APA Formatting: An Introduction. Sonya C. Brown, Presenter A Writing Across the Curriculum Workshop Sponsored by a Title III Grant Fayetteville State University September 25, 2008. APA General Guidelines. APA=American Psychological Association
Sonya C. Brown, Presenter
A Writing Across the Curriculum Workshop
Sponsored by a Title III Grant
Fayetteville State University
September 25, 2008
APA=American Psychological Association
Information for this workshop comes from the 5th edition of the style manual.
APA is used by academics writing or teaching in the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology and social work, education, criminal justice, and others.
Some instructors may not require all portions or may want figures to be placed within the body. Check your assignment sheet or ask your instructor for details about your individual assignment.
Go to the Online Writing Lab at Purdue to see a sample Title Page: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01
Your title should be specific and suggest the results of your research. Here are some sample APA style titles to consider:
NOTE: Upper and lower case means first and significant words have capital letters at the beginning, as in
Revising the First Draft of an Essay
For his students at Illinois State University, Jeffrey H. Kahn has prepared a sample paper in APA format. The body of this “paper” explains the formatting and style.
See his .pdf file online at
Table 3: Number of students enrolled
Reminder: ALL use of sources should be cited with an in-text citation and entry on References page!
Joffrey and Sullivan (2005) note that “no causal relationship has been found between anemia and auto-immune dysfunction.”
Start such a block quotation on a new line, and indent the block about 1/2 in. (1.3 cm, or five space) from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph).
If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each additional 1/2 in. The entire quotation should be double- spaced. (2001, p. 117).
The APA style manual recommends limiting the length and number of direct quotations from previously published sources.
Place the author(s) and date(s) in parentheses at an appropriate place in or at the end of a sentence
Place only the date in parentheses
Integrate both the author and date into your sentence
Note that APA requires you to put page numbers for direct quotation, following the year: (Chasten, 2007, p. 121).
You can also include page numbers for paraphrase. Check with your instructor to see if s/he has a preference.
Wilson (2001) compared student scores...One study comparing student scores (Wilson, 2001) found that...In his 2001 study, Wilson found that...Hopewell High School is described (North Carolina School Directory, 2002)... Reviews were favorable ("Harmonious Galaxy," 2002)...Ms. Wright believes homework is necessary (personal communication, May 24, 2002).Madison referred to the Internet as "a highway to nowhere." (1990, p.21)North Carolina's Outer Banks are described as:
Fringing virtually the entire Atlantic coast of the state is a long chain of barrier islandsthe—Outer Banks—ranging in height from a few feet to more than 100 feet (30 meters) at Kill Devil Hill and Jockey's Ridge. From these banks, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear jut out into the ocean. Between the banks and the mainland are five sounds: Currituck, Albemarle, Pamlico, Core, and Bogue. ("North Carolina," 2002)
Try the first exercise on your handout to see if you can correctly locate and format an in-text citation.
Get the title from the title page, not the cover.
Spell out symbols (&=and)
Capitalize only the first letters of
the title's first word,
the word after a colon,
and acronyms (like NCDPI, OSHA, and FBI)
Sociology of sport medicine
Rites of spring
McCain seeks debate delay
Darkness at noon
Strange fits of passion
It’s almost impossible to memorize the format of every kind of source.
The library provides a list of external links to style manuals online.
Read through the manuals to determine what kind of source you have (an article in a scholarly journal v. a chapter in a book v. a website v. a pamphlet)
Provide as much information as possible, in the exact order and in the exact formatting as the model for that type of source.
Try the second exercise on your handout to see if you can use one of the online style guides to help you build entries for a References page.