A Guide to Writing Term Papers
Student Guide for Term Papers Based on APA 5 th Edition Includes Internet Documentation Formats Current as of January 2003 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Extended Campus Dr. James T. Schultz Program Chair, Bachelor of Science in Technical Management Dr. Stephen B. O’Brien Program Chair, Master of Aeronautical Science Student Guide for Research Papers The following guide is intended to assist students enrolled in the Extended Campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The authors wish to thank Mari Schroering and Ed Landgren for their assistance in compiling and publishing this guide.
No changes can be made to this document without the express permission of the authors. Place page header [short title] 5 blank spaces left of the page number, one half inch from the top. A Guide 1 Running head: A GUIDE TO WRITING One inch from top A Guide to Writing a Term Paper Lessly H. Robison Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University A Guide One inch from top 2 Abstract This paper describes the format for term papers for EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) classes. The format for the cover page, abstract, body of the report, figures, and tables is presented both by example and explanation.
The correct format for citing other authors’ work and a reference list is also presented. The guidelines presented are primarily from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 5th edition, 2001. The abstract is a concise explanation of what the term paper was about, the results, and the conclusions. It should not exceed 120 words. When considering what to place in the abstract, consider that many people will read the abstract to decide if they want to read the paper in its entirety.
The abstract is only one paragraph and the first line is not indented. Use standard one-inch margins. One half inch One inch Indent each paragraph 5 – 7 spaces A Guide 3 A Guide to Writing a Term Paper This paper presents guidelines for writing a term paper for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Extended Campus, Fort Walton Beach, Hurlburt Field, and Pensacola Centers. The format for the cover page, abstract, body of the report, figures, and tables is presented both by example and explanation. The correct format for citing other authors’ work is also presented.
The guidelines presented are from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 5th edition, 2001, however; the APA manual should be consulted and followed One inch when questions arise. Since there are differences between the current and previous editions of the APA manual, individuals are cautioned not to combine the formats when writing papers. For formatting or style problems not addressed in this guide, please refer to the APA style manual. One inch The first paragraph or first few paragraphs of the term paper should be an introduction to the paper.
The placement of the introductory material clearly identifies it as an introduction and therefore a heading is not used. The introduction heading is used, however, in the graduate research project. A Guide The Title Page The title page is page one and has the short title, the page number, the running head, the title, the author, and the institution to which the paper is being presented. See page one of this guide for an example. One inch 4 Short Title The short title is used to identify the pages of the paper should the paper be accidentally separated while being reviewed or graded.
The short title is usually the first two or three words in the title. It is typed in the upper righthand corner one-half inch below the top of the paper five blank spaces to the left of the page number. The first letter of each word of the short title is capitalized except for articles (words such as a, and, the, and to) which are capitalized only if they are the first word of the title. The short title appears on all pages of the paper. Page Number The page number is typed one inch from the right edge of the paper and one-half inch from the top of the paper. APA allows the option of placing the page number two lines below the short title, but it is recommended that the format example shown in this guide be utilized. ) All pages of the paper, including the title page, abstract, body, and reference page, A Guide 5 will be numbered successively. All page numbering should be in Arabic numerals. The Running Head The running head is typed in all capital letters, one inch from the top of the paper and one inch from the left edge of the paper (see page one of this guide for an example). The running head is an abbreviated title that is printed at the top of the pages of a published article.
The head should be a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words. A distinction between the running head and the short title is that the short title is used during the review process, while the running head is used when the paper is published. The Title The title of the paper is typed in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered horizontally and in the middle of the page. Multiple line titles should be double-spaced. Main words in the title have their first letter capitalized and the remainder of the letters are lowercase.
Articles are not capitalized unless they appear as the first word in the title. The title should be a concise description of the paper. The title should be 10 to 12 words in length. A Guide The Author The author’s name is typed in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered horizontally, and typed one blank line (double- spaced) below the title. Omit all titles and degrees except for Sr. , Jr. , III, and so forth. The institution to which the paper is being presented is typed in the same fashion and is typed one blank line (double-spaced) below the author. The Abstract Format 6
The abstract is page two and is typed in block form (with no indentation and in one paragraph). The short title and page number should be typed in the same location as on the title page. The abstract should have “Abstract” centered horizontally, typed in uppercase and lowercase, one inch from the top of the page. The text of the abstract should be double-spaced and start one blank line (double-spaced) below the word “Abstract” and have one-inch margins on the left, right, and bottom. See page two of this guide for an example. Content The abstract should be a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the paper.
