Writing Style and Mechanics: Example Paper
Denver College of Nursing
Course Number: Course Name
RWM 2020 (for instructor purpose, not required in student papers)
Title of Paper in Mostly Uppercase (Title, Centered, Bolded)
Start with an introduction to your paper. You will grab the reader’s attention and make the reader excited to read on. Next, support that opening sentence with discussion on the topics you will address in the paper, being careful not to give away the punch line too soon. It’s a great idea to introduce topic with a little research. Don’t go too crazy on the research just introduce the research. This paragraph should not be longer than a half page at most. APA success requires knowledge of the format and skill in concise, clear written communication (Smith, 2016). The last sentence of the introduction should highlight the paper, for example: ‘In this paper, you will learn about how to implement APA formatting to be successful with writing’. Implementing this as your final sentence will lead the reader forward eagerly. This APA format is taken from the newest APA book (7th ed.).
Level 1 Heading: Bold & Centered (Body of Paper)
Paper Format, Level 2 Heading (Left & Bold)
Type the content of paper here. A professional paragraph is at least five sentences long and supported by research citations. Use as many paragraphs as needed to cover the content appropriately. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font with one-inch margins (Smith, 2016). The first page is the title page and it needs a page number. Document headings should be used when you want to organize your essay and to break it up into readable portions. Use as many headings as necessary to organize your paper (Copeland, 2016). The length of your professional papers does not count the title page and the reference page for total page length. Do not use an abstract or an Author Note for a student paper.
Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure – in addition to formatting – are essential components of scholarly writing (Copeland, 2016). Always spell check your paper prior to submission. Simple spelling mistakes are silly points to lose. “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts” (Lawton et al., 2016, p. 34). Also, if you are using singular pronouns you will need to use singular nouns. Additionally, avoid singular and pleural in the same paragraph (Smith, 2016). For the most part, refer to yourself in third person and in active voice. ‘This writer instructed the patients’ should be used in academic writing. Reflection papers and opinion papers can be written in first person, ‘I instructed the patients’. Lastly, spell out numbers one through nine. Use Arabic numerals to express numbers 10 and above. There are exceptions to this rule in your APA manual.
To show seriation or lists within a paragraph or sentence, use lowercase letters, not italicized, in parentheses: Job satisfaction is increased when nurses are provided with (a) therapeutic massage, (b) relaxation therapy, and (c) music therapy. To show seriation of separate discussions or points, number each paragraph with an Arabic numeral followed by a period. A numbered list signifies that element 1 is more important that element 2 and so on. If all elements in the list are of equal importance, use bullets instead of numbers. For example:
1. Books are made from durable material… [paragraph continues]
2. Books are action-oriented… [paragraph continues]
Unless you cite your source, you are plagiarizing information. In-text citations and a reference page is the core to success with APA. This starts with picking a reliable and professional source. A quality source has been published within the past 10 years. Internet articles must be research-based and professional in nature. For your paper to be professional, research needs to be cited throughout. According to Smith (2016), when you use a quote you will need to identify your source. “There are many ways to quote a source in your paper” (Smith, 2016, p. 27). Variety is important in professional writing. If you are using a direct quotation from one author, use this example: Copeland (2016) stated, “put the quote here” (p. 100). There are different rules to citing multiple authors’ in-text. According to Smith and Johnson (2016), you can also write your in-text citations this way but you use ‘and’ not ‘&’ and you only need to list the year once for this format. When using parenthesis, use an ampersand (&) to connect multiple authors and you need to list the year every time (Lawton & Hillard, 2016). If you are using in-text citations three or more authors, write your citation this way each time (Lawton et al., 2016). If you are quoting from a webpage without page numbers cite it like this (Copeland, 2016, para. 1).
Professional papers should end with a conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the main points of the paper. It should be concise and contain little or no new information. The conclusion should rephrase the introduction, but close out the thought. Setting up the reference page can be tricky. Remember, no matter how much space is left on the last page, references always get their own page. All references listed must be used in-text throughout the paper. If you don’t cite your source, I’ll assume that you didn’t end up needing it after all. References are in alphabetical order and use a hanging indent format. That means the first line is flush to the 1-inch margin, while the remaining lines are indented 0.5. Consult appendix for format directions for the hanging indent feature. The reference page stays double-spaced. You need at least two references to qualify for a professional paper, unless otherwise specified. One reference can be your book, while the other reference needs to be a scholarly source.
References (centered, bolded, & alphabetized with hanging indent)
Copeland, L. (2016). Title of article in mostly lowercase except first words, first words after a colon or proper nouns. Source in Mostly Uppercase and Italics, 149(5), 35-142. http://www.weblinkmustactuallywork.com Comment by Rachel Metcalf: Article online
Lawton, K. A., Cousineau, L., & Hillard, V. E. (2016). Title of article in mostly lowercase except first words, first words after a colon or proper nouns. Source in Mostly Uppercase and Italics, 21(1), 35-42. http://www.weblinkmustactuallywork.com Comment by Rachel Metcalf: More than 1 author; Online journal article example
Smith, A. (2016). Book in italics and mostly lowercase (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Comment by Rachel Metcalf: Book with 1 author
See appendix or how to set up a Hanging Indent
Appendix: Directions for a Hanging Indent (Centered & Bolded)
1. This is for Word (2011). For other computer versions, please see YouTube for a video of how to set this up. It will be similar to this, but not quite the same.
2. Make sure your cursor is on your reference page prior to setting up this format.
3. Click on ‘Format’ and scroll down to ‘Paragraph’.
4. In the ‘Special’ list under ‘Indentation’ select ‘Hanging’, and the ‘By’ list select ‘0.5’.