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EDCI 63800 - Spring 2022 Doctoral Seminar
- E-Books on Educational Research
- Literature Search Tools
- Literature Search Strategies
- Creating an Annotated Bibliography
- APA Style Guide
- Citation Managers
- Writing Abstracts
- Finding a "Mentor Article"
Resources for Creating an Annotated Bibliography
Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) provides guidance on creating an annotated bibliography. Below are a few topics covered by the OWL.
- Annotated Bibliographies - Definitions & Format
- Annotated Bibliography Breakdown
- Annotated Bibliography Samples
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- Next: APA Style Guide >>
- Last Edited: Nov 10, 2023 3:32 PM
- URL: https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/EDCI_63800
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MLA 8: Formatting a Paper
- Introduction to MLA Format (8th ed.)
- Tutorial & Workshop
- Formatting a Paper
- In-Text Citations
- Works Cited Page
- Database Citation Generator Issues
- Check Your Knowledge
Guidance from MLA & Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- MLA General Format From Purdue OWL. Paper formatting did not change between the 8th and 9th editions, so don't worry that Purdue OWL mentions the 9th edition with regard to paper formatting.
Basic Paper Formatting Guidelines
- Use a legible typeface, such as Times New Roman
- Use size 12
- Double-space the entire paper
- Use 1 inch margins
- Use one space after periods and other punctuation marks
- Indent paragraphs with the tab key on your computer keyboard
Format an Office 365 Document in MLA
"This video walks you through setting up a blank Office 365 document in MLA format ( lsccyfairlibrary , 4:58)." The video also shares how to create a page break for a Works Cited page. Although this video is from 2020, formatting is the same between the 8th (2016) and 9th (2021) editions.
MLA Set Up on Google Docs
"A quick video on the basics of setting up your MLA format paper on Google Docs. Does not include citations, only headers and formatting rules ( Alyssa Dykes , 3:48)." Although this video is from 2017, formatting is the same between the 8th (2016) and 9th (2021) editions.
- << Previous: Tutorial & Workshop
- Next: In-Text Citations >>
- Last Updated: Nov 19, 2023 4:08 PM
- URL: https://libguides.mccd.edu/mla8
Formal Vs. Informal Writing
What marks “formal” writing? Complicated sentences? Big words? Many people think so, thus they try to write this way. Unfortunately, the result can sometimes look like this:
- After procurement actions, decontainerize inputs. Perform measurement tasks on a case-by-case basis. In a mixing-type bowl, impact heavily on brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and shortening. Coordinate the interface of eggs and vanilla, avoiding an overrun scenario to the best of your skills and abilities.
- At this point in time, leverage flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and aggregate. Equalize with prior mixture and develop intense and continuous liaison among inputs until well-coordinated. Associate key chocolate and nut subsystems and execute stirring operations.
- Within this time frame, take action to prepare the heating environment for throughput by manually setting the baking unit (by hand) to a temperature of 375 degrees =F8F (190 degrees C). Drop mixture, in an ongoing fashion, from a teaspoon-type instrument onto an ungreased cookie sheet at intervals sufficient enough apart to permit total and permanent separation of throughputs to the maximum extent practicable under operating conditions.
- Position cookie sheet in bake situation and survey for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooking action terminates. Initiate coordination of outputs within the cooling rack function. Containerize, wrap in red tape, and disseminate to authorized staff personnel in a timely and expeditious basis.
Is this formal writing?
No, there are many problems with it:
- It is not written to its audience. A chocolate chip cookie recipe should not read like a congressional bill (one might argue that a congressional bill should not read this way either).
- The tone is completely wrong for the task.
- It is not clear, simple, or direct, meaning it misses three of the most important components of good writing. The funny thing is that a lot of people think that to sound intelligent or professional, you have to write this way. While the unknown author of this recipe was clearly trying to make a clever point about formal versus informal writing, the point is clear: All writing, both formal and informal, needs to be clear, simple, and direct.
The difference between formal and informal writing is not that the former is confusing and uses big words (as the cookie recipe above did), but that formal writing follows a list of conventions or rules that generally include the following:
Do not contract words like “don’t” (instead of “do not”) or “they’re” (instead of “they are”). Write them out in their full forms (“will not” for “won’t”).
Avoid slang and swear words.
Do not swear, cuss, or use words so new that only your friends know what they mean. Write “the men in the study ate faster than the women” not “the dudes really snarfed on their grub; the babes had no chance.”
Avoid first-person pronouns.
In general, avoid first (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our) and second (you, your) pronouns. This rule has a firm logical grounding:
- First person pronouns (I, me, my, mine) should be used only to relate personal experiences and opinions. For example, if you are writing a paper about minimum wage and whether or not it is enough for people to live on, and you earn minimum wage, you have some relevant personal experience to contribute. In many research papers, however, there is not a place for personal experience, and so in these types of papers, the first person should not be used.
