Matter of Facts

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Term papers serve many purposes. For the student, a term paper provides an opportunity to explore a subject in greater depth than is possible during the course of a normal class. For the instructor, term papers are an indication of the student’s ability to research, organize, synthesize, and present information. In addition, the workplace has expressed a strong desire for employees, especially management employees who can provide clearly written documents on a variety of business issues. This paper provides the necessary information to properly organize and format term papers as required in this course taught by your professor.

The student should closely follow this format when submitting papers. Failure to follow this format when required will result in significant loss of points. In addition, specific information is provided regarding the importance of maintaining academic honesty as well as guidance for properly citing research materials. This paper uses the American Psychological Associations (APA) format for citations. All submitted papers to this professor should use the APA format for of citations to avoid loss of points. Guidance on the proper use of the APA style can be found later in this sample paper.

Academic Honesty Academic honesty can be reduced to some very basic principles. Lipson (2004) provides three fundamental principles: •if you say you did the work, it is really your work, •if you relied on someone else’s work, give them proper credit, •when you present research materials, do it truthfully, completely, and without bias In a more general sense, honesty is about taking responsibility for your actions. In the academic and business worlds, there is little that is done that does not rely on the prior work of others. Truly unique research or idea creation is extremely rare.

It is important then to recognize the sources of the ideas, facts, and other research material that provides the basis for our work. Deciding exactly when to cite is not without some controversy. In general, citations should accompany any specific facts or ideas that were not developed or created by the writer. To make the statement that ‘the population of California is 45 million’ requires a source unless the writer counted each person in California. A more general statement such as ‘California is one of the Western States’ would not require a source.

It becomes less clear with a statement such as ‘California is one of the more populated States’. Where did the information come from? Is it a supposition, a ‘commonly known fact’, or was the information from an article or book that was read? The latter requires a citation. Providing proper citations to recognize other people’s work is only part of the equation. Academic honesty also means that the student does their own work. From a practical standpoint, this means writing their own paper and other assignments and taking responsibility for them.

Buying papers or having someone else write them is an unacceptable practice and subjects the student to discipline including dismissal at most institutions. It is ethically unacceptable. Having another party critique your paper or assist in locating grammatical and spelling errors is acceptable and encouraged. Plagiarism Simply stated, plagiarism is representing someone else’s work as your own (Lipson, 2004). Plagiarism is not always intentional, although it frequently is. Anytime that a statement is made in an assignment such as a term paper which is not cited, it is assumed to be the original work of the author.

If it was not, then it is plagiarism. In a very real sense, plagiarism is a form of theft. A plagiarist is stealing someone else’s work and claiming it is your own. The key to avoiding plagiarism is to give credit where credit is due. Cite sources including facts, ideas, images, charts, graphs, and other material that were borrowed from other sources. It is always better to err on the side of over citing sources rather than under citing. Citing Reference Sources There are a number of formal methods for citing reference material.

In his book, Doing Honest Work in College, Lipson (2004) outlines several of the more popular styles including the Chicago or Turabian style, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style for the Humanities, and the American Psychological Association (APA) style. All papers written for this course will follow the APA style. While the Lipson book does provide some examples of the APA style, there are two more definitive sources. The first is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2010) ISBN 1-4338-0561-8 (softcover) written and published by the American Psychological Association.

This book provides extensive guidance for writing a number of different kinds of papers. For some, this book may provide excessive information as it covers a wide range of topics confronted by the scientific and academic writer. It is however an excellent resource for those who write or publish professional papers. A second reference option for the APA style is the Concise Rules of the APA style (2005) ISBN 1-59147-252-0, also published by the American Psychological Association. This handy spiral bound reference covers all the basics required to make correct citations and has the advantage of lying flat when in use.

Either reference book is well worth the investment if you plan to write professional grade papers. APA Citations APA citations are placed in the text body of the paper in one of two forms. First is an embedded citation as shown in the first example below followed by the second form, which is a trailing citation. Ferrell, Fraedrich, and Ferrell (2008) provide a number of timely examples where business ethics are at issue. Using current events, they are able to highlight the importance of maintaining a high level of ethical behavior in business today.

Global business ethics represents a considerable challenge in today’s environment. Foreign business practices are often at odds with the legal and ethical requirements placed on corporations operating out of the United States (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2008). When making multiple references to the same source in a paragraph, the date of the reference is used only in the first citation. Subsequent citations use the author information only. First names or initials are not used. The date should be used in any subsequent paragraphs following this same rule.

For each citation in the text, there must be a corresponding reference in the required ‘References’ section at the end of the paper. Only cited works should appear in the references section. Although each reference may appear multiple times throughout the text of the paper, only one reference is needed in the reference section. Usage counts or other numeric indicators are not used. The APA style requires references to be placed in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author regardless of the order of introduction in the text.

In addition, there are a number of special format requirements such as using a hanging indent for each reference, single spacing with a single blank line between, etc. Please refer to the APA Publication Manual or Concise Rules for all the details. The reference section at the end of this document may also serve as a model. Unlike some other citation styles, the APA style does not place references in footnotes. Format is important in academic papers as well as business. Consequently, grades will reflect how well the format requirements for the Term Papers are followed in this course.

Points will be deducted for not following the APA style or the other format requirements displayed or stated in this document. General Requirements A term paper is an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in greater depth than is possible in the normal class periods. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of a topic. As such, a term paper should not simply restate facts or other peoples work, even if well cited. Rather, a term paper should represent the student’s ability to present their own thoughts and draw conclusions through a synthesis of their research on a topic.

Any evaluation of the topic should be supported by the properly cited research material used to develop the thoughts and insights presented on the topic. In the process of supporting a particular stance on the topic under discussion, students should avoid excessive use of quotes, lists, or other material that does not directly support their arguments. Points will be deducted for unnecessary material. As with most academic works, the use of pronouns such as I and you should be avoided. Organization In general, the term paper for this course will follow the format presented in this document.

All papers should have a cover page providing the required identifying information such as the title of the paper, the author, the date, the course the paper was written for and the instructor for that course. See the cover of this document for a sample. The cover page is followed by a table of contents (TOC) which lists the headings and associated page numbers from the paper. Each heading in the paper should have an entry in the TOC that is a perfect match. The TOC should be page ii, not page 1, with the number located in the center footer of the page.

While technically the cover page is page i, the page number should never be displayed. A list of figures follows the TOC if required. If diagrams or figures are used in the paper, they should be listed in the Table of Figures (TOF). The abstract then follows which is page iii or iv depending on the length of the TOC and whether a TOF is included. The body of the paper starts with page number 1. The page number is located in the center footer of each page. Page numbers continue throughout the remainder of the paper.

Additional information, such as the paper title, date, student name, etc. is not used in the header or footer. Running headers should not be used. Length For this class, the body of the paper should be between 8 – 10 pages exclusive of diagrams and figures. The cover page, TOC, TOF, abstract, appendix, and reference pages are not included in the 8 – 10 page requirements. Points may be deducted for papers of excessive length or insufficient length. The paper length is designed to force careful consideration of the material and method of presentment.

The student will have to choose their words carefully to convey the facts, analysis and conclusions within the assigned length. Format The text should be written in 12 point Ariel or Times Roman font. A slightly larger font, not to exceed 16 points may be used for headings. Paragraphs are to be double spaced. Space between paragraphs should not exceed two single spaced lines. Tables, bullets, and quoted paragraphs are to be single spaced. Follow the APA guidelines for quotes. Labels and captions for figures, tables, and diagrams should be single spaced.

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