KDSS Style Guide


1) Checking the Credibility of Websites

2) Plagiarism


1) Graphic Organizers

a. Regular essay

b. Comparison essay

  • Research Report
  • How to Organize your Report
  • The Outline
  • Lab Report
  • Rules of Punctuation
  • comma
  • apostrophe
  • hyphen
  • dash
  • colon
  • ellipsis
  • semi-colon
  • parentheses
  • quotation marks
  • square brackets
  • Common Errors in Written Work
  • The Comma Splice
  • Fragments
  • Run-on Sentences
  • Frequently Misspelled Homonyms and Horribly Abused Contractions
  • Literary Present
  • Transitional Words and Phrases
  • English
  • French
  • Formatting your Written Work
  • Common Marking Symbols
  • a) English

    b) French

  • Common Errors in the Essays
    • MLA Style Guide
    • Format
    • Works Cited
    • Documenting Sources
    • Quotations
    • Links
    • APA
    • Bibliography
    • Footnotes/Endnotes
    • Sample First Page
    • Sample Bibliography
    • Junior Essay example
    • Senior Essay example
    • Lab Report Outline

    1) Checking the Credibility of Websites

    When you are researching a topic for an assignment, you will want to use the internet. It is an amazing resource that allows us access to a staggering volume of information. However, not all the information is accurate or useful, and some websites are better than others. As a writer and a scholar, you need to care about the validity of the information you are using.

    Questions for consideration:
    1. Who is the sponsor of this site? A government, educational, or cultural webpage is likely to present accurate information. Look for the following address tags for safe sites:

    • gov
    • edu
    • org

    2. Who has created this site? What are his/her qualifications? You should be able to identify the author of the site and determine his or her background.

    3. How up-to-date is this information?

    4. Is this site well-organized and well-written? Beware of grammar and spelling errors in the writing-anyone who would publicize poorly written material is a questionable authority. Remember that ANYONE can publish on the internet and this opens the gate to a flood of ideas without the benefit of rigorous editing or peer review.

    5. Where do the links take you-do they give you access to more knowledge or is there a commercial, ideological or political agenda? Writers with agendas do not necessarily give the most balanced information, and, though their opinions may be useful, you as the researcher should know what the bias is.

    IMPORTANT: When citing internet sources you should also take note of:

    • Name of the "author"
    • Title of the website
    • Title of the database
    • Date of electronic publication
    • Always copy the URL and record the date that you accessed the website.

    2) Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the stealing of another person's ideas and words as your own. Plagiarism is theft. Plagiarism is copying. It is the failure to acknowledge borrowed material. Plagiarism is illegal, immoral, and punishable in colleges and universities by expulsion, and in the business world by legal action. Plagiarism refers to any written work, or visual resources related but not limited to computers, art, internet, translators, etc.

    Academic Effects of Plagiarism

    • The possibility of a pegged mark, or the maximum penalty of a zero on a culminating activity, resulting in failure of the class or course.
    • A long and frustrating search for your original sources.
    • The possibility of completing another assignment that may or may not be evaluated.
    • An embarrassing "discussion" with your teacher, your parents, the school administration.

    Plagiarism is:

    • Quoting the exact words said or written by another person without using quotation marks or indicating where you found them.
    • Using ideas or facts you found in someone else's work without indicating where you found them.
    • Not documenting the sources of your ideas, facts, or quotations properly.

    You are plagiarizing 
    if you quote directly from any source and don't enclose the quotations in quotations marks or show the source of the quotation.

    This is plagiarism:
    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

    This is not plagiarism:
    "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" ( Pride and Prejudice, 11) .

    FACTS :
    You are plagiarizing
    if you use facts and knowledge you found through research and you don't show the source of your facts.

    This plagiarism:
    Agar-agar is a gelatin-like substance made from algae.

    This is not plagiarism:
    Agar-agar is a gelatin-like substance made from algae
    (Encylopedia Britannica, vol. I, 139).

    You are even plagiarizing
    if you write out someone else's ideas in your own words.

    This is plagiarism:
    Most people agree that a rich, single man is probably looking for a wife.

    This is not plagiarism:
    Most people agree that a rich, single man is probably looking for a wife
    ( Pride and Prejudice, 11) .


    • Plan your work and time in order to complete assignments on time without cheating.
    • Keep careful research notes in a research folder.
    • Keep track of authors, titles, publishers, websites and dates of resources.
    • Learn how to reference sources properly using footnotes or parenthetical referencing.
    • Include a properly formatted bibliography or works cited list with every assignment.
    • Ask for help.

    1. Thanks to Mary Burbidge and St. Joseph Secondary School
    2. Coggins, Gordon. A Guide to Writing Essays and Research Essays . VanNostrand Reinhld Ltd., Toronto, 1977.

