Politics And Law Essay Style

Citation Styles:

The main styles used at AU are as follows - if you need to use another style click here. Those with large research projects should strongly consider a citation manager like Zotero or Endnote. Students can use citation generators like BibMe, Citation Machine, or EasyBib, but you must ALWAYS check your citations using the resources below:

  • Easy Writer (in the reference collection, PE1408 .L852 2016) by Andrea Lunsford has excellent guides and sample citations/papers for MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian Styles.

APA (American Psychological Association) - used in the social sciences

  • Recommended Purdue OWL APA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in APA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Recommended - Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. - (Call number: Reference PN 147.A4 2010.)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style - Official APA style site containing tutorials and other FAQ's.
  • APA style blog - Need help citing a odd source or a sample paper? Check out the official APA style blog.

Chicago Manual of Style - used in the humanites and social sciences 

  • Recommended - Chicago Manual of Style - Official online version of the Chicago manual 17th edition.
  • Recommended - Purdue OWL Chicago Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in Chicago style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition - (Call number: Reference Z253 .U69 2010.)

MLA (Modern Language Association) - used in literature and the humanities 

  • Recommended - Purdue OWL MLA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in MLA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Recommended - The MLA Style Center - Official MLA style site, containing tutorials and other FAQ's. Updated for MLA 8th edition.
  • MLA Handbook - 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB2369 .M52 2016.)

Turabian Style - a variation of the Chicago style used in many disciplines in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences​

  • Recommended - Turabian Quick Guide - From the publisher, University of Chicago Press.
  • Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB 2369 .T8 2013.)

There are countless ways to stylistically complete an academic essay.  Here are some examples of how students have successfully done so, while maintaining proper academic structure.

Introduction

A proper introduction should:

  • Introduce main arguments
  • Have an attention grabbing first sentence 
  • Provide concise information about broader significance of topic
  • Lead in to the body of the essay
 

Here are three examples of introduction paragraphs.  They have been re-written several times to illustrate the difference between excellent, good and poor answers. For a close reading of the examples, click the images below.

 

Example 1Example 2Example 3

 

The Body

The body of your essay should:

  • Address one idea per paragraph
  • Support arguments with scholarly references or evidence
  • Contextualise any case studies or examples 

Style

  • Use correct punctuation and proofread your work
  • Keep writing impersonal (do not use 'I', 'we', 'me')
  • Be concise and simple 
  • Be confident ("The evidence suggests..." rather than "this could be because...")
  • Connect paragraphs so they flow and are logical
  • Introduce primary and secondary sources appropriately
  • Avoid using too many quotations or using quotes that are too long
  • Do not use contractions (you’re, they’d)
  • Do not use emotive language ("the horrific and extremely sad scene is evidence of...")

This example illustrates how to keep an essay succinct and focused, by taking the time to define the topic:

Defining a topic

The following paragraphs demonstrate how to engage with a variety of scholarly material including primary sources, scholarly theories and formal statistics:

Introducing sources

Lastly, this paragraph illustrates how to engage with opposing arguments and refute them:

Conclusion

A proper conclusion should:
  • Sum up arguments
  • Provide relevance to overall topic and unit themes
  • Not introduce new ideas 
Here are two examples of conclusion paragraphs which have been re-written several times to illustrate the difference between excellent, good and poor answers.

Example 1                                                           Example 2

 

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