Your Unit 3 reading discusses the Four Steps in Essay Writing. In a narrative format summarize the information you learned about the four steps. The minimum word count is 250 words. Remember to cite and reference your source, which is the Read section of this Unit.Please just the reading material that I gave you to use.Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Visit Bethel’s Library in VCamp under the Library icon (top right)
The Library has thousands of online books
and journals to help you with your
homework. There are also short video
tutorials, handouts, and APA guidelines to
help you anytime, 24/7. Your librarians are
glad to help you log into the library, find
articles for your assignments, or figure out
an APA citation.
Feel free to contact your
librarians at 615.714.4642 or
When you write an essay, many facilitators will ask you to include information from scholarly journal
N written by experts and published more than
articles. A scholarly periodical is a journal with articles
, expert. That person might be an expert because
once a year. A journal article is a paper written by an
they’ve worked a long time in the business and they have ideas to share. Or they may be an expert
because they’ve earned a PhD on a specific topic. J
The expert writes a paper and turns it in to a group A
of experts. Just like how you’ll turn essays into your
teacher, an expert will turn his or her paper in to a group of experts. The group of experts checks the
information to make sure it’s correct and not unfairly
I biased.
A scholarly paper is intended for students and professionals, people like you. Scholarly papers are all
about research. They’re meant to help you learn something, not to sell you something. A lot of
5 you something. For example, have you ever used
information you’ll find on Google is really trying to sell
the website WebMD? It looks good and has lots of 0
information about health and medical symptoms.
But WebMD is sponsored by pharmaceutical drug companies.
The information they give you is to
trying to sell you more drugs. This is very different from
1 the information on a website like the Mayo
Clinic. The Mayo Clinic is a famous research hospital and the information they give you is to help you,
not to sell you something.
Many scholarly journals and books are available in online databases (for example, EBSCO has online
journals and books). The Online Library website has short video tutorials and step by step instructions
to help you use each database. All of the resources you find in the online databases will give you the
APA reference – and that will save you a lot of time!
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The Association
created guidelines for how to give credit to the people whose ideas you use
in your writing. The latest version of APA is in the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association is the 6th edition, 2nd printing.
APA describes how to acknowledge your source in the main body of your
essay with in-text citations and how to give more information
about these
sources in the references listed at the end of your essay.
An in-text citation
is shorter length and lets your teacher know that more
L information about
the source can be found at the end of your essay inSthe reference.
N paragraph that reflects research. If you change
Place an in-text citation after the first sentence in any
, re-cite. At the end of your essay, include a
sources or switch from a direct quote to paraphrasing,
reference that matches the in-text citation. Space down by pressing Enter a few times, then type
Reference, and then enter the full references for your
J essay.
Anytime you use an author’s ideas, use an in-text citation
in the first sentence. If you change sources
or switch from a direct quote to paraphrasing, re-cite.
I At the end of your essay, include a reference
that matches the in-text citation.
APA is a useful way to acknowledge where you got 5
an idea. When you write an essay, you’ll be
interacting with other people’s opinions and research. Maybe you want to mention a statistic that you
found in an article or a different perspective that you
5 read in a journal article. To give credit to the
author, follow the standardized format of the APA guidelines.
In general, an in-text citation includes the author’s last name and the year the information was
published, like this (Park, 2014). If you’re including a quote, the in-text citation would contain the
author’s last name, the year, and the page number, like this: (Park, 2014, p. 5).
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
In-Text Citation for a Paraphrase
If you are using someone else’s ideas but putting them in your own words, identify the author and
publication year with an in-text citation for a paraphrase. You do not have to cite page numbers for

If the author’s name and date of publication are not mentioned in the sentence, cite the
author’s last name either in the sentence or with the publication date in parentheses after
the first mention to the material. Place a comma between the name and the date. Example:
(Carlson, 2001).

If you mention the author’s name and the publication date in your sentence, you will not
need any additional citation. Example: In a 1983 study, Deborah Mayo began questioning
the scientific validity of experiments involving laboratory animals.

If you mention the author’s last name in your
L sentence, place the date of publication in
parentheses right after the name. Example:
S Mayo (1983) questioned the scientific validity of
experiments involving laboratory animals.
If you cite two authors with the same lastN
name, use their first and middle initials within
the parentheses. Example: (D. G. Mayo, 1983)
If a work has two authors, combine the names with and in your sentence. Use an
ampersand (&) instead of and in a parenthetical
Example 1: Franklin and Hayes (2001) criticized
A animal testing practices in the cosmetics
Example 2: One recent study (Franklin & Hayes,
2001) criticized the cosmetics industry for its
inaccurate and inhumane testing procedures.

If a work has more than two authors, cite all of them, if there are not more than five, the
first time, either in your sentence or in the5parenthetical citation. In subsequent references
in either location, include only the last name of the first author followed by et al. (Latin
0 after et). If a work has six or more authors,
meaning “and the others”; there is no period
use et al. after the first author’s last name5in all references in the text. Example:
First Reference: Heinrich, Smith, and Blaine1(1992) concluded that driver-education programs
are woefully ineffective.
Subsequent Reference: The ineffectivenessUof current driver-education programs concerns
insurance companies (Heinrich et al., 1992).

If a work has no author, cite it by the first two or three words of the title, starting with the
first important word. For a journal article or an essay, use a shortened version of its
title—not the title of the journal or the book—and place these two or three words in
quotation marks. If you are citing a book, supply a shortened version of its title, italicized.
Example 1: To secure good research assistantships, graduate students should learn
everything they can about the university’s privately funded grant projects (“Getting the First,”
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
2001). [The complete title of the article is “Getting the First Job: Try for a Research
Example 2: In Jobs for Biologists (1990), students can find tips on landing a job at a zoo or
museum. [The complete title is Jobs for Biologists in a Changing World.]

If you use a quotation from an indirect source, precede the source information in the
parenthetical citation with the words as cited in. In the reference list, include an entry only
for the secondary source.

