You should prepare your paper in a formal, professional manner. This means it should:
- Be written concisely
- Be organized in a logical manner
- Be internally consistent
- Have properly designed and labeled tables and figures
- Include a title page
Some additional tips:
- Rely foremost on peer-reviewed journal articles for substantive information. Do not rely heavily on websites; reliability and validity of the content cannot often be verified.
- Sentences in a paragraph should be related to each other; don’t mix topics in the same paragraph.
- Avoid editorializing, misspellings, grammatical errors, misaligned paragraphs, variation in format (as, for example, in references), errors in order of numbers, running-on paragraphs, misuse of words, numerical errors, abbreviations, colloquialisms and use of the first person singular or plural (i.e., “I,” “we” and “us”) or the second person singular (“you”).
- Tables and figures used in papers should not be “cut and pasted” from copyrighted sources. Tables and figures should be consistent in format and in numerical order throughout the paper. Tables and figures should cite the source from which the information was obtained.
- Incorporate copyrighted materials only if you obtain permission from the copyright holder (for example, a figure from a copyrighted journal), and include the letter/form from the copyrighted holder giving you permission to use the material.
- Do not use “etc.” Instead, list each example.
- Be aware of the difference between “i.e.” (meaning that is) and “e.g.” (meaning for example).
- Before using an acronym, list the full series of words or terms to which the acronym refers along with the acronym itself in parentheses.