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Scholarly Writing UsingAPA and MLA Styles Presented by:RIT Academic Support Center
Thought-provoking Questions • How many of these questions can you answer: • What is the value of using a style guide when writing? • Why do we use specific writing styles? • What is the difference between APA and MLA styles? • Where can we find detailed information on different styles?
Scholarly Writing Why: student assignments, articles for professional journals, theses, and dissertations Who: scholarly writing is produced by scholars for other scholars. Purpose: add to the existing body of knowledge with research. Types: results of original research; for review, theoretical, and methodological articles; and case studies
Characteristics of Scholarly Writing As you write: • Express ideas in a clear and logical manner. • Persevere with the process. • Ask for constructive feedback from others. • Rewrite and continue to refine writing.
Good Practices for Scholarly Writing • Good practices include: • Using appropriate words in the proper context. • Using grammatically correct sentences. • Writing in clear and concise paragraphs. • Using logical transitions.
Good Practices for Scholarly Writing(cont.) • Good practices include: • Writing as if your audience is not familiar with your topic or personal writing style. • Producing a document that is readable and understandable by others.
Editorial Style When professors or editors request writing in APA or MLA Style, they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.
Editorial Style (cont.) Editorial style consists of publisher guidelines that ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material; e.g.: • punctuation and abbreviations • construction of tables • selection of headings • citation of references • presentation of statistics, and • other elements that are a part of a manuscript
Guidelines General guidelines include information on all aspects of formatting; e.g.: • Paper size • Spacing, font type and size • Margins, page numbers • Italics and underlining • Title page • Page numbering
Systems of Citations and Reference Formats • When researchers refer to an APA or MLA style, they refer to systems of in-text citations as well as Works Cited and Reference formats that: • build their credibility. • demonstrate accountability to their source material. • protect writers from accusations of plagiarism.
Need for Specific Style Authors who write for a publication follow the rules of specific styles per the publisher to avoid inconsistencies among journal articles or book chapters. For example, without rules of style, three different manuscripts might use data base, database, and Database in one issue of a journal or book. The meaning of the word is the same; however, the variations in style may distract or confuse readers.
Need for Specific Style (cont.) The need for a consistent style becomes more apparent when complex material is presented, such as tables and statistics.
When Citing is Not Required • Common sense and ethics help determine your need for documenting sources. For example, sources are not needed for: • common knowledge. • well-known quotations. • Note: Your audience dictates what constitutes common knowledge.
Discussion: Check Your Current Knowledge • Regarding APA and MLA styles: • What resources do you have? • Where do you go for up-to-date information on these styles? • How do you identify what is the most reliable resources?
APA The American Psychological Association (APA) guidelinesare the most commonly used among the social sciences, behavioral sciences, and education, which have adopted the APA format to present written material in their fields.
APA: Major Sections Major sections of APA include: • Title Page • Abstract • Main Body • References
APA: In-Text Citation Rules When paraphrasing an idea from another work, make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text citation; e.g.: Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke, 1966).
APA: Corresponding Entry in References Page Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page; e.g.: Burke, Kenneth. (1966) Language as symbolic action: Essays on life, literature, and method. Berkeley: U of California P, Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.
APA: Citations of Electronic Sources Include all information available, including an issue number in parentheses. Provide a retrieval date only if the information is likely to be updated or changed at a later date (e.g., blogs and wikis); e.g.: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number (issue number if available). Retrieved month day, year, (if necessary) from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
APA:Common Errors To minimize the common APA errors: • avoid using bold, oversized, or decorative fonts. • avoid underlining text. • use the ampersand (&) inside parentheses; use “and” within text. • double space all text in the document.
APA:Common Errors (cont.) To minimize the common APA errors: • use lowercase letters in parentheses to identify elements in a series; e.g., (a), (b), (c). • use separate paragraphs and Arabic numerals for list or steps.
APA: Best Resources For the most comprehensive, up-to-date information on APA, use the following sources: • Fifth Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2007) • http://apastyle.apa.org/ • http://owl.english.purdue.edu • http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/asc/tutoring_writingcenter.php
APA vs. MLA The table below lists just a few examples of how APA style differs from MLA.
MLA: Usages • The Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelinesMLA writing style is the most commonly used among the humanities, liberal arts, and fine arts disciplines*, and therefore, is extremely valuable to all college students for use in their general education courses. • *Based on the previous slide, opinions vary on these disciplines, so it is always important to ask what style is expected.
MLA: Five-Paragraph Format • With the five paragraph format, your papers contain five main parts: • Introduction • Claim • Primary support • Secondary support • Conclusion
MLA: Basic In-Text Citation Rules Referring to the works of others in your text is done by parenthetical citation. Following a quotation from a source or a paraphrase of a source's ideas, place the author's name followed by a space and the relevant page number(s); e.g.: Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).
MLA: Corresponding Entry in Works Cited Page Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page; e.g.: Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.
MLA: In-Text Multiple Citations To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon; e.g.: ...as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).
MLA: Citations of Electronic Sources Include as much information available; e.g.: • Author and/or editor names • Name of the database or title of project, book, article • Any version numbers available • Date of version, revision, or posting • Publisher information • Date you accessed the material • Medium (i.e., electronic) • Electronic address, printed between carets (< >)
MLA: Changes as of May 2008 The most notable changes include: • Adding the medium of publication to every entry in Works Cited • Simplifying the format for works-cited entries for online sources that do not include the full URL • Including the volume and issue numbers for every journal citation • Using italics instead of underling for titles
MLA: Best Resources For the most comprehensive, up-to-date information on MLA, use the following sources: • Sixth Edition of the MLA Handbook of Writers of Research Papers (2003) • http://www.mla.org/style • http://owl.english.purdue.edu • http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/asc/tutoring_writingcenter.php
Automatic Bibliography Builders Some of you may be aware of these sites that automatically generate Works Cited and Bibliography pages; e.g.: • http://www.easybib.com/ • http://www.bibme.org/ • http://www.workscited4u.com/ • Question: How can you ensure that these are accurate?
Activity: Check Your Resources • Use your computers to determine how to create in-text citations and Works Cited/References citations for the following information: • U.S. Census Bureau information • Proceedings from a professional organization’s conference; e.g., IEEE, STC, or ASTD • Audio recording • Unpublished doctoral dissertation
Check Your Understanding • Describe something you learned (or recall) about scholarly writing and using APA and MLA formats; e.g.: • What is the value of using a style guide when writing? • Why do we use specific writing styles? • What is the difference between APA and MLA styles? • Where can we find detailed information on different styles?
Resources • Contents adapted from the following websites (which are excellent resources for further study): • www.apastyle.org/ • http://www.mla.org/style • http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/61292/formatting_a_paper_for_the_modern_language_pg3.html?cat=4 • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl • Faigley, L. Backpack Writing. New York: Custom Publishing, 2008.