The following is some of the feedback that I have compiled in doing work for this class, SOWK 322, and some of the other classes. Most of the feedback includes links to articles or things you can read more about to improve your writing in these areas. I share it hoping that it will be helpful to see some of the different types of problems sometimes addressed. I have it divided into the following sections: problems with page formatting, problems with in-text citations, problems with reference list entries, and general feedback. This semester I have been working on a new and improved list. This list uses the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual and mostly focus on the Owl at Perdue and blog posts from the APA style guide. In the new writing feedback list, it is based entirely on the seventh edition and mostly focused on articles from the APA style website.
A PDF version of Writing Resources - Previous APA Writing Feedback List is also available.
Problems with professionalism in page format. Papers should be set up in line with general APA papers. Some of the basic components included in this are there should be a header (the first page should state “Running Head: SHORT VERSION OF TITLE” and every other page should be “SHORT VERSION OF TITLE” all in uppercase). The first page of the paper should be a title page which includes the paper title, author, and institution. If the syllabus (or instructor) requires an abstract that would be the next page. The Paper should start with the title of the article. After the paper is finished, on a new page, the paper should include references if there are any cited in the in-text. Students should be conscientious regarding paper headings, and how other writing structures are used in APA formatting. The paper should be double spaced. The OWL at Purdue provides a good example of what a paper should look like with text description of the parts, see APA Sample Paper.
Problem with the in-text citations. For two authors you use “and” in narrative citations and you use the “&” for a parenthetical citation for in-text citations. You use “&” on the reference list. The Purdue’s OWL article, In-Text Citations: The Basics could be a helpful resource in getting more information regarding this.
Problems with the in-text citations. Citations with three to five authors are used the first time listing all of the authors and then every subsequent use only the first last name and then the “et al.” You can read more about this on In-Text Citations: Author/Authors on Purdue.
Problems with in-text citations. Your writing does not include any in-text citations. The Purdue’s OWL article, In-Text Citations: The Basics (also there are a couple of further articles that clarify specifics regarding in-text citations), is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations. The in-text citations (whether written as “Author_01 and Author_02 (year)” or “(Author_01 & Author_02, year)”) should be used to designate any information which is not your own original concepts or ideas. This allows the reader to clearly understand that information is from that source and the information can be re-evaluated or validated. Each source cited in the in-text citations should a have a corresponding reference list item with sufficient information to allow the reader to find the source. When we don’t include citations for information that is not our own original ideas or concepts, it could be considered plagiarism.
Problems with in-text citations. Citations should have a comma in-between the author and year. The Purdue’s OWL article, In-Text Citations: The Basics, is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations.
Problems with in-text citations. Citations should only include the last name (unless two papers the same year by an author with the same last name) and include the date. The Purdue’s OWL article, In-Text Citations: The Basics, is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations.
Problems with in-text citations. Parenthetical citations should have an ampersand in-between the authors. The Purdue’s OWL article, In-Text Citations: The Basics, is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations.
Problems with in-text citations. APA uses “p.” or for multiple pages “pp.” not “pg.” If the source is a webpage or similar, it is “para.” for the paragraph number. The Purdue’s OWL article, APA Abbreviations, is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations. A specific paragraph or page number is required for direct citations (i.e. with quotes).
Problems with in-text citations and reference page. You can read the APA’s Style Guide Blog article, How Do You Reference a Web Page That Lists No Author?, for more information regarding formatting your citation.
Problems with in-text citations. When you make a direct citation, APA requires a page or paragraph number for the citation. You can read more about quotes on the APA’s blog post, When and How to Include Page Numbers in APA Style Citations, provides good information about how to incorporate sources into your writing.
Problems with in-text citations. Your citation for the YouTube Video was incorrectly formatted, see the APA’s Style Guide Blog post, How to Create a Reference for a YouTube Video for information. Should be included in the original post, not as a comment.
Problems with in-text citations. Quotations that are longer than 40 words require special formatting. See the APA Style Guide Blog post, Block Quotations in APA Style, for helpful information regarding this.
Problem with the in-text citation. You use the last name and the author’s Initials are used in the reference list entry, but would only be used in the in-text citations of the paper if there were two different articles with the same author and year to distinguish between them in the paper. You can read a post in the APA Style Guide, When to Use Author Initials for Text Citations.
Problem with the in-text citation. You would use an in-text citation that is like an anonymous source and would look as follows:
For the reference list entry, it would be as follows:
Term (year) in Publication. Retrieved from http://dictionaryname.com/term-url.
The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications), is a good source of information for formatting in-text citations from electronic sources.
