1 Running head: TITLE OF THE PAPER 1 Title of the Paper Your Name Keiser University
2 TITLE OF THE PAPER 2 Abstract Without indenting, begin typing your abstract. The abstract is a preview of your research paper, so it should express your overall purpose/argument and indicate the main points that you develop throughout the paper. You should write the abstract last because you cannot expect to summarize what you have not written yet. Abstracts are generally about half a page long. If your instructor does not require an abstract for your assignment, you can simply eliminate this page. Before moving on, notice how this document is formatted. The type is in 12-point, Times New Roman font. The document is set to 1-inch margins all around, and everything is double spaced. There are two spaces after each period. Also, there is a cover page and a running head with an accompanying page number on each page. If you save this document on your own computer or on a flash drive, you can simply keep the format intact and replace my words with your own. When you are ready to print the final draft for your instructor, do not print on the back of the page.
3 TITLE OF THE PAPER 3 Title of the Paper This is where your paper begins. Each paragraph here should be indented 0.5 inches using the Tab key. Before addressing what belongs in your first paragraph, I would like to draw your attention to the title. For any title, always capitalize the first word and any important words, which include nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Less significant words like articles and prepositions are lowercase. Here is a sample title: How to Format a Paper in APA Style. An exception to this is the running head, where the title is written entirely in capital letters. When you insert your own title into the running head of this template, make sure to type it in all caps. You will need to type your title into the running head twice once on page 1 (leave the words Running head just as they are), and once on page 2. The title will then be automatically copied to every other page. Once that is out of the way, you should focus on your introduction. An introduction paragraph should provide the basic background information on your topic. Depending on the subject, you may need to define a term or provide a brief history of the topic. The last sentence of this paragraph should be your thesis statement, which lays out the main argument of your paper. Your thesis should be narrow and specific. For instance, rather than deciding to write a paper about childhood obesity in general (too broad!), you might write a paper that focuses on possible solutions to this problem. While brainstorming, it may occur to you that parents and schools can both play important roles. Narrow that down; maybe just focus on the role of schools. You can narrow your topic geographically as well. Offering possible solutions for childhood obesity worldwide is a huge task, so maybe focus only on the U.S. Now your topic is starting to take shape. Here is a sample thesis statement you might write on this topic: If the U.S. is to become serious about tackling the childhood obesity epidemic, schools should play a central role by eliminating unhealthy lunch foods and snacks, encouraging more physical activity, and educating students about the importance of nutrition and exercise. This is the first supporting paragraph, which begins the body of your paper. It supports the argument you made in your thesis statement. Always consider in advance what each paragraph will cover and in what order the paragraphs will go. Each supporting paragraph
4 TITLE OF THE PAPER 4 should begin with a topic sentence, which states the main point of that paragraph. The sample thesis in the introduction suggests that there are three ways that U.S. schools can play a significant role in combatting childhood obesity. Begin with the first of those three points eliminating unhealthy lunch foods and snacks. Here is an example topic sentence for the first supporting paragraph: Too many American schools sell lunches and snacks that are high in fat and low in nutritional value, and this needs to change. The rest of the paragraph should focus on proving that food in U.S. schools is generally unhealthy and that healthier options would help reduce childhood obesity. To do so, you will need to refer to relevant research by quoting and/or paraphrasing from scholarly articles and/or books. You will also have to comment on what the authors have said, adding your own thoughts and analysis. Remember, the goal for the rest of the paper is to prove the argument you made in your thesis. All of the other supporting paragraphs in your body follow the same basic structure as the first: topic sentence + supporting points based on research and analysis. Starting with the second supporting paragraph, topic sentences should also serve as transition sentences. Transition sentences connect the main idea from the previous paragraph with the main idea from the new paragraph. In the example, you have finished a paragraph about how eliminating unhealthy lunch foods and snacks in schools is an important component of combatting childhood obesity. If you now plan to address physical activity as another factor, you might write a topic/transition sentence like this: More nutritious school lunches should be combined with regular exercise at schools to help children maintain a healthy weight. Using a single transition word like second or next at the beginning of a paragraph makes your paper sound like a laundry list rather than a well thought-out argument. To make strong connections between ideas and show the reader that your writing has direction, you need to write transition sentences. If your third body paragraph
