COMM 101 > Reference Check

This assignment will help you succeed in COMM 101.

While it is brief (requiring, at most, a half hour to complete) and has no point value, the Reference Check represents a first step toward completing at least one classroom assignment. Moreover the Reference Check ensures that you will receive timely feedback about an important aspect of professional writing: the demand to produce correct references.

But why do this assignment? Well, I’ve found that students who struggle with references invariably struggle with other writing expectations. I’ve seen this pattern for years. Shoddy referencing is strongly correlated other weaknesses related to an ability to follow instructions. One point reduction adds to another until a passing grade becomes almost impossible.

I designed the Reference Check because good habits – especially attention to detail – increase the likelihood for good outcomes. So I hope you will read this document carefully. Indeed…

You must submit a Satisfactory Reference Check before I will review or grade any other assignment you submit in this class. The Fall 2015 deadline is Tuesday, September 8th.

The Reference Check requires two elements: a typed APA-styled reference from a scholarly communication journal article and a one-page photocopy from your cited article. Here are the details:

1. A single APA reference for one scholarly article from a communication journal found through Communication and Mass Media Complete [no books, chapters, reviews, magazines, industry journals (eg., Advertising Age) or other materials, regardless of how they’re accessed]. Type a communication-related topic of interest to you (eg., teaching, organizations, politics" in the first search field, and then click "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" and "Full Text" to ensure that you're getting a complete and appropriate source.

This article must contain material that will likely appear in your Initial Reflection Essay (IRE) and/or your Research Project [see syllabus to learn more about these assignments].
2. A photocopy (or print) of one page from your chosen article (preferably a page from which you have located a potentially useful piece of information)

You may submit the Reference Check for my review as early as you wish, but you must submit it on paper, in class, and you cannot submit it later than the syllabus deadline. Once I receive your Reference Check, I will evaluate it carefully and mark it either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory on the next class meeting day (no earlier, no later).

To receive a Satisfactory Mark, you must submit both elements (reference and photocopy/print) and ensure that your reference is formatted according to APA’s Publication Manual (6th Edition).

Here's a link to several references formatted according to APA instructions: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/101/APA-references.pdf

You may also wish to consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab's Reference List: Articles in Periodicals resource: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/07/.

Keep in mind: you may find other "versions" of APA online. Even the journals themselves have their own styles (especially in regards to capitalization and the spelling out of first names). Nonetheless you are expected to follow strict APA style.

If your Reference Check is marked Satisfactory, this activity will be considered complete and you may submit other course assignments by their due dates.

If your Reference Check is marked Unsatisfactory, you will be invited to revise and resubmit this assignment, which will only be accepted on the next day we meet in class. I will provide another evaluation, but no earlier than the following day we meet in class. Assignment deadlines will not affect my schedule to review revisions.

You may submit as many revisions as needed, but always following the same process. That being said, please remember: I will not accept your IRE until you successfully complete this process. Your IRE (and any subsequent assignment) will be considered late – subject to 10% penalty per 24-hour period – until you complete the Reference Check assignment. Thus I advise you to submit a first draft as early as possible.

For your convenience, here's a list of common errors and how to avoid them.

1. Indentation: Yours must employ hanging-style.

2. Volume/Issue format: Include volume number - and remember that neither volume nor issue (if also included) should be written out (eg., “Vol”).

3. Underlining/italics: Either one is OK, but placement must be correct. [Note the goofy extension of the underline (or italics, if you prefer) under the volume number but not the issue number.]

4. Capitalization: Article titles (but not journal names) must use sentence case (Upper case first letter, lower case otherwise - exceptions: formal names, like Plato - as well as the first word after colon).

5. Issue numbers: Technically they’re required only when each issue in a multi-issue volume starts with page one. If you add an issue number, make sure you extend the underline (or italics, if you prefer) under the volume but not the issue.

6. Font: All work in this class should be submitted in 12 point Times New Roman.

7. Pages: Page ranges must be included - even if you find an article via internet search.

8. Header: Ensure that the word Reference appears over a single reference (Plural for multiple references, of course).

Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to schedule an office hour visit.