Problems with the in-text citation. When we are doing academic writing, we generally paraphrase sources. Sometimes the text that we read has sources that they are citing. The APA Style Blog, How do you cite a source that you found in another source? is a useful resource in being able to describe how to use these sources. It describes that they should be used infrequently, and in general we should try to go back to the original source and read that. With that being said, as a sort of postscript, a lot of times people just cite the original source and don’t include the secondary sources.
Problem with the reference list. There should be a reference item included in your post. The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Basic Rules, is a good source of information regarding reference lists. Due to the nature of the online forum, I do not expect that the reference list be exactly how it would be in a paper (i.e. double spaced, hanging indent, italics), but to at least have the reference list items otherwise correctly displayed. It can look like as follows:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year) Title of item: Subtitle of the item. Retrieved from http://url.com/specific-page.
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of item: Subtitle of the item. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.
Problem with the reference list. You included a reference item in the reference list that does not have an in-text citation. Only used sources (i.e. those that are actually used for information in the paper and properly cited) should be included in your reference list. The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Basic Rules, is a good source of information regarding reference lists. Many students include the textbook in their reference list, but unless you are pulling some information from the textbook (and it includes an in-text citation) you do not need to put it as a reference list item.
Problem with the reference list. In reviewing the cited webpage, there is described author and as well as a date that should be used. The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Basic Rules, is a good source of information regarding reference lists.
Problem with the reference list. You cite an article in your forum post, that you do not include in the reference list. The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Basic Rules, is a good source of information regarding reference lists.
Problem with your reference list. Your reference list items are missing parts (i.e. if it is a published physical book, should include publisher, and city published. If it is a journal article, the journal (along with volume, issue, pages, etc), if its webpage the URL retrieved from should be included. The Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Basic Rules, is a good source of information regarding reference lists.
Problems with your reference list. You don’t need to include a retrieval date for the source cited. The APA Style blog has a good article as to when to include these - When to Include Retrieval Dates for Online Sources.
Problem with your reference list. There is a problem with capitals in your reference list. The APA Style Guide Blog post regarding this topic, How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style.
Problem with your reference list. You included an unnecessary retrieval date. You can read more about Citing electronic sources at the OWL at Purdue In general it only gets included on pages that change frequently, such as a wiki.
Problem with your reference list. Your reference list seems off in how it was used. You appeared to try to cite it as a publication without an author, but I would propose that you treat it more like a mixture of a website and a “Government Document,” which you can read more about in the Purdue’s OWL article, Reference List: Other Print Sources. This would mean the agency was the author and the title would be included along with a retrieved from URL.
Problem with your reference list. You cited a website’s home URL (i.e. http://www.example.com/). When I reviewed this specific page on the website, it did not have any of the information discussed in your paper. In a single paper (or forum post) it is possible to cite three or four pages on the same website. Each time you cite something, it should be the specific URL for that specific page. This specific URL would link to something similar to http://www.example.com/specific-page1 and maybe another source might be http://www.example.com/specific-page2. See examples in the syllabus of how Heritage Policies are cited. The Purdue OWL’s article Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) could also be a helpful resource.
Problem with the reference list. The retrieval date is not necessary for your reference list entry. You can see this in the APA Style Blogs frequently asked question, When do you include a retrieval date in a citation?.
Problem with the reference list. Each of the entries in the reference list would go in alphabetical order. The Purdue OWL’s article Reference List: Basic Rules gives some good background about the basic rules of reference list.
Problems with the reference list. You would not include the URL for the from the library database. You could look for the DOI number. You could also look up the journals homepage and include that url, but neither are necessarily required. You can read the Questions about Articles from Databases, from Eastern Washinton Universities library for more information.
Problems in general APA formatting. There is a problem with you you include the title of the publication in your writing. It can be acceptable to include the title of an article you read in the text of your writing, but it is not necessary, as it is in reference list. It would only be recommended to include this if it adds to the context of what you are talking about. APA has specific rules around capitalization and italics based on including a title in the text of a paper or how it should be formatted in the reference list. There are problems with capitalization in the text of your writing. The APA Style Guide Blog post regarding this topic, How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style.
Problems in APA formatting. There is a problem with the formatting of your headings. The Purdue OWL’s article APA Headings and Seriation could also be a helpful resource.
Possible problems paper content: general feel. While using direct citations (i.e. things you take verbatim and use quotes for) are acceptable and frequently used as a tool in academic writing. It makes writing easier to read if you paraphrase material and include it in your paper. You still must cite the information but can put it into your own description. This can assist with the flow of your paper. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin in their article, How to Paraphrase a Source gives some helpful information on how to do this.
