This module is designed to show the basic elements of APA style writing and provide examples of appropriate APA guidelines Sixth Edition of the APA Manual

This module is designed to show the basic elements of APA style writing and provide examples of appropriate APA guidelines Sixth Edition of the APA Manual

APA Style and Formatting

American Public University System

American Military University American Public University

Updated 08/10

APA Style and Formatting

This module is designed to show the basic elements of APA style writing and provide examples of appropriate APA guidelines; however, it is not intended as an exhaustive reference guide.

(Sixth Edition – 2010)

Why Use APA?

APA writing style is used to assist in the formatting and organization of written work for the presentation of ideas

APA rules permit uniformity of many styles to one consistent style

APA (Sixth Edition) has broadened its audience since it is consulted not only by psychologists but also by students & researchers in many fields such as business, education, social work, nursing and many other behavioral and social sciences

Basic APA paper consist of:

The title page

Abstract (optional – ask instructor)

Text of the paper

Reference page

The Title Page

APA requires five basic elements to your title page:

Running head: TITLE OF PAPER 1

 

Title of Paper

Author’s Name

American Public University

2. Title should typed in upper and lower letters, centered and positioned in the upper half of page

Running head is aligned on the left margin on the same line as page number (page number is flush right margin). Should read “Running head: <space> Notice the Running head is flush left and the page number is flush right on the same line. They are permanent. (NOTE: “Running head:” should appear before the short title in the header on the title page only. Thereafter, the short title should appear in the header on its own appearing on each page of the paper with only page numbers changing). The title should be no more than 12 words in length and should not contain abbreviations. All letters of the title are capitalized. Headers must be PERMANENT. The Title page is always page 1. “Running head:” should appear before the short title in the header on the title page only. Thereafter, the short title should appear in the header on its own.

The Cover Page (or Title Page) is always page 1.

3. Author’s Name

4. Institution affiliation

#5: Sixth Edition requires an author’s note which is not needed for essay papers.

Elements of the header

Elements of the running head:

Aligned on left margin on same line as page number

(page number is flush right).

The word “Running” is capitalized, but the word “head “ is not. Place a colon (:) following the word head

“Running head:” should appear before the short title in the header on the title page only

Thereafter, the short title should appear in the header on its own appearing on each page of the paper with only page numbers changing)

The running head title (not to exceed 12 words in length and should not contain abbreviations ) is written in all capital letters.

Headers must be PERMANENT.

See 8.03 APA Manual (Sixth Edition)

6

Title

The title is typed in uppercase and lowercase letters and must be centered in the upper half of your cover page.

Capitalize the significant words of the title. Do not capitalize words such as: the, in, of, or, and, unless the word is the first word in the title.

If the title contains two lines of text, double spacing between the lines is required.

See 2.01 APA Manual (Sixth Edition)

7

Byline, Affiliation, Course Instructor, and Date

Byline refers to the name of the person who is submitting the paper.

Type the byline in upper and lower case letters directly below the title and centered on the page. Following the student name, the student number should be listed in parenthesis. Example: Wesley G. Smith (001435)

Affiliation refers to the institution for which the paper was created. The affiliation is the name of the university. Type the affiliation in upper and lower case letters directly below the byline and centered on the page. Example: American Military University

Type the instructor’s name in upper and lower case letters below the affiliation information. Example: Professor Marie Bolyard

Type the date directly below the instructor name. Example: 03/10/09

Abstract

Some papers require an Abstract

TITLE OF PAPER 2

Abstract

This is a summary, not an introduction of the paper. This is one of the few times an indent is not required. The length of the abstract is one paragraph (double spaced) and should consist of 150-250 words.

Running head is permanent, therefore, will appear at the top of the page.

The Abstract page is always number 2

The abstract (in block format) begins on the line following the Abstract heading. The abstract is a one-paragraph, self-contained summary of the most important elements of the paper.

The word “Abstract” is centered

on the page

The length of the abstract should

Be one paragraph and consist of

150-250 words

No indention is needed. This is one

of the few times an indent is not

required

Basic Writing Components

Title: Name your paper. The title can “hook” your readers.

Introduction Paragraph: Tell the readers what you are about to tell them. The thesis statement is often the last sentence of the first paragraph.