If you cite two or more works by the same author in one parenthetical citation, give the
author’s name, followed by the years in chronological order, separated by commas. (Stiles,
1991, 1994)

If you cite two or more works by different authors in one parenthetical citation, give the
works in alphabetical order and separate them with semicolons. Example: Several
researchers have confirmed Erikson’s theory of an adolescent identity crisis (Bryson, 1963;
Drummond, 1970; Oliphant, 1968).

If you cite a personal communication, such as an e-mail message, you do not need to
include a reference list entry because the information is not accessible to your readers.
Cite the communication in the text, giving the initials as well as the last name of your
source and a date. Example: According to museum
official F. Calabria (personal
A will be completed by 2004.
communication, May 22, 2001), the renovations
In-Text Citation for a Quotation
Ethe author, publication year, and page number
If you are using someone else’s exact words identify
with an in-text citation for quotes. Shorter quotations, less than forty words, should be incorporated
within your paragraphs. For example:
0 counseling techniques: “How can there be
He asked an essential question for revamping current
family therapy without children?” (Combrinck-Graham,
1991, p. 373-374).
1 five spaces from the left margin and typed
The longer quotation, over forty words, is block-indented
without quotation marks. The quotation should be double
spaced. The page reference (and the author
and date, if they are not mentioned in the text) appears
parentheses at the end of the quotation,
outside the final period. For example:
British researchers began experiments concerning a gene that may actually determine maleness:
Tests in mice show that after the gene is switched on, a cascade of genetic events takes
place, and the testes begin to form. The testes go on to pump out testosterone, which in
humans subsequently provokes the sprouting of beards, the deepening of voices, and the
other masculine traits that cause anxiety in adolescent boys. (Kinoshita, 1991, p. 47)
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
The Complete boxes cannot indent so your facilitator may ask you to hit the return or enter key to
space down two lines and type the long quotation. After the quotation, include the citation then press
the return or enter key twice before continuing the rest of your answer.
Any source that you cite in the text of your essay will have a matching reference that gives more
information about the source. Usually, these references would be on a separate page. In the online
format, these references should be in the Complete text box. At the end of your essay, press enter a
few times to space down, then type Reference, then enter the full references for your essay.
Alphabetize the references by the author last name.
General Guidelines
• Begin the entry with the author’s last name. Use initials for the author’s first and middle names. If
there is no author, the entry begins with the title.
• Place the date of publication in parentheses after the author’s name.
• Capitalize only the first word of the title, proper,names, and the first word after a colon.

Capitalize and italicize the title of a journal. Italicize the volume number. It is followed by a comma
and the complete page numbers of the article. J

