Criminal Justice


The APA Style mini research essays consist of (Basic Requirements):

a title page, with the student number (not the name of the student) where the student’s name was supposed to appear;
no abstract needed;
pages numbered;
the body (written part of your own work) is to be between 1000-3000 words
with the required APA format citations listed for at least each paragraph of your paper, but given for any change of idea that belongs to another person; and
finally, a separate reference page in EXACT APA Publication Manual, 6th format.
Five scholarly, peer-reviewed references that are cited in text and in the reference section.
This is required for all five of your exam questions (and rewrites). The answers should not deviate from the topic of the question, and they should be concise and organized. Because the graders are looking for certain concepts to be addressed, the student should write exclusively and exhaustively about only the topic. Each essay assignment may have more than one question. Each question should be answered in detail. Missing questions will result in missing points.



First, answers should be written with clarity and preciseness. Literary elegance is not required or recommended. The graders are looking for certain concepts key to their own disciplines. The student’s knowledge base is the main concept and the main idea questioned by the graders. They are also looking for coherent, grammatically correct, English language skills.
Writing and grammar skills should follow the APA Publication Manual, 6th Ed. Please Pay special attention to the following problems that prior students have shown issues with. The mastery of these writing skills should appear in the discussion board too. The discussion board is a segment of your research essay. Grammatical and punctuation issues include (in no particular order — these are just what I have found as common mistakes pertaining to grammar and punctuation in the student papers, which lost points from the graders):
No “you, me, I, we, us, allowed in an APA style research paper. These essays are APA research papers (When you use YOU, You are writing to your reader. Therefore, YOU are, in essence, blaming the reader to telling YOUR GRADERS why they should not beat their kids! Not the best way to win a battle!)
Subject/ pronoun agreement and subject /verb agreement. As in, a singular noun should have a singular verb and a singular pronoun. For example “The criminal was arrested and their fingerprints was taken”. Do you see the problems?
Correct capitalization (Amendments and Constitution are capitalized – APA titles in reference page are not.
No questions are allowed in APA. This mark, ?, should never be seen in APA.
Do not use any semicolons. APA only allows the use of semicolons in a few ways. Don’t risk points for the use of a semicolon!
All mention of people should only by the last name per APA rules. Never have a first name in the paper.
Never state anything in the first person. A student is sure to use an I or you if this is done!
The article or book titles are never in the body of the paper. If someone wants to know the title of the article, he will look it up in the references.
No conjunctions within a paper (can’t, won’t shouldn’t).
Watch for run-on sentences. Make sure that all compound sentences have commas before the conjoining word and there are a subject and a verb to each independent clause.
On that note, fragments abound when run-on sentences are found. Watch your subject and verb use. If you have one, you should have the other.
Times New Roman 12 font, Double Spaced, with one-inch margins is the only way to submit in APA as of the 6th Edition of the Publication Manual.
No bullets or numbering are allowed. Students must write out in paragraph form. This is not “illegal” in APA. However, the graders have shown that they do not like bullets. The students who used bullets failed the papers because they did not show the grader adequate knowledge base of the subject. Tables are fine if they are correctly cited and appropriate. However, the table does not add to the body of paper word count lower limit.
Prepositions are great. But, you need to make sure that all prepositional phrases at the beginning of the sentence are set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
Oxford commas are required (i.e., a comma before conjoining word when conjoining three or more things).
Dangling modifiers can be murder! Don’t have a dangling modifier. If you do, the grader will not know what you are talking about.
No colloquialisms, slang, or jargon allowed in an APA paper. See page 68 of the APA Publication Manual for more information on this topic.
Anthropomorphism (giving human verbs to inanimate objects) is not allowed in APA. It is also confusing to the reader.
A poorly written paper will be downgraded substantially, regardless of its content. Do not lose points for basic issues.