General TipsTIPS FOR WRITING PAPERS FOR FRASER
some of these are specific to me but most are generally good ideas for any paper you turn into any teacher
1. Proofread your papers. I cannot say this enough. In fact, have someone else proof your papers for you.
2. The format here is APA, not MLA. I know that you are still learning APA, and I am willing to work with that. A handy web-site for you is APA
3. Always include a reference page. Always.
4. Even if you are not sure how or if to reference something, if there is a question, reference it. Better safe than sorry, and you learn quicker that way. You are not downgraded for learning APA style.
5. Do not spend money on fancy colorful covers. Just the paper with your name on it is fine. I am interested in your content primarily.
6. Avoid the use of the first person. I cannot grade you on your personal experience. The only exception to this is the journal entries in my General Psychology class. Usually a formal paper is NOT written in the first person.
7. Avoid putting your opinion in the paper unless specifically asked for it. I cannot grade you on your personal experience unless the paper is an application paper (i.e. you got asked to apply an experience from your own life). The exception to this would be in the concluding paragraphs (yes there can be more than one. The other exception is the Barbie assignment and the Privilege paper in which you can put the first person but you must also have formal theory.
8. Don't use a conversational tone. Examples of this would be: "well, you can imagine . . " " lets' look at . . ." "You know, " etc. We are not in a conversation, this is a formal paper. Treat it as such. By using slang and informal language you often end up confusing your message. Not a good idea. You can be sarcastic if you like as long as you do so within the context of proper grammar.
9. Don't "Miss America" me. This is the standard pap of saying nothing. Other, less kind people call it "the fine art of BS." Remember, I've been doing this longer than you, and my filter is pretty high.
10. Again: Use a 12 point font which is NOT Times New Roman, and not italics or bold (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease).
11. Double space everything.
12. It is not enough to simply have a reference page and call it quits. You must reference in the text. Everything in the text must also be in the reference page, and vice versa
13. Always make sure that you have an introductory paragraph which states your thesis.
14. Always have a concluding paragraph which sums up the whole paper. In this section you can state your opinion and argue the ideas if you like. Some folks have been taught that this section should not be longer than a sentence or two. A sentence or two is not correct for formal papers. Summarize, reiterate and state in this section. You cannot do all three in one or two sentences.
15. use a hanging indent (first line flush, all others tab in) for each cite.
16. EDIT and SPELLCHECK and PROOFREAD
17. Good luck