Tips for Effective Graduate Writing within the APA Format Style: Common Errors

Video: Tips for Effective Graduate Writing within the APA Format Style: Common Errors

[Video Transcript]

Hello and welcome back!  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today our focus for Tips for Graduate Writing is on a review of writing in the APA style format with regard to common errors.

A Sample Title page and first page would look like this: [For those of you watching the video, may I invite you to download and print the transcript of this video from

Title page


Student Name



Instructor Name*



Sample First Page

                                                   Understanding the Leadership and Management Puzzle [Insert Title on first page as well]

     Navigating the often confusing waters between management and leadership can offer even the most seasoned experts pause for thought.  Many organizations further this confusion by using these terms interchangeably.  Our purposes for this module will be to clarify the subtle yet important distinctions for these two terms/concepts, particularly as they impact the business landscape.

     In simplest terms, management and leadership differ significantly with regard to time.  Managers focus on today—with their efforts put toward the day-to-day operations of the needs of business.  Managers manage what is–the status quo.  As this word suggest, the goal of managers is to maintain the organization’s current operations.  Managers keep things running and on track.

     By contrast, leaders focus on tomorrow.  They lead others with critically thinking about the possibilities of what could be.  Kouzes and Posner (1987) offer their Jigsaw Puzzle Principle with regard to the concept of leadership as vision—where

 it is easier to put the puzzle together if you can see what is on the box cover.  In any organization, people have different pieces of    the organizational puzzle.  Members may have detailed descriptions of their roles and responsibilities, but very often they lack information about the ‘big picture’—about the overall purpose or vision of the organization. (pp. 98-99)

This is one of the functions of leadership—to help organizations understand their vision of tomorrow, and how to get there; where managers implement and maintain the needs of today.


Some of the most common areas:

(1) Be sure to follow the APA template for a title page to include your Running Head (only 50 characters in caps)

(2) Be sure to include your title again on your first page of content

(3) Be sure to use Times New Roman 12 pitch font throughout your paper

(4) Be sure to double space

(5) Be sure to include double spaces between the end of a sentence

(6) Be sure to use only the author’s last names within your writing—to avoid gender bias

(7) For in paper citations: be sure to use the word ‘and’ within the narrative format of your writing, and include the ‘&’ symbol for your parenthetical citations. According to Smith and Douglas (2010), while the paraphrase citation would after the paragraph would be: (Smith & Douglas, 2010).

(8)  Remember that the website address is only used on your references list.  A website address is NOT used for in paper citations.  Use either the author’s last name or Title (“Title of Article,” 2010).

(9) Be sure to include page numbers and beginning and ending quote marks for your direct quotes.

(10)Be sure to use page numbers for books (p. 1), multiple page numbers (pp. 89-90), and paragraph  numbers for websites (para. 1).

(11) Be sure to use the appropriate format for quotes 40 words or more: (1) indent, (2) remove quote marks, and (3) period is placed at the end of the quote, not after a citation as within the narrative format.

(12) Avoid beginning or ending your paragraph with a quote.  Remember that quotes are to support not substitute for your writing.  Begin with your original writing to state your argument, and offer a summation statement after your quote to ensure that your reader comes to your intended conclusion.

(13) Avoid including a paraphrase citation at the end of every paragraph.  Each citation would be included at the end of each sentence as applicable.

(14)  Be sure to avoid source bias by only using  one source for your paper.  At the graduate level, two to three sources beyond your course textbooks are expected for a more comprehensive analysis.  

For more tips on effective academic writing, please visit me at my blog at  Thank you for joining me.  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz and I hope you find these suggestions within this video helpful. Good luck to you in your academic writing pursuits.  Cheers!

With respect,



Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.  

Join me: Twitter , Linked In , My Blog , My Website , & Facebook

February 17th, 2011 by admin

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