Odegaard Writing and Research Center

OWRC Handouts

APA Citation Guide

Quick help on citing sources and tools for storing and organizing sources.

Sample APA Formatted Paper

CBE Citation Guide

This guide is based on Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 7th edition (2006). The developers of this citation style, Council of Science Editors (CSE), were formerly known as the Council of Biology Editors (CBE). Examples are provided in Name-Year format. Bibliography items are listed alphabetically at the end of the research paper. These items are referred to in the body of the paper using the In-Text style. If none of these examples seem appropriate, consult the CSE Manual available in the Reference collections of both UNE Library Services locations (REF WZ 345 S41646 2006).

Sample CSE Formatted Paper

Chicago Citation Guide

Quick help on citing sources and tools for storing and organizing sources.

Sample Chicago Style Formatted Paper

MLA Citation Guide

Quick help on citing sources and tools for storing and organizing sources.

Sample MLA Formatted Paper

Suggested Paper Writing Timeline

Use this helpful guide to help you determine how to best allot your time when writing a course paper.

What is an Academic Paper?

Why academic writing is different from writing you have done in high school.

Sample Argumentative Paper Format

Strong Body Paragraphs

A strong body paragraph explains, proves, and/or supports your paper’s argumentative claim or thesis statement. If you’re not sure how to craft one, try using this handy guide.


This handout lists some guidelines for capitalization. If you have a question about whether a specific word should be capitalized that doesn’t fit under one of these rules, try checking a dictionary to see if the word is capitalized there.

Claims, Claims, Claims

A claim persuades, argues, convinces, proves, or provocatively suggests something to a reader who may or may not initially agree with you. Learn more about making claims in your writing.

How to Perform Close Reading

People read differently for different purposes. When you read in order to cram for a quiz, you might scan only the first line of every paragraph of a text. When you read for pleasure, you might permit yourself to linger for a long while over a particular phrase or image that you find appealing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that when you read in order to write a paper, you must adopt certain strategies if you expect your efforts to be fruitful and efficient.

Concessions and Counterarguments

In your papers, it is often important to make a concession to the other side to make your argument stronger—that is, rather than acting like another side of your argument does not exist, you address it and “debunk” it. In fact, in an argument paper, presenting the other side and then “tearing it apart” can often be a very effective strategy.

English as a Second Language

Different cultures have different ideas about what constitutes an appropriate academic paper. In some cultures, where it is politically dangerous to write arguments, students are often taught to piece together their papers from certain “approved” materials. In other cultures, where argument is considered to be an overly “subjective” medium, students are taught to report just “the facts” in their papers. Imagine the distress these students feel when they arrive in America and are asked to create an academic argument.

Evaluating Your Sources

A checklist for evaluating the quantity and quality of your writing.

Attending to Grammar

Grammar is more than just a set of rules. It is the ever -evolving structure of our language, a field which merits study, invites analysis, and promises fascination. Find out about common errors and correcting yourself.

Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions

There is no formula for writing effective introductions and conclusions—here are some strategies that you may find helpful.

How To Organize & Structure Your Paper

Making sense out of your observations about a text is a difficult task. Even once you’ve figured out what it is that you want to say, you are left with the problem of how to say it. With which idea should you begin? Should you address the opinions of other thinkers? As to that stubborn contradiction you’ve uncovered in your own thinking: what do you do with that?

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Research and the use of different kinds of evidence and texts are important skills and necessary strategies in writing, developing an argument, and participating in academic discourse. In other words, the work you engage in and produce at the university will require you to read about, think about, write about, organize, synthesize, and deploy other people’s ideas, words, concepts, studies, data, and expertise.

Effective Quote Integration (Quotation Sandwich)

Once you’ve decided that a quote should be included in your writing, follow the “three-step” rule to integrate it into your paper.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Most of us who compose on a computer understand revision as an ongoing, even constant process. Every time you hit the delete button, every time you cut and paste, every time you take out a comma or exchange one word for another, you’re revising.

Top Ten Rules of Writing

Good reading makes good writing, time management, importance of spelling, reading your writing aloud and more.

Attending to Style

Most of us know good style when we see it. We also know when a sentence seems cumbersome to read. However, though we can easily spot beastly sentences, it is not as easy to say WHY a sentence – especially one that is grammatically correct – isn’t working. We look at the sentence; we see that the commas are in the right places; we find no error to speak of. So why is the sentence so awful? What’s gone wrong?

How to Write a Summary

Preparing to Write: To write a good summary it is important to thoroughly understand the material you are working with. Here are some preliminary steps in writing a summary.

Developing Your Thesis

No sentence in your paper will vex you as much as the thesis sentence. And with good reason: the thesis sentence is typically that ONE sentence in the paper that asserts, controls, and structures the entire argument. Without a strong persuasive, thoughtful thesis, a paper might seem unfocused, weak, and not worth the reader’s time.

Using Transitions Effectively

Transitional words and phrases are also called signal words. They are placed at key points to lead the reader through the sentences and paragraphs. Using transitional words will help you achieve clear and coherent communication with your audience.

More on Grammar

Writing resources from the Purdue University Writing Lab.