Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Claremont Lincoln University

Student Center

Alumni Page

Claremont Lincoln University Writing Center

The CLU Writing Center provides both academic and professional writing help for students and faculty. It includes access to a Writing Coach, writing resources, and self-paced modules. The Writing Coach will provide personalized feedback on writing specifics, APA format, and individualized coaching. In addition, students can self-refer, or faculty or staff can refer a student for additional assistance in writing.  The writing resources will be a database with research, writing, and formatting information.

Writing Coach

The CLU Writing Coach is Chad Collins.  
If you wish for one-on-one coaching or answers to questions related to academic writing and APA formatting, please email Chad at or schedule an appointment at


Writing Resources

Overview of APA Citation Style
APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 7th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. Please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).
 APA Citation Style - Video Tutorials

APA 7th Edition:  In-text Citations 
OWLPurdue. (2020, November). APA 7th edition:  In-text citations. [Video]. Youtube.
APA 7th Edition: References | Part One
OWLPurdue. (2020, November). APA 7th edition:  References part 1. [Video]. Youtube.
APA 7th Edition: References | Part Two
OWLPurdue. (2020, December). APA 7th edition:  References part 2. [Video].
Introduction to APA 7!
APA Style Workshop
 APA Formatting and Style Guide to the 7th Edition
Changes in the 7th Edition
APA General Format
In-Text Citations: The Basics
In-Text Citations: Author/Authors
Footnotes and Endnotes
Reference List: Basic Rules
Reference List: Author/Authors
Reference List: Articles in Periodicals
Reference List: Books
Reference List: Other Print Sources
Reference List: Electronic Sources
Reference List: Audiovisual Media
Reference List: Other Non-Print Sources
Legal References
Additional Resources
Numbers & Statistics
APA Headings and Seriation
APA PowerPoint Slide Presentation
APA Sample Paper
Tables and Figures
APA Classroom Poster
General APA FAQs

Let's be real.  APA formatting takes time to learn, and it's not what most people call fun.  So, why do we care?  Who cares what words I use as long as they answer the question asked or made the point I want to make?
The WHY comes down to two items, credibility, and your reader
To Review
  1. Professional respect and ethics
  2. Consistency makes it easier for you as the writer to get your point across.
  3. Consistency makes it easier for your reader to find and read the resources you used to form your opinion.  Remember, they are deciding whether to trust you and forming their own opinion.
  4. Consistency of writing within disciplines assures ease as we write and read the information within our discipline.


This section is only for big essay assignments, right?  No!
For the most part, anything your write in graduate school from discussion posts to essay assignments to your final action research project will use these guidelines.  
Correct, you won't need a title page for your discussion posts, but we do encourage you to view them as short essays complete with
  • Introductions,
  • Conclusions, &
  • Headings!
By organizing all of your writing using these areas, you will find clarity in how you write, and your reader will always be clear about where you are going with an idea.
Interesting note: You do not need a heading for the first introduction paragraph, assuming it is an introduction!  See p. 47 in the 7th edition.
Let's keep this easy as we get started.  What do you need to know for everyday graduate writing? Check out this video to wrap your head around the following areas of writing under APA formatting:
  • Headings,
  • Fonts,
  • Line spacing,
  • All parts of full essays, including
    • Title Pages,
    • Introduction,
    • Conclusions,
    • References
Let's look at some examples.  In the below activity, click on "Choose A Study Mode" in the lower right of the activity and then connect the areas of the sample essay to the correct descriptions.
Where to find more?
  • Headings Table: You can find the headings table on the inside cover of the 7th edition and p. 62 of the 6th edition.
  • Fonts: You can find the list of approved fonts and font sizes on p. 44 of the 7th edition


Not understanding what paraphrasing is and not knowing it needs to be cited just like a quote, is the most common form of plagiarism seen. 
It is easy for a student to do a google search and find information and use that information.  Almost too easy.  And it is just as easy for your faculty member, or a future reader of your articles, to do a google search and find out you copied most of what you wrote.
Now we get it! 
  1. If we copy direct words, we are quoting and have to either put it in quotation marks or indent it, depending on the length.
  2. If we share someone else's idea or concept, but we put it in our own words, that is called paraphrasing.  While we don't need quotation marks, we do need a citation!
  3. Both need to be cited properly using the last name of the author and the year of the date.
Where to find more information?
  • Chapter 8 of the 7th edition.
  • Chapter 6 of the 6th edition.