Provide only the city for the place of publicationM
unless it is a small city. If more than one city is
listed on the title page, use the first one.
E most popular sources, such as websites or
Below are examples of how to reference a few of the
journal articles. For a complete list of guidelines visit
Online Sources
1. VCamp Read
The Read section of the online classroom is your textbook. Each class textbook is different so you
should follow the formatting that best fits your book. If it’s a Read section written by one author, it
would follow this example:
Smith, J. (2012). Information Systems. Retrieved from
2. VCamp Attend
The Attend section of the online classroom is a lecture and should be referenced like this example:
Bethel University. (2010). Orientation to Online Learning [Video]. Retrieved from
3. Article in an Online Journal
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Fall, L. T., Kelly, S., MacDonald, P., Primm, C., & Holmes, W. (2013). Intercultural Communication
Apprehension and Emotional Intelligence in Higher Education: Preparing Business Students for Career
Success. Business Communication Quarterly, 76(4), 412-426. doi:10.1177/1080569913501861
If you reference an online article, you should include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number. Most
online articles in a database, like EBSCO, will have a DOI number assigned to it. If the article does not
have a DOI number but you found it in a database you can use the reference exactly as it appears in
the database.
4. Material from a Professional Website
International Society for Mental Health Online. (2012). Children and trauma: Reflections on the World
Trade Center disaster. Retrieved from
Note: To cite a section of a document, use a section identifier such as a paragraph or chapter number,
and reference the web address that links to the identified
5. Book by One Author:
Markel, M.H. (1992).Technical writing: Situations and strategies.New York: St.Martin’s.
6. Book by Two or More Authors:
Holmes, E. R., & Holmes, L. D. (1995). Other cultures, elder years. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
7. Book with an Editor:
DeGenova,M.K. (Ed.). (1997). Families in cultural context:
Strength and challenges in diversity.
Mountain View, CA:Mayfield.
8. Edition Other Than the First:
Bennett, L., Jr. (1984). Before the Mayflower: A history of Black America (5th ed.). Harmondsworth,
England: Penguin Books.
9. Book by a Corporate Author or Group:
U of the United States, 1999 (118th
U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1999). Statistical abstract
ed.).Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Parts of Books
10. Signed Article in an Encyclopedia or Other Reference Book
Ives, S. (1990). Parts of speech. In Collier’s encyclopedia (Vol. 18, p. 487-490). New York: Macmillan.
11. Unsigned Article in an Encyclopedia or Other Reference Book
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Gypsies. (1978). In L. Shepard (Ed.), Encyclopedia of occultism and parapsychology (Vol. 1, p.
400-401). Detroit: Gale Research.
Government Documents and Legal Cases
12. Government Document or Research Report
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH publication No. 02-2650).
Retrieved from
13. Legal Case
Loving v.Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).
L Supreme Court in 1967. It was recorded in
This is a reference for a decision rendered by the U.S.
S which is abbreviated as U.S. In the text, the
Volume 388, on page 1, of the United States Reports,
names are underlined or italicized: Loving v.VirginiaO(1967).
Articles in Print Journals
14. Article in a Scholarly Journal Paginated by Year
J or Volume
The entire year’s issues are paginated as a unit. A
M up is (relatively) easy to do: A script for the
Battaglia, D. M., Datteri, D., & Lord, C. (1998). Breaking
dissolution of close relationships. Journal of SocialIand Personal Relationships, 15, 829-845.
15. Article in a Scholarly Journal Paginated by Issue
Each issue begins with page 1.
Blanton, J. S. (2000). Why consultants don’t apply psychological
research. Consulting Psychology
Journal: Practice and Research, 52 (4), 235-247. 5
Other Sources
16. YouTube
Norton, R. (2006, November 4). How to train a cat to operate a light switch [Video file]. Retrieved from
Give the name and, in parentheses, the function of the originator of or primary contributors to the work.
Identify the medium in brackets after the title.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
How well you go about incorporating the results of your research into your own writing goes a long way
toward determining how your readers rate the quality of your work. Most teachers expect research
writers to use a mixture of direct quotation, paraphrase, and summary. Deciding when to use which
technique—and then using each technique correctly—makes the process of research writing different
from simply writing about your own ideas. Successfully avoiding plagiarism—the unacknowledged use
of others’ words and ideas—is right at the heart of using these techniques correctly.
Inexperienced writers tend to insert too many directSquotations, using their own sentences mostly just
to link these quoted passages. But readers expect O
your writing to reflect your ideas and your
thinking—ideas and thinking that have been shaped
Nand supported by what you may have in the
quotes—and not just to be a collage or crazy quilt of, others’ work. Many readers only skim over long
quotations and thus won’t understand your paper if quotes make up most of its substance. Your own
voice gets buried in the words of others. So the first question to explore about how to use any material
you want to borrow is whether it should be quoted directly or whether a paraphrase or even a
summary would be better.
E are allowed to use in your paper. Quotations are
There is a limit to the amount of direct quotations you
Limit Your Use of Quotations
most effectively used to demonstrate dialect and speaking style, emphasize a point, or explain an
official policy. Your paper should contain less than 5
15\% direct quotations.
When you have decided that a quotation will be effective
because it meets one of the three criteria,
choose as short an excerpt as possible to keep the5quoted material from overwhelming your own
developing argument. For example, if you are writing
1 a paper criticizing college testing methods you
might want to quote a college professor who opposes
B final exams. Here’s an illustration:
U recall the most basic factual material
Final exams generally call on students to
covered in the course. Perhaps they will make some judgments, but nothing very
taxing. One critic has suggested that the traditional exam “actually inhibits
retention of the course content” because it focuses on memorizing facts quickly
and not on thinking critically (Smith, 1984, p. 42).
Introduce Quotations and Paraphrases Properly
One method of introducing a quotation or paraphrase is with a signal phrase, which explains to the
reader the author’s authority or intentions and thus makes the excerpt more meaningful. Signal
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
phrases, like those preceding or following the quotation in the sentence below, commonly appear in
research papers.
“It could not have been worse for local businesses,” wrote economist Sheila Parker (1990) of the
L.A. riots (p.46).
Use the Ellipsis Mark and Brackets Properly with Quotations
By using the ellipsis mark (. . .), you can eliminate part of a quoted passage and thus produce a shorter
quotation—but it must not distort the meaning of the original. If some words need to be changed so
that the quotation will fit into your sentence structure, or if you need to add information to clarify the
meaning, you can make those small changes within brackets. For example:
Smith (1984) argues that many of the grueling rituals
of higher education once had noble goals:
“[the] avowed purpose [of the final exam] is to make sure that the student . . . has increased his
efficiency or his knowledge” (p. 42).
Sometimes, instead of a quote, you may want to paraphrase.
To paraphrase what an author has said,
restate their important ideas in your own words. Paraphrasing is useful if you would like to incorporate
an author’s detailed information in your own writing style. If you are paraphrasing an idea, the citation
includes the author’s last name and the year. Although it’s not required, APA encourages you to
include the page number.
To summarize or paraphrase, put the author’s ideas completely into your own words instead of
I wording and your own. Such “plagiaphrasing”
creating some odd combination of the text’s original
should be avoided because it is a form of plagiarism.
E Consider the differences between the adequate
and inadequate paraphrases of this direct quotation:
5 led by the majority of women in all strata of
“The new women’s social history focuses on the lives
society, using material from a wide range of sources,
0 from diaries to demographics” (Brod, 1999,
p. 266).
Inadequate Paraphrase
Today’s new social history of women focuses on how
B women lived in all segments of society, using
a wide range of research materials (Brod, 1999, p.
U 266).
Adequate Paraphrase
In women’s studies classes, the concern is not with a few famous historical or literary women but
with the daily lives of all types of women, something previously given very little attention (Brod,
1999, p. 266).
A good method of paraphrasing is to read the source material, put the book or article down, think
through the information, and then write your own version of it.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
The Difference between Summary and Paraphrase
To write a good paraphrase of a paragraph or an article, you may feel that the paraphrase should
reflect all of the original: if the original has four major points, so must your paraphrase; if the original is
angry in tone, your paraphrase must reflect that. In these ways a paraphrase operates closely to the
original (which can cause problems with plagiaphrasing, as explained in the next section). These kinds
of expectations about paraphrasing can cause you to write something different from what you actually
need to incorporate some piece of the original document’s content into your project. In such cases,
what you need is more properly called a summary.
A summary states only the most important information from an original piece, with particular attention
to that information’s relevance to what you are writing. To some extent, then, the difference between a
paraphrase and a summary is a gradual one, having to do with the amount of detail, including the
length, of each. The summary pulls from the originalI only the one piece of information you really need,
and you pare that piece down to its minimum and carefully
express it in your own words. The
paraphrase shown in the previous selection is already
S a short one. To turn it into a summary, one way
is just to make it much shorter. For example:
N studies classes today is with the daily lives of
According to Brod (1999), the concern in women’s
all types of women (p. 266).
If you use someone else’s words,Euse quotation marks and give
them credit. If you use someone else’s idea, give them credit.
Failing to cite the source of borrowed material, whether
5 the failure is intentional or accidental, is
plagiarism. When you plagiarize, you miss the chance
1 to have the rest of your work fairly evaluated for
its quality because you have made the kind of error that can get the whole project an F—or worse.
When you plagiarize, you are also committing an ethical blunder: it’s cheating. And of course, when
you plagiarize, you subject yourself to pretty severeU
punishment. In school that can mean a 0 on that
paper, perhaps an F for the course, and in some cases, expulsion. On the job that can mean dismissal,
fines, and even jail time. Thus it’s important to recognize common plagiarism situations so that you
can avoid them.
When you work with source materials, whether they come from hard copies of books and journals or
they come from the Internet, you must provide at the minimum a citation for the following types of