The abstract should be accurate, self-contained, concise, specific, non-evaluative, coherent, and readable. It should not exceed 120 words in length. A Guide The Body of the Paper The body of the paper is typed double-spaced with oneinch margins on all four sides (see page three of this guide for the dimensions). The purpose of the margins is to allow room for reviewers to write their comments on the paper. The 7 first line of every paragraph (except single block quotations) is typed indented five to seven spaces (for consistency use the tab function).
The paper should be typed in pica (10 characters per inch) or elite (12 characters per inch). If a word processor is used, the selection of the point size will depend on the individual font; however, in most cases, 12 points would be the suitable choice. The text (not including the short title and page number) should be no more than 27 lines. The first page of the body of the paper has the title of the paper centered horizontally, typed in uppercase and lowercase letters, one inch from the top of the page.
The right-hand margin should not be right-justified or blocked. Words should not be hyphenated at the end of a line. Additionally, all periods, commas, colons, and punctuation marks at the end of a sentence are followed by a single space (except in abbreviations such as U. S. or around colons used in ratios such as 2:1). A Guide Headings Different sections of the paper are separated by 8 headings. The number of headings will depend on the complexity of the report. The title on the first page of the body of the paper is not counted as a level of heading.
Examples of the five levels of headings are: Level 5 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE Level 5 headings are centered horizontally and typed in all uppercase letters (used as the first level and only when five levels exist). Level 1 Engine Repair Level 1 headings are centered horizontally and typed in uppercase and lowercase letters (used as the first level when less than five levels exist). Level 2 Jet Engine Overhaul Level 2 headings are centered horizontally, typed in upper and lowercase letters, and italicized (not used when less than four levels exist). Level 3 Compressor Rebuilding Level 3 headings are typed beginning at the left margin,
A Guide using italicized, uppercase and lowercase letters. Level 4 Compressor fan blade inspection procedures. 9 Level 4 headings are typed indented from the left margin, in lowercase letters, italicized, and end with a period. The APA manual provides guidance as to which level or levels to use if less than five levels of headings are used in a report. Essentially, if less than four levels of headings are needed, then use Level 1, Level 3, and Level 4 headings, in that order. For example, a paper with only two levels would use Level 1 and Level 3 headings only.
Abbreviations Abbreviations and acronyms should be avoided and used only when a word or acronym is used repeatedly. Write out words such as television rather than use TV. Use the ampersand (&) to join authors’ names in parenthetical citations and in the reference list. Abbreviations such as i. e. , e. g. , and etc. should not be used in the body of the text. They should be written out as the English words “that is”, “for example”, and “and so forth”, respectively. Abbreviations can be used in parenthetical notes. In parenthetical citations and in the reference list, use “p. for page and “pp. ” for pages. Use the Postal Service two-letter abbreviations for states listed in the reference. A Guide References Care should be taken to give proper credit to sources from which you obtain information. Direct quotes should be enclosed in double quotation marks and reference the source, year of publication, and page number of the quote. To quote something on page 25 from a book written by Johnson and 10 copyrighted in 1968, one way to properly cite the source would be: “The situation is steadily decreasing at an alarming rate” (Johnson, 1968, p. 25).
Another way would be: Johnson stated “the situation is steadily decreasing at an alarming rate” (1968, p. 25). If material in the original quote was enclosed in double quotation marks, that portion should be enclosed in single quotation marks. For example: “The investigation board cited ‘ATC use of nonstandard jargon’ as the cause of the accident” (Mahoney, 1965, p. 34). The year is not required in subsequent references within the same paragraph provided there is no confusion with other articles cited in the paper. Quotations which are less than 40 words should be included in the text with double quotation marks.
Quotations longer than 40 words should be in a free-standing block with the left margin for all lines indented five to seven spaces (consistent with the other indents in the paper). Quotation marks are not used for the primary quote, however if there is a quote within the quote, then double quotation marks are used to identify A Guide the quote within the quote. If there are multiple paragraphs in the quote, the first line of each paragraph following the 11 first paragraph is indented five to seven spaces from the new margin. The source should be cited in parenthesis after the final punctuation mark of the block.
For electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, use the paragraph number, if available, preceeded by the ¶ symbol or the abbreviation para. If neither the paragraph or page number are visible, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph, for example:(Wildinger, 2002, ¶ 5). The ¶ symbol is available in Microsoft Word by accessing Insert– Symbol–Special Characters. Reference citations are used when information is taken from a source, but is not quoted verbatim. In this case, only the author and the year is cited, for example, (Johnson, 1968). Reference citations that include multiple authors should follow the following rules.
