• Resources for Planning, Writing and Revising Academic Papers

    Writing Resources

    Please reference the resources in this module when planning, writing, and revising papers for this class. You may access the presentation on writing here (Links to an external site.). Additionally, these are both helpful presentations on the use of MLA format:

    All of the writing you do in this class should follow MLA format. MLA format includes directions on how to head your paper, how to format your writing, how to cite your sources (so as to avoid plagiarism) and a variety of other writing suggestions. You can visit any of the following websites to learn more about MLA format:

    http://www.mla.org/ (Links to an external site.)

    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ (Links to an external site.)

    http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch04_o.html (Links to an external site.)

    Additionally, the following documents may be helpful in the writing process. You may access,download and print these if you would like: 

     https://www.owens.edu/writing/mla.pdf (Links to an external site.)

    http://lebert.wikispaces.com/file/view/BEST+mla+HANDOUT.pdf (Links to an external site.)

    http://www.chabotcollege.edu/Library/onlineref/MLAWorksCited.pdf (Links to an external site.)


    Developing a Thesis Statement 

    Thesis gen  


    Performing Research

    How do I begin looking for sources?  What makes a source reliable?

    Teaching Web Research Skills

    If you are wondering where to start (since you know Wikipedia is not a reputable source) try some of these scholarly search engines:





    Generally speaking, .edu, .gov, and .org sites are more likely to be reputable and trustworthy than .com and .net sites. NC Wise Owl is an incredibly valuable tool because it is a compilation of a variety of databases, each of which contains thousands of peer reviewed articles and previously published works. 

    How do you know when sources are reputable? View this website to practice evaluating online sources based on five important criteria. After our discussion, you will have an opportunity to perform some searches using the sites above (as well as others) to look for and evaluate sources of information for your research paper. 

    As you begin to perform research, consider how you will keep track of your sources and which pieces of information you are planning to use from each source. Visit this website to view one way of keeping track of your sources. 


     Citing Sources in MLA Format

    All examples shown and other examples for MLA citation, 7th edition, can be found at :

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ (Links to an external site.) 

     http://nwtc.libguides.com/citations (Links to an external site.)

    http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch04_o.html (Links to an external site.)

    In Text Citations

    So the teacher knows which source belongs to which quote, you should always include an in-text citation after the quote. Typically, this will consist of the author’s last name and the page on which you found the quote. If that information is not available, you should consult the resources listed above in order to determine how to properly cite in-text.  The citation always goes in parentheses and is located inside the sentence, before the period.

    Example:  According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality", though others disagree (Foulkes 184).

    Long Quotes

    Quotations longer than 3 lines need to be set apart from the rest of the text.  The quote should be in a new paragraph and set 1 inch from the left margin, or tapping the Tab key on the keyboard twice.  Double spacing still applies.  When the quote is complete, put the in-text citation after it the way you would do for any other quote and start a new paragraph with the regular indent (1 use of the Tab button).

    Paraphrased Material

    In addition to material that is directly quoted, material that you use in your own words, but which comes from a specific source, should also be cited. You cite this material in the same way that you cite direct quotations.

    Works Cited Page

    ·         This is a separate page at the end of your paper. 

    ·         Each citation in the text must be listed back here and likewise, each listing on this page must be quoted in the text. 

    ·         The title of the page should be centered and labeled Works Cited without bolding, underlining, or any other additions. 

    ·         All text is double-spaced, just like the rest of the paper.

    ·         Each separate citation should be hanging.  In the examples given, this is shown.  To do this, go to the paragraph section under the home tab in Word.  Click the arrow in the bottom right hand corner.  This opens a box:  under “special”, click on “hanging”.  This creates the hanging format. 



    Basic format- 

    Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.


    Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000. Print.


    Basic Format-

    Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Medium of publication.


    Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping Mar. 2006: 143-48. Print.


    Basic Format-

    Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.


    Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003. Web. 10 May 2006.

    Motion Picture:

    Basic Format-

    Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Director, D. D. (Director). If relevant, list performers using perf. to distinguish them from director. Distributor. Date of release. Medium of publication.


    Ed Wood. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette. Touchstone, 1994. DVD.


    Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview.

    Basic Format-

    Purdue, Pete. Personal interview. 1 Dec. 2000.

    Example in text-

    A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2002).

     Turnitin.com report: