Writing Tips 1

Writing Tips
Be frugal with the use of quotations.
Quotations only demonstrate the ability to retype what you
read in an article or book. Quotations do not demonstrate comprehension. Quotations should be
used when the original language is critical or so beautifully worded that paraphrasing would be
rch sin.”
Paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize.
Putting the research you’ve read into your own words
establishes that you understand the scholarship.
Organize, organize,
and organize
your literature review.
Nothing is more frustrating than not
having an
idea why you’re reading what is on the page. So guide your reader through the literature
review with clear and precise organization.
Edit and proofread.
Then edit and proofread again. Good writing rarely occurs on the first draft.
A good literature revie
w that is well written requires editing and proofreading. Remember, you
are putting your scholarship bona fides on display when you write a research paper so grammar,
spelling, and punctuation always count.
Basics of APA Style
Writing a literature review requires familiarity with a research writing style. Many different research styles
have been developed over the years including Chicago Style, Turabian, MLA (Modern Language
Association), APA (American Psychological Association)
, APSA (American Political Science Association),
and CSE (Council of Scientific Editors). This is just a small list of all the available scholarly writing styles
available. The most common styles in communication studies are APA, MLA, and Chicago. However,
most dominant and the one we focus on here is APA. The entire Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association is hundreds of pages long so we take an exemplary approach and identify
common issues we see in students’ papers.
Tips for Usi
ng APA Style
Research for an
APA manual and keep it for your entire time as a communication
copy of the APA manual handy.
Over time
you will
memorize certain formatting
requirements but other style and formatting issues arise that must be looked up on a regular
Write your literature review in past tense (“Cronn

Mills (2012) argued . . .”) or present perfect
tense (Croucher (2012) has es
tablished . . .).
APA prefers active voice instead of passive voice in sentence construction.
People are always “who,” never “that”. “That” is for inanimate objects; “who” is for people.
APA requires you use the same typeface and font size for the entire paper, including the cover
page. The most common font is 12

point Times New Roman.
Quotations must include a source citation, date, and a page number (and look up in your APA
manual what
to do if you are citing an online source without page numbers). Make sure the period
is after a closing citation.
A quotation longer than 40 words (which you will use infrequently!) is placed in a block format.
The entire quotation is a new paragraph, ind
ented 1/2″, and no quotation marks start or end the