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 (6th ed.) is the standard style adopted by many social and behavioral sciences- including SSW.
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).
When do I use APA style? • MOST COMMONLY: …research papers … papers that require citations of published materials • LESS COMMONLY: …reaction papers, …opinion papers, …casenotes 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 @ Campus Center 621 W. Lombard, Ste 302, 410-706-7725 • SSW Office of Student Affairs • Writing Skills instruction • Peer-to-Peer Tutoring Program • Next week’s New Student Workshops • “Writing in the MSW program” presentation • Monday, 8/30, 1:45-2:30pm • Thursday, 9/2, 11:30-12:15pm
Other APA Resources WEBSITES: • http://apastyle.apa.org/ • http://guides.hshsl.umaryland.edu/content.php?pid=51306&sid=391077 • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ • http://library.austincc.edu/help/APA/ • http://www.writinghelp-central.com/apa.html • http://library.concordia.ca/help/howto/apa.php • http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/apaintext.html VIDEOS: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pbUoNa5tyY&feature=player_embedded# • http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=apa_exposed Please note that on-line resources are not as comprehensive as the APA Style Manual. The Style Manual is the final word on APA style.