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Division of Arts: Graphic Arts Program: Helpful Paper Writing Tools

Research and Resource Connections for Graphic Arts Technology Program

The Basics You Need To Know!!!

Tutorials and Videos on Paper Writing

Plagiarism Check!

Pros: There is a Free version that can be downloaded to your computer.

Cons: There are some limitations on the free version including # of searches

Paid Version: Each plan has benefits and drawbacks.  Really only beneficial for when you will write A LOT of papers


Pros:  100% free; Easy and detailed instructions; The "Author" option allows for checking if others have plagiarized your work online; Does not require any download or installation.

Cons: It searches phrases separately, which means that you need to hit “Enter” after each phrase.

Paid Version: Not available. **Note- Online tool only. Read carefully this is not a "download"


Pros: 100% free; Extremely easy to use; Has the options of copy-pasting the text, entering the URL of the content destination required to be checked, or uploading a text file; Registered users can perform 50 searches per day.

Cons: Unregistered users can perform only 1 search per day.

Paid Version:   Not available.


Pros: Offers 3 tools: Grammar checking, plagiarism detection, and writing suggestions; It is developed and maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students; Readability statistics; Title validation.

Cons: Cannot save reports.

Paid version: Accepts longer documents (up to 6000 words);Faster processing; No banner ads; Ability to upload documents; $7.95/mo (with annual payment).

This information comes from: Christopher Pappas "Top 10 Free Plagiarism Detection Tools: eLearning Industry 18 November 2016  9 November 2016

Common Graded Areas of Writing


Does it make sense?

Does it explain to the point of clear understanding?

Does it stay on topic and focused?

Does it contain clear (factual) information?

Does it show insight and is unique to the writer?


Does each paragraph present a clear topic and idea?

Does each paragraph clearly connect to each other?

Does it have clear points/ support paragraphs?

Does it have a balanced amount of sentences per point?

Does it have a clear completion/ ending?


Does the writing for the assignment/ question?

Does the writing seem engaging and interesting?

Does the writing convey the type of person who wrote it?

Is there a clear feeling about the thoughts/ opinions expressed?

Is the writing clearly for the reader (but does not use "you" references in the text)?


Are words specific to the topic or subject?

Do the words show a good range of applicable vocabulary?

Do the words seem natural and flow in writing?

Does the writer repeat the same word(s) / phrase(s) frequently?

Are the words chosen strong enough to convey understanding?


Do the sentences show a good range of length/structure?

Do the sentences seem natural and flow within the writing?

Are the sentences powerful/ meaningful to the topic?

Are the sentences easy to read aloud?

Are you able to read the paper without having to stop and reread sentences for clarity?


Are the words in the paper spelled correctly throughout?

Are the rules of grammar followed and executed properly?

Is punctuation used correctly and appropriately?


Handouts on How to cite APA style

Handout on how to cite MLA style


Report Issues or Problems

If any of the links on this page are not working or if there is a question about the information and content provided- please notify the Director of Information Resources by emailing

Q: What does "Scholarly Article" or "Peer-Reviewed Article" Mean?

Coulter, P. (2016). Richard G. Trefry library: American public University System. Libanswers.

"Scholarly" and "peer reviewed" are often used synonymously, but they are not necessarily the same thing.   Peer reviewed articles are always scholarly, but not all scholarly sources are peer reviewed.   It may seem confusing, but it makes more sense if you think of "scholarly" as an umbrella term for several different kinds of authoritative, credible sourcesThese include:

  • Peer reviewed journals.  These journals primarily exist to publish the research findings of experts in a field. The articles that you see in these journals have been closely scrutinized by a panel of reviewers (also experts in the same field) before they are published.   
  • Trade or professional journals or magazines.  The articles in these periodicals are also written by and for experts, but there is no peer review.  The articles aren't limited to research...they may be news, best practice tips or opinion pieces. 
  • Government Publications  Many government agencies publish books, reports, data or statistics.  Government researchers, like those who publish in peer reviewed or trade journals, are often experts in their field.
  • Books.   Many researchers publish books or book chapters.  

How can you tell if an article is scholarly?  You will have to do some detective-work, but there are some telltale signs:

  • Author(s): Ideally, you should rely on information that has been published by an expert, someone who has studied the topic long and hard.    Most scholarly publications will list an author's credentials (their degrees -- M.S., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc. -  and the institution that they work for) along with his or her name.
  • Content:  Look for articles that cover a topic in detail (more than just a few pages long, typically).   It will probably include some kind of literature review, and discuss the work of other authors, in addition to any original research findings.  Make sure it cites its sources (a scholarly article will always have a "references," "bibliography" or "works cited" list). 
  • Audience:  Scholarly articles are written for professionals in the field.  You will probably notice a lot of technical language and/or discipline-specific jargon.  The tone will be formal.
  • Publisher.  Visit the journal's website to see what organization publishes it.  Professional associations, universities and government agencies are particularly good signs.  As you become more experienced, you'll also start to recognize major publishing companies in your field of study (Wiley, Elsevier, Sage, etc.).
  • Purpose and scope.  When you're on the journal's website, look for an "about" link to learn who the intended audience is and what kind of articles are accepted.
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