Research Checklist - Step 4


Start composing your assignment once enough information has been gathered. Use an appropriate writing style for your audience and purpose of the paper. Proofread your paper to check for spelling and other types of errors. Make sure your paper follows assignment requirements. For assistance with the writing process, FAU students can consult the University Center for Excellence in Writing.

Here are some additional points to follow when writing your assignment:

Use a Style Guide

An assignment may need to be prepared, written, and presented using certain style rules. Refer to your course syllabus, assignment notes, or class handouts for specific instructions. The most commonly used styles used at FAU are current editions of the following:

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, by the American Psychological Association (APA style).
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, by the Modern Language Association (MLA style).

Refer to your assigned style guide to see rules on margins, organization, and most importantly, the works cited page. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has good online guides to APA style and MLA style.  See also the Citations LibGuide for additional styles such as Chicago/Turabian style.

Cite Your Sources

Citing sources is one of the most important steps in an assignment. This provides credit to an original author for their work. In addition, your professor will be able to see where your information was found by looking at your sources.

To cite your sources, refer to your research log, note cards, or RefWorks account.  This list may include journal articles, books, websites, and other information sources used for your assignment. Use the assigned style guide for instructions on citing sources.

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is considered stealing or cheating!  Plagiarism is the act of copying, paraphrasing, or using someone else’s words or ideas as your own without giving appropriate credit to the person. Using common, everyday knowledge and facts in your paper, without citations, is not a form of plagiarism (example: Tallahassee is the capital of Florida).

Some examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: 

  • Copying a direct quotation without using quotation marks around the information.
  • Submitting incorrect citation information for words or ideas that are not one’s own.
  • Copying someone else's assignment, or sections of it, and submitting it as one’s own.
  • Copying or reusing your own work done for a different class without proper citation.

FAU outlines how it handles plagiarism in its Code of Academic Integrity for students, and each FAU academic unit expands on it. Students accused of plagiarism may get a bad grade for an assignment, receive a failing grade for a course, or face suspension or expulsion.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to properly cite all sources of information! Cite where your information was found within the body of your paper and in the works cited, bibliography, or references page.

Last modified at 08/20/2020 - 21:01 PM