Problems with general APA formatting. APA allows you to change the case of the first letter of the sentence in a direct quote. The The UNB Writing Centre has a good resource talking about quotes and paraphrasing in APA that can offer a further explication.
Problems with general APA formatting. There is a problem with how you included the title of an article in your writing. The APA Style Guide Blog post regarding this topic, How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style.
Possible problems in general APA formatting. Be cautious about using first the first person in academic writing, although there are a number of exceptions as to when we do use the first person. The APA Style Guide blog post, Use of First Person in APA Style provides a good list of when to use the first person. Due to this being an online forum, I generally wouldn’t reduce points for use of the first person, but I also want students to be aware of how they use it and the correct context to using (i.e. when there is a reflective aspect to the question or topic or the reasons discussed in the article.).
Possible problem in APA in general APA formatting. Based on the direct citation that you used, it is a little unclear if you would actually have to cite that. It appears to be a common style phrase that isn’t directly focused on an idea from the author. You can read an article on the Style Guide Blog Principles of Good Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism.
Problems in general APA formatting. In your writing you use abbreviations they should always be introduced. The APA Style blog has a post, An Abbreviations FAQ, which helps clarify this.
Problems in general APA formatting. The formatting of your numbers is not consistent with APA, which has specific rules about using numbers in your writing. The APA Style Blog Post Numbers Anyone? gives an overview of how numbers should appear in your writing.
Problems in general APA formatting. It is considered best practice to avoid starting a sentence with an abbreviation. Joshi (2014) wrote a good explanation of how to address this in writing.
Possible problems with APA Formatting. It can be appropriate to include the title of the publication, but it generally considered unnecessary. There are specific requirements to how the title gets submitted (see the article in the APA Style Blog How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style for formatting information). When you read most journals, they assume that the reader can find the title as a part of the reference list. I would say to include the title of an article if it seems important to the actual text and your paper in general.
Problems with general APA formatting. You have problems with capitalization. The article by the APA Style Guide - Do I Capitalize This Word? is a helpful resource for understanding what to capitalize and what not to.
Problems in grammar and writing mechanics. The APA Style Blog, Punctuation Junction: Quotation Marks and Ellipses, provides a helpful article about how to use the ellipsis correctly.
Problems in grammar and writing mechanics. Problems with parentheses, for the sentence that is completely encompassed in them, is incorrectly used.
Problems in grammar and writing mechanics. Problems with capitals, where you capitalized “Word” but not “other words.” It could be written as follows: Word Other Words (WOW)… and then WOW can be used instead of writing it out later.
Problems in grammar and writing mechanics. Problems with capitals, some sentences do not start with a capital.
Problems in grammar and writing mechanics. Problems with punctuation, APA requires that punctuation goes within the quotation, not after. The exception to this is that when there is a parenthetical citation, the punctuation goes after the in-text parenthetical citation. The Owl Purdue has a good article regarding this, Additional Punctuation Rules When Using Quotation Marks.
Problems in following assignment requirements. Your post was submitted late. The course syllabus states “[d]ue to the discussion based nature of the forum, late work is not accepted, but there are extra credit opportunities available offered for the course.”
Problems in following assignment requirements. You only replied to one forum post, where the requirements were to have two responses.
Problems in following assignment requirements. You did not complete any replies to other initial forum posts, where the requirements were to have two responses.
Problems in following assignment requirements. Your post did not answer the question posed in the forum. It should have described one of the theories used commonly by social workers, and relate it to the content in the book.
Problems in writing professionalism. Websites such as Wikipedia are not generally considered for strong academic writing. Wikipedia can be a good place to start to understand a topic and follow up with some of the sources cited in the article.
Problems with general APA format. It seems like are confused about when / what to put in the reference list vs the in-text citations. Anything that we write, which is not our own original idea came from somewhere. If we do not cite the source that we are getting that information from, it could be considered plagiarism. This citation also allows the reader to follow up regarding the information and verify it’s validity and basis. This is why we use an in-text citation. The reference list is to include the complete reference list set of information about each and every item that is included as an in-text citation (the exception to this is personal communications). The in-text citations tells what part of the text is referenced. The reference list items tell the reader where to find that referenced item.
Your post is lacking in content. It appears to not directly address the requested question and just includes some found information. It is also very short.
Problem with the in-text citation and reference list entries. When you are talking about a law, it would be the best practice. As described in the discussion forum, the APA Style Blog, Writing References for Federal Statutes - gives a good example of how to cite laws.