ACADEMIC WRITING STANDARDS
- Relevant content and compliance with the customer’s instructions.
- No grammar, lexical and stylistic mistakes.
- Overall structure (the text should be well-organized according to its type);
- Coherent thesis.
- Formal language (no colloquial words and expressions).
- Objectivity (usage of nouns and adjectives rather than verbs and adverbs; usage of 1st and 2nd persons is unacceptable unless it is required).
- No contractions.
- Usage of Passive and Imperative voices should be avoided.
- Tolerance (no pejorative, insulting, and offensive terms).
- American vs. British English (grammar and spelling norms for each of them must be taken into consideration).
- Conformity to the rules of the required format style (APA, MLA, Harvard and etc).
- Scholarly sources (Wikipedia and other unreliable web content should not be used).
- Valid citations.
- Originality (plagiarism is unacceptable).
Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are publications written by scholars who are professionals at their fields. Their main purpose is to present research results and findings. Substantive news articles contain other relevant sources of information and help to find out what has been studied on a topic.
Main characteristics of a scholarly source:
- Written by academics who are experts in the field for the scholarly readers (professors, researchers, students).
- Published by academic organizations.
- Reviewed by a board of experts or "peer reviewed”.
- What is not considered to be a scholarly source:
- Wikipedia (it is an unreliable source as anyone can add or change the information given).
- Encyclopedia Britannica (it is written for a general audience, not a specialist audience).
- A draft of the scholarly article (it is unfinished work and should not be trusted).
- A textbook written for classroom use (it is a teaching material but you can use the references included to look for more scholarly sources).
- An article in zines (it is not reviewed and its information is not checked).
- Popular link of databases: http://guides.ucf.edu/databases
It is obligatory to form and cite scholarly sources according to the required formatting style and do not forget to include all elements of references: author, date of publication, title of article, title of online periodical, volume number (issue number if available), DOI (a serial code used to uniquely identify objects, particularly used for electronic documents such as journal articles), etc.
Academic Format Standards:
- A4 pages.
- Margins: 1 inch on each side.
- Spacing: single/double. No spaces between paragraphs.
- Font: 12 pt, Times New Roman.
- Text alignment: left, no justification.
- Indentation of five spaces (created with the “tab” or “return/enter” key).
- Page number: right upper corner of the page, unless there are specific instructions.
- Header: applied if required by the rules of specific styles, such as APA, MLA, and Harvard.
- Footnotes/Endnotes: Chicago and Turabian styles, may be requested for other formats too. Font – 8 pt, Times New Roman.
- Graphics: tables, charts, graphs, pictures can be used in papers if they are applicable.
According to academic writing standards, 1 double-spaced page contains 275 words and 1 single-spaced – 550. The general word count does not include:
- Title page: title of the paper, name, institution/course (other details may be included depending on a specific formatting style). Do not include your personal information in the title page.
- Outline/Table of Contents: paper plan/outline. Page numbers must correspond to the actual ones where there are different sections of the paper.
- Abstract: 150-250 words in length, required for some formatting styles (i.e. APA).
- Bibliography page: sources used for completing an assignment. Always make it a separate page and format according to the required style. It should be entitled: ‘Reference(s)’ in APA and Harvard, ‘Work(s) Cited’ in MLA, ‘Bibliography’ in Chicago and Turabian.
- Appendices: tables, graphs, charts, and other visual elements not included in the body of a paper.