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Writing a Research Paper in AMA Style

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  1. Writing a Research Paper in AMA Style

  2. These are the basics of using AMA documentation • Suggestion: Follow the PowerPoint to form a general idea about how to use AMA. • Take notes sparingly. • Obtain a handbook or handout that covers AMA and keep it next to you as you do your research and writing.

  3. Different ways of saying the same thing: • Giving credit to your sources. • Documenting your sources. • Citing your sources. • Using in-text citations.

  4. When you write a research paper in a health care field, you might use sources like these: Primary sources: Research that you conducted yourself, such as patient interviews or case studies. Secondary sources: Professional books or journals on health care topics, studies others have conducted that focus on health care topics, notes or handouts from classes or conferences you attended, Web publications, etc.

  5. When you borrow from an outside source, there are three basic ways to use the material: • Quote directly • Summarize • Paraphrase Writers frequently use all three of these strategies in the same paper.

  6. To quote from a source: CHECK • Use the exact words of the source. Don’t change a thing! • Enclose short quotes (up to 40 words) in quotation marks. The page number goes outside of the quotation marks and before the end punctuation. • For longer quotes, don’t use quotation marks. Indent the whole quotation five spaces.

  7. If you MUST make a change in the quote, use brackets [ ] around the item you changed. If you leave something out of a quote, indicate this with ellipses: …

  8. When you paraphrase: • Put the information into your own words. • Keep all of the points the author made. • Keep the points in the same order as they appear in the source. • Do not shorten/condense anything. • Do not use quotation marks.

  9. When you summarize: • Put the information into your own words. • Shorten/condense the material. • Do not use quotation marks.

  10. Rule of thumb for deciding what to document when you write a research paper: • Borrowed language (direct quotations) • Borrowed ideas, explanations, theories, etc. (paraphrases) • Borrowed statistics, information, definitions, etc. All need to be documented.

  11. Where do you put the information about your sources in an AMA research paper? Two places: • In in-text citations—that is, right in the body of your paper AND • On the References page at the end of your paper.

  12. Each documentation system—AMA, APA, MLA, CMS, and CSE—has its own very specific rules. You don’t have to memorize them—you can use a style book or a handout—but make sure you follow them carefully.

  13. American Medical Association (AMA) • Frequently used in medical writing.

  14. In the following examples of AMA in-text citations, the actual source information is in yellow. Notice that where you insert this information can signal the beginning and end of the material you borrowed.

  15. It is important to show the reader, as clearly as you can, where the material you borrowed from your source starts and stops.

  16. In most cases, AMA uses superscript numbers for in-text citations, starting with 1. Example: The estimation is based on the assumption that 55 and 107 g water is produced for every 100 g carbohydrate and fat oxidized, respectively17.

  17. When using the same source again, use the same superscript number, but add the specific page you’re referring to: Altman3 reported that the aversion to organ donation decreased in pietistic denominations, which supported Gilman1(p33) and LaFollette’s4 earlier findings.

  18. How to superscript on a PC: • Highlight citation number, then hit “control,” “shift” and “+.”

  19. Here’s a frequently asked question about using in-text citations: Do I need to keep inserting a superscript number for my source over and over again?

  20. Answer: • Insert the information as often as you think the reader needs it. • Keep asking yourself, “Am I positive that the reader knows where I found the information in this sentence or paragraph and whose words/ideas/language I’m using here?” • If you’re not positive, throw in another in-text citation. It’s better to use too many than too few.

  21. Your in-text citations tell the reader to look at your references under the name of your source in order to find publishing information.

  22. In fact, savvy readers who are researching a topic always check the References pages of their sources to find additional sources that will help them with their own writing and research projects. You might want to try this yourself!

  23. Your References (page) • It comes at the end of your paper, starting on a separate page. • It is a list of all of the sources you used in your paper.

  24. References page, continued… • The title of this page is References. Do not call it References Page. Do not put quotation marks around it. Do not underline References or italicize it. • Center the words References at the top of the page. • Alphabetize the citations according to authors’ last names.

  25. You will write a full citation for each source (book, journal, website, etc.), giving as much information to your reader as possible about the source.AMA has a specific order for the pieces of information in each citation. We will look at this order later.

  26. Reference page, contd. • Keep an AMA guide on hand. Pay close attention to: • What type of information goes on the References page. • What the order of this information is for an AMA citation (as opposed to other styles). • How punctuation is used in AMA. (Yes, it does matter.) Tip: Be sure to copy your source information right away—when you are actually using the source—so you’ll have it when you develop the References page.

  27. Davis NM. Medical Abbreviations: 15,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communications and Safety. 10th ed. Huntingdon Valley, PA: Neil M. Davis Associates; 2001:173. Last name, first initials: Title of Work. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; year: page number. Here is the basic format for a book with one author:

  28. The format for a book citation shows you the “skeleton” of all AMA citations…

  29. Chapter in book: • Wallace RJ Jr., Griffith DE. Antimycobacterial agents. In: Kasper DL, Fauci AS, Longo DL, Braunwald E, Hauser SL, Jameson JL, eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005:946.

  30. Books compiled by group, agency, or committee (no author or editor) United States Pharmacopeia Drug Information: Drug Information for the Health Care Professional . Vol 1, 23rd ed. Greenwood Village, CO: Thomson Micromedex; 2003:2514-2517.

  31. Serial books that are updated: Tatro DS, ed. Drug Interaction Facts. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons:1104.

  32. Journal articles: • Smith J, Canton EM: Weight-based administration of dalteparin in obese patients. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2003; 60:683-687.

  33. Source from a Web Site • National Institutes of Health. NIH guidelines on the inclusion of women and minorities as subjects in clinical research. Available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html. Accessed on July 19, 2000.

  34. Source from a Database • Kemp, JP, Kemp JA. Management of Asthma in Children. Am Fam Physician [online]. 2001;63:1341-8, 1353-4. Available from: Ebsco Medline Comprehensive Fulltext. Accessed June 4, 2001.

  35. Electronic sources vary Even your instructors probably have to look up AMA format for some of these online sources. Your best bet is to look them up in the AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed.or http://healthlinks.washington.edu/hsl/styleguides/ama.html.

  36. What is an abstract? • It’s a 75- to 100-word summary of your paper. It provides readers with an overview: • Thesis/main idea • Key points • Research applications or • implications of your findings

  37. Abstracts are optional, but your instructor may require one. • The abstract is on a separate page immediately after the title page. • Center the word “Abstract” one inch from the top of the page.

  38. Where to find helpful information. 1. Using the best sources/using sources correctly: Take the Information Literacy pre-test on MU’s website. 2. American Medical Association. (2007). AMA Style Guide. http://healthlinks.washington.edu/hsl/styleguides/ama.html. Accessed September 8, 2009. 3. Help with any part of the writing process: Visit the Writing Center (room 2410).