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APA at a Glance. A guide to in-text and reference citation methods By Laura Burrows, Tutor & Michael Frizell, Director. Empirical Reports: *Title Page *Abstract *Introduction Methods Results Discussion *References *Appendicies. Literature Reviews:

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apa at a glance

APA at a Glance

A guide to in-text and reference citation methods

By Laura Burrows, Tutor &

Michael Frizell, Director

empirical vs literature review
Empirical Reports:

*Title Page








Literature Reviews:

A literature review follows APA citation style only

Most still use a cover page

Some professors may request an abstract

They will include a reference page

Empirical vs. Literature Review
  • *indicates section begins a new page. Each section listed requires a level-one heading.
title page
Header: Right-hand corner, 1-3 words, capitalization rules apply

Page number: five spaces from text of header

Running head: Actually type the words “Running head,” followed by a colon, then an abbreviated version of the title in all caps

No more than 50 characters, spaces included




Title Page
apa page setup headers
APA Page Setup - Headers
  • Headers appear at the top right-hand side of every page, including the title page.


Biology and Personality 12

order of pages
Order of Pages:

Title Page

  • Abstract
  • Body
  • References
  • Appendixes
  • Footnotes
  • Tables
  • Figure Captions
  • Figures


Level One