Citations are how you mark the quotes and paraphrased information in your writing.
The general rule of thumb: Always include (Author Last Name, Year, Location)
Ex: (Smith, 2016) Or, if it's a book (Smith, 2016, p. 43)
  • For every citation, you’ll have a full reference at the end of your piece of writing.
  • Citations never need the first initial of an author.
  • Citations never need a full date, only the year.
  • Most of the time, the citation goes after the closing quotes and before the period.
Example of a citation for a book used in a sentence:
Body scan meditation is a specific practice to train the brain to effectively scan the body to check in with how our body is feeling and to get a better sense of our emotions” (Burton, 2018, p. 151). Skillfully using body scans throughout the day starts with routinely practicing body scan meditation, so the habit is created to use it as a tool. 
Example of the proper citation pieces integrated into the writing:
When Lustik describes Mindfulness, she says, "So with our understanding that Mindfulness is a contemplative practice, we learn that Mindfulness is more than a state of mind, it is a practice like yoga. It’s something that we dedicate time to in our busy life because we believe it will be beneficial to our health and happiness" (2016). This is applicable to my argument in this paper that one of the most important parts is setting aside the time for the practice...
Where to find more?
  • Chapter 8 in the 7th edition
  • Chapter 6 in the 6th edition.


References are often what really throw people, but they aren't that hard!  It all comes back to consistency.  This is no place to let our creative brain take over!
Key Reference Points
  • Always follow the same order.  Author. Date. Title. Media type if applicable. Source.
  • If you get it online, the location is the URL.
  • Brackets are only used around descriptions of work outside of traditional academic literature.  Example include: [Audiobook], [Online forum post], [Facebook post], [Tweet], [Powerpoint slides], [Audio podcast], [Video]. These are always listed at the end of the Title.
  • List all the authors in order of how they are listed in the resource.
Tip!   To get a hanging indent, highlight your references right click with your mouse, and choose Paragraph. Turn on the hanging indent!



Assignment Comprehension

Assignment Descriptions
Understanding Assignments  (Lesson Breakdown)
  • Assignments Tasks - describe what to do when you complete an assignment.
  • Style Tips - describe general expectations to which the assignment should adhere
  • Technical Details - provide specifications or formatting rules for your assignment
  • Additional Considerations - include research suggestions or tools to help in the completion of the assignment
Bloom's Taxonomy 
Understanding any assignment begins with a little bit of planning and a deeper look at purpose. Start by asking who you are speaking to and thinking about what style of writing is appropriate. A personal reflection will call for a different style than a comparative essay. Additionally, you should explore the evidence necessary and the rules for the assignment. Finally, consider the purpose of the assignment: what is the assignment asking you to do and why is it asking you to do it? Generally, assignments will ask you to demonstrate an understanding of specific course material through specific actions, i.e. Describe the origins of mindfulness as practice.
Answer these three questions before you begin:
1. What is the main objective of this assignment? Identify keywords that achieve this objective
2. What are the skills and knowledge one might need to possess to successfully write this assignment?
3. How would you structure this paper?
Rubrics are scoring guides that provide clarity for students and instructors alike. They outline a set of scoring criteria instructors can follow to objectively evaluate a student’s assignment and learning outcomes. You can use rubrics to evaluate your work prior to submitting an assignment and it can be helpful to think of each criterion as one item on a larger assignment checklist.
Example Chocolate Chip Cookie Rubric
Points Possible
The cookie is crispy on the outside, is chewy on the inside, and includes moistness but is not greasy. 
The cookie is whole, golden brown, 4" in diameter, with at least 4 visible chips. It is thicker in the center and thinner on the edges, uniquely shaped, and presented on an aesthetically pleasing plate or napkin.
The cookie is oven-fresh with a sweet, rich, buttery flavor. A
real chocolate taste in each bite complements the rich, flavored dough.
The cookie has a 50:50 dough-to-chip ratio. The chocolate chips are large chocolate chips. The chocolate chips are the
highest quality.
The cookie has a rich, buttery, and chocolaty smell from 6' away. The smell makes your mouth water and wants a cookie.


