Independent Research in Education (ED495a)

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    Requirements for the Paper

    Remember:  your paper must be thesis-driven and must follow the standard conventions of formal, academic writing (e.g. no contractions, no first- or second-person pronouns, etc.).  All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must be appropriately cited and referenced in APA format.  These requirements are non-negotiable.

    Additional requirements:

    1. Title page
    2. Abstract
    3. 8 to 12 pages of content:
      • Double-spaced
      • 1-inch margins
      • 12-point, standard font (Times New Roman or Arial)
      • In-text citations for 5 to 10 different journal articles
    4. Reference List:
      • List of all the articles you cited in your paper
      • Should include 5-10 articles
    5. Reading List:
      • List of all the articles you read in preparation for the paper - whether they were included in the paper or not
      • Should include 10-15 articles

    APA Checklist

    A Checklist to help you follow APA format in your Paper

      Title page

    • Do you have a header and page number (both on the same line)?

    • Do you have a running head, flush left, with the words "Running head" and all letters of the abbreviated title in caps?

    • Are your title, name and university affiliation centered?

    • Is the first letter of each major word of your title capitalized?

      Body of your paper

    • Do you have 1" margins on the left, right, top and bottom?

    • Do you have a header and page number (both on the same line; header flush left, and page number flush right) on each page?

    • Is your title centered on the first page of the body of your paper?

    • Is the first letter of each major word of your title capitalized?

    • Do you double-space (and only double-space) throughout? Only the title, first page of the body of your paper and your reference page should automatically start a new page.

    • Do you use plain text (avoiding italics and bold) throughout?

    • Do you cite each idea taken from an author using the author's last name and date of publication? (Pavlov, 1998)

    • Do you know how to cite articles with multiple authors (Wolpe, Skinner, & Pavlov, 1999) and do you know how this changes from the first citation to the second (Wolpe et al., 1999)?

    • If you use a quote, do you use the appropriate quotation style for short quotes (less than 40 words) and long quotes (40 or more words)?

    • Do you include the page number for your quoted material (Marlatt, 1997, p. 23)? If the material is not directly quoted, the page number is unnecessary.

    • If you refer to something that was cited in a different source than it was originally published in, do you cite the reference? (Skinner, 1988, as cited in Watson, 1998)

    • In your first paragraph, do you briefly outline the thesis of your paper and why it is important?

    • Do you integrate the articles you read into your discussion of your paper rather than discussing them sequentially?

    • Do you include and discuss both the evidence supporting your thesis and the evidence that contradicts it?

    • Do you pull your ideas together at the end in your closing paragraph?


    • Do you have a header and page number (both on the same line)?

    • Do you center the word References at the top of your list? (Only the first letter is capitalized.)

    • Do you include at least the required number of professional references?

    • Are your references double-spaced?

    • Is each citation you made in your paper included in your reference list? (Be sure.  CHECK IT!)

    • Is each reference in your reference list cited in your paper? (Be sure.  CHECK IT!)

    • Material that you read about in a secondary source should not be in the reference list.  For example, for the citation (Skinner, 1988, as cited in Tharp, 2002), Tharp (1999) would be included, Skinner (1988) would not.

    • Is each reference indented using a hanging indent - the first line is set flush against the left margin but the second and subsequent lines are indented by 1/2"?

    • Do you use APA reference style consistently and compulsively?

    Writing Your Paper

    Complete any remaining research that your Research Advisor pointed out and start writing your paper. The working thesis statement and general outline you and your Research Advisor developed in the second conference will be invaluable tools to keep your project focused and moving in the right direction.

    Writing Help

    Use these writing services.  Their assistance will be invaluable.