5 TITLE OF THE PAPER 5 will be about educating students on the importance of nutrition and exercise, your topic/transition sentence might sound something like this: Aside from promoting healthy habits during school hours, schools must educate children about the importance of eating well and exercising if they are to help prevent childhood obesity in the long term. For lengthy research papers, it is sometimes preferable to use subtitles as a way to organize your writing. Ask your instructor if he or she has a particular preference for your assignment. If using subtitles, you do not need one for your introduction. The first subtitle appears after your introduction. Like the title for your paper, it should be centered and should follow title capitalization rules (capitalize the first word and all important words). Unlike the title for your paper, it should be in bold letters. Sometimes, one of your subtitles may need subtitles of its own. For example, if you are writing about childhood obesity and your third section about educating children on the importance of healthy eating and exercise is extensive, you may decide to devote a different mini-section to each suggestion you make guest speakers, more health education in science classes, etc. This would require Level 2 subtitles. Level 2 subtitles go on the left margin, follow title capitalization rules, and are in bold letters. Most students do not usually need to subdivide sections beyond Level 2. For those who do, there are up to 5 subtitle levels. Each level is formatted differently. Below are 5 sample subtitles that demonstrate the formatting for each level. A Subtitle in Level One A Subtitle in Level Two A subtitle in level three. A subtitle in level four. A subtitle in level five.
6 TITLE OF THE PAPER 6 Whether or not you organize your paper using subtitles, the basics of organization remain the same. You should always write an introduction with a thesis statement and support that thesis statement throughout your paper. Remember that each paragraph should cover one aspect of your argument. Continue writing as many supporting paragraphs as you need to successfully defend your thesis statement. Writing strong content that demonstrates critical thinking skills is the #1 priority in any writing assignment. Below is a sample body paragraph about eliminating unhealthy foods in schools: Too many American schools sell lunches and snacks that are high in fat and low in nutritional value, and this needs to change. Schanzenbach (2009) found that children who buy lunch at schools are more likely to be obese than those who eat lunches prepared at home. This suggests that schools are making very little effort to provide students with healthy food options. School lunch staples include pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken fingers, and tater tots. Eliminating unhealthy lunch foods would go a long way towards promoting positive eating habits in children. According to Masse, Naiman, and Naylor (2013), school-based nutrition policies have resulted in less access to sugar-sweetened beverages and low nutrient energy dense foods in schools, which has reduced consumption of these unhealthy foods (p. 71). Because children spend so much of their daily lives at school, availability of unhealthy food in schools is directly related to their consumption. Therefore, schools should adopt lunch menus that meet minimum nutrition standards (World Health Organization, 2013). School lunches are not the sole problem, though; the availability of unhealthy vending machine snacks also contributes to childhood obesity. If there are to be vending machines in schools at all, they should contain healthy snacks rather than chocolate bars, candy, and sugary drinks. The World Health Organization (2013) suggests water, milk, juices, fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, and low-fat snacks (para. 3). By making
7 TITLE OF THE PAPER 7 simple changes to lunch and snack foods, U.S. schools can have a meaningful impact on the overall health of the average American child. Once you feel that your content is solid and that your writing flows, you can worry about things like grammar and correcting APA style. Trying to make sure that your paper is free of mechanical errors and correctly formatted matters because it demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. In this paragraph, I will address how to cite quotes in your paper. When you quote, you incorporate information from a source in the author s exact words. You must put quotation marks around a quote and include a citation. The citation includes the author s(s ) name(s), the year of publication, and the page number. Authors may either be people or reputable organizations. Here is what a citation with authors names looks like: This sentence was quoted word-for-word from the original source (Smith & Jones, 2012, p. 3). If no author s name is provided, the name of the organization is used in its place. If you cannot identify the name of an author or of a reputable organization responsible for the content, the source is probably not reliable. The most scholarly sources are found on the library databases to which you have access as a Keiser student. Ask one of the librarians on campus for an orientation if you are not familiar with how to search the databases. Websites with URLs ending in.org,.gov, or.edu are more trusted than those ending in.com or.net. If you are quoting from an online article with no page numbers, use the number of the paragraph where you found the information. Here is an example: This sentence was quoted word-for-word from an online article with no page numbers (World Health Organization, 2012, para. 5). If a source has more than two authors, you need to list all of the last names the first time that you cite it. From then on, you simply list the first author s last name, followed by the words et al. meaning and others. Here is an
