An Introduction to Writing Papers in APA Style Bethany Lee, Ph.D. Assistant Professor UMB School of Social Work
Graduate School papers: • Are well-researched. • Present logical, substantiated arguments. • Are well-organized. • Demonstrate standard grammar and spelling. • Use APA style for formatting and reference citations.
What is APA style? • The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.) is the standard style adopted by many social and behavioral sciences- including SSW. • APA 6th Ed. has recently been released (July 2009).
How do I find the APA Manual? • View a copy at the library • Buy it at the bookstore or online (~$25) You need to have access to a copy. • Online info is not usually sufficient. • RefWorks will help format your paper in APA style, but it is only a tool.
Why use APA? • Consistency, uniformity in style. • Standard system for giving credit to others who have contributed to your work. • Poorly written papers lead to poor grades. • Plagiarism has SERIOUS consequences (including failing grades and referral to the Student Review Committee).
MOST COMMONLY: …research papers … papers that require citations of published materials LESS COMMONLY: …reaction papers, …opinion papers, …casenotes When do I use APA style? Your instructor will let you know when APA is required. If unsure, ASK!
How to avoid plagiarism: • CITE an author’s exact words and use “ “. • CITE an idea that is paraphrased. • CITE an author’s work that you summarized. • CITE a claim that is based on opinion. • CITE information that isn’t common knowledge. • CITE if you are unsure.
What is common knowledge? • Factual information in the public domain- historical events • Information contained in multiple standard reference works Examples: • Jane Addams founded Hull House. • NASW is the professional organization for social work.
Where can I learn moreabout APA style? • Writing Center, 222 N. Pine, 410-706-7725 • SSW Office of Student Affairs • Writing Skills instruction • Peer-to-Peer Tutoring Program • Today’s “Guidelines for Writing a Research Paper” presentation (12:30-1:15pm- SSW Auditorium)
Other APA Resources • http://apastyle.apa.org/ • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ • http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/apa/ • http://library.austincc.edu/help/APA/ • http://www.writinghelp-central.com/apa.html • http://www.crk.umn.edu/library/links/apa5th.htm • http://library.concordia.ca/help/howto/apa.php • http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/apaintext.html • http://www.vanguard.edu/faculty/ddegelman/index.aspx?doc_id=796 Please note that on-line resources are not as comprehensive as the APA Style Manual 5th or 6th Ed. The Style Manual is the final word on APA style.