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We R Arts and Sciences: Asiha Grigsby

Asiha Grigsby"I was initially drawn to the prestigious name of Rutgers, and ended up falling in love with the small, intimate Camden campus and the collaborative style of the international public service and development program," Says Asiha Grigsby, a recent graduate of the MPA program. Read more ...

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Home » Student Writing Assistance » MLA Format – Overview » MLA Format – Writing Tips

MLA Format – Writing Tips

  • Stay organized throughout the paper
    • This becomes easier by using a good outline, thesis statement, and conclusion
  • Utilize topic sentences, which are used to lead the body paragraphs of the paper
    • Consider topic sentences to be similar to thesis statements for single paragraphs; topic sentences connect the given paragraph back to the thesis statement, and guide the discussion of that paragraph or section
  • Avoid personal pronouns (i.e. first person), such as “I”, “we”, and “us”, unless writing a personal narrative
  • Avoid writing in second person (e.g. using “you”)
  • Write in the third person (e.g. “he” or “she”)
  • Avoid plagiarism! This can simply be done by properly citing others’ work when necessary (and it is necessary whenever another’s work is being referenced)
  • Writing the introduction
    • The first portion of the paper is the introduction, which introduces the topic of the paper, and ends by specifying what the writer will be writing about and why this is important.
    • The introduction may be several paragraphs in length; the writer wants to give enough background on the topic to justify why the paper should be read.
    • A thesis statement is normally written at the end of the introduction (usually the last sentence). The thesis statement is a sentence (or two) that makes a statement about the point that will be discussed and supported throughout the rest of the paper
      • Using an introduction and a thesis statement provides the audience with a clear understanding of the organization of ideas.
    • Writing the conclusion
      • The conclusion is the final section of the main body of the paper, and the conclusion is essentially the “wrapping up” or summary of the author’s discussion.
      • The thesis is usually rephrased at the beginning of the conclusion.
      • The conclusion aims to leave the reader with a sense of why the paper is important, or how what has been discussed can affect the reader (e.g. calling to action; urging readers to do something after reading the paper).
      • It is important that the conclusion is strong, as this is the last impression that the audience will receive of the paper.