- STRUCTURE: Your paper should be written at the college level using Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. I have no preference, I just ask you to be consistent. You should be familiar with one of these writing styles.
· THE FACTS: You should resource and cite at least three credible sources for information used in your paper. Credible includes authoritative papers, business magazines and journals, newspapers, and the like (The Wall Street Journal, The Tampa Tribune, Tampa Bay Business Magazine, etc.). I do not consider collective information gathering sites like Wikipedia to be a highly reliable source for writing a paper although it does have a place in general knowledge. If you need to resource a site like Wikipedia, use it after three better sources.
· GIVING CREDIT: You will have a work cited page! Remember, it is completely appropriate to use other people s work on a subject as long as you synthesize what they say, or quote them and give them credit. Your opinion and general knowledge about a specific subject is also important. This is called anecdotal evidence. You can share your personal experiences to help support a position as long as you say it is your experience.
· HOW LONG IS THE PAPER: The paper should be long enough to first state your thesis (opening thoughts and interest about the subject). Then include a section that lets you lay out the facts. Next, write a section that presents your well-rounded thoughts on the facts by explaining what they mean, synthesizing them to the best of your ability. Finally, restate in a summary the purpose of the paper and what you learned by writing it. This is your chance to pick a side, and persuade the reader to see things your way based on what you found out. As long as you write clearly and concisely, you should be able to accomplish this paper in about three to four pages (not including the title page or work cited). This translates into 750 to 1000 words.