Thesis Statement: Essentially, a thesis statement

answers the question, “What do I want my readers

to know after they have read my essay?”

Body: Discuss topic. The number of paragraphs will depend

on the length and complexity of your paper.

Concluding Paragraph: A short summary. Do not introduce

any new information.

Writing Tips

Brainstorming: Before beginning to write, take the time to put your ideas on paper. Mind-mapping and list-making are two useful brainstorming techniques.

Organizing: Plan your paper or assignment. This may be as simple as a chronological list of your points or as elaborate as a formal outline.

Multiple Drafts: Professional writers create multiple drafts of their writing. You should too.

Extra Time: Quality writing takes time – lots of time.

Build in a cushion of extra time.

Allow Time Between Drafts: While a break of

twenty-four hours or more is ideal, a thirty minute

break will yield positive results.

Help From Others: Being mindful of plagiarism

and academic honesty, request proofreading help.

Writing Tips

Use Formal Voice: Academic writing is more formal than

casual conversations, emails, and instant messages.

Complete Sentences: Write in complete sentences.

Complete sentences contain both subjects and verbs.

Subject-Verb Agreement: Be sure your subject and

verb agree. For example, “we are” rather than “we is,”

“they did” rather than “they done.”

Verb Tense and Active Voice: Limit shifts in verb tense,

and use active voice rather than passive voice.

Awkward Phrasing: Use standard English phrasing.

For example, “try to do” rather than “try and do,”

“we went” rather than “us went.”

Long Paragraphs Preferred: Be sure your ideas are

fully developed in each of your paragraphs. This

usually results in paragraphs of five or more sentences.

Writing Tips

Full Wording Rather Than Contractions: Convert contractions

to their complete word-partner. For example:

it’s = it is

won’t = will not

haven’t = have not

Homonyms: Homonyms are words that sound alike but are

spelled differently and have different definitions. For example,

new and knew, your and you’re, and know and no.

Non-words: Ensure that all your words are standard

English words. For example, “alot” is not a word.

Frequently Misspelled Words: Be alert for commonly

confused words. For example, possess and posses,

a lot and allot, definitely and defiantly, and their

and there.

etc.: Avoid using etc. at the end of a list unless it

is part of the quotation.

Writing Tips

Use 3rd person point of view (unless opinion paper): Avoid pronouns such as I, we, my, our (1st person) and you, yours, your, us, we (2ndperson). Deal with facts, thus, providing citations within paper and reference page. Focus on subject; not

feelings about the subject. The use of 3rd person retains a formal tone:

Academic writing is more formal than casual conversation.

Parenthesis: Parentheses are most often used

in citations. Before using them in other applications,

consult the APA handbook for guidance.

Commas and Introductory Phrases: Usually

commas are placed between an introductory phrase

and the main sentence; however, commas are rarely

used to separate a concluding phrase.

Colon: Colons should only be used when the

introductory phrase is a complete sentence.

Semicolon: Semicolons are used to either connect

two complete sentences, or to connect a list

that contains commas.

Slashes: Use dashes rather than slashes.

Writing Tips

Punctuation when ending a Quote: If quotation is at the end of a sentence, close quote with quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses, and end with a period or other punctuation outside the final parenthesis. If quote is in mid-sentence, close quote with quotation marks, cite the source immediately after the quotation marks, and continue the sentence. (6.03)

Question Marks and Quotation Marks:

Place question marks outside the quotation mark

unless the question mark is part of the quotation.

Single Quotation Marks: The only time you use

single quotation marks is inside of double quotation

marks.

Exclamation Points: Exclamation points should not be

used unless the exclamation point is part of a quotation.

Titles of Books and Magazines: Italicize

the title of books and magazines.

Bold: Use italicizing to emphasize

words rather than Bold Type Style.

Spell-Checker, Grammar-Checker, and You

Use your word processor’s spell-checker

and grammar-checker to catch common

mistakes. Remember, these are tools and

neither is perfect.

Spell-checkers identify the words in its dictionary

but can not identify correct contextual spelling.

Grammar-checkers may fail to identify incorrect

punctuation or usage. It may also highlight

correct usage and punctuation.

You must follow along behind them to

ensure that the spelling and grammar

are correct.