8 TITLE OF THE PAPER 8 example. This is the second time that I have quoted this source, which is written by more than two authors (Smith et al., 2012, p. 9). Make sure that you notice the minor details where commas go, where the period goes, spacing, the use of & instead of and, etc. Being able to follow the format exactly as you see it in the examples demonstrates the kind of attention to detail that instructors and employers value, so take a few minutes to look over the formatting of your citations after you have completed your paper. In this paragraph, I will address how to paraphrase sources in your paper. When you paraphrase, you incorporate information from a source, but you write it in your own words. In your own words means that, although you have retained the meaning of the original, the language and the sentence structure are very different. Simply substituting a few words for synonyms will not do. The best way to paraphrase something well is to read it carefully, usually more than once, until you have fully understood it. Then set it aside, and write a summary of the information without looking back at the original. Most of the research information that you use in your paper should be paraphrased because good paraphrasing shows that you have truly understood and applied the information. There is nothing wrong with quoting something wordfor-word, but keep quotes to a minimum. Citation rules for paraphrases are the same as the ones for quotes, which are outlined in the previous paragraph. There are only two differences. When you paraphrase, you do not use quotation marks, and you do not have to include a page or paragraph number. Here is what a paraphrase looks like: I took this information from a source, but I wrote it in my own words (Smith, Jones, & Williams, 2012). When quoting or paraphrasing, you can either cite everything in parentheses at the end of the sentence, as shown above, or you can introduce the author(s) within your sentence. Here is an example for a quotation: According to Smith, Jones, and Williams (2012), this sentence was
9 TITLE OF THE PAPER 9 quoted word-for-word from the original source (p. 9). Notice that the year goes directly after the authors, but the page or paragraph number goes at the end of the sentence. Also, when the authors names are not in parentheses, you should use the word and instead of the symbol &. Here is an example for a paraphrase with an organization as the author: According to the World Health Organization (2011), I took this information from a source, but I wrote it in my own words. As usual, only list all the names for a source with more than two authors the first time. From then on, use the first author s last name followed by the words et al. There are many possible phrases to use when introducing authors within you sentence according to Smith (2012), Smith (2012) stated, Smith (2012) demonstrated, Smith (2012) agreed that, etc. Avoid simply using according to every time. It is crucial to remember that you cannot simply place a citation at the end of a paragraph for all of the quotes and/or paraphrases in that paragraph. Any sentence with words or ideas that are not your own must include a citation. If you find that almost every sentence needs a citation, this is a clear sign that you are not including enough of your own thoughts in the paper. As a general rule, you should not have two cited sentences in a row. Remember that a research paper is not all research. You should use the research to support your own argument. Before concluding, I will offer some advice on how to maintain an academic tone when writing a research paper. It is important to strive for quality over quantity. Students who are new to writing academic papers often worry about being unable to achieve a required word count and therefore rely on excessive quoting/paraphrasing, repetition, and wordy sentences. Doing so will make your paper poorer. If you can say the same thing clearly in fewer words, do so. Words should always add meaning. When they are just filler, they drag your paper down and create confusing sentences. This takes a reader s focus away from what you have to say because
10 TITLE OF THE PAPER 10 he or she is distracted by how you are saying it. If you put in the time to properly research your topic and organize your thoughts/points before beginning your draft, you should not have a problem fulfilling the length requirement. Your concern should be narrowing your focus enough so that you do not write too much. Consider this topic Lions in Africa. Someone can write a three-volume book on that. A more suitable topic for a research paper would be this The Threat of Extinction for Lions in Kenya. Following certain conventions of academic writing will also improve the tone of your paper. For example, academic writers do not use contractions like don t, shouldn t, or he s. Always keep the words separate do not, should not, he is. Also, academic writers do not normally use personal pronouns in their writing. The personal pronouns are: I, me, mine, you, your(s), we, us, and our(s). Academic writers maintain an objective distance. There is no need to refer to yourself by saying I think or In my opinion. Since you are the writer, the reader already understands that the thoughts are yours. There are possible exceptions when it comes to the pronoun I. If you have been assigned a research paper in which you must incorporate personal experience as part of the support for your thesis, then you will need to use it. Ask your instructor what he or she expects if you are unsure. When students use the pronoun you, they are usually referring to people in general or to a particular group of people. For example, you may write something like this: When you habitually eat unhealthy foods at school, you are more likely to become obese. In this sentence, you means children. The sentence should read as follows: When children habitually eat unhealthy foods at school, they are more likely to become obese. This document is an instructional guide for students, not a research paper, so I have used personal pronouns. Always consider purpose and audience in order to determine what the tone of your writing should be.