    1) Graphic Organizers
    a. Regular essay: Organizing the Information


    Regular Essay Outline
    Topic: _______________________________




    Blueprint: 1. 2.


    Blueprint point #1

    Topic Sentence:

    Proof #1

    Proof #2

    Proof #3

    Blueprint point #2

    Topic Sentence:

    Proof #1

    Proof #2

    Proof #3

    Blueprint point #3

    Topic Sentence:

    Proof #1

    Proof #2

    Proof #3


    Reworded Thesis:

    Reworded Blueprint:



    • A motivator should capture your reader's interest by saying something interesting about the topic.
    • A thesis is the main idea that you will be discussing in your essay.
    • The blueprint is a preview of the important ideas that will prove your thesis. You should write your second best idea first, your weaker idea next, then end with your best idea.
    • A topic sentence must contain a transition, a reminder of your thesis, and a clear statement of the important idea of your paragraph.
    • A reworded thesis reminds the reader of your original thesis but you are using different words so that your essay will not seen boring.
    • A reworded blueprint reminds the reader of the important ideas that you used to prove your thesis. Again, use different wording to prevent boredom.

    Comparison Essay - Organization of Rough Notes

    Text A

    Points of Comparison

    Text B

    Comparison Essay Outline: Remember that this is simply the broad, point form map of your essay's structure. It's to help you stay focused and coherent, to make sure that you pull your thesis into your paragraphs, to remind you to pull your topic sentences into your paragraphs. You should also be willing to expand the essay beyond five paragraphs-don't be afraid to add another point-of-comparison or break up a longer paragraph!

    MEMO: include thesis and sub-topics only in your outline

    Point-of-comparison A: __________________________________________________________

    Item 1 is:


    Item 2 is:


    Highlight similarities or differences:

    Point-of-comparison B: _________________________________________________________

    Item 1:


    Item 2:


    Highlight similarities or differences:

    Point-of-comparison C: _________________________________________________________

    Item 1:


    Item 2:


    Highlight similarities or differences:


    Research Report - How to Organize your Report

    A report is a document that provides information to its readers. An informational report presents the facts but does not analyze them. An analytical report presents the facts in the report and then also makes recommendations or analyzes the information that is presented.

    Parts of a Report

    • Summary
    • the summary provides an overview of what the report is about; usually one paragraph long.
    • Introduction
    • follows the summary
    • includes information on the purpose of the report, the background of the report and how the information for the report was gathered.
    • Body of the Report
    • this is the research section of the report.
    • in informational reports, the information is presented in point form
    • in analytical reports, the information includes a discussion of the facts presented
    • subheadings are used to divide up the information
    • Conclusion/Recommendation
    • short informational reports do not contain either conclusions or recommendations; analytical reports have one or both of these
    • a conclusion are explanations about the research; recommendations are possible solutions or next steps in the process

    Research Report Outline

    Research Report on (insert subject)

    Prepared by:

    (your name)

    Prepared for:

    (teacher's name)



    A. Summary


    B. Introduction


    C. Research on Bullying

    1. (sub-heading)



    2. (sub-heading)


    3. (sub-heading)


    4. (sub-heading)


    D. Conclusion


    (Works Cited page to go next on a separa te page)

    Rules of Punctuation

    A. The Comma

    The comma is one of the most common types of punctuation. The main uses are listed below.

    • Use a comma before and, but, or other coordinating conjunctions in order to separate main clauses.

    My essay is finished, but it has no works cited page.

    • Use a comma to separate items in a series.

    My job involves cleaning, sorting, and re-stocking shelves.

    • Use a comma to separate two or more adjectives.

    A tall, dark stranger stood waiting at my door.

    • Use a comma when a sentence opens with material that is useful or explanatory, but not crucial to the form or content of the sentence.

    When the bell rang, the teacher asked us to take our seats.

    • Use a comma around non-essential elements of a sentence.

    The school, which is located across the street, is not open today.

    B. The Apostrophe

    The apostrophe is used to show possession, to pluralize some numbers or letters and to form contractions.

    • Use an apostrophe to show possession.

    a)for singular words: add -"s

    my brother's glasses

    b)for plural words ending in -s: add -" only

    students' essays

    c)for plural words not ending in -s: add -"s

    children's bookstore

    d)compound words: add -"s only to the last word

    my sister-in-law's house

    • Use an apostrophe to pluralize numbers, letters, or abbreviations.

    The story takes place in the 1980's.

    My report card is full of A's and B's.

    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions. However, contractions are not to be used in formal writing assignments.

    Cannot = can't is not = isn't

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