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com150_manual_apa

com150_manual_apa - APA APA CONTENTS Supporting a thesis...

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APA CONTENTS 34. Supporting a thesis 156 35. Avoiding plagiarism 157 36. Integrating sources 161 37. APA documentation style 165 Directory to APA in-text citations 165 Directory to APA references 170 38. APA manuscript format 177 Sample pages 180 Most writing assignments in the social sciences are either reports of original research or reviews of the lit- erature written about a particular research topic. Often an original research report contains a review of the lit- erature section that places the writer s project in the context of previous research. When writing a review of the literature or any other social science paper that draws on written sources, you face three main challenges in addition to documenting those sources: (1) supporting a thesis, (2) avoiding pla- giarism, and (3) integrating quotations and other source material. Most social science instructors will ask you to document sources with the American Psychological Association (APA) system described in section 37. 34 Supporting a thesis A thesis, which usually appears at the end of the intro- duction, is a one-sentence (or occasionally a two- sentence) statement of your central idea. In a review of the literature paper, this thesis analyzes the often competing conclusions drawn by a variety of re- searchers. 34a Forming a thesis You will be reading articles and other sources that ad- dress your central research question. Your thesis will express a reasonable answer to that question, given the current state of research in the field. Here, for example, is a research question and a thesis that answers it. 156
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RESEARCH QUESTION How and to what extent have the great apes -- gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans--demonstrated language abilities akin to those of humans? POSSIBLE THESIS Researchers agree that apes have acquired fairly large vocabularies in American Sign Language and in artificial languages, but they have drawn quite different conclusions in addressing the following questions: (1) How spontaneously have apes used language? (2) How creatively have apes used language? (3) To what extent can apes create sentences? (4) What are some implications of the ape language studies? 34b Organizing your evidence The American Psychological Association encourages the use of headings to help readers follow the organi- zation of a paper. For an original research report, the major headings often follow a standard model: Method, Results, Discussion. For a paper that reviews the litera- ture on a research topic, headings will vary, depending on the topic. For an example of a heading in an APA paper, see page 181. 35 Avoiding plagiarism Your research paper is a collaboration between you and your sources. To be fair and ethical, you must acknowl- edge your debt to the writers of those sources. If you don t, you are guilty of plagiarism, a serious academic offense.
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