Skip to Main Content
COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)

COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)

APA Style 7th Edition

Why do We Cite Sources?

Citing your sources in college assignments gives you credibility.

Citations are essential to demonstrate the quality of your research, allow your readers to access the original source, and avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit for the words, works, and ideas of others. 

APA Style YouTube Videos

APA Style Guides


Sample APA Outline 


Banning Jet Skis

Viviana Morello

General Purpose:

To persuade

Specific Purpose:

To persuade my listeners that jet skis should be prohibited in national and state parks

Thesis Statement:

Jet skis should be banned in national and state parks because they make too much noise, harm the environment, and harass wildlife.



  1. Attention Material
  1. Describe jet ski

1. Some people love them and want to use them on all waterways.

2. Other people hate them and want them banned.

B. I have a love/hate relationship with them.

1. I enjoyed driving a jet ski on the ocean a few years ago.

2. But my vacation recently at a beautiful lake was marred by the constant noise of jet skis.

  1. Orienting Material

  1. More than 1.3 million jet skis (also called personal watercraft) are in use, with annual sales of about 200,000—one-third of all boat sales.
  2. Jet skis should be banned from lakes and other waterways in national and state parks because they make too much noise, pollute air and water, and harass wildlife.
  3. However, I am in favor of permitting them on the ocean and private lakes, provided they stay away from shallow water.
  4. My information comes from The National Parks and Conservation Association; the Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. Joanna Burger, professor of biology at Rutgers University, and Dr. Ken Cordell, wildlife expert at the University of Georgia.

(Transition:  Let’s examine the first reason why jet skis should be banned.}


I. Jet skis destroy peace and quiet.

A. People go to national and state parks to get away from noise and enjoy the sounds of nature.   

B. A jet ski makes loud, intrusive noise.

1. A person on shore 100 feet away hears 80 decibels (equivalent to a police siren).

2. Two or more jet skis traveling together can create over 100 decibels (equivalent to standing next to a chainsaw).

3. These decibel levels were figured by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.


(Transition: While jet skis are creating noise, they are also creating an environmental mess.)

II. Jet skis cause serious pollution of air and water.

A. One day’s worth of jet ski production of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide equals what a car would produce in 100,000 miles.   

B. Jet skis have inefficient, two-stroke engines, which dump up to one-third of their fuel—unburned.      

C. Each year 165 million gallons of oil are spilled into U.S. waterways by jet skis.          

D. Jet ski emissions can harm humans, animals, and plants, says the Environmental Protection Agency.   

E. A lot of the toxic chemicals are long-lived.   

1. Example: polycyclic hydrocarbons can kill zooplankton, an important part of the food chain.

2. In lakes that have heavy jet ski traffic, fish populations have declined.

(Transition: Pollution is not the only way that jet skis harm animals.)

III. Jet skis harass wildlife.

A. They are so small, they can enter shallow waters.      

B. These waters are used by wildlife for reproduction and nesting.         

C. Jet skis cause alarm and flight and sometimes death, says Dr. Burger.

1. Many birds abandon their nests permanently.

2. This exposes their young to predators and bad weather.

(Transition: Let’s summarize.)


  1. Summary
  1. Jet skis should not be allowed in national and state parks.
  2. They create noise, cause pollution, and harass wildlife.

  1. Clincher
  1. Please sign a petition that I will send to our U.S. and state legislators asking them to support a ban.
  2. When we go to these parks, we have a right to find peace and quiet.


Burger, Joanna, Ph.D., professor of biology at Rutgers University. E-mail interview. 5 Oct. 2000.

Clemans, John. “Bluewater Blues.” Motor Boating & Sailing Mar. 2000: 56.

“Guide to Personal Watercraft.” National Parks and Conservation Association (Internet site at Retrieved 14 Sept. 2000. (The article includes research by the Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. Joanna Burger, professor of biology at Rutgers University, and Dr. Ken Cordell, wildlife expert at the University of Georgia.)

Shaw, Robinson. “Environmental Group Pushes Government to Rid National Parks of Watercraft.” Environmental News Network (press release). 3 Sept. 2000.


Photo of a jet ski on a lake (PowerPoint slide)

Poster showing three main points