Grace Bible College
Writing Workshop #2
APA, Organization and Thesis Statements.
 APA Formatting
 Thesis/Organization
 Researching: Grace Bible College Library
(American Psychological Association)
is the most commonly used
format for manuscripts in the
Social Sciences.
APA regulates:
 Stylistics
 In-text citations
 References
(a list of all sources used in the paper)
APA stylistics: Basics
Point of view and voice in an APA paper
 the third person point of view rather than using
the first person point of view or the passive voice
The study showed that…, NOT
I found out that….
 the active voice rather than passive voice
The participants responded…, NOT
The participants have been asked….
Language in an APA
paper is:
 clear: be specific in
descriptions and explanations
 concise: condense information when you can
 plain: use simple, descriptive adjectives and minimize
the figurative language
Your essay should:
 be typed, double-spaced,
with two spaces after
punctuation between
 on standard-sized paper
 with 1” margins on all sides
 in 12 pt. Times New Roman
include a page header (title)
in the upper left hand of every
The Title of Your Paper
Your Name
page and a page number in the
upper right-hand side of every
School Affiliation
Your essay should
include four major
Main Body
Title page
Page header:
(use Insert Page Header)
title flush left + page number
flush right.
(in the upper half of the page,
name (no title or degree) +
affiliation (university, etc.)
Page header: do NOT
include “Running head:”
Abstract (centered, at the
top of the page)
Write a brief (between 150 and 250
words) summary of your paper in an
accurate, concise, and specific manner.
Should contain: at research topic,
research questions, participants,
methods, results, data analysis, and
conclusions. May also include possible
implications of your research and future
work you see connected with your
findings. May also include keywords.
 The first text page is page
number 3
 Type the title of the paper
centered, at the top of the page
 Type the text double-spaced
with all sections following each
other without a break
 Identify the sources you use in
the paper in parenthetical intext citations
 Center the title - References- at the top
Do NOT include
of the page
“Running head:”
 Double-space
reference entries
in the header
after the title
 Flush left the first line of the
entry and indent subsequent
lines (hanging indent)
 Order entries alphabetically
by the author’s surnames
Whenever you use a source, provide in parentheses:
 the author’s name and the date of publication
 for quotations and close paraphrases, provide a
page number as well
In-text citations help readers locate the cited
source in the References section of the paper.
Format for a quotation
When quoting, introduce the quotation with a signal
phrase. Make sure to include the author’s name, the year of
publication, the page number, but keep the citation brief—
do not repeat the information.
 Caruth (1996) states that a traumatic response
frequently entails a “delayed, uncontrolled repetitive
appearance of hallucinations and other intrusive
phenomena” (p.11).
 A traumatic response frequently entails a “delayed,
uncontrolled repetitive appearance of hallucinations
and other intrusive phenomena” (Caruth, 1996, p.11).
Format for a summary or paraphrase
There are several formats for
a summary or paraphrase:
 provide the author’s last name
and the year of publication in
parentheses after a summary or
a paraphrase:
Though feminist studies focus solely on women's
experiences, they err by collectively perpetuating the
masculine-centered impressions (Fussell, 1975).
A work with two authors
 When citing a work with two authors,
use “and” in between authors’ name in
the signal phrase yet “&” between their
names in parentheses:
According to feminist researchers Raitt and Tate
(1997), “It is no longer true to claim that women's
responses to the war have been ignored” (p. 2).
Some feminists researchers question that “women's
responses to the war have been ignored” (Raitt &
Tate, 1997, p. 2).
A work with 3 to 5 authors
 When citing a work with three to five
authors, identify all authors in the
signal phrase or in parentheses:
(Harklau, Siegal, & Losey, 1999)
 In subsequent citations, only use the first
author's last name followed by "et al." in the
signal phrase or in parentheses:
(Harklau et al., 1999)
a work with 6 and more authors
 When citing a work with six and more authors,
identify the first author’s name followed
by “et al.”:
Smith et al. (2006)
maintained that….
(Smith et al., 2006)
A work of unknown author
 When citing a work of unknown author, use the
source’s full title in the signal phrase and
cite the first word of the title followed by the
year of publication in parenthesis. Put titles of
articles and chapters in quotation marks;
italicize titles of books and reports:
According to “Indiana Joins Federal
Accountability System” (2008), …
(“Indiana,” 2008)
 When citing an organization, mention the organization the
first time when you cite the source in the signal phrase or the
parenthetical citation:
The data collected by the Food and Drug
Administration (2008) confirmed that…
 If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, include the
abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and
then use only the abbreviation in later citations:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed…
FDA’s experts tested…
Personal communication
 When citing interviews, letters, e-mails, etc.,
include the communicator’s name, the fact that it
was personal communication, and the date of the
communication. Do not include personal
communication in the reference list:
A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students
had difficulties with APA style (personal
communication, November 3, 2002).
(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4,
Biblical Reference
 When using verses from the Bible, use the
reference and the first time put the
translation in parentheses. For the rest of
the paper, you did not need to cite the
translation, unless you are using different
 You do not include Biblical references in your reference page.
Unfortunately, the president could not recall the truism found in
Proverbs 16:22 that "Prudence is a fountain of life to the
prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools" (New International
Electronic sources
 When citing an electronic document,
whenever possible, cite it in the
author-date style.
If electronic source lacks page
numbers, locate and identify
paragraph number/paragraph
According to Smith (1997), ... (Mind over Matter section, para. 6).
APA uses a system of five heading levels
There are several reference sources to get an answer
to your specific question about APA:
OWL website:
 composition textbooks
 Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association, 6th ed.
Questions on APA formatting?
Thesis Statements
 A thesis statement is a brief introductory statement – usually no more than
one or two sentences – that summarizes the arguments a paper will explore
or cover. Thesis statements usually appear in the last sentence of the first
paragraph and can help readers decide if an article is covering the types of
topics they’re interested in – or let teachers see the arguments a student
promises to make in his or her essay.
 “Getting kids to develop early reading skills is crucial not only for
combating basic illiteracy but also for helping kids gain a love of reading
for pleasure and research.”
 The above thesis statement explains:
 what topic the paper will cover (developing early reading skills),
 the writer’s opinion on the topic (he or she believes developing early reading
skills is important),
 and the points the writer will explore to justify this opinion (combating
illiteracy and developing a love of reading).
Thesis Statements
How to write an effective thesis statement
 Raise specific issues for the essay to explore
 This paper will discuss gender in Fairytales
 The depiction of women in Fairytales promotes gender
inequality by focusing on the reward of marriage
 Devise a question about the facts or issues raised about the topic.
 The rise of technology has greatly impacted the newspaper
 The rise of technology has changed the way the public
consumes news, and not in a good way.
Thesis Statements
How to write an effective thesis statement
 Avoid clichés - complicate the issue, look for more than one point of view
 Women are used to market cars because sex sells.
 The tendency to use women to sell cars is often seen as an example of the widespread objectification of women by the advertising industry. However, others see
it as a sign of female emancipation.
 Avoid offering personal opinion - be more objective and look at other
points of view; treat your ideas as hypothesis to be tested rather than
obvious truths.
 Toni Morrison is the best writer of the twentieth century because
her work really speaks to me.
 Toni Morrison’s writing has helped to educate a whole new
generation on the effects of slavery in the United States.
Thesis Statements
 Think about TOM
 Topic
 Opinion
 Main Points
Thesis Statements
Prompt: Explain why a healthy diet is important.
 Weak Thesis Examples:
 Too broad: A healthy diet is important.
 Too narrow: People should include eight servings of fruits and
vegetables in their diet everyday.
 Off topic: Bananas are one of the most nutritious foods on
 Strong thesis: A healthy diet is important because it
increases energy, prevents illness and promotes wellbeing in all people
Thesis Statements
Prompt: Convince your reader whether school uniforms should be
mandatory in public schools.
 Weak Thesis Examples:
 Too broad: It is outrageous for students to be forced to wear
school uniforms.
 Too narrow: Students who are forced to wear school uniforms
have their creativity stifled.
 Off topic: When kids grow up, they will have bad memories of
 Strong thesis: School uniforms should not be mandatory in public
schools because it would stifle students’ creativity, take away
students’ rights, and cause students to lose interest in school
Thesis Statements
Prompt: How does Kurt Vonnegut use literary elements to criticize
the government in the short story, “Harrison Bergeron”?
 Weak Thesis Examples
 Too broad: Vonnegut criticized the government in many ways.
 Too narrow: Vonnegut shows that Harrison deserves to be
treated fairly, not like he is a freak.
 Off topic: Vonnegut was also critical of too much government
control in several novels he wrote.
 Strong Thesis: In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut criticizes the
government through the use of indirect characterization, irony,
and external conflict.
Organizing Your Paper
Outline your main points. Listen to your thesis.
This will help structure your paper.
 Main points are those key insights that readers
need to learn in order to accept the truth of
your thesis.
 Ask "What do readers need to know?”
 How much background information is
necessary – this should not take over the
majority of your paper.
Be sure to allow for time to build your points
(quotes, stats, anecdotes…)
Organizing Your Paper
Graphic Organizers: Pyramid
This is the essential
pattern of the
Thesis/Support Essay,
which takes the
pyramidal structure
through four levels
(thesis, topic sentence,
support sentence,
Organizing Your Paper: Outline
Write your focus statement.
I. Write your first topic sentence.
A. Write your first supporting detail.
B. Write your second supporting detail.
C. Add more letters for more supporting details (or delete this
II. Write your second topic sentence.
A. Write your first supporting detail.
B. Write your second supporting detail.
C. Add more letters for more supporting details (or delete this
III. Write your third topic sentence.
A. Write your first supporting detail.
B. Write your second supporting detail.
C. Add more letters for more supporting details (or delete this
Organizing Your Paper: Outline
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms.
I. Tornadoes form when two masses of air meet and battle in the sky.
Warm, moist air and cold, dry air collide and form updrafts.
A large rotating thunderhead called a supercell forms.
A vortex (funnel) takes shape inside the supercell and reaches for the
Once the funnel touches the ground, it is a tornado.
II. Tornadoes cause damage with high winds, low pressure, and hail
Winds of more than 250 mph hurl debris as missiles.
Low pressure rips roofs off buildings.
Pea-size to grapefruit-size hail smashes cars and buildings.
III. A few simple precautions can help people stay safe during a
Create and agree upon a plan to follow in case of a tornado.
Find a place without windows, preferably a room in a basement or a
closet in the middle of the house.
Researching/Writing Your Paper
•Use the outline to help you research
• Start with overall background information
• Then, use your outline to plug in the information you find.
• Refer back to your outline to find holes and what areas you need
to find more support for.
•Use the outline to write your paper.
• Write one section at a time.
• Write clear transition statements to move
from one part of the paper to the next.
Questions AND
thesis statements?
Making the Most of Your Paragraphs
 Each paragraph should only be
about one idea.
 Begin with a topic sentence – give
the reader an idea about what
the paragraph will be about – like
a mini thesis statement.
 Will your reader be able to
identify quickly the "topic" of
each paragraph?
Revising Your Paper
 Evaluate your evidence.
 Does the body of your paper support your
 Do you offer enough evidence to support your
 If you are using quotations from the text as
evidence, did you cite them properly?
 Save only the good pieces.
 Do all of the ideas relate back to the thesis?
 Is there anything that doesn't seem to fit?
 If so, you either need to change your thesis to
reflect the idea or cut the idea.
Revising Your Paper
 Switch from Writer-Centered to
Try to detach yourself from what you've
written; pretend that you are reviewing
someone else's work.
What would you say is the most successful
part of your paper? Why?
How could this part be made even better?
What would you say is the least successful
part of your paper? Why?
How could this part be improved?
Proofreading Your Paper
 Know your style
Think, then write
Write, then revise
 Revise first
Look for flow and organization
What should be kept? What should be taken
Save in different files
Keep reworking your thesis
 Edit last
Edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
just before the final draft is completed – it
doesn’t make sense to do it before your major
Researching for academic papers.
Boolean Operators
Refining Keyword Searches
1. Use quotation marks around words that are part of a phrase:
“Broadway musicals”.
2. Use AND to connect words that must appear in a document:
Ireland AND peace.
3. Use NOT in front of words that must not appear in a document:
Titanic NOT movie.
4. Use OR if only one of the terms must appear in the document:
mountain lion OR cougar.
5. Use an asterisk as a substitute for letters that might vary:
“marine biolog*” (to find marine biology or biologist)
6. Use parentheses to group a search expression and combine it
with another: (cigarettes OR tobacco OR smok*) AND lawsuits
Bultema Memorial Library
Bultema Memorial Library
I contacted the head librarian to try to get resources for
showing a few key aspects of navigating the library.