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The first step in creating an academic work using APA style is to understand what APA style is. In that spirit, Module One is all about getting familiar with the style. To do that, we are going to start at the APA Style website
your digital home for all things related to APA.
- Familiarize yourself with the site
- Work your way through the Introducing the Basics of APA Style Tutorial. Take your time and get accustomed to how the tutorial works.
- Use what you’ve learned to create a new Word document with a properly formatted title page, giving it the title “My Mock APA Paper”
- The second page of that document will be labeled Abstract (it is typical to wait until you have finished a paper before you actually write the abstract and even the introduction, so for now, this will simply be a placeholder).
- The third page of the doc will be where your paper actually begins. Indicate that by typing the paper title at the top, (not in the header section) centered but not bold
- The last page in this doc will be labeled References. On that page, create your first entry, that is to say the first source you will be using in your mock paper. That source will be the tutorial you just finished. Creating a references list entry for a website is part of that tutorial, so you should have no problem. Remember to number your pages, please!
Your mock APA paper will actually be about APA style. After all, the best way to learn something is to teach it, so in that spirit, I am asking you to imagine you are writing a paper that will explain the basics of APA style (what it is, why and how we use it) to someone just starting college.
Your mock paper will not be able to address all the topics that could go into such a paper, but for the purpose of this class, I am asking that you divide your paper (continuing to add to the same Word document from Module One) into the following sections:
- an open space beneath the paper’s title where your introductory paragraph will go (in APA, the introduction is not labeled. It is assumed to be the intro because it is the first part of the paper
- three (3) level one headings in the body of the paper. You can decide what they should be, based on what you think are the three most important things a new student would need to know. Each level one heading should be followed by 1 – 3 sentences of content that introduces what that section is going to be about and why it’s important.
- within each level one heading, 2 – 3 level two headings. For example, under a level one heading of Why We Use APA Style, you might have level two headings such as To Create a Standard Appearance, To Give Credit to Our Sources, and To Help Readers do Further Research
When it comes time to draft your mock paper, you will not write the whole paper. You will only choose three of your level two subsections to write on in detail. Keep that in mind as you organize your headings, and again in Module Three when it is time to find good sources.
Finding and organizing sources will be our focus here. In this module, you will be locating and learning to use sources to write your mock paper. Your first source was the tutorial from Module One, and should already appear in your References list. Your second source will be this website from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. https://libguides.usc.edu.au/credible
It has short videos and clear, easy-to-read discussions re: fact checking and what makes a source credible/reputable.
Your goal after having read and watched the above content will be to go out and find 6 – 8 other sources on your own–sources you believe will be helpful in creating content for the three sub-sections you’ve decided to write about in detail. Your sources should:
- be reputable
- come from a variety of locations (not just the APA site)
- include at least one primary, one secondary, and one tertiary source
- include one table and one figure
- be read carefully so that you can identify which parts are going to be useful
- be added to your References list
Weaving your sources into clear prose is the focus here. Toward that end, please watch this instructional video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfzo80CELqw&feature=youtu.be
Once you have watched the video, the time has come to actually begin drafting your mock paper to show that you can weave and cite sources into your writing in a smooth and APA-appropriate style. But recall that we are not going to write an entire paper. We are only going write the three (3) select sub-sections–level two headings–
For each of those three sub-sections, you should write 2 – 3 paragraphs where:
- each paragraph covers one particular topic and begins with a topic sentence
- each paragraph is 3 – 9 sentences long
- each paragraph uses at least two different sources, properly cited
- the 2nd or 3rd paragraphs in each sub-section have, as part of their topic sentence, a transitional word or phrase to connect to the previous paragraph
For example, in my level one heading “Why We Use APA Style,” I might want to develop the sub-section “To Give Credit to Our Sources.” I might decide to write one paragraph that talks about the importance of giving credit to the people who shared their ideas with us and one paragraph that talks about the dangers of plagiarism.
All totaled, you will be writing at least six (6) source-supported and APA-cited paragraphs, at most nine (9).