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Academic Writing Guide

What is APA Style?

APA Style is a standardized writing format, established by the American Psychological Association, which you may need to follow when submitting projects or papers. If you have questions about APA formatting, look at our APA Style Guide.

Effective Writing

As you progress in your academic and professional careers, you will encounter a range of writing projects that you will pursue both individually and in collaboration with colleagues. This means that you will need to develop more than your knowledge of sentence level mechanics and vocabulary. Although the mechanics of writing are important, you also need to develop good writing habits and practices.

Habits of Effective Writers

Summarizing, Quoting, Paraphrasing & Analyzing

A summary is a brief statement of the main points of a source. To summarize, follow the steps below:

Select a passage of text, article, chapter or entire book that supports your research.

  1. Read the selection until you feel you have a good understanding of its main points.
  2. Write a sentence or two in your own words that captures the main points.
  3. Revise your summary so it reads clearly.
  4. Note the source (and page number, if applicable) of the summary in a launch statement or in parentheses.

A quote is the reproduction of the words of the original author. To quote, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the quote you'd like to use in your paper.
  2. Record it exactly as it appears in the original source.
    • Use ellipses (...) to mark spots where you have left out words from the original text.
  3. Place quotation marks around the complete text.
  4. Note the source and page number of the quotation in a launch statement or in parentheses.


According to Lennie, "[...] I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why" (Steinbeck 14).

A paraphrase is when you present information (ideas, opinions, concepts, theories, facts, etc.) that you re-write in your own words. To paraphrase, you should:

  1. Present information accurately. Make sure you have accurately represented and reported the ideas, opinions, facts, etc. of your source.
  2. Use your own words. Don't just re-arrange words/phrases or swap out words for synonyms. Synthesize the information - connect it to your own ideas, your other sources, your argument, etc.
  3. Give credit to the original source (cite). When you paraphrase, you need to cite the original source because you are not the original creator of that information.

You may be asked to analyze an article. In a summary, you describe the core argument and components of the source.  In an analysis you will critically consider these, evaluating the strengths and limitations of the given source and considering how the article might relate to other sources, your own ideas, or future research.

For additional information, see:

Writing Resources, Grammar, and Mechanics

Grammarly won't be able to provide feedback or give you the quality feedback you'd expect from an experienced, human writing instructor. Instead, it's an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach that instantly checks your sentences for grammar, punctuation, and style. Register for a free account using your Franklin University student email address.

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