FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING ESSAYS

WHAT SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
Each research essays should be 1500-2000 words (6-8 numbered pages) excluding notes, figures, and bibliography. It should be double spaced, in a 12 point font like Times Roman. You may use any recognized style for notes and bibliography. You should prepare it in standard format with 1" margins and numbered pages. Do not use a separate page for ID and title. Put your ID number, and the number of the course before the title at the top of the first page. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE ESSAY.

SUBMISSION
Submit a printed copy of your paper in class on or before the day specified for the deadline.

Either way, keep a paper copy and backup the file on your computer.

HELP! I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE!
You should make an appointment as early as possible with the Writing Center (http://www.ou.edu/writingcenter/) or call (405) 325-2936, which offers free, confidential writing assistance for students, staff, and faculty. The Center is located on the North Oval in Wagner Hall, Room 280.

I'VE DONE THIS BEFORE BUT I'D LIKE A REFRESHER:
For basic information on writing essays see:

http://www2.actden.com/writ_den/tips/essay/index.htm

A more detailed presentation is:

http://members.tripod.com/~lklivingston/essay/index.html

This site may be slow to load but is worth waiting for (also - ignore the ads)

HOW MANY SOURCES DO I NEED
How long is a piece of string? It depends on the size of the package you want to wrap...
Your bibliography should include books and articles you have found in addition to course materials.
Note also two aspects of the Grading Scheme:
You can receive maximum points for Sources only if you find at least three good print sources, and at least five other good sources.
You are graded under Content on how you integrate and critique your sources.

MAY I USE WEB PAGES AS SOURCES?
Yes - but only if supported by standard sources. Cite them in your bibliography and include the date you accessed them.
TWO CAUTIONS: Never use Web pages as your sole authority: check all Web sources using standard printed sources.
And remember the Academic Integrity policy: unacknowledged cutting and pasting from Web pages is plagiarism.

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE CORRECT FORMAT FOR NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY.
You may use any consistent citation style in your essays. HSCI majors and minors are strongly encouraged to use Chicago Style.
Three common formats are Chicago University Press style (Chicago style), and Modern Language Association style (MLA style), used in the humanities,
and American Psychological Association style (APA style) used in the sciences.
Citation Guides for all three styles are available at:

http://www.ou.edu/content/writingcenter/guides/citation_guides.html

SHOULD I KEEP A COPY OF WHAT I TURN IN?
Yes! Always!