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Urban-Tips on Writing - Tips on Writing Term Paper...

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Tips on Writing & Term Paper Guidelines The Basics 1. A title page is optional (to save paper). It should have your name, a title for the paper, the course name and number, the instructor’s name, and the date . I f you don’t use a title page, then this same information should be given at the top of your first page of text. 2. Each page of your paper should be numbered sequentially. 3. Style: Use either “ASA” style for references and citations ( see class textbook or a current issue of the American Sociological Review ) or another widely accepted style that you are familiar with. 4. If you mention a book by its title, the book title should be underlined or italicized (so should the title of a journal). If you mention the title of a journal article or a chapter from a book in your paper, you should put the article’s/chapter’s name in quotation marks. 5. Use the first paragraph of a paper to introduce the reader to what you are writing. It “sets up” the paper and tells what you plan to do in the paper. Your first paragraph can establish a positive or negative initial reaction on the part of the reader. Don’t make a glaring or major mistake in the first paragraph it makes a strong negative impression. 6. Construct paragraphs carefully. Each sentence in the paragraph should relate to the paragraph’s topic sentence (e.g., embellishing or extending the idea). Do not write one-sentence paragraphs. Don’t make paragraphs too long and don’t include material unrelated to the paragraph’s topic sentence. 7. Make sure the ideas in consecutive sentences have a meaningful connection with each other. Ideas and statements should flow into each other rather than seem disconnected. Do not leap from idea to idea, but at the same time do not just repetitively restate the same thing. In general, try to write medium length sentences rather than long complicated sentences. 8. Don’t use unnecessary words to “dress up” or “pad” your paper. Say a lot in your writing, but avoid words or phrases that just take up space in sentences without adding much meaning to them.
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