APA Research Paper Terms

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abstract
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A summary of a work’s contents. Usually appears at the beginning of a scholarly or technical article. Databases and indexes often contain these to help you decide whether an article is relevant for your purposes.
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annotated bibliography
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A list of sources that gives the publication information and a short description — or annotation — for each source. Each entry is generally three to seven sentences long. Some merely describe the content and scope of the source; in others, it also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose.
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citation
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A reference to a book, an article, a Web page, or another source that provides enough information about the source to allow a reader to retrieve it. Must be given in a standard format (such as MLA, APA, Chicago, or CSE), depending on the discipline in which the paper is written.
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database
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A collection of information organized for retrieval. In libraries, these usually contain references to sources retrievable by a variety of means. They may contain bibliographic citations, descriptive abstracts, full-text documents, or a combination.
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full text
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A complete document contained in a database or on a Web site. Some will search full-text documents; others search only the citation or abstract. In some cases researchers can set their own preferences.
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key word
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A term used to search a library database, a Web site, or the Internet. These types of searches locate results by matching the search word to an item in the resource being searched. They also often retrieve broad results through many database fields.
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plagiarism
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The unattributed use of a source of information that is not considered common knowledge. In general, the following acts are considered examples of this: (1) failing to cite quotations or borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, (3) failing to put summaries or paraphrases in your own words, (4) submitting someone else’s work as your own, (5) recycling your own work without acknowledging that fact.
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primary source
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An original source, such as a speech, a diary, a novel, a legislative bill, a laboratory study, a field research report, or an eyewitness account. While not necessarily more reliable than a secondary source, this type of source has the advantage of being closely related to the information it conveys and as such is often considered essential for research, particularly in history.
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professional journal
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A type of source containing scholarly articles addressed to a particular professional audience such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, or accountants. This type of source differs from trade publications, which usually do not include in-depth research articles.
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scholarly journal
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A source that is primarily addressed to scholars, often focusing on a particular discipline. These are often refereed publications and for some purposes may be considered more authoritative than magazines. Articles in this type of source usually are substantial in length, use specialized language, contain footnotes or end notes, and are written by academic researchers.
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secondary source
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A source that comments on, analyzes, or otherwise relies on primary sources. An article in a newspaper that reports on a scientific discovery or a book that analyzes a writer’s work is an example of this type of source.
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in-text citation
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A brief indicator within the text that leads the reader to the complete bibliographic entry of the source used.
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APA
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American Psychological Association’s style guide – primarily used in the Social Sciences.
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references
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APA’s term for the list of bibliographic entries to sources actually cited (not just consulted) within the text.
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bibliography
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A list of sources consulted during the research process containing the necessary publication information to locate the exact item consulted.
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block quotation
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A long (40 words or more) quotation which is not enclosed in quotation marks. Instead, the text is indented from the normal margin line by 1.25 cm. from start to finish to form a block. It should start on a new line and be double spaced, as is all the text in your paper. It should end with an appropriate in-text citation following the quotation’s finishing punctuation.
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common knowledge
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This refers to information that does not have be cited because it is well known and undisputed. Definitions for this term can vary but generally include include: – undisputed facts that can be found in a number of different authoritative references (like a dictionary or encyclopedia), such as historical or geographical facts. You do not have to cite these even if you did not know the fact without first looking it up. – proverbs, sayings, folklore (myths, fairytales) – commonsense observations – well established, widely accepted facts within a specific profession, discipline or subject area. When in doubt, cite it.
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direct quotation
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These word-for-word research references should be used less than indirect quotations or paraphrasing. It is better to use these where the author’s own wording is particularly powerful or effective.
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et al.
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An abbreviation of a Latin phrase meaning \”and others.\” In APA style this is used to indicate that there are more authors without having to list them all each time.
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paraphrasing
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Restating the author’s text in your own words while keeping the original meaning. This is sometimes referred to as indirect quotation. Because ideas expressed in these references belong to the author, they should always be cited. However, as the wording is your own. quotation marks are not used. To avoid plagiarism, the changes made to the wording should be significant (more than just a few words). If phrases used in the original work are unchanged, you should use quotation marks.
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secondary citation
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If you are using a quotation that already has another quotation within it, you will be citing a source within a source. It must be quoted exactly as shown in the primary citation. Cite only the primary citation in your Reference List.
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self-plagiarism
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The practice of resubmitting one’s own previously-used work for publication or in the case of a student, handing in work in part or in full, that has been submitted previously for another separate assessment task, as if it were new. This offense is regarded in the same way as plagiarism of another’s work.
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single quotation marks
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Also called inverted commas. Single quotation marks are used to identify a quotation within a quotation.
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running head
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A shortened form of the title of your paper that appears in uppercase letters at the top left of each page of your manuscript. It helps to identify the pages of your paper and keep them together.
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APA title page
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This page contains a running head, the title of the paper, the author’s name, the institution where the paper is submitted, an author note.
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headings
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In APA papers, these are boldfaced and/or in italics within the body of your paper. They create delineations between various sections of the body of the paper. (Note: You would use regular face type for section headings outside the body of the paper, such as the abstract or References page.
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DOI
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A character string (a \”digital identifier\”) used to uniquely identify a digital object, such as an electronic document. Metadata about the object is stored in association this identifier and this metadata may include a location, such as a URL, where the object can be found.
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print source
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Traditional sources that go through an extensive publication processes that includes editing and article review. The process has fact-checkers, multiple reviewers, and editors to ensure quality of publication. Could include publication in hard copy or online. They clearly identify the author or organization responsible for the publication. Usually consider more reliable than solely electronic sources.
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footnote
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An ancillary piece of information printed at the bottom of a page. Marked in the text with a superscript number.
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appendix
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A section or table of additional information at the end of a book or document.

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