Cindy S. Spillers, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
University of Minnesota Duluth


189 Chester Park
Phone: 218-726-7992
Fax: 218-726-8693



Expectations for Written Papers

I expect all papers to be written grammatically and clearly.  Use the grammar check and spell check tools on your word processing program.  In addition, all papers must be written according to APA style guidelines.  If you do not know what "APA styling" means, then you need to find out.  This is a good time to invest in an APA writing style guide (available at the UMD bookstore). 


Pay close attention to the words you choose in your papers.

Did you use someone else's exact words? Then you need to put those words in quotation marks and cite the source.

Did you paraphrase another author? Cite your source properly.

Did you copy from another student or buy a paper on-line? Rip it up and start all over.


Some thoughts on writing style:

All of your academic writing needs to have a professional tone. This means not using contractions, slang or colloquialisms. This also means using words correctly. For example, do you know when to use "then" and "than?" How about "effect" and "affect?" And then there is"take part in" and "partake of." These are just a few of the common grammatical errors that appear over and over in student writing. Students aren't the only ones who have difficulty with these word, however; I've seen them used inappropriately in newspapers, magazines, and on-line sources.

Punctuation also can get tricky. For example, do you know when it is appropriate to use a colon (:) and a semicolon (;)?

Below are links to some really handy on-line sources for writing assistance, and to some really handy information about academic honesty.





Links to various sources and aids for writing

Links to information on Academic Integrity

Writing tutorial services at Indiana State University

UMD's policy on academic honesty

The Perdue University on-line writing lab (OWL)

Activities that constitute academic dishonesty.

The Perdue OWL APA tutorial and guide

Some common examples of things that students do

The University of Wisconsin writing center APA guide

Ways to avoid academic dishonesty