Okay, you have your thoughts down on paper and have gone over your organizational structure to be sure that your argument is presented in the clearest possible way. Then you have reviewed your claims to be sure that your reasoning is sound. You may have written a first draft that contained only your own words.
Now it is time to add in the support that external sources provide. Think of your sources as a scholarly friend standing beside you when you make a claim, saying that you are right. This friend cannot be the main speaker but can offer affirmation of whatever you are saying. As you add in support, be sure to cite every idea that is not your own. Be sure to indicate with quotation marks and APA style citations precisely what material is from a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary, so as to avoid plagiarism.
The second draft should be the best you can offer without feedback from your instructor.
Here are the traits of a good second draft:
- Your paper should, at this point, be 6–8 pages of text in length, not counting the title, reference, or abstract pages. (The final will be between 8–10 pages of text).
- Your paper makes a single, main point, a single, argumentative claim that is not too broad, not too narrow, not a fact, and not a feeling.
- All sentences in your paper directly relate to and support your single thesis statement.
- You support your initial claim with the university-level evidence gathered during your research, and occasionally with personal experience, objectively, presented from the third-person point of view. .
- You correctly cite, in APA style, every claim that is not your own or common knowledge and include all necessary information. Each references page entry must have at least one corresponding in-text citation.
- In-text citations are correctly formed, with author’s last names and year-dates.
- You give full credit for any ideas that are not your own.
- Quotes are correctly formatted in either quote marks when short or extensive blockquotes when long.
- Your main point is an original claim that is consistent with current research on the subject selected.
- You avoid fallacious arguments.
- Your word choice and language level show that you have a college-level audience in mind.
- You present the strongest arguments against your claim.
- You reply appropriately to all objections, agreeing with those that are correct, showing the errors in those that are not correct, and acknowledging any areas where you are uncertain.
- You include a properly formatted, APA style title/cover page. The text should be centered and include all the required information.
- Your abstract is presented correctly, without indents, and presents an accurate overview of the paper.
- You include a properly formatted running header and page number on each page.
- Your text in the body of your paper is formed with one inch margins all around, in 12 point Times New Roman plain, black font.
- Your paper ends with a properly formatted, APA style references page that is double-spaced with hanging indentation, proper capitalization, and italicization of major titles. The reference page conforms to expectations of APA format for books, periodicals, and Web sites.
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