Body of the Paper

The body must conform to many guidelines:

TITLE OF PAPER 3

Title of paper centered

Body of the paper requires many set rules and guidelines. The examples shown are not to scale, therefore, you must visit the online library for exact placement within your paper.

Be sure to consult all APA guidelines in all aspects of your paper.

Center the title at the top of page. The title is written in uppercase and lowercase letters.

Helpful tips:

*Tables (if applicable) are numbered sequentially and

labeled

*Illustrations are also individually numbered and

treated like tables

Margins are set at 1 inch at top, bottom,

left and right

All text is double spaced

Clearly visible type, i.e. 12 point

Times Roman

Paragraphs are indented ½ inch

General Formatting Information

Begin writing your paper on page two unless there is an Abstract or Table of Contents (the cover page is page one). The page header on the top right hand side must reflect page two on the same line with the running head.

Center the title at the top of page two directly under the 1” margin. The title is written in uppercase and lowercase letters.

Margins are set at one inch (top, bottom, left, and right).

Double space the entire paper.

Use a typeface of 12-point Times New Roman

Indent the first line of every paragraph five spaces or ½ inch.

Type the entire paper left aligned.

There are specific guidelines when writing an APA style paper.

Center the title at the top of page two (page 3 if there is an Abstract). The title is written in uppercase and lowercase letters. (3.03)

Double space entire paper (8.03)

Use 1 inch margins (8.03)

Text is left aligned (8.03)

Two spaces after sentence terminator – rather than one (New Sixth Edition Change) (4.01)

12 point font (new Sixth Edition of APA requires New Times Roman only) and black ink (8.03)

Same font throughout with the exception of italicizing (8.03) (1) introducing a key term you wish to emphasize(4.21) (2) titles of books, periodicals, films, videos, TV shows and microfilm publications (4.21) (there are more in-depth examples if you would like to reference 4.21 in New Sixth Edition of APA Manual)

First sentence of a paragraph must be indented (8.03) (with the exception of the Abstract) (2.04)

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Writing the Paper

APA writing should be straightforward with an active voice – i.e., “Jones developed the project..” as opposed to the passive voice – i.e. “The project was developed by Jones…”

Use past tense when describing earlier research

Spell out on first use of an acronym (example: American Military University (AMU) – first use. Next time referenced in paper use AMU.

Quotes of 40 words or more

Block quotations of 40 words or more: Indent (as if a new paragraph) and continue to make each line of the quote begin in the same place, creating a straight line on the left side of the quotation, while the right side is jagged. If more than one paragraph for the blocked quote, indent the first line of each paragraph an additional half inch. Double space entire quote.

Do NOT use quotation marks for the entire quotation. For quotations within that quotation, use normal quotation marks, not single ones.

Remember, you must still give credit for the source. Place periods or commas within quotation marks when they are part of the quoted material. At end of quote, place period then page number. Example: …… placebo effect. (p. 276)

Citations – Giving credit where credit is due

It is very important to give proper credit when words or thoughts are not ours originally.

Citing the source means mentioning the author/s within the text so the reader can look up the source at the back of the paper.

APA has very specific ways this must be done. The model must be followed exactly. With a little practice, citing sources gets easier!

Approximately 14 million women in the United States are battling with the disease Anorexia Nervosa, AN, which is described as “one of the least understood and most intractable of all mental illnesses” (Schindehette, Sandler, Nelson & Seaman, 2003, p. 136). – this is an example of a direct quote.

Many of the victims of this disease will battle it for the rest of their lives. However, if AN is diagnosed early, during the teen years, it is possible to cure it with appropriate treatment (Cooper, 2001). – this is an example of a paraphrase

21

Parenthetical Citations

APA relies on in-text citations within the narrative.

Quotations call for the addition of pagination at the end of the quote (p. #) and can take two forms:

Author mentioned: According to Shakespeare (1598),”The quality of mercy is not strained” (pp. 63-64).

– Author not mentioned: As indicated, “If they prick me, do I not bleed” (Shakespeare, 1598, p. 82).

Paraphrasing does not require the addition of pagination indicators, but these are encouraged.

Guidelines for Citing References

Keep the format simple

No retrieval dates needed unless the source material may change over time.

For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned. Database names are not needed.

If no DOI assigned, provide the URL of the journal or book publisher.

