How to Write a Paper (Using APA Citations)

This presentation is conducted by Dr. Vera Lee Byrd Educational Consultant. When you write a paper it is helpful to have reference software and this reference software can be anything that you would like to add to your collection of software. What I have chosen to do is to use APA, and I use APA primarily because when I wrote my dissertation, Penn State University required that we use the APA style within our particular school and I was with the Adult Education Department.

Now what’s nice about this software is it serves as a guide so that you don’t have to always go to the actual reference book and I cannot tell you how much of a difference that makes when you are writing papers. Before I purchased this software, and when I was actually going through school and writing my dissertation, I did not have the benefit of the software and every page every citation when I put together the Table of Contents, at every point, I head to go to the style guide, the reference book, to look everything up to make certain that I was using proper citations doing it in the manner that was published by APA, the American Psychological Association, and here is simply a brief look at my dissertation. Here is the Table of Contents and my Methodology and this is where I head to outline the Research Plan and it had to be configured in a very specific way and this I just wanted to show you this just as an example it was a lot of work something that I’ll never forget and for this particular module I wanted to take the opportunity to show you a way that would make this kind of work much easier. So, I’ m just going to walk you through what each of these areas are. I’m going to go back to the home page just for a second within Microsoft Word and I’m actually using word 2007 and I’m on a Windows 7 Operating System. So, when you’re ready to use your reference software, which is which I’ve already installed on this computer.

You just go up here and you click references. It gives you the opportunity to automatically input your Table of Contents and they give you two different versions. Table 1 and Table 2 and different styles that are available or you can use the manual Table of Contents that you can fill out independently of the document content and you can insert your Table of Contents and after you insert it, you do have the option to remove the Table of Contents.

Next you can indicate the text and whether or not you want to show that text in the Table of Contents and it gives you a Level One option and a Level Two option. Similar to what you saw in the Table of Contents. Then, you can also insert end notes in your document and end notes are placed at the end of the paper and next footnote you can also do that the software helps you navigate to the next footnote in the document and all you would do is click the arrow to navigate to the previous footnote in the document or to navigate to the next or previous end note and so you just click the down arrow and you would click on where you want it to go for the next or the previous footnote. You also can insert your citations and you can add a new source, use placeholders and you can also search libraries for your citations. Here is where you can choose which edition and which style you want.

As I said, I normally used APA. I was taught that way at Penn State University and here you can use the Fifth Edition, the Six Edition. And in other classes that I’ve taken over the years, I’ve had to use the Chicago style, so you could type your citations with the Chicago Style reference. And I’ve also used the MLA and Turabian back when I was in undergrad, I used the Turabian.

You can have guidance for your Bibliography and your Works Cited page. And you can just also add a Bibliography, which lists all the sources cited in the document. This used to be incredibly difficult when I was in undergrad, and was just learning how to write papers. So, I’m glad to see that this type of software does exist I just wish I had known about it much sooner.

You can also insert captions. You can add a caption to a picture or other image. A caption is a line of text that appears below an object to describe it. For example, for this particular picture, Figure 7, “Common Weather Patterns”. You can use cross-references.

Cross references refer to items, such as headings, figures, and tables by inserting a cross-reference such as: “See Table Six below” or “Turn to page 8.” Cross references are automatically updated if the content is moved to another location. By default, cross-references are inserted as hyperlinks. You can also insert an index. Insert an index into the document. An index is a list of keywords found in the document along with the page numbers the words appear on.

You can mark entries, include the selected text in the index of the document as you are typing and when you want whatever you just typed to go into that index you can mark that for that purpose. Another very nice feature. And you can do the same with your citations. You can insert a Table of Authorities into your document.

A Table of Authorities lists cases, statutes, and other authorities cited in the document and as you are typing your paper you can mark text that you’ve just typed that you would like to add as an entry in the Table of Authorities. This was just a very brief overview of using style reference guides and how it does help a great deal and it saves a lot of time when you have to write papers for your classes in different courses that you will take over the years. Okay, I would like to thank you for being with me for this presentation eLEARN102. (Assignments) How to Write a Paper and I wish you the best luck in your journey through your different courses and classes that you will take within the time frame that you will take them.

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