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Header-Program Handbook


GUIDELINES FOR WRITERS OF SCHOLARLY PAPERS

Standards for Scholarly Papers
Tutorials to Improve Scholarly Papers
Additional Online Information

STANDARDS FOR SCHOLARLY PAPERS
Akamai students preparing graduate level scholarly papers are expected to demonstrate publishable quality competencies and excellence in research scholarship, referencing and citations, academic argument, knowledge application and written presentation of manuscripts.

Research Scholarship. Students are expected to conduct a thorough search of scholarly libraries and journals and gather and inspect detailed data and information from the scholarly literature, sufficient to inform their work for the scholarly papers.

Referencing and Citations. Students must incorporate references from the scholarly literature by extensive citations throughout their written work and include a properly prepared bibliography.

Academic Argument. Students must clearly define the research question for their paper and pursue the academic argument and discussion of details in a mature and effective manner.

Knowledge Application. Students must apply advanced academic knowledge in a mature manner, addressing real world problems and settings.

Written Presentation. Students must demonstrate a high level of clarity in presentation of the written work, and make us of effective sentence structure, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.

TUTORIALS TO IMPROVE SCHOLARLY PAPERS

Research Scholarship Quality
Referencing and Citations
Academic Argument
Knowledge Application
Written Presentation

RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP QUALITY

Evaluating the Credibility of Sources
Questia Library - Advice for Selecting and Narrowing Topics
Questia Library - Advice for Gathering Information

REFERENCING AND CITATIONS

Citing Sources by Duke University
Approved Writing Guides and Publication Manuals
How to Evaluate Web Resources
Online Writing Guides by George Mason University
Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagarism
A Plagiarism Guide for Students

Some Valuable Guidelines for Referencing

Judge Your Own Understanding
Ground Your Work
Establish Your Words
Be Thorough
Investigate the Fine Points
Borrow from Peers
Give Yourself Credit, Only When Credit is Due
Use Proper Methods for Referencing and Citations

Judge Your Own Understanding. Students should ask themselves, in all instances, even those which appear to be common knowledge, where they became informed of the information being presented. A clear and complete journal notation should be made concerning all information to be included in a course paper. It is bordering upon plagiarism to exclude a reference, if the information presented is not clearly common knowledge. Even those individuals who are well founded professionally and have long experience using the terminology do not take liberties in absenting citations for material they believe to be in the realm of common knowledge.

Ground Your Work. For each point within their academic argument or scholarly discussion, students are to reference more than one source and more than one author, other than their own observations and writings. A minimum of three references is a good standard at each step of the academic argument. Students are expected to back up all of their authoritative statements, conclusions, instructions and directions with citations and referencing of the current academic literature from the past five years before drawing upon theoretical and research literature from earlier dates. In no cases will students be allowed to exclude the most recent literature from their manuscripts.

Establish Your Words. Students are to write entirely in the third person, using phrases like, "according to" and "in Eric Ericson's book, Identity: Youth and Crisis, he writes." They should avoid unfounded value judgments of any author's work or theories. The task is to cite the literature that informs and supports their thesis, not to editorialize. Students' opinions are not appropriate supportive material for their course paper, thesis or dissertation and they should avoid propagandizing by including all relevant opposing points of view.

Be Thorough. Students should cite the literature completely as it relates to their research. The Review of Literature, that immediately follows the Introduction, should bring into play all important aspects of the academic literature which inform the discussion encircling their research topics and thesis. If they exclude important references, especially those of differing perspectives, they weaken their academic arguments. The task of the student is to present the truth as carefully as possible, covering completely the arguments on both sides of the main issues, not to simply pile up support references for only one side of the argument. It is much more effective to present an opposing point of view and demonstrate its weakness, than it is to ignore it. In some cases, more than one chapter is needed to cite the literature, and in each case the student should determine the appropriate manner in which to distribute the evidence.

Investigate the Fine Points. Students are expected to investigate the fine points of the literature, before putting total credence in the works cited. Before assuming that materials are of value to the academic argument, it is essential to inspect the citations within the referenced works and thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of the research methodology and the limitations of the findings. It is imperative to at least read critiques of each author's work. It is vital to include limitations of the research you are citing in support of your academic argument.

Borrow from Peers. It is essential that graduate students read through other theses and dissertations in their degree field, studying the work of others to learn effective academic argument and the details of citing references. Students should do this prior to attempting to construct the initial draft of their manuscript. They should inspect a number of journals within their field and model their work after what they find effective within the work of others. If a point of protocol is vague, students are directed to seek help from their mentor (or write to the Office of the Dean or University President).

Give Yourself Credit, Only When Credit is Due. When the information presented is taken from a student's own research activities or professional observations, they must so state. As in all other cases, students must indicate where and how they became informed of the information they are presenting. For example, they might state as follows: "In this researcher's work with AIDS specialists at NYU Medical School, it was observed that inadequate funding led to an inability to obtain leading edge technology, substantially slowing the research process." Students should continue this reasoning throughout.

Use Proper Methods for Referencing and Citations. Throughout the text of a graduate student's course paper, the student must document the source of information by citing the author and date of the works included. This form of citation helps identify the source for readers without substantially interrupting the flow of the scholarly presentation. It allows the reader to locate the source later within the Bibliography, which is also an non-waivable requirement for the course paper, thesis or dissertation. (American Psychological Association, 1999)

QUALITY OF ACADEMIC ARGUMENT
Purdue University has presented online an excellent set of essays, which advise research writers on the proper manner of presenting their academic argument, an essential; aspect of any excellent thesis or dissertation.
Excellence in Academic Writing

Building a Strong Thesis Statement
Using Research and Evidence
Organizing Your Argument
Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion

KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION
The quality of student research depends in part upon the practical impact and current or potential usefulness of the work.

What is Applied Research?
Research with an Impact
Samples of Applied Research

WRITTEN PRESENTATION
The following webpages have valuable information that can be used by writers of scholarly papers to improve the effectiveness in the presentation of their papers. For an effective tutorial, it is best that the writer visit and carefully review all of the recommended sites.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Manuscript Guidelines by Akamai University
Online Writing Guides
Freeware for Help in Composing Your Written Materials
Revising Your Paper
College Park Paper Presentation
Advise on Writing Your Paper - Questia Library
Advise on Finalizing Your Paper - Questia Library
Guide to Grammar and Writing by Capital Community College Foundation

ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES

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Akamai University is internationally accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC). The University has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation. ASIC is an approved accrediting body for the purposes of compliance by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is a member of the British Quality Foundation (BQF), sits on the Quality Standards Group of UK NARIC, and is one of a number of international accrediting bodies listed in the international directory by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the USA and is a member of the CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG).

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