Writing a paper is similar to preparing a meal. When cooking you have to:
Similarly, when writing a paper you have to:
You may have an assigned topic or be able to choose one. If you can choose a topic, select one that interests you. Look through your textbook for ideas or go to the Issues & Controversies database for suggestions.
Make sure the topic isn’t so broad that you can’t cover it effectively or so narrow that you won’t be able to find enough resources.
State the topic as a question. If you want to learn about eating disorders, for example, you might ask, “How serious are eating disorders among adolescent girls?”
Identify the main concepts or keywords that describe your topic.
Make sure you note and follow your teacher’s instructions about the types of resources that should or should NOT be used.
It’s very tempting to type your topic into an Internet search tool like Google and make use of the first few results. BUT while these may be the quickest to find, they probably are not be the BEST. Just as with cooking, it pays to use quality ingredients!
Each paper should have an introduction, body and conclusion:
The introduction provides background information, states the topic, and lets your reader know the purpose of the paper.
The body of the paper contains the actual information and needs to be carefully organized. Some suggested types of organization are:
The conclusion should review or summarize the major points and draw a conclusion based on the information presented in the body.
Mercy College requires use of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or APA. The purpose of any style guide is to provide a model format so that writers can let their readers know where they obtained the information.