The following applies to all papers and action assignments.  Where it says “papers” only, it is to be understood that the guidelines also apply to action assignments.

The instructions in this section are applicable to all papers and action assignments written for this course.  In addition to these guidelines you will find instructions that are specific to the papers assigned in the assignment areas.


There is often confusion about what is expected in a college level research paper. 

This is sometimes because the focus is a bit different.  College level writing is designed to help you learn to gather data, analyze it and then present it in a form that is convincing to your reader.  You will be doing this throughout your professional/business life and it is my desire to help you become a better writer.  See Writing in College at

The papers written for this course are research papers.   A research is not just a paper full of facts taken from a book or other source; that is a book report.  It is a paper for which you have done some preliminary reading and established a thesis about your topic.  Be sure to establish your thesis and base your papers on research.   The thesis should be in the first paragraph.  If you are unfamiliar with research papers the following websites may help you.

**All papers must be written and cited in APA format**.

A Guide for Writing Research Papers based on styles Recommended by APA

Writing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step Procedure

Writing Research Papers

Guide to Grammar & Writing by Professor Charles Darling

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)


**APA format and citation method is required for all papers**

Part of writing research papers is learning to locate and critique sources of information to support your thesis.  For all assigned research papers you must have a minimum of ten (10) resources that you locate and critique.  Please see next sections for further information on resources.   Citation using APA format is required (both intext notation and a reference list.  I do not require a bibliography.


When doing research you must consult a variety of sources from which to obtain information.   A paper with one or two resources is not a research is a book report and you will not get a good grade on such a paper.  The minimum number of resources for a paper is ten (10).  General encyclopedia (this includes online encyclopedia such as Encarta, Grolier and others) and dictionaries are NOT accepted as resources.  You may NOT use the textbook as one of the required references (you may use the textbook as a reference, but it cannot be included as one of the 10). 

Resources used in college level research should be academic in nature.  "Academic in nature" means that the resource would have been reviewed by others (peers) for accuracy and tested for validity (peer review).    Sources such as encyclopedia (including online encyclopedia), magazines, dictionaries, newspapers and other media (including CNN, PBS, etc.) and other such publications that are not academic in nature should never appear in your list of references.  They can be used to get an idea of what you wish to research, but should not be used as sources to support your work and they should not appear in your list of references.  The following site will explain acceptable resources further:

Literary Research &Resources by  D. Reiss


The Internet can be a wonderful resource; however, it can be your downfall if not used correctly.  There are some wonderful works to be found there, but there is also a lot of plagiarized material and 'junk'.

Remember the following rules if you wish to use a source from the Internet.

1.  You must be able to identify the author (a person's name).  Often when using a search engine, it will take you to one of many pages within a website.  If you cannot trace back through the site to locate the author, you may NOT use the material as a resource.  The author's name must be included in the reference list citation.

2.  The material must come from an academically acceptable resource.  This can be an education site, a government or organization site or other site that contains material that would have been academically/peer reviewed for accuracy (such as a personal website of an academic authority on which he/she publishes a paper).  Do NOT use papers that have been done by other students and put online (carefully check the author at .edu sites to be sure that he/she is faculty and not a student). 

3.  When citing your Internet resources, provide two links in the citation: one to the actual material cited and one to the homepage or other page that identifies the author.  CHECK YOUR LINKS in your reference section of your papers before submitting them.   If I click on a link (I check all links) and it does not work, you lose credit for the source.

The following sites may be very helpful to you in your selection of sites to use in your research if you use the Internet.

Trash or Treasure: How to Evaluate Internet Resources

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet


All papers must be cited using APA format.  Uncited papers will be returned to you unread and no grade will be given. Citations must be intext and include a reference list as well.  (Only resources actually used in the paper are to be included). 

The following website may be helpful to you.  It gives the correct format for citing electronic sources:

The APA main site is at

Another useful site:

UC Berkeley Library: Style Sheets for Citing Internet & Electronic Resources'


 **Read Carefully**  No quotes are to be used in your papers and no copy/paste regardless of whether they are cited or not.  All work must be in your own words.  Any paper found to be plagiarized will receive a grade of -0- and no resubmission will be allowed for the first incident.   Any student who plagiarizes twice will be given a failing grade for the entire course. 

 The sites you have been given below, will give you information about plagiarism.  If you have any questions about plagiarism or what constitutes plagiarism, please ask.

Papers are scanned for plagiarism using software that identifies it from both online work and many texts.  This is because many are plagiarizing without understanding how or why.  It is important that we help you understand this concept as it will follow you into the business or professional world, where it is very unacceptable.  The following sites will help you to understand plagiarism.

Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington

Avoiding Plagiarism by Sharon Williams of Hamilton College

Avoiding Plagiarism from UCDavis Student Judicial Affairs

OWL (Purdue University Online Writing Lab) Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism? Georgetown University Honor Council

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