direct quotations—must be placed in quotation marks and be in the author’s exact words
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing

paraphrases—must be completely in your own words and sentence structure
summarized material
an author’s opinions or data
visuals and graphics
Plagiarism Situation: Obvious Copying
Here’s the first paragraph of a student paper:
Since NASA’s founding, the greater part of its resources have gone into putting men and
women into space. On January 14 of this year, President Bush announced a “New Vision
for Space Exploration” that would further intensify NASA’s concentration on manned
W under construction since 1998, would be
space flight. The International Space Station,
completed by 2010. It would be kept in service
until around 2016, with American activities
on the station from now on focused on studies
L of the long-term effects of space travel on
That’s good writing—very good writing. It’s also plagiarized
from Stephen Weinberg’s article “The
Wrong Stuff” (2004). Here’s the original passage: N
Ever since NASA was founded, the greater part of its resources has gone into putting men
and women into space. On January 14 of this year, President Bush announced a “New
Vision for Space Exploration” that would further
intensify NASA’s concentration on
manned space flight. The International Space
A Station, which has been under construction
since 1998, would be completed by 2010;Mit would be kept in service until around 2016,
with American activities on the station from
I now on focused on studies of the long-term
effects of space travel on astronauts. (p. 1)
There are no quotation marks, no source notes or citations, and there is no attempt at paraphrasing.
This is a case of obvious copying, and—whether it was
5 driven by dishonesty or late-night panic—the
penalties will be severe.
Plagiarism Situation: Cutting and Pasting 5
Another typical plagiarism situation occurs when a writer combines bits and pieces from several
different sources with his or her own words, either mostly or totally without using quotation marks or
citing the sources. Here’s a typical cut and paste plagiarism:
More than any other writer, Shakespeare embodies the distinctive principles of Western
Civilization. This includes, unfortunately, not just the good qualities of our world, but also
the kinds of prejudices. Thus Caliban, the deformed savage on the island in The Tempest,
from his first appearance in the play is more animal than human. The assumption seems to
be that having a body that is different somehow means being inferior. And in Titus
Andronicus, the Moor seems to do evil for its own sake, making Shakespeare’s
metaphorical racism all the more troubling.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
If the style and flow of the paragraph seem to have the hiccups, it’s because the first sentence was
actually written by R. V. Young (2004), the third sentence by an unnamed author (“The Tempest,”
2014), and the last sentence by Kevin Connolly (2000).Once again there are no quotation marks, no
source notes or citations, and there is no attempt at paraphrasing. This paper is plagiarized just as
much as the one before it and the penalties will be the same.
Plagiarism Situation: Plagiaphrasing (LAZY PARAPHRASING)
Plagiaphrasing is changing only a few words in the original and then including the text as your own.
Here is an example of a paper with plagiaphrasing:
Original Source
Businesses are increasingly the target of W
both competitors and the curious. Even
computer companies like Apple ComputerI are not immune to attacks by computer
criminals. In December 1987, Apple Computer
L found a virus in its electronic mail system.
The virus succeeded in shutting down the system and erasing all of Apple’s voice mail.
(Icove, Seger, & VonStorch, 1995, p. 5)
Many businesses have been the target of,both competitors and the curious. Even Apple
Plagiaphrased Version of Original
Computer is not immune to attacks by computer criminals. In December of 1987, Apple
found a virus in the electronic mail system. The virus shut down the system and erased all
of Apple’s voice mail.
Can you see that these lines are still remarkably similar
M to the original quote? Notice, too, the absence
of any kind of source notes. The combination of these two factors means that these lines are a
plagiaphrase, not a paraphrase. This is still cheating and will receive the same consequences. Here is
an example of a correct paraphrase of the original E
Correctly Paraphrased Version
According to David Icove, Karl Seger, and William VonStorch in “Fighting Computer
Crime,” computer criminals may be either a company’s corporate rivals or simply those
5 targets of these criminals is Apple Computer,
who are curious (1995). Among the unlikely
1 December 1987. The virus shut down the
which found an e-mail virus in its system in
system and erased all the voice mail.
Use Sources Correctly
How can a writer use this material properly? Here are three guidelines to follow:
1. For any borrowed material, name the source (in a signal phrase) as part of your own writing.
2. Make sure the material is really in your own words when you paraphrase.
3. Cite the source exactly.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
1. Begin with a point, or thesis
2. Support the thesis with specific evidence
3. Organize and connect the specific evidence
Step 1: Begin with a Point, or Thesis
Your first step in writing is to discover what point you want to make and to write that point out as a
single sentence. Effective essays center on a thesis, or main point, that a writer wishes to express. A
Nand presents the writer’s attitude, opinion, idea,
good thesis statement tells readers an essay’s topic
or point about that topic. This central idea is usually, presented as a thesis statement in an essay’s
4. Write clear, error-free sentences
introductory paragraph.
There are two reasons for doing this. You want to know
J right from the start if you have a clear and
workable thesis. Also, you will be able to use the thesis as a guide while writing your essay. At any
stage you can ask yourself, “Does this support my thesis?” With the thesis as a guide, the danger of
drifting away from the point of the essay is greatly reduced.
When writing thesis statements, people often make mistakes that undermine their chances of
E such mistakes:
producing an effective essay. Here are tips for avoiding
Write Statements, Not Announcements
Your thesis should make a point about a limited subject, not merely describe a general subject. Here is
an example of an ineffective thesis that is an announcement,
not a statement:
This sentence announces a general topic about crime
B in our country. It is an unsuccessful thesis
because it does not make a point about a limited subject. In contrast, an effective thesis could be:
I want to talk about the crime wave in our country.
The recent crime wave in our city has several apparent causes.
Avoid Statements That Are Too Broad or Too Narrow
A thesis should be about a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Choose a topic that can be
adequately discussed within the word count of your essay. Here is an example of a thesis that is too
broad to be covered in a 500 word essay:
Marriage has shaped human history.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Here is an example of a thesis on marriage that is too narrow:
My parents’ marriage began in 1966.
Here is a successful thesis on marriage:
Marriage was the foundation of community in nineteenth century America.
Develop One Idea
The point of an essay is to communicate a single main idea. To be as clear as possible, limit your
thesis to the key idea you want your readers to know. Here is an example of an ineffective thesis that
contains more than one idea:
One of the most serious problems affecting youngW
people today is bullying, and it is time more kids
learned the value of helping others.
This statement clearly has two separate ideas (“One of the most serious problems affecting young
people today is bullying” and “it is time more kids learned
the value of helping others”). The reader is
asked to focus on two separate points, each of which more logically belongs in an essay of its own.
Here is a thesis statement that focuses on a key idea:
One of the most serious problems affecting young, people today is bullying.
The second step in writing an effective essay is to support
the thesis with specific reasons or details.
To ensure that your essay will have adequate support,
I you may find an informal outline helpful. Write
down a brief version of your thesis and then write down the three points that will support the thesis.
Step 2: Support the Thesis with Specific Evidence
Here is an example of a scratch outline:
Movie going is a problem.
1. Inconvenience of going out
2. Tempting snacks
3. Other moviegoers
A scratch outline like this one looks simple, but developing
it often requires a great deal of careful
U is invaluable though. Once you have planned
thinking. The time spent on developing a logical outline
the steps that logically support your thesis, you will be in an excellent position to go on to write an
effective essay.
The Importance of Specific Details
Just as a thesis must be developed with supporting points, each supporting point must be developed
with specific details. Specific details excite the reader’s interest. They make writing a pleasure to read,
for we all enjoy learning particulars about people, places, and things. Second, details serve to explain
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
a writer’s points. They give the evidence needed for us to see and understand general ideas. The
following box contrasts vague support with specific support from details.
Vague Support
Many people in the theater show themselves
to be inconsiderate. They make noises and
create disturbances at their seats. Included
are people in every age group, from the
young to the old. Some act as if they were at
home in their own living room watching the
TV set.
Specific Support
Little kids race up and down the aisles, usually in
giggling packs. Teenagers try to impress their friends
by talking back to the screen, whistling, and making
what they consider to be hilarious noises. Adults act as
if they were at home in their own living room and
comment loudly on the ages of the stars or why movies
aren’t as good anymore.
W clear the statement that patrons are a problem
The specific support provides details that make vividly
in the theater. The writer specifies the exact age groups
(little kids, teenagers, and adults) and the
offenses of each (giggling, talking and whistling, and
L loud comments). The ineffective vague support
asks us to guess about these details; the effective specific
support describes the details in a particular
and lively way.
N interest and enable us to share the writer’s
In a strong paragraph, then, sharp details capture our
experience. They provide pictures that make each of