Writing Resources for Graduate Students

Citation Shortcuts
A number of resources exist to help students correctly cite resources in APA.  A few options for help with citations and formatting are:
  • There are websites that will allow you to enter the details of your resource and automatically provide you the correct format for your resource. Some will also scan your paper to ensure your citations and formatting are correct. A couple of these sites you might want to check out are:
BibMe (Links to an external site.)
Citation Machine (Links to an external site.)
  • The CLU Library has a tool that will automatically generate a correctly formatted citation for any resource you use from there:
  • The Writing Center will allow you to do a Grammar & Documentation review that will check your grammar and citation formatting and usage. Be sure to indicate that you're using APA if you use this service through the Writing Center.

Automatic Formatting in Microsoft Word
All students receive a free Office 365 account via their CLU email address. By signing in at (Links to an external site.) you can access all of the Microsoft Office applications by clicking on the Apps menu on the top left. 
Microsoft Word provides automatic formatting for in-text citations and your References page using APA format. Follow the instructions at this link (Links to an external site.) to use this tool when you draft assignments in Word.


Overview of Plagiarism
According to Turnitin, less than 15% of the document should be from sources. So, we could safely say that if it is a 1000 word paper (about 5 pages), fewer than 150 words can be direct quotes.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is an intentional and unintentional act of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. In academia, there are a few different ways students commit plagiarism.
1. Using someone else’s ideas and concepts without citing the sources
2. Using direct quotes without citing the sources
3. Using one’s own work in multiple assignments for separate grades (ex. Using parts of your discussion posts to make up a paper, using a paper from one course in another course, or using someone else’s work as your own for grades.
What is NOT plagiarism is
1. Asking a friend to read your paper for improvements
2. Hiring professional editors for EDITING purposes including proofreading
3. Asking your instructor to read for errors and improvements
4. Having a family member take a look for logical progression, grammar, proofreading purposes, and/or style.
The difference between the first list and the second list: The first list is comprised of mostly NOT YOUR WORK!
The second list is mostly YOUR WORK!
CLU's Plagiarism Policy
The Claremont Lincoln University catalog currently states that "The University recognizes that plagiarism is culturally defined. Consequently, students not experienced in the U.S. educational system may be asked to rewrite plagiarized work without the assumption of dishonest intent on the student’s part. Nevertheless, under no circumstances is plagiarized work acceptable, and all students are expected to learn what constitutes plagiarism in the U.S. educational context..... Consequences: If it is determined that cheating or academic dishonesty has taken place, the instructor will report the student’s name to the Dean. A letter regarding our academic dishonesty will be issued by the Dean. It will be placed in the student’s official file in the Office of Student Services and a copy will be sent to the student. The Dean is responsible for administering all penalties" (pg. 19-20).
You can see CLU's full plagiarism policy here:
Avoiding Plagiarism
How can we avoid plagiarism?
Solution for this problem:
  • Use proper citations
  • Do not let more than 15% of your paper be direct quotes
  • Provide original work for each assignment
 Plagiarism - Video Tutorial
Richards Digital Media (2017, September). Plagiarism video for schools. [Video]. YouTube

 Plagiarism - Additional Resources
In addition to the tips listed above, there are also websites that you can utilize to help check your work for plagiarism.  They are:
Unicheck Plagiarism Comparison Tool
Plagiarism comparison tools are an extremely effective way to review content and measure academic integrity. This is an incredible tool to provide more references and wider cross-reference repositories. 
With complete, dynamic, and intuitive reports, students and faculty can examine the amount of borrowed text. Unicheck highlights all the text matches, quotes, and references so it is easy to spot unoriginal text on each paper submitted.
Unicheck will provide students and faculty with accurate similarity scores by examining sources, quotes, bibliography, and self-plagiarism to receive relevant scores of text matches. Using the minimap to navigate will help faculty pinpoint areas in students’ papers that may need to be reviewed. Also, use this minimap to navigate faster and a commenting mode to share your feedback with students instantly. 
Using this tool, we can pay attention to the relevant data. The checker displays only meaningful matches and skips all those with common phrases.
 Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 3.35.23 PM.png
How Unicheck Works
When essay assignments are due, students will upload their own essays into Canvas (see instructions below), and Unicheck will generate an originality report identifying any borrowed material and its source. (You can also use this feature as a teaching tool to help students avoid plagiarizing. Just set the option to allow students to see the originality report and resubmit their essays prior to the due date.)
Setting Up Your Account
There is no need to set up an account. Unicheck is now accessible through Canvas.  
Enabling Unicheck in Canvas
Unicheck is ALREADY enabled. The Instructional Design Team has already taken care of the integration. 
Additional Resources
Unicheck Student Guide