11 TITLE OF THE PAPER 11 The final paragraph of your research paper is the conclusion. The general structure of your paper can be summed up in three steps: 1. Tell the reader what you will argue (Introduction). 2. Argue it (Body). 3. Remind the reader what you have argued (Conclusion). In your conclusion, restate your thesis statement in a new way and summarize the main points of your argument. Once you have done that, ask yourself the following question: So what? Writing a research paper is hard work. You have taken the time to conduct research, organize your thoughts, and develop an argument. In the end, you want your reader to understand why that argument matters. Answering the so what? question can help you to think beyond the scope of your research paper.
12 TITLE OF THE PAPER 12 References The final page of your document is your reference page. Any source cited in your paper should be listed on your reference page, and any source listed in your reference page should be cited in your paper. References serve two main purposes: 1. They show that your paper is well-researched, which helps to establish your credibility as a writer on your topic. 2. They provide details that allow your readers to find the sources for themselves. Your reference page should be formatted according to APA guidelines. At the top center of the reference page, write the word References (capital R, no bold letters). Everything on this page, as in the rest of your paper, should be double spaced. References are never numbered or bulleted. You should list them in alphabetical order (based on the first word of each reference). Also, references use a hanging indent. This means that the first line of each reference is not indented, but subsequent lines are. To do this, highlight all of your references and set up the hanging indent on Microsoft Word. Click on Paragraph. Then, under Special, choose Hanging. Every reference must include a few key components author s(s ) name(s), date of publication, name of book or article, name of journal (if the article is from a scholarly journal), and retrieval information (if the book or article was found online). The exact information required for each reference depends on what type of source it is. Below is a list of sample references for the types of sources that you are most likely to use in a research paper. If you are unsure what type of sources you have, ask your instructor, a librarian, or the Writing Studio
13 TITLE OF THE PAPER 13 Coordinator. If the type of source you are using is not listed here, refer to the Purdue OWL website which lists all possible sources. Examples Scholarly Journal Article with DOI Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article: Capital letter also for subtitle. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. doi: / Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Writing Studio Journal, 22(1), doi: / Scholarly Journal Article or Periodical without DOI Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article: Capital letter also for subtitle. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. Retrieved from Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Writing Studio Journal, 22(1), Retrieved from Website Article with Author(s) Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Retrieved from * If there is no date provided, write n.d. in place of the year.
14 TITLE OF THE PAPER 14 Website Article with an Organization as Author Name of Organization (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from World Health Organization (2012). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from * If there is no date provided, write n.d. in place of the year. Book Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of book: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher. Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). Mastering APA style: Format, references, and citations. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Chapter in an Edited Book Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book: Capital letter also for subtitle (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher. Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). APA format. In M. White & S. Williams (Eds.), Mastering APA style: Format, references, and citations (23-38). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Creating the reference page is a bit tedious but not difficult. As always, pay attention to detail and try to follow the exact format. For scholarly articles, the library databases can automatically generate APA-style references, which you can to yourself and insert into your reference page. Below is an example of what an APA reference page should look like. Most of the references are not taken from real sources. They are meant only to demonstrate the format.
15 TITLE OF THE PAPER 15 References Adams, T. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Retrieved from Black, L. (2012). Mastering APA style: Format, references, and citations. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Jones, S. P. & Brown, R. W. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Writing Studio Journal, 22(1), Retrieved from Rogers, M. (2012). APA format. In M. White & S. Williams (Eds.), Mastering APA style: Format, references, and citations (23-38). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Smith, J. A., Brown, R. W., & Rogers, M. (2012). How to create an APA reference page. Writing Studio Journal, 22(1), doi: / World Health Organization (2012). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from