, us feel, “I am there.” The particulars also enable
us to understand clearly the writer’s point that patrons are a problem. Aim to make your own writing
equally convincing by providing detailed support.
The Importance of Adequate Details
You must provide enough specific details to fully support the point in a body paragraph of an essay.
You could not, for example, include a paragraph about a friend’s unreliability and provide only a oneEthe example or add several other examples
or two-sentence example. You would have to extend
showing your friend as an unreliable person. Without such additional support, your paragraph would
be underdeveloped.
Students may try to disguise unsupported paragraphs through repetition and generalities. Do not fall
5 hard work needed to ensure that each
into this “wordiness trap.” Be prepared to do the plain
paragraph has solid support.
Step 3: Organize and Connect the Specific U
As you are generating the specific details needed to support a thesis, you should be thinking about
ways to organize and connect those details. All the details in your essay must cohere, or stick together,
so that your reader will be able to move smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next.
This section shows you how to organize and connect supporting details by using (1) common methods
of organization, (2) transitions, (3) connecting words, (4) strong introduction, and (5) strong
Common Methods of Organization
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Two common methods used to organize the supporting material in an essay are time order and
emphatic order.
1. Time, or chronological, order simply means that details are listed as they occur in time. First
this is done; next this; then this; after that, this; and so on.
2. Emphatic order is sometimes described as “saving the best till last.” It is a way to put
emphasis on the most interesting or important detail by placing it in the last part of a
paragraph or in the final supporting paragraph of an essay. The last position in a paper is the
most emphatic position because the reader is most likely to remember the last thing read.
Finally, last of all, and most important are typical words or phrases showing emphasis.
Transitions signal the direction of a writer’s thought. They are like the road signs that guide travelers.
Transitional, or linking, sentences are used between paragraphs to help tie together the supporting
paragraphs in an essay. They enable the reader to S
move smoothly from the idea in one paragraph to
the idea in the next paragraph. Here is the linking sentence used in the essay on movie going:
Many of the other patrons are even more of a problem than the concession stand.
The words concession stand reminds us of the point of the first supporting paragraph, while Many of
the other patrons presents the point to be developed
J in the second supporting paragraph.
In addition to transitions, connecting words tie together
I the specific evidence in a paper.
to repeat ourselves in writing.
1. Repeated Words. Many of us have been taught—correctly—not
Connecting Words
However, repeating key words helps tie together the flow of thought in a paper. Below,
repeated words remind readers of the selection’s
central idea.
One reason for studying psychology is to help you0deal with your children. Perhaps your young
daughter refuses to go to bed when you want her5to and bursts into tears at the least mention of
“lights out. “A little knowledge of psychology comes
1 in handy. Offer her a choice of staying up
until 7:30 with you or going upstairs and playing B
until 8:00. Since she gets to make the choice,
she does not feel so powerless and will not resist.UPsychology is also useful in rewarding a child
for a job well done. Instead of telling your ten-year-old son what a good boy he is when he makes
his own bed, tell him how neat it looks, how happy you are to see it, and how proud of him you are
for doing it by himself. The psychology books will tell you that being a good boy is much harder to
live up to than doing one job well.
2. Pronouns (he, she, it, you, they, this, that, and others) are another way to connect ideas. Also,
using pronouns in place of other words can help you avoid needless repetition. Here is a
selection that makes good use of pronouns:
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Another way for people to economize at an amusement park is to bring their own food. If they
pack a nourishing, well-balanced lunch of cold chicken, carrot sticks, and fruit, they will avoid
having to pay high prices for hamburgers and hot dogs. They will also save on calories. Also,
instead of filling up on soft drinks, they should bring a thermos of iced tea. Iced tea is more
refreshing than soda, and it is a great deal cheaper. Every dollar that is not spent at a refreshment
stand is one that can be spent on another ride.
3. Synonyms are words alike in meaning. Using synonyms can also help move the reader easily
from one thought to the next. In addition, the use of synonyms increases variety and interest
by avoiding needless repetition. Note the synonyms for method in the following selection:
There are several methods of fund-raising that work well with small organizations. One technique
is to hold an auction, with everyone either contributing an item from home or obtaining a donation
I merchandise and the services of the
from a sympathetic local merchant. Because all the
L can be placed in the organization’s treasury. A
auctioneer have been donated, the entire proceeds
second fund-raising procedure is a car wash. ClubSmembers and their children get together on a
Saturday and wash all the cars in the neighborhood
O for a few dollars apiece. A third, time-tested
way to raise money is to hold a bake sale, with each
N family contributing homemade cookies,
brownies, layer cakes, or cupcakes. Sold by the piece or by the box, these baked goods will
satisfyingly fill both the stomach and the pocketbook.
Strong Introduction
A well-written introductory paragraph performs fourAimportant roles:
1. It attracts the reader’s interest, encouraging
I him or her to continue reading the essay.
2. It supplies any background information thatEthe reader may need to understand the essay.
3. It presents a thesis statement. This clear, direct statement of the main idea of the paper
usually appears near the end of the introductory paragraph.
4. It indicates a plan of development. In this “preview,”
the major supporting points for the thesis
are listed in the order in which they will be presented.
B any one method, or a combination of methods,
Here are some common methods of introduction. Use
to introduce your subject to the reader in an interesting
U way.
1. Begin with a broad, general statement of your topic and narrow it down to your thesis
statement. Broad, general statements ease the reader into your thesis statement by first
introducing the topic. In the example below, the writer talks generally about diets and then
narrows down to comments on a specific diet.
Bookstore shelves today are crammed with dozens of different diet books. The American
public seems willing to try any sort of diet, especially the ones that promise instant,
miraculous results. And authors are more than willing to invent new fad diets to cash in on
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
this craze. Unfortunately, some of these fad diets are ineffective or even unsafe. One of the
worst fad diets is the “Palm Beach” plan. It is impractical, doesn’t achieve the results it
claims, and is a sure route to poor nutrition.
2. Start with an idea or a situation that is the opposite of the one you will develop. This approach
works because your readers will be surprised, and then intrigued, by the contrast between the
opening idea and the thesis that follows it.
When I decided to return to school at age thirty-five, I wasn’t at all worried about my ability
to do the work. After all, I was a grown woman who had raised a family, not a confused
teenager fresh out of high school. But when I started classes, I realized that those
“confused teenagers” sitting around me were
W in much better shape for college than I was.
They still had all their classroom skills in bright, shiny condition, while mine had grown
rusty from disuse. I had to learn how to locate information in a library, how to write a
report, and even how to speak up in class discussions.
Explain the importance of your topic to the reader.
O If you can convince your readers that the
subject in some way applies to them, or is something
N they should know more about, they will want
to keep reading.
Diseases like scarlet fever and whooping cough used to kill more young children than any
J due to disease has been almost completely
other cause. Today, however, child mortality
eliminated by medical science. Instead, car
A accidents are the number-one killer of our
children. And most of the children fatally M
injured in car accidents were not protected by
car seats, belts, or restraints of any kind. Several steps must be taken to reduce the
serious dangers car accidents pose to our children.
4. Use an incident or a brief story. Stories are naturally interesting. They appeal to a reader’s
curiosity. In your introduction, an anecdote will 5
grab the reader’s attention right away. The story
should be brief and should be related to your main
0 idea. The incident in the story can be
something that happened to you, something you have heard about, or something you have read
about in a newspaper or magazine.
Early Sunday morning the young mother dressed
her little girl warmly and gave her a candy
bar, a picture book, and a well-worn stuffed
U rabbit. Together, they drove downtown to a
Methodist church. There the mother told the little girl to wait on the stone steps until
children began arriving for Sunday school. Then the young mother drove off, abandoning
her five-year-old because she couldn’t cope with being a parent anymore. This incident is
one of thousands of cases of child neglect and abuse that occur annually. Perhaps the
automatic right to become a parent should no longer exist. Would-be parents should be
forced to apply for parental licenses for which they would have to meet three important
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
5. Ask one or more questions. You may simply want the reader to think about possible answers, or
you may plan to answer the questions yourself later in the paper.
What is love? How do we know that we are really in love? When we meet that special
person, how can we tell that our feelings are genuine and not merely infatuation? And, if
they are genuine, will these feelings last? Love, as we all know, is difficult to define. But
most people agree that true and lasting love involves far more than mere physical
attraction. Love involves mutual respect, the desire to give rather than take, and the
feeling of being wholly at ease.
