The Research Paper & APA Content, Research, Format, References, & Citations
Content A research paper . . . • is NOT like a book report, in which you simply summarize what you’ve read. • includes research but goes a step further. • buildson what others have written. • is an ongoing conversation. Each new scholar who writes about a particular topic references what others have already written and adds something new to the discussion. Now it’s your turn, so use your sources to support your own argument.
Content Here are a few tips: • Ask yourself a focused research question. If you tell yourself, “I’m writing a paper about Autism Spectrum Disorder,” you’re setting yourself up to write a book report. Instead, ask yourself a “how” or “why” question. • Think critically about the sources you’re reading. As you read, regularly ask yourself questions like: “How does this apply to my focus?”; “How does this article’s ideas compare with that article’s ideas?” • Write a thesis statement. Think of this as a one-sentence answer to your research question.
Research Types of Resources: • Scholarly, peer-reviewed periodicals • Non-peer-reviewed periodicals • Non-periodical websites • Books Which of the above is the least trusted source of information?
Research Where to Search for Scholarly Sources: • Library databases like InfoTrac and ProQuest • Google Scholar If conducting a general Google search, how do you know which web articles to trust?
Research Reliable Web Articles: • URLs ending in .org, .gov, or .edu are more reliable than those ending in .com or .net. • Make sure that you can identify an author and that he/she is credentialed. • The article should have a publication date. • A trustworthy web article will normally cite its sources and include a list of references, just as you are expected to do in your own paper.
Research Study Your Sources! • Print the articles out. • Read them all carefully. If you don’t understand something, you shouldn’t use it. • Highlight sentences and phrases that you think you may refer to in your paper. • As you read, try to make connections. Jot down your own thoughts on the margins. • Copy highlighted sentences onto index cards. Include the author’s name and the page number.
Format Before beginning to type, make sure that you format your Word document according to APA style. • Times New Roman, 12 point font
Format • Double spaced and 0-point spacing before and after for the entire paper
Format • 1-inch margins
Format Next, create a cover page including the title of your paper, your name, and the name of your university. Make sure the heading is centered and entered four lines from the top.
Format Now insert an APA running head in your cover page and then in the first page of your paper. * A handout titled “How to Create an APA Running Head” provides step-by-step guidelines and is available at: keiserwrites.wordpress.com/handouts/
Format Now you’re ready to begin writing. • If you need an abstract, it should be on page 2 with the word Abstract at the top center of the page. • The first page of your essay (page 2 or 3) should include the title once again at the top center of the page. • With the exception of the abstract, each new paragraph should be indented 0.5 inches. • Leave two spaces between each sentence.
References • The references page lists all the sources you used in your writing and provides important information about each one. This allows your readers to find your sources for themselves. • Write the word “References” centered at the top of the page. • References are never numbered or bulleted; they’re listed in alphabetical order.
References • The first line of a reference is never indented, but subsequent lines are. Once you’ve typed all your references, highlight them all and then apply a hanging indent.
References References include a few basic components: • The author’s name – usually a person; sometimes an organization • The date of publication • The name of the bookor article • For articles, the name of the journal, newspaper, or magazine • For journal articles, the volume and issue number and the page range • For journal articles, the doi if available; if not, the URL • For websites, the URL
References * A handout titled “APA Quick Guide” includes reference examples for the most commonly used types of resources. The handout is available at: http://keiserwrites.wordpress.com/handouts/
Quoting & Paraphrasing What’s the difference between quoting and paraphrasing? • Quote = a word-for-word sentence or phrase from the original text • Paraphrase = a passage from the original text expressed in your own words
Quoting & Paraphrasing Which of the two should you do more often? Paraphrasing! • Paraphrasing shows that you’ve understood and applied the information. • Don’t simply substitute a few words in the original for synonyms. • Make sure that the language and sentence structure are truly your own by not looking back at the original passage when paraphrasing it.
In-Text Citations When must you cite your sources?
In-Text Citations Where must you cite your sources? • After each sentence that includes information from any of your sources, NOT just at the end of the paragraph. • If you find that too many sentences in a row require citations, this means that your paper does not include enough original thought.
In-Text Citations Formatting: • For quotes, include the author(s), the year of publication, and the page number. If no page number is available, add the paragraph number. The word paragraph is abbreviated as “para.” Ex:“Progress has recently been made in the earlier identification of children with autism spectrum disorder” (Charman & Baird, 2008, p. 289). Ex:Charman and Baird (2008) noted that “progress has recently been made in the earlier identification of children with autism spectrum disorder” (p. 289).
In-Text Citations Formatting: • For paraphrases, include the author(s) and the year of publication. Ex:Autism spectrum disorder can now be detected earlier than before (Charman & Baird, 2008). Ex:Charman and Baird (2008) noted that autism spectrum disorder can now be detected earlier than before.
In-Text Citations Formatting: • If you’d like to use information that your source cites from another source, it’s always best to find the original source. If that’s not possible, always cite the author(s) of the article you found and read. Ex: According to Siegal, Pliner, Eschler, and Elliot, “Autism is often not diagnosed until children reach 3–4 years” (as cited in Werner, Dawson, Austerling, & Dinno, 2000, p. 157).
In-Text Citations Formatting: • If a source has three or more authors, only name all of them in the first citation. Subsequent citations of the same source should list only the first author’s name, followed by the words “et al.” (meaning “and others”). Ex: The study “aimed to characterize infants with autism spectrum disorder less than 1 year of age” (Werner et al., 2000, p. 157).
Further Help • Refer to the handouts and web links on the Writing Studio’s website: http://keiserwrites.wordpress.com/ • Make an appointment to visit the Writing Studio at any stage of your writing process for a one-on-one consultation. Melissa Cueto firstname.lastname@example.org