- In addition, first person pops up a lot in phrases like “I think,” “I believe,” and “in my opinion.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, these phrases can be deleted. They are redundant because you are the author, and your paper is based on your own opinion. You do not have to state the obvious.
- “We” does not work very well in formal writing either. Some authors like it because it can form a bond between the writer and the audience, as in “we are in this together.” Unfortunately, this can easily backfire. People do not like to be told what they feel or think. Using “we” assumes that everyone has the same view, which can alienate an audience, even one that agrees with the author.
Avoid second-person pronouns.
“You” should also not be used in formal writing. Imagine you are reading a paper about stepparenting. You are not a stepparent yourself, but the topic is interesting. Every paragraph or so, the author writes a sentence like, “You want to discipline your stepchild, but you are not sure if that is your role.” Because the paper is written to a more general audience who are not all stepparents, this type of writing can be strange.
Every time you, as the reader, read “you,” you have to pause and think “not me.” If the paper was written for stepparents and no one else, this might be acceptable, but it is still something that should be avoided. Reserve “you” for when it really can encompass everyone (and that is a rare thing).
What determines whether your writing is informal or formal is
- the type of writing it is (letter, report, email, memo, brief), and
- the intended audience is (friend, boss, family member, review board, judge).
An email to a friend may be informal, while an email to a prospective employer is likely to be very formal, as formal as a professional business letter.
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- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
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Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Loose Arts
Salute for to Boudreaux OWL
Those browse is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. For printing the page, you needs include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Dental & The EAGLE in Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material can not be release, reproduced, broadcast, updated, button redistributed not permission. Use of this site compose acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair employ.
Note: The page reflections the latest version of the APA Publication Textbook (i.e., APA 7), which freed in October 2019. To equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style bottle be found around .
Please use who example at the bottom of this sheet to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.
You can also watch unseren APA vidcast product on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .
General APA Guidelines
Your essay should be typed and double-spaced off standard-sized paper (8.5" scratch 11"), the 1" margins set all sides. Include a page header (also known as who “ race headache ”) at that top of every pages. For a professional paper, this includes your report title and this page number. For one student essay, to only including the page number. To create a page header/running headpiece , install page numeric flush right. Following type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in of heads flush left using see capital letters. The running head belongs a shortened version of your paper's title and unable exceed 50 characters inclusive drive and punctuation.
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Operating requires that the dial font be accessible (i.e., legible) for view bookworms and this it must used consistently continuous the paper. It acknowledges that many font choices become legitimate, and it advises writers the check with their publishers, instructors, or institutions for guidance in cases of uncertainty.
Whereas the APA Manual does not specify a single font or select of fonts for professional writing, it does urge a few character that are widely existing. These inclusion sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, and 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode in well the serif fonts such as 12-point Times News Roman, 11-point Georgia, 10-point Computer Modern. Free APA Citation Generator | Verified by Subject | Scribbr
Major Paper Sections
The essay should include four major sections: the Title Page , Abstract , Chief Body , and References .
Note: APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of proficient papers (e.g., such intended for scholarly publication) furthermore student papers (e.g., those turned stylish for credit in a high school or college course).
The title page should include the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation . A professional paper require also enclosing the autor note . A student paper should also include the course number and name , instructor name , and assignment due date .
Type your title in top and capital alphabetical centered in the upper half for the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. APA recommends that yours title be focused and succinct real that it should not contain abbreviations or words that server no destination. Your title may take back neat or two lines. All text with the title turn, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, variety the author's designate : first name, middle initial(s), and last designate. Does not use titles (Dr.) with degrees (PhD).
Beneath the author's name, gender the institutionals affiliation , which should anweisen the location show the author(s) conducted the research.
A professional paper should include the article note beneath this institutional affiliation, in the bottom half of the title page. This should be divisible up into several paragraphs, with any heading that are not relevant omitted. The first body should include the author’s name, this symbol by the ORCID iD, and the URL for the ORCID iD. No authors who do not have an ORCID iD have be omitted. The second paragraph supposed show any change in company or any deaths of the authors. The tertiary paragraph should comprise any disclosures or acknowledgements, such as study registration, open practices and data sharing, disclosure of related reports and conflicts of interest, and acknowledgement are economic support and different assistance. The fourth paragraph should include contact get for the corresponding writer.
AN student paper should not include an author note.
Note again that page headers/page numbers (described above for professional and student papers) also appear at the top away the title page. In other words, one professional paper's cover web will incorporate the title of the report flush left in choose large and the folio number flush right, whilst a student page will just contain the page number flush right.
Student APA title page
Top page for a student paper in APA 7 style.
Professional paper APA title page
Title page in ampere professional paper includes APA 7 style.