6. Use a quotation. A quotation can be something you have read in a book or an article. It can also
be something that you have heard: a popular saying
W or proverb (“Never give advice to a friend”), a
current or recent advertising slogan (“Reach out and touch someone”), or a favorite expression
used by friends or family (“My father always says . . .”). Using a quotation in your introductory
paragraph lets you add someone else’s voice to your own.
“Fish and visitors,” wrote Benjamin Franklin,
O “begin to smell after three days.” Last
summer, when my sister and her family came
N to spend their two week vacation with us, I
became convinced that Franklin was right. After only three days of my family’s visit, I was
thoroughly sick of my brother-in-law’s corny jokes, my sister’s endless complaints about
her boss, and their children’s constant invasions of our privacy.
Mreader of your thesis idea and bring the paper to
A concluding paragraph is your chance to remind the
a natural and graceful end. You may use any one ofI the methods below, or a combination of methods,
to round off your paper.
Strong Conclusion
1. End with a summary and final thought. When army instructors train new recruits, each of their
lessons follows a three-step formula:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
Tell them.
Tell them what you’ve told them.
An essay that ends with a summary is not very different. After you have stated your thesis (“Tell
them what you’re going to tell them”) and supported it (“Tell them”), you restate the thesis and
supporting points (“Tell them what you’ve told them”). However, don’t use the exact wording you
used before. Here is a summary conclusion:
Catalog shopping at home, then, has several advantages. Such shopping is convenient,
saves you money, and saves you time. It is not surprising that growing numbers of devoted
catalog shoppers are welcoming those full-color mail brochures that offer everything from
turnip seeds to televisions.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Note that the summary is accompanied by a final comment that “rounds off” the paper and brings
the discussion to a close. This combination of a summary and a final thought is the most common
method of concluding an essay.
2. Include a thought-provoking question or short series of questions. A question grabs the reader’s
attention. It is a direct appeal to your reader to think further about what you have written. A
question should follow logically from the points you have already made in the paper. A question
must deal with one of these areas:
• Why the subject of your paper is important
• What might happen in the future
• What should be done about this subject
• Which choice should be made
In your conclusion, you may provide an answer
I to your question. Be sure, though, that the
question is closely related to your thesis. Here
L is an example:
What, then, will happen in the twenty-firstScentury when most of the population will be
O change dramatically, with the age-sixty-five
over sixty years old? Retirement policies could
testimonial dinner and gold watch postponed
N for five or ten years. Even television would
change as the Metamucil generation replaces
the Pepsi generation. Glamorous
gray-haired models would sell everything from toilet paper to televisions. New soap operas
and situation comedies would reveal the secrets of the “sunset years.” It will be a different
world indeed when the young find themselves outnumbered.
3. End with a prediction or recommendation. Like
Mquestions, predictions and recommendations
also involve your readers. A prediction states what may happen in the future:
Epets, there would be fewer instances of cruelty
If people stopped to think before acquiring
to animals. Many times, it is the people who adopt pets without considering the expense
and responsibility involved who mistreat and
5 neglect their animals. Pets are living
creatures. They do not deserve to be treated as carelessly as one would treat a stuffed toy.
5 about a situation or problem:
A recommendation suggests what should be done
Stereotypes such as the helpless homemaker, harried executive, and dotty grandparent
are insulting enough to begin with. In magazine ads or television commercials, they
become even more insulting. Now these unfortunate
characters are not just being laughed
at; they are being turned into hucksters to sell products to an unsuspecting public.
Consumers should boycott companies whose advertising continues to use such
Step 4: Write clear, error-free sentences
It’s important to revise your essay so that your sentences flow smoothly and clearly. Also be sure to
edit for mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Revising Sentences
These strategies will help you to revise your sentences effectively:
Use parallelism
Use a consistent point of view
Use specific words
Use active verbs
Use concise words
Vary your sentences
1. Use Parallelism
Words in a pair or a series should have parallel structure.
W By balancing the items in a pair or a series
so that they have the same kind of structure, you will
I make the sentence clearer and easier to read.
Notice how the parallel sentences that follow read L
more smoothly than the nonparallel ones.
S (Balanced)
Nonparallel (Not Balanced)
• My job includes checking the inventory,
initialing the orders, and to call the
• My job includes checking the inventory, initialing
N orders, and calling the suppliers (A balanced
of -ing words: checking, initialing, calling)
• The game-show contestant was told to
be cheerful, charming, and with
• The game-show contestant was told to be cheerful,
and enthusiastic. (A balanced series of
words: cheerful, charming, enthusiastic)
Balanced sentences are not a skill you need worry about when writing first drafts. But when you
rewrite, you should try to put matching words and ideas into matching structures. Such parallelism will
improve your writing style.
Do not shift verb tenses unnecessarily. If you begin writing a paper in the present tense, do not shift
suddenly to the past. If you begin in the past, do not shift without reason to the present. Notice the
inconsistent verb tenses in the following example:
5 bowl. Then she dumps it onto the floured
Jean punched down the risen yeast dough in the
1 ball.
worktable and kneaded it into a smooth, shiny
The verbs must be consistently in the present tense:
Jean punches down the risen yeast dough in the bowl. Then she dumps it onto the floured
worktable and kneads it into a smooth, shiny ball.
2. Use a Consistent Point of View
When writing a paper, you should not shift your point of view unnecessarily. Be consistent in your use
of first, second, or third person pronouns.
First-person pronouns
I (my, mine, me)
we (our, us)
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
Second-person pronouns
you (your)
you (your)
Third-person pronouns
he (his, him) she (her) it (its)
they (their, them)
Note: Any person, place, or thing, as well as any indefinite pronoun such as one, anyone, someone,
and so on, is a third-person word.
For instance, if you start writing in the first person, I, do not jump suddenly to the second person, you.
Or if you are writing in the third person, they, do not shift unexpectedly to you. For example:
1. One of the fringe benefits of my job is that you
can use a company credit card for gasoline.
2. Though we like most of our neighbors, there
are a few you can’t get along with.
I Consistent
L1. One of the fringe benefits of my job is that I
S can use a company credit card for gasoline.
O2. Though we like most of our neighbors, there
N are a few we can’t get along with.
3. Use Specific Words
To be an effective writer, you must use specific words rather than general words. Specific words create
M and make your meaning clear. Compare the
pictures in the reader’s mind. They help capture interest
following sentences:
1. She walked down the street.
1. Anne wandered
5 slowly along Rogers Lane.
The specific sentences create clear pictures in our B
minds. The details show us exactly what has
2. Animals came into the place.
2. Hungry lions padded silently into the sawdust-covered arena.
Here are four ways to make your sentences specific.
1. Use exact names.
He sold his camper.
Luke sold his Winnebago.
2. Use lively verbs.
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
The flag moved in the breeze.
The flag fluttered in the breeze.
3. Use descriptive words (modifiers) before nouns.
A man strained to lift the crate.
A heavyset, perspiring man strained to lift the heavy wooden crate.
4. Use words that relate to the senses—sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch.
That woman jogs five miles a day.
That fragile-looking, gray-haired woman jogs five miles a day. (sight)
4. Use Active Verbs
When the subject of a sentence performs the action
I of the verb, the verb is in the active voice. When
the subject of a sentence receives the action of a verb, the verb is in the passive voice.
The passive form of a verb consists of a form of theSverb to be (am, is, are, was, were) plus the past
participle of the main verb (which is usually the same
O as its past tense form). Look at the following
active and passive forms.
1. The computer was turned on by Hakim.
1. Hakim turned on the computer.
2. The car’s air conditioner was fixed by the
2. The mechanic fixed the car’s air conditioner.
In general, active verbs are more effective than passive
I verbs. Active verbs give your writing a simpler
and more vigorous style.
5. Use Concise Words
Wordiness—using more words than necessary to express a meaning—is often a sign of lazy or careless
writing. Your readers may resent the extra time and energy they must spend when you have not done
the work needed to make your writing direct and concise.
In this paper, I am planning to describe the
U hobby that I enjoy of collecting old comic
Here is an example of a wordy sentence:
Omitting needless words improves the sentence:
I enjoy collecting old comic books.
Following is a list of some wordy expressions that could be reduced to single words.
Wordy Form
Short Form
Wordy Form
Short Form
at the present time
a large number of
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
in the event that
in the near future
due to the fact that
for the reason that
is able to
in every instance
in this day and age
during the time that
big in size
red in color
five in number
return back
good benefit
commute back and forth
postponed until later
6. Vary Your Sentences
One part of effective writing is to vary the kinds of sentences
you write. If every sentence follows the
same pattern, writing may become monotonous to Iread. This section explains four ways you can
create variety and interest in your writing style. It also describes coordination and subordination—two
important techniques for achieving different kinds of emphasis in writing.
The following are four methods you can use to revise
O simple sentences, making them more complex
and sophisticated:

