Becoming aHealth CarePractitionerthrough WritingResearch Papers in APA StyleDalhousie WritingCentre
Session Outline 1. Introduction to the topic 2. What the first paper will be like – Rationale Components: introduction, body, conclusion Citing sources / the works cited page Additional notes 3. Where to get assistance with your writing 4. Summary
Are you having fun yet? Life at university The purpose of the university is two fold: (1) to educate people (knowledge accumulation/ transfer & skill development) (2) to study past accomplishment, to use those accomplishments to further knowledge, and to move that new knowledge into the future (knowledge making by and for the discipline) Writing is our way of transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next. Research papers train you to be part of this work. We develop you as knowledge makers, ready for the workforce.
Writing and its stages Prewriting (thinking about the general topic, understanding the directions, identifying readers) Planning (deciding what to write, using time management) Researching, outlining, shaping the thesis and finding evidence Drafting Revising (for assignment s directions, for structure & organization, transitions, etc.) Editing and proofreading. Checking sources / ensuring that everything is in place
Literature Search Follow the assignment’s directions (e.g. 8 articles or books, 6 from specific journals) CINAHL data base Attempt to evaluate your sources (Who wrote the article? How credible are they?) Does the article either agree or disagree with your perspective on the topic in Canada? Is it dealing with the “value” that you’ve identified as critical to your practice?
Components: The Introduction Interests the readers in your topic. Contains some positioning of the paper – gives the scope (angle/limits to the research/context). Includes a thesis statement or purpose statement. An assertion (point of view or position) Limitations (time period, one aspect, etc.) Sense of purpose (direction) Indication of organization of the essay It allows you (and the readers) to know where you intend to go. You get to draw the readers in. Now it is your job to convince them of the validity of your position or opinion.
Looking at sample introductions …Steps in looking at the introductions:1. Read the paragraph.2. Can you tell the topic? (Is there a thesis statement or a research question?)3. What will be the writer’s perspective on the topic?4. Can you see what they will use as evidence?5. Can you see how they will organize the paper?6. Are you interested enough to keep reading?7. What other problems do you see?
Components: The paper’s body Builds your arguments by offering ideas and by using convincing evidence Organization and ideas must be logical – to the readers Evidence most often comes from sources (back you up) – well integrated Break topic up into workable subtopics (headings and sub-headings) Write strong topic sentences!
Components: Conclusions Reflect what you’ve told the readers Reiterate your main points and how they lead to your thesis Propose further study or another direction (a call to action) Refer to a story or idea that you made in your intro
Sources – APA in-text citations Paraphrasing the ideas from source material: They should divide large tasks into small ones and give themselves deadlines for finishing each small part (Hallowell & Ratey, 1994). Using direct quotes: Hallowell and Ratey (1994) say that teachers should be open to new ideas because sometimes what helps AD(H)D students may seem "eccentric" (p. 255).
Additional Notes: APA style Double space (or 1.5) and indent paragraphs 11 or 12 pt. font, Times New Roman or Courier Reports: see specifics for organization, use of tables and figures What other “rules” are important in APA?
Grammar, Mechanics, andPunctuation Stylecounts Use complete sentences Have strong topic sentences Use jargon when appropriate including acronyms Avoid sexist language (be inclusive) Numbers 0-9 write out, others use numerals Use a reference book
Where to get assistance with yourwriting Faculty members Teaching assistants Peer group – directed not editing Librarians – at Killam and Kellogg Dalhousie Writing Centre Visit G40M in the Killam Learning Commons Call 494-1963 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
End Writing is a skill. You will improve with practice and guidance. We all find writing challenging. Thank you!