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APA Guidelines

APA Guidelines

APA Style Guide

 

Definitions

A citation reflects all of the information a person would need to locate a particular source. For example, basic citation information for a book consists of name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), title of the book, name of publisher, place of publication, and most recent copyright date.

A citation style (such as “APA” or “MLA”) dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

A bibliography is an organized list of citations.

In an annotated bibliography, each citation is followed by a brief note—or annotation—that describes and/or evaluates the source and the information found in it.

A works cited (MLA style) or references (APA style) list presents citations for those sources referenced or cited in a particular paper, presentation, or other composition.

An in-text citation consists of just enough information to correspond to a source’s full citation in a Works Cited or References list. In-text citations often require a page number (or numbers) showing exactly where relevant information was found in the original source.

An abstract is a summary of an article or other work and cannot be used as if it were the full text. You should not reference or cite an abstract in a paper or presentation, but instead find the full text.

APA Style Guide

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for students, in the social and behavioral sciences.  It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language.  Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication.

This manual is available in the library under the call number – BF76.7 .P83 2010

Some key points to style research papers according to APA style

General Guidelines

  • Essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1″ margins on all sides. Use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Include a page header (also known as the “running head“) at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper’s title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
  • Essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

The Title Page

  • The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation.

Abstract

  • Begin a new page. Abstract page should already include the page header. On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
  • Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of the research (Do not indent). Abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. Abstract should be a single paragraph double-spaced, between 150 and 250 words.

Main Body

  • In-Text Citation – When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
  • APA does not recommend the use of footnotes and endnotes
  • Content Notes provide supplemental information to your readers. When providing Content Notes, be brief and focus on only one subject.
  • If quoting more than 500 words of published material, get the formal permission of the author(s). All other sources simply appear in the reference list.
  • Interviews cannot be quoted verbatim.
  • Tables are inserted into Appendices at the end of the paper
  • APA Style uses a unique headings system to separate and classify paper sections. There are 5 heading levelsin APA. Regardless of the number of levels, always use the headings in order, beginning with level 1. The format of each level is illustrated below:
APA Headings
Level  Format
  1    Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings
  2 Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
  3   Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the period.
  4   Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the period.
  5   Indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the period.
  • Thus, if the article has four sections, some of which have subsections and some of which don’t, use headings depending on the level of subordination. Section headings receive level one format. Subsections receive level two formats. Subsections of subsections receive level three formats.

References

  • Reference list should appear at the end of the It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in the reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in the text.
  • References should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page “References” centered at the top of the page (do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of the
  • All lines after the first line of each entry in the reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Authors’ names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including seven authors. If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author’s name. After the ellipses, list the last author’s name of the work.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Present the journal title in full.
  • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
    • For example: ReCALL not RECALLor Knowledge Management Research & Practice not Knowledge Management Research and Practice.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or Web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word.
  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.

Reference for Books

Example – Single Author – Last name first, followed by author initials.

Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 7-10.

Example – Two authors – List by their last names and initials. Use the ampersand instead of “and.”

Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994). Mood management across affective states: The hedonic contingency hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 1034-1048.

Reference for Periodicals

  • APA style dictates that authors are named last name followed by initials; publication year goes between parentheses, followed by a period. The title of the article is in sentence-case, meaning only the first word and proper nouns in the title are capitalized. The periodical title is run in title case, and is followed by the volume number which, with the title, is also italicized.

Example – Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy

Reference List – Electronic sources

  • Online articles follow the same guidelines for printed articles. Include all information the online host makes available, including an issue number in parentheses.

Examples – Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume  number (issue number if available). Retrieved from
http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving

      Article from a database

  • When referencing a print article obtained from an online database (such as a database in the library), provide appropriate print citation information (formatted just like a “normal” print citation would be for that type of work). By providing this information, you allow people to retrieve the print version if they do not have access to the database from which you retrieved the article. You can also include the item number or accession number or database URL at the end, but the APA manual says that this is not required.

Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2013, March 3). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

For more information visit:  https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/