Passive and Active Voice

If you are active, you are doing something. In active voice sentences, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb. In academic writing, we generally encourage you to use active voice, though there are exceptions. You may already be using active voice in most of your writing as it describes your thoughts, opinions, and reflections more accurately. 
Simple examples: 
The lady plays the piano.
The driver drove the car.
Some active verb tenses are:
Present (look), past (looked), future (will look), present progressive (is looking), past progressive (was looking), future progressive (will be looking), present perfect (have looked), past perfect (had looked), future perfect (will have looked)
If you are passive, something is done to you. In passive voice sentences, the subject is having the action done to it by something else. To form the passive voice, use the helping verb to be plus the past participle of the main verb. The verb to be can be in the present or past tense.
The piano is played by the lady. (is + played)
The car was driven by the driver. (was + driven)
In choosing to use passive or active, you must consider where you want your attention and emphasis in the sentence. In an active voice, the attention is on the subject and its actions. For example, Many organizations include meditation as an integral part of training their members. Emphasis is on the organizations, including *blank* (in this case, meditation), but the attention is not necessarily what they’re including. But if we restructure the sentence to be passive, the emphasis would be on meditation as part of organizational training. Ex: Meditation is included by many organizations as an integral part of training their members.
Be aware of the meaning you want to convey in a sentence, then carefully choose active or passive voice.
      Avoid This Common Passive Voice Mistake - Grammar Girl
Here is a simple exercise:
Identify each sentence as active or passive. 

Supports for Non-Native Speakers of English

The Writing Center now offers additional support for our diverse student population. 
Writing can be challenging; writing in a second language can be even harder. The CLU Writing Resource Network (WRN) is here to help!  In our technology-driven world, there are many online resources to assist in mastering the English language.  This module provides various tools to help in speaking, writing, and reading and helping you succeed. 


Writing for Audiences in US Academic Settings 

OwlPurdue. (2013, June).  Writing for audiences in US academic settings [Video]. YouTube.
How to Incorporate Audiences into your Writing

OwlPurdue. (2013, June). How to incorporate audiences into your writing.  [Video]. YouTube.
Audience:  Introduction and Overview


OwlPurdue. (2013, June). Audience:  Introduction and overview. [Video]. YouTube.
The following websites will assist with your grammar and mechanical skills:
  • The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers various free resources, including information on Grammar and Mechanics and English as a Second Language. Please visit this writing lab for details on adjectives, adverbs, articles, verbs, numbers, prepositions, pronouns, and more.
  • Dave's ESL Cafe'  offers numerous lessons about sentence structure, word use, and more.
  • Wyzant is a web resource designed with the ESL student in mind. Please visit this resource for mini-lessons to assist in mastering the English language.  Here you will find lessons on the parts of speech, vocabulary strategies, and much more.
  • Activities for ESL Students is an extensive, diverse collection of prescreened online activities for ESL students of all levels and their instructors and a link to The Internet TESL (teaching English as a second language) Journal.
The following websites will assist with vocabulary and writing:
  • Common Errors in English Usage is a companion site to Paul Brians’ book; this site highlights some of the most commonly misused and misunderstood aspects of English. 
  • Talk English helps students identify, integrate, and understand English through a series of exercises categorized into topics such as interview English, business English, travel English, and more.
  • Paradigm Online Writing Assistant is an award-winning online writer’s guide and handbook for writers at every level.
  • Visuwords allows you to see the connections between words.   Whether you are a native English speaker or a second language user this website will allow you to see and make a stronger connection to words. 
More resources: 
  • ESL Podcast is a series of podcasts to assist students to learn pronunciation and word usage in a conversational context. The podcasts use current events, pop culture, and typical social situations to illustrate concepts.

APA References