Formatting Your Paper

I often get a lot of student questions about formatting when I assign a writing project. From the tone of the emails (often slightly desperate), I get the feeling that a lot of students have been given bad grades for formatting issues alone. In my experience, college teachers are far more interested in content than form, but in this post I’ll run through some general considerations when you are formatting your college papers.
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Citing Sources: Building your Reference List

Students often feel overwhelmed by the thought of creating the list of references that commonly appears at the end of the paper. Often that’s because the student has waited until the end to build it, has just finished their paper, and hasn’t taken the steps needed to make building the reference list – if not easy – at least less frustrating. Read on to find out how to make building a reference list easier.
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Citing Sources: When do I have to cite?

In over a decade of teaching, the #1 reason I find for student plagiarism is students not understanding when to cite a source. In this post, I’m going to get right to the point and tell you exactly when you need to cite.
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Research More Efficiently: Mine Your Sources

You’ve been assigned a research paper and shown how to use the library database. You’ve typed in your search terms and gotten results, but have one of two problems:

  1. You have a lot of results – possibly tens of thousands – and you don’t know how to figure out which authors or publications are important.
  2. You got very few results and don’t know where to go from here.

One tactic you can apply is to mine your sources. Read on to find out what that means.
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Publication: “Marianne Weber and the March For Our Lives Movement”

Today’s blog post is going to be short and sweet, because I get to brag a little but but don’t like to talk about myself.

I wrote a chapter for a book, and that book has been published, has landed in hard copy on my doorstep, and is for sale on Amazon. I’m chapter three.

Close-up of the table of contents for part I: Forgotten Founders. Chapter 1 is "John Stuart-Glennie's Lost Legacy," by Eugene Halton. Chapter 2 is "Annie Marion MacLean and Sociology at the University of Chicago and Hull House" by Mary Jo Deegan, and Chapter 3, "Marianne Weber and the March for Our Lives Movement" by me, Stacy L. Smith.

I’m sure that someday I will become jaded to such things, but I suspect that day will be a long time coming.

The book is intended for use in undergraduate theory classes, for the purpose of bringing marginalized or forgotten theorists back into the classroom? Did you know that Max Weber’s wife, Marianne, was well-respected and well-known in her time — at one point more so than hubby Max?

You can buy it here, or tell your library that you want a copy 🙂

Book cover for Forgotten Founders and Other Neglected Social Theorists. The cover shows the title, the editors (Christopher Conner, Nicholas Baxter, and David Dickens, over a picture of an old typewriter.
Book cover for Forgotten Founders and Other Neglected Social Theorists

 

 

 

Avoid Plagiarism: Take Good Notes

Most students have heard of plagiarism, and most also understand that plagiarism can have serious academic consequences (more about plagiarism in a later blog post). Many students, however, don’t have a good grasp of how to avoid plagiarizing even when they are trying not to. One strategy you can use is to take good notes while you are conducting your research.

How can you use note-taking to reduce your risk of plagiarism?

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