Add a second complete thought (coordination)
Add a dependent thought (subordination)
Begin with a special opening word or phrase
Place adjectives or verbs in a series
Add a Second Complete Thought
When you add a second complete thought to a simple
I sentence, the result is a compound (or double)
sentence. The two complete statements in a compound sentence are usually connected by a comma
plus a joining or coordinating word (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet).
A compound sentence is used to give equal weight5to two closely related ideas. The technique of
showing that ideas have equal importance is called0coordination. Following are some compound
sentences. In each case, the sentence contains two ideas that the writer considers equal in

Bananas were on sale this week, so I bought
U a bunch for the children’s lunches.
Greg worked on the engine for three hours, but the car still wouldn’t start.
Add a Dependent Thought
When you add a dependent thought to a simple sentence, the result is a complex sentence.*
A dependent thought begins with one of the following subordinating words:
if, even if
when, whenever
although, though
in order that
where, wherever
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
that, so that
which, whichever
even though
what, whatever
A complex sentence is used to emphasize one idea over another. Look at the following complex
Although the exam room was very quiet, I still couldn’t concentrate.
The idea that the writer wishes to emphasize here—I still couldn’t concentrate—is expressed as a
Wthe exam room was very quiet—is subordinated
complete thought. The less important idea—Although
to the complete thought. The technique of giving one
I idea less emphasis than another is called
S In each case, the part starting with the
Following are other examples of complex sentences.
dependent word is the less emphasized part of theO

