Franklin Style Manual Online

Introduction

The term “style manual” (or “style guide”), while commonly used to describe a writing resource like this document, is often misunderstood. Style manuals do not primarily focus on how to improve one’s verbal style (though some of the guidelines can certainly help). Rather, they present and clarify a variety of conventions for grammar, formatting, and documentation expected when writing for specific communities of readers. You may recognize many of the following style manuals: the Chicago Manual of Style, the Publication Manual for the American Psychology Association, and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Each of these manuals treats composition and presentation guidelines shared by fairly large academic audiences having different specialties and interests. Since most professional societies and organizations adopt some set of guidelines, often based on one of the manuals listed above, you will need to learn to use references like this one as standard practice in producing formal written work, whether writing for colleagues or classmates.

The Franklin Style Manual reflects Franklin University’s expectations for using APA formatting and documentation guidelines. Use this manual whenever your coursework calls for a paper following APA guidelines for grammar, usage, formatting, or documentation. When a course requires other materials that also treat APA documentation (which often occurs in writing classes), use the required textbook as your primary reference and this manual as a supplement. When there seem to be conflicting guidelines, your instructor can tell you what he or she expects. Some classes and assignments, moreover, may follow alternative guidelines for formatting, editing, and proofing, in particular, guidelines that match the expectations of more specialized fields of work. This is especially true for later coursework in your program of study, which will present you with particular conventions for professionals in your field. When you have questions about which references and resources to use, ask your instructor for clarification. She or he will determine what exceptions or modifications to this manual’s guidelines should be followed to meet the aims of the particular class or assignment.

Finally, beyond serving as a common style manual for editing, formatting, and documenting academic papers at Franklin University, this guide also provides an extended discussion of plagiarism. Each year, many students are disciplined for committing plagiarism because they do not understand what plagiarism is or the ways to avoid it by correctly citing and quoting sources. To understand the academic concerns about plagiarism, you should keep in mind the common aims of all work you submit in the process of earning your degree. As stated in Franklin’s Academic Bulletin, 2010-2011, “the purpose of education is to advance one’s own intellectual skills and to demonstrate the outcomes of those efforts” (p. 16). To demonstrate your own intellectual achievements accurately, you need to acknowledge how the work of others contributed to your own efforts. Consequently, the initial sections of the manual, before coming to the specifics concerning plagiarism, will discuss research writing in more general terms.

Last Updated: 06/7/2012 16:50