literature review, etc.? Try to tie it all together at the end.

 Figure 1 Source: M. Ménard 2016 Political Argument Ch. 3.

Exercise: Turn the “Structure” bullet point list into an outline. Connect every point in your outline to pieces of “Evidence,” the data/information you will use to back up your claims.

 Figure 2 Source: M. Ménard (2016) Political Argument.

Exercise: Identify your thesis (main claim) and three sub-claims. Each of these subclaims needs to support your thesis and can potentially become a section of the Main Part (Body) of your paper. 

 Figure 3 Source: M. Northey (2019) Making Sense. Oxford UP.

Exercise: Develop an outline for your paper. In addition to introduction and conclusion, see if you can break down the Main Part (Body) of your paper into three sections. Try to further break down each section into various points/ideas. These could become sub-section or paragraphs. Please note that this is an exercise only. Your actual paper structure may differ.

STRUCTURE                                                                                                                EVIDENCE


Main Part Section I.                            à          Evidence / Data / Information Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Main Part Section II.                Point 1             Point 2             Point 3   à   Evidence / Data / Information
Main Part Section III              Point 1             Point 2             Point 3 à   Evidence / Data / Information


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