Discontinued journals, monographs, dissertations, or papers not formally published (archival documents), give the URL for the online archive.

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The digital object identifier (DOI) is an alphanumeric string identifying content providing a link to location on the Internet. Give DOI for journal articles, books, or book chapters accessed online. No period at the end of the string. Do not use the phrase retrieved from. Do not give a retrieval date. The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice.

Lee, C. (2009, September 21). Re: A DOI Primer [Web log message].

To Search for a DOI

To search for DOIs, use CrossRef. The free DOI lookup (http://www.crossref.org/guestquery/ ) searches for DOIs using information such as article title, authors, and publisher information.

Or cut and paste your entire reference list into the Simple Text Query form (http://www.crossref.org/SimpleTextQuery/) and CrossRef will return all available DOIs at once.

Lee, C. (2009, September 21). Re: A DOI Primer [Web log message].

Reference Page

The word “References” should appear at the top center of the page. Entries are double spaced with the top line justified to the left. Additional lines of each reference are indented (hanging indent).

Example:

References

Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building digital

archives. New York: Neal- Schuman.

References are alphabetized

References are in alphabetical order by author(s) last name on the reference page; list last name, then first and middle initial only. If no author is provided, use the first character of the title.

Only list the last name of an author or authors followed by initials for the first and middle names. Do not write out first and middle names. For example: Marcia L. Conner would be listed as Conner, M. L.

Do not list the author as anonymous or unknown unless that is the way the author is listed on the source. Use a title as stated above.

Insert the publication date in parentheses following the author.

Insert the publication date in parentheses following the author.

The date (in parentheses is always the second part of a reference).

List the date as follows:

(year). For example: (2009).

(year, month). For example: (2007, January). Note: Do not use month abbreviations.

(year, month day). For example: (1998, June 16).

(n.d.). Use n.d. for works which do not contain a publication date.

What to italicize

Italicize the name of books, journals, and magazines, but do not italicize the name of an article.

For example:

Book: Learn more now: 10 simple ways to learning better, smarter & faster.

Journal: Journal of Social Psychology

Magazine: Newsweek

Example of a Book Reference

Last name, Initials. (yyyy published).

Book title. Place of Publication:

Publisher.

Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building digital

archives. New York: Neal-

Schuman.

Example Book Reference from Website

Last name, Initials. (yyyy published).

Book title. Retrieved from http://www.xxx

Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building digital

archives. Retrieved from http://www.xxx

Note: Database names are no longer needed such as ProQuest or EBSCO.

Example Book Reference w/DOI

Last name, Initials. (yyyy published).

Book title. doi:xxxxx

Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building digital

archives. doi:xxxxx

Note: For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned. Database names are no longer needed such as ProQuest or EBSCO.

Example of a Reference for a Journal Article

Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal

volume). Article title. Journal, volume

number, (issue number), pages

Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic

schizophrenia. British Journal of

Psychiatry, 96(1), 171-177

It should be noted using the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss., or Pages, p. or pp. are not acceptable in the citation. Also, the journal title and volume number are italicized.

Example Reference Journal Article w/DOI

Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal

volume). Article title. Journal, volume

number, (issue number), pages. doi: xx.xxxxx

Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic

schizophrenia. British Journal of

Psychiatry, 96(1), 171-177. doi: xx.xxxx

Note: For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned. Database names are no longer needed such as ProQuest or EBSCO.

It should be noted using the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss., or Pages, p. or pp. are not acceptable in the citation. Also, the journal title and volume number are italicized.

Example Reference Journal Article w/out DOI

Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal

volume). Article title. Journal, volume

number, (issue number), pages. Retrieved

from http://xxxxxxx

Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic

schizophrenia. British Journal of

Psychiatry, 96(1), 171-177. Retrieved from

http://xxxxxxx

 

 

Note: If no DOI assigned, provide the URL of the journal or book publisher. Database names are no longer needed such as ProQuest or EBSCO.

It should be noted using the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss., or Pages, p. or pp. are not acceptable in the citation.

 

Additional Examples

The new Sixth Edition of the APA Manual has many examples of the various types of references including: periodicals, books, technical & research reports, meetings & symposia, doctoral dissertations & master’s theses, reviews & peer commentary, audiovisual media, data sets, software, internet message boards, electronic mailing lists and other sources.

 

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