Even though I was tired, I stayed up to watch the horror movie.

Before I take a bath, I check for spiders in the tub.
*The two parts of a complex sentence are sometimes
J called an independent clause and a dependent
clause. A clause is simply a word group that contains
A a subject and a verb. An independent clause
expresses a complete thought and can stand alone. A dependent clause does not express a
complete thought in itself and “depends on” the independent clause to complete its meaning.
Dependent clauses always begin with a dependent or subordinating word.
Begin with a Special Opening Word or Phrase
Among the special openers that can be used to start
5 sentences are -ed words, -ing words, -ly words, to
word groups, and prepositional phrases. Here are examples of all five kinds of openers:
-ed word – Concerned about his son’s fever,5Paul called a doctor.
-ing word – Humming softly, the woman browsed through the rack of dresses.
-ly word – Hesitantly, Sue approached the instructor’s
to word group – To protect her hair, Eva uses the lowest setting on her blow dryer.
Prepositional phrase – During the exam, drops of water fell from the ceiling.
Place Adjectives or Verbs in a Series
Various parts of a sentence may be placed in a series. Among these parts are adjectives (descriptive
words) and verbs. Here are examples of both in a series:
Unit 3: Library, APA Formatting, & Writing
I gently applied a sticky new Band-Aid to the deep, ragged cut on my finger.
The truck bounced off a guardrail, sideswiped a tree, and plunged down the embankment.
Editing Sentences
After revising sentences in a paper so that they flow smoothly and clearly, you need to edit the paper
for mistakes in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, usage, and spelling. Even if a paper is otherwise
well-written, it will make an unfavorable impression on readers if it contains such mistakes. To edit a
paper, check it against the agreed-upon rules or conventions of written English. Here are the most
common conventions:
Write complete sentences rather than fragments.
Do not write run-ons.
Use verb forms correctly.
L agree.
Make sure that subject, verbs, and pronouns
Eliminate faulty modifiers.
Use pronoun forms correctly.
Use capital letters where needed.
Use the following marks of punctuation correctly:
N apostrophe, quotation marks, comma,
semicolon, colon, hyphen, dash, parentheses.
9. Eliminate slang, clichés, and pretentious words.
10. Check for possible spelling errors.
11. Eliminate careless errors.
These hints can help you edit the next-to-final draftM
of a paper for sentence-skills mistakes:
1. Have at hand two essential tools: a good dictionary and a grammar handbook.
Hints about Editing
2. Use a sheet of paper to cover your essay so that you will expose only one sentence at a time.
Look for errors in grammar, spelling, and typing.
5 It may help to read each sentence out loud. If
a sentence does not read clearly and smoothly,
0 chances are something is wrong.
3. Pay special attention to the kinds of errors 5
you tend to make. For example, if you tend to write
run-ons or fragments, be especially on the lookout
for those errors.
Proofreading means checking the final, edited draft of your paper closely for typos and other careless
errors. A helpful strategy is to read your paper backward, from the last sentence to the first. This helps
keep you from getting caught up in the flow of the paper and missing small mistakes.

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