If there are two authors, both surnames are used each time the source is referenced. If there are three, four, or five authors, all the surnames are used the first time the source is referenced. In subsequent references, the surname of the first author listed is used followed by “et al. ” (not underlined and no period after et). If there are six or more authors the surname of the first author listed followed by “et al. ” is used in the first and A Guide subsequent references. All authors are always listed in the reference list. Care should be taken when making changes to, adding to, 12 or deleting material from quoted sources.
The first letter of the first word of a quotation may be changed from uppercase to lowercase, or lowercase to uppercase without explanation. Also, the punctuation mark at the end of a sentence may be changed to fit the syntax. Ellipsis points (. . . ) are used within a sentence to indicate that material from the original source has been omitted. Use a period followed by three spaced dots (. . . .) to indicate material between two quoted sentences has been omitted. Material that has been added or explanations should be enclosed in brackets (not parenthesis). For example: He stated “the [United States] Air Force was the best in the world. Place periods and commas within closing single or double quotation marks. Place other punctuation marks inside quotation marks only when they are a part of the quoted material. Also, if emphasis is added by italicizing a word or words, [italics added] should be inserted immediately after the italicized word or words. For example: He said “The world will end soon” [italics added]. Main ideas or information from another source must be referenced also. If an idea or information is paraphrased, the source would be cited as above except the quotation marks and A Guide 13 the page number of the source are not used.
Example: (Johnson, 1968). An interview is a form of personal communication that is only cited in the text. It is not included in the reference list. An example of one way to cite an interview would be: The commander believed most of the subordinate units were not performing up to their capability (M. C. Connaughton, personal communication, May 22, 1992). Tables Tables are numbered in the order they appear in the paper and are given a short, but clear, explanatory title. The title of the table is typed in uppercase and lowercase letters, beginning at the left margin, and is italicized.
It is placed above the table and under “Table n”, where n is the number of the table. Note that the word ‘table’ is capitalized when mentioned in the text. Tables should supplement information in the text, not merely repeat it. Leave two blank lines (triple space) before and after a table (or note). Permission must be obtained to copy or adapt all or part of a table from a copyrighted source. An example of a correctly annotated table is: Two blank lines from preceding text. If a table starts at the top of a page, like this example, simply begin one inch from top A Guide 4 Table 1 Mean Alpha Power Scores as a Function of Type of Processor and Passage Passage Type of Processor Exposition Poetry Reading alpha data Analytic Holistic Recall alpha data Analytic Holistic 0. 71 2. 64 1. 93 0. 82 0. 93 3. 96 1. 76 1. 98 Two blank lines Each table has to be referenced in the text and should be placed within the text as near as possible to where it is referenced (placement within the text is an option in APA style which is preferred). Figures Figures are numbered in the order they appear in the text and are given a concise explanatory caption.
The caption is typed in lowercase letters except for the first letter of the A Guide first word of the title. The caption is placed after “Figure 15 n. ” where n is the number of the figure. The caption ends with a period. Note that the word “figure” is capitalized when mentioned in the text, but only when referring to a specific figure, for example Figure 5. Each figure has to be referenced in the text and should be placed as close as possible to where it is referenced in the text (placement in the text is an exception to APA style).
Permission must be obtained to copy or adapt all or part of a figure from a copyrighted source. Leave two blank lines (triple space) before and after the figure. Any reproduced table or figure must be accompanied by a note at the bottom of the table or in the figure caption giving credit to the original author and to the copyright holder. An example of a correctly annotated figure, reproduced from another source, is: Two blank lines Commander Chief of Maintenance Director of Ops Plans and Programs Figure 1. Organizational structure. Note. From “Title of Article” by A. N. Author, 1982, Title of Journal, 50, p. 2. Copyright 1982 by the Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted by permission. Two blank lines A Guide Proper Documentation When the decision to use the exact terminology of the original author is made, then full attention must be paid to the detail of the statement so as to maintain the original 16 source’s words as well as its punctuation (Teitelbaum, 1989). The only time you can use a source without formal acknowledgement is when you refer to a specific phrase, statement, or passage that you have used and acknowledged earlier in the same paper (Heffernan & Lincoln, 1982).
As is suggested in A Practical Guide for Writing (Hacher & Resnshaw, 1982), a common body of information exists which does not necessarily require citations with its use. When you are unsure which category your information may fall into, then document. Hacher & Resnshaw (1982) further suggest that if the concept or idea appears in other written words without citation, or if you are sure that you already know the information, it is most likely common information which does not require footnotes. or doubt–DOCUMENT!
The different means of incorporating materials from other sources include direct quotations, paraphrasing and any combination thereof. However, if there is any uncertainty A Guide Direct Quotations When to Use Use direct quotations when you cannot improve upon the author’s phraseology without altering its meaning. There are definite circumstances when the verbatim comments are vital for the sake of meaning or preservation of original author’s 17 flair. Excessive quoting, regardless of proper documentation, renders the piece ineffective.
It conveys a message that the writer lacks sufficient knowledge to convey his/her own thoughts on the particular subject. Outside sources are intended for support, not to be the mainstay of a paper. When direct-quoting, everything must be preserved, that is, capitalization, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any omission from within a direct quote should be replaced by ellipsis points. Three ellipsis should be used to indicate that material within a sentence has been ommitted and four ellipsis should be used when material between the two quoted sentences has been omitted.
Any additional corrections or points of clarification for the quote should be put in brackets rather than parentheses. The word [sic] may be used judiciously following acknowledgements of the original author’s mistake. Any point of emphasis to be made by the writer regarding the original author within a quote should be followed by brackets containing the words [italics added]. A Guide Be sure to review the rules regarding punctuation 18 placement surrounding quotes, for example, periods and commas within quotation marks.
Remember that semicolons and question marks are contingent upon the situation. Example “To gain in knowledge of self, one must have the courage to seek it and the humility to accept what one may find” (Jersild, 1955, p. 83). The statement could also be presented in the manuscript in the following manner: Jersild stated, “To gain in knowledge of self, one must have the courage to seek it and the humility to accept what one may find” (1955, p. 83). Obviously, this statement conveys stronger more concise meaning if used as a quote.
However, if paraphrasing were to be the mechanism chosen, then the author would need to be as brief as possible and still provide documentation as to its source. Paraphrasing When to Use When the word-for-word accounting of the authors’ words is not vital to its meaning, then the author may restate the concept in his/her own words. The paraphrase should be used as long as the meaning of the original source is not changed. If the original author’s exact words, in part or in total, cannot be restated or paraphrased without compromising the meaning, A Guide then quotes should be selected over paraphrasing.
Avoid 19 repetition of the sentence by simply replacing key words with synonyms. Quote. “Everything in the relation between a teacher and student has or might have a significant effect on what a child thinks and feels about himself” (Jersild, 1955, p. 82). Paraphrased Example. The classroom teacher is in a key position to impact the students life, to help him to overcome obstacles and appreciate himself as a person (Jersild, 1955). Quote. “To gain in knowledge of self, one must have the courage to seek it and the humility to accept what one may find” (Jersild, 1955, p. 83).
Paraphrased Example. Jersild’s (1955) comments suggest that if you sincerely want to learn as much as possible about yourself then be sure you can take what you find out. Utilizing the writers own terminology to present someone else’s ideas and concepts still requires that credit, through the use of a reference citation, be given to the original source. The writer should make an effort to limit the number of direct quotes placed within the text of the paper. Keep in A Guide 20 mind that the underlying purpose for using other sources is to solicit support for your paper and your ideas.
Generally, outside sources lend support to the direction or focus of the paper. The following guidelines, generated from several sources, pertain to documentation: 1. Document as a direct quotation when the exact terminology of the original author is utilized. 2. Verbatim comments should maintain the same grammar, punctuation, and spelling (even if it is incorrect). 3. Indications of emphasis or needed corrections to quotes are indicated through the use of [italics added] or [sic], respectively. 4. Document the paraphrasing of the work of others with the use of a reference citation. 5.
Documentation is not required if the passage or statement was previously used and cited earlier in the same paper. 6. Documentation is not required for a common body of knowledge. 7. Documentation is not required if words or ideas appear in other sources without being documented. 8. Documentation is not required if the author already possesses the information without having to go to an outside source. A Guide 9. Excessive use of direct quote is discouraged. 10. Direct quotes of more than 40 words should be indented, blocked, and set off from the text without the use of quotation marks. 11.
If there is no publication date for the cited material, use “n. d. ” (stands for “no date”) in its place. 12. When the writer is unsure of whether a citation is needed –-then CITE (Gibaldi, 1984; Hacher, 1982; Heffernan, Turabian 1963; Watkins, 1982)! 21 NOTE: While it is proper to use one’s past work in a paper, it must be documented. Original papers should be developed for each course. If past work is included in a new paper, insure that it is properly documented. A Guide References American Psychological Association. (1999). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed. . Washington, D. C. : Author. American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed. ). Washington, D. C. : Author. 22 Gibaldi, J. , & Achtert, W. (1984). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (2nd ed. ). New York: Modern Language Associates of America. Hacher, D. , & Resnshaw, B. (1982). A practical guide for writers (2nd ed. ). New York: Little, Brown. Hefferman, J. , & Lincoln, J. (1982). Writing a college handbook. New York: W. W. Norton. Jersild, A. (1955). When teachers face themselves. New York: Teachers College Press.
Teitelbaum, H. (1989). How to write a thesis: A guide to the research paper. New York: Arco. Turabian, K. (1963). Student guide for writing college papers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Watkins, F. , & Dillingham, W. (1982). Practical English handbook (6th ed. ). Boston: Hougton-Mifflin. A Guide 23 The following fictitious references illustrate the format for a book, edited book, book with no author or editor, periodical, magazine, unpublished paper, film, television broadcast and web references. Book: Wildinger, J. (1969). My life as a helicopter pilot: A short story.
New York: McGraw Hill. (Note: list the city, and, if the city is not well known or could be confused with another, the state where the publisher is located) Edited Book: Helm, W. , & Luigs, F. (Eds. ). (1991). Embry-Riddle students in aviation history. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Book, No Author or Editor: Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10th ed. ). (1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. Periodical: Dent, F. , & Dilbert, T. (1967). Attitudes of pilots toward navigators. Journal of Aerospace Test Pilot Association, 11, 10-13. Magazine: Little, W. L. (1992).
Can Naval aviation survive? Aviation Week and Space Technology, 33, 25-27. Unpublished Paper from a Meeeting: A Guide O’Brien, S. B. (1992, December). The future for non-rated officers. Paper presented at the meeting of the Company Grade Officers Council, Eglin AFB, FL. Film: Stein, J. H. (Producer) & Delorey, D. R. (Director). (1991). 24 The sailor’s guide to submarine warfare [motion picture]. United States: MGM. Television Broadcast: Landgren, E. (Executive Producer). (2001, May 13). Daytona Bike Week 2001 [Television broadcast]. New York and Washington, DC: Public Braodcasting Service.
Electronic or web sources: An online periodical: Jones, R. (2001, May). Laser applications in space communications. [Electronic version]. Communications Frontiers, Vol 3, 101-104. An online document: Electronic reference formats recommended by the American Psychological Association. (2000, October 12). Retrieved October 23, 2000, from http://www. apa. org/journals/webref. html Internet article based on a printed source: VandenBos, F. , Knapp, S. & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference A Guide 25 elements in the selection of resources by undergraduates [Electronic version]. Journal of Research, 5, 117-147.
If you believe the article might have changed since you retrieved it, then add retrieval information: VandenBos, F. , Knapp, S. , & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection of resources by undergraduates [Electronic Version]. Journal of Research, 5, 117-147. Retrieved December 24, 2001, from http://jbr. org/articles. html A stand alone document, no author and no date: GVU’s 8th WWW user survey. (n. d. ). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from http://www. dd. gatech. edu/gvu/user_surveys/survey1997-10/ A document on a department web site: Chou, L. , & Smith, R. (1999). Technology and education: New wine in new bottles.
Retrieved August 15, 2000, from Columbia University, Institute for Learning Technologies Web site: http://www. ilt. columbia. edu/publications/papers/newwinel. h tml A Government report: United States Sentencing Commission. (n. d. ). 1998 sourcebook of federal sentencing statistics. Retrieved December 8, 1999, from http://www/ussc/gov/anrpt/1998/sbtoc97. htm A Guide A message to a newsgroup: Chalmers, D. (2000, November 17). Seeing with sound [Msg 1]. Message posted to news://sci/psychology. consciousness Daily newpaper article, electronic version: Hilts, P. J. (1999, February 16).
In forecasting their emotions, most people flunk. New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2000 from http://www. nytimes. com Message posted to discussion forum: Simons, D. J. (2000, July 14). New resources for visual cognition [Msg 33]. Message posted to http://groups. yahoo. com/group/visualcognition/message/31 Electronic copy of abstract obtained from a secondary database: Fournier, M. (1999). Optimism and adaptation to multiple sclerosis. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 303-309. Abstract retrieved October 23, 2000, from PsycINFO database. Report on an organization web site: 26 Canarie, Inc. (1997, September 27).
Towards a Canadian health. Retrieved November 8, 2000, from http://www. canarie/ca/press/publications/pdf/healthvision. doc A Guide Tech report abstract on a university web: Kruschke, J. (1995). Extensions to associative learning (Indiana University Cognitive Research Report No. 14). Abstract retrieved October 21, 2000, from http://www. indiana. edu/~kruschke/cognitive_abstract. html Database references: Schneiderman, R. A. (1997). Librarians can make sense of the net. San Antonio Business Journal, 11(31), pp. 58+. Retrieved January 27, 1999, from EBSCO database (Masterfile)from http://www. ebsco. com 27