Begin a recent page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of one extract turn, center and rich one word “Abstract” (no italics, highlights, or quotation marks).
Beginning with the next row, post a concise summary a the key points on own research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract supposed contain at least your exploring topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, info analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and past jobs you check connected with your outcomes. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract have typically live no additional than 250 words.
You may also want to list headwords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if yourself had starting a new article, print Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing choose passwords will help our find your work in resources.
Abstracts are common in scholarly newspaper articles plus are not characteristic required for student papers unless advised per an instructor. When you are undetermined when or not your work requires an executive, consult your instructor for further leadership. LibGuides: Citation Styles: A Summary Guide to APA, MLA and Turabian: Sample Bibliography: APA
APA Abstracts Page
Abstract page for a student paper in APA 7 style.
Please see our Sample APA Paper resource the see an example of an APA paper. You may also come our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.
How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA
An view template for the newer OWL site does not inclusion contributors' designations or the page's final redacted date. Even, select pages still comprise this intelligence.
In the absence of contributor/edit set information, process the page as a source with an user author and use and abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":
In Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Title of resource. Purdue Online Writing Lab. http://Web address forward OWL resource
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). General Writing FAQs. Purdue Virtual Writing Dental. https://mhthousing.org/owl/general_writing/general_writing_faqs.html
The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, your these:
Contributors' names. (Last edited date). Title of resource . Our Print. http://Web address for OWLET resource
- Graduate Level Writing Tips
Graduate-Level Writing Tips: Definitions, Do’s and Don’ts
Debra Davenport, PhD
In your communication master’s program, you will be expected to demonstrate well-honed writing skills in your essays. Your courses will require proficiency in real-world business communications, as well as scholarly writing and the use of APA formatting.
Real-world written business communications may include:
- Executive summaries
- News releases
- Media advisories
- Company fact sheets
- Business reports
Academic papers are those you will write in your courses that:
- Review and discuss the scholarly literature
- Synthesize theories, models and course readings
- Present critical analysis, research and scholarly insight in an objective manner
- Are formatted according to APA standards
- Are written in the scholarly voice
What Is the Scholarly Voice?
Essentially, the scholarly voice is unbiased, high-level and evidence-based writing that reflects the epitome of good grammar, syntax and tone. Follow the do’s and don’ts below to excel at this format in your graduate school essays.
The “Do’s” of Scholarly Writing
1. Use proper syntax. Syntax is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.” Syntax is an important aspect of writing that helps to ensure clarity. Incorrect syntax often results in sentences and paragraphs that do not make sense, and this can pose serious perceptual issues for professional communicators. See this article for a number of examples.
2. Follow the rules of punctuation. Common errors include incorrect placement of quotation marks and erroneous use of the semicolon. As an example, note that quotation marks follow periods and commas, (“The sky is blue.”)
3. Include references, citations and /or footnotes, no matter what kind of document you’re writing. Taking the time to locate sources that substantiate your statements demonstrate your proficiency as a scholar-practitioner and your commitment to excellence. Citations are required in your academic papers, but clients also appreciate this attention to detail. When pitching a project or campaign, the inclusion of reputable sources will support your recommendations and boost your own credibility.
4. Proofread and edit your work. Many errors are missed during the first proofread; be prepared to review your work multiple times.
The “Don’ts” in Scholarly Writing
1. Don’t write in the second person narrative. The second person voice is typically used in articles like this one, where the writer is intending to inform and instruct. According to WritingCommons.org , “writing from the second person point of view can weaken the effectiveness of the writing in research and argument papers. Using second person can make the work sound as if the writer is giving directions or offering advice to his or her readers, rather than informing [them].”
Here is a comparison of second and third person perspectives from WritingCommons.org:
- Weak: You should read the statistics about the number of suicides that happen to your average victim of bullying! (2nd person)
- Stronger: The statistics from a variety of research reports indicate that the suicide rate is high among victims of bullying; they are under so much psychological pressure that they may resort to taking their own lives. (3rd person)
2. Don’t rely on software to correct your writing. Certainly, tools such as spell check, grammar check and grammarly have some benefit, but they cannot replace firsthand knowledge and mastery of proper writing. I recall one particular paper I received several years ago that was, quite literally, gibberish. When I inquired about the content of the student’s paper, she replied, “Well, I used grammar check!”
Don’t hesitate to seek writing coaching if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of good writing. As graduate students in a masters-level communication program, writing excellence should be a top priority.
By taking an informed and proactive approach to your writing, you will strengthen your academic performance, hone your professional and communication skills and enhance your career.
Dr. Debra Davenport is an online faculty member for Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
Find out more about what you can do with a MS in Communication from Purdue University. Call us today at 877-497-5851 to speak to an admissions advisor, or request more information .
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > What Is Formal Writing Style and When Should You Use It?
What Is Formal Writing Style and When Should You Use It?
Writing style is the way a writer expresses their thoughts. It includes choices in grammar and punctuation , as well as the overall tone and organization of a written piece. Style varies with the subject matter, audience and context. For example, an academic paper will have a much different style than a text message to a friend.
Writing also follows a particular style guide that dictates specific grammar, punctuation and word choice—like Associated Press (AP), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS).
Regardless of the specific guidelines used, all writing can be described as either formal or informal style.
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What’s the difference between formal and informal writing styles?
Informal writing is for everyday use. It reflects how you naturally speak and write to friends, family, and casual acquaintances. It has a more personal tone and includes contractions, slang, and figures of speech. Informal writing sounds similar to a personal conversation.
Formal writing is written for an audience you don’t know on a personal level. It’s typically more complex than informal writing. Formal writing has a less personal tone and the language is more proper.
Characteristics of formal writing style
In formal writing, the writer uses a more objective approach, stating main points and then supporting those points with arguments. Formal writing is less emotional in style, so it avoids things like exclamation marks and emojis.
Here are three quick rules you can follow to write in a more formal style:
- Use proper grammar and terminology. Stay away from slang, figures of speech, abbreviated words. For example, say “technology” instead of “tech” and “provide updates” instead of “give a rundown.”
- Take an objective approach. Avoid the use of first person (I, we, us) and second person (you), and use third person instead (he, she, they, or the person’s name).
- Use full words instead of contractions or acronyms. For example, instead of saying “didn’t” or “won’t” say “did not” or “will not.” Avoid acronyms unless the acronym is more commonly understood than the written out phrase, like NASA or BBC.
Traditional rules of formal writing style also say to use the passive voice and to make sentences longer and more complex. However, these rules are changing as it becomes more widely recognized that the passive voice and long, complex sentences make writing harder to read and understand.
When to use a formal writing style
Informal and formal writing styles each have a time and a place. Choose the most appropriate style based on the purpose of your communication, as well as your audience and the method you’re using to communicate.
- Use a formal writing style in business, legal, or academic writing unless your audience is someone you know in person.
- Writing that will appear in print tends to be more formal than email, while text and direct messaging are the least formal ways to communicate.
While most of your day-to-day communication is informal, it’s worth learning more about writing in a formal style. Use great writing software with built-in document editing features to flag informal language and slang words so you can make adjustments before you publish.
When used correctly, a formal style goes a long way toward creating writing that’s clear and better received.
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Department of English College of Liberal Arts
Teaching in Professional Writing
Applying for a position in professional writing.
Information on this page is relevant to graduate teaching assistants, lecturers already teaching at Purdue, and those interested in teaching in the writing program. Please review the required credentials below as you assemble your application materials, which includes the completed application form, a letter of application, a CV, and evidence of teaching effectiveness. Reach out to the Writing Program director ( [email protected] ) with any questions.
Required Credentials for Teaching Business Writing and Technical Writing
Applicants with the following credentials will be considered for a PW appointment:
- A master’s degree in professional writing, rhetoric/composition, English, or comparable area (applicants who have nearly completed their master’s degree and who have some of the preferred credentials listed below may also be considered)
- Experience and demonstrated effectiveness teaching writing at the university level
- Formal mentoring in the teaching of writing at the university level
- Keen interest in and professional commitment to teaching technical and professional writing
- Experience in using computer technologies for writing
Preferred Credentials for Business Writing and Technical Writing
- Teaching upper-level composition or professional writing courses
- Relevant graduate or undergraduate coursework, such as professional writing theory, research design, advanced technical or professional writing
- Professional writing in academia, industry, or government
- Professional development and/or publications in the field of professional writing
- 21st century composing technologies, including word processors, email, design programs, data visualization software, web writing tools, content management, and networking software
Professional Writing Mentorship
During their first semester, new instructors typically teach either Business Writing (ENGL 420) or Technical Writing (ENGL 421). At the same time, new instructors are expected to enroll in and successfully complete a formal practicum in the teaching of professional writing (ENGL 505M).
Instructors are expected to commit to teaching at least two continuous semesters in the program.
Demonstrating Teaching Effectiveness
Each semester they teach in PW, instructors demonstrate their teaching effectiveness by completing:
- Student evaluations
- Syllabus (syllabus review takes place before the beginning of each semester)
- Course materials (handouts, slides, assignments, materials)
- Student writing samples with teacher’s comments
- Class observations by the Writing Program Director or another member of the administation team
Instructors are strongly encouraged to develop and maintain their professional credentials. Some professional development opportunities include:
- Attendance and participation at staff meetings
- Participation at professional conferences related to professional writing
- Contribution to the development of program materials (e.g., website or project contributions)
- Professional consulting experience in business, industry, or government
- Research activity and/or publications in professional writing
- Teaching of other professional writing courses or other involvement in professional writing curricula