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School of Professional Studies | Writing Style Resources

Academic Writing Style & Formatting

The School of Professional Studies recommends the SPS Publishing Style (based on the APA Publication Manual 6th ed.) for most courses with the exception of the AP Style in specific communication courses. Your instructors will direct you to the appropriate style to use for your courses. The use of a style manual does not exclude the need to use good grammar and proper English in your writing, see the APA manual’s chapters one through four. SPS recommends that you use the appropriate writing guide for your papers also. These guides might include: Strunk & White, Turabian, Chicago, New York, Hacker, etcetera. Again your instructor or the Writing Center will make recommendations.

Learn about APA style

To Learn about APA Style and how to use it follow the links below for tutorials.

Common APA Style Writing and Formatting Issues

There are some common issues students have (and instructors correct too often) in providing a clean SPS and APA style paper.  Many of these are outlined in the document below.  If you still have questions please contact your instructor,  or the Writing Center.

Do you feel like your academic writing is dull and uninspiring?  Then review the verb choices offered in the document below to enliven your writing.  This small effort can make a world of difference.

SPS Rubrics

Competency Based Rubrics

The following rubrics are developed from the AAC&U rubrics and are designed to easily score a student or group’s work.  Students will find these rubrics useful in developing and submitting professional quality assignments.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarization

The following resources are helpful to students and instructors in determining how to avoid plagiarism by introducing them to the art of paraphrasing and summarization, the use and placement of citations, and the formatting of references.

Find Writing Assistance

Critical Thinking

Sample Thesis or Capstone Papers from the APA

Recommended Texts for Assistance in Academic Research Writing

Using MS Word to Auto Format Your Papers

  • Formatting MS Word in BGS – APA 6th – PC Version– this is a draft of the quick PC version.
  • Formatting MS Word in BGS – APA 6th – MAC Version– this is a draft of the quick MAC/Apple version
  • Using MS Word to Auto Format in SPS Publishing Style
    • This document was developed by SPS and BGS to assist you in formatting your research papers, Thesis papers, and Capstone papers in either SPS/BGS publishing style or APA 6th ed. publishing style.  The document contains narratives and bulleted instructions with screen captures to instruct you in the step by step formatting of your papers
  • APA formatting Microsoft Word 2007
    • This video from IACLibrary2000 quickly explains how to set MS Word 2007 to auto format your paper in APA formatting style.  You can easily adapt these directions to the SPS Publishing style or even MLA style
  • How to Work with Styles in a Word 2007 Document For Dummies
    • This video from the For Dummies series quickly explains how to use the style headings in MS Word 2007 to auto format your papers.
    • *You can easily edit each heading style to match SP Publishing, APA style, or MLA style by highlighting the text, formatting it as you wish it to appear.  Then right click on the style button for your heading level.  Choose Update (heading level title) to Match Selection.  Now all headings at that level will update to your correct heading style.
  • How to Create a Table of Contents in Word 2007 For Dummies
    • This video from the For Dummies series quickly explains how to use the style headings in MS Word 2007 to establish a Table of Contents in your paper. you can easily adapt this to meet the criteria of the SPS Publishing style, APA style, or MLA style.
  • How to create a List of Tables and A List of Figures in MS Word 2007
    • This video from the Institute of International Management explains how to add a list of Tables and a List of Figures in a MS Word document, which will be appropriate for your papers in SPS Publishing style, APA style, or MLA style.

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Contact the School of Professional Studies at 202-884-9620 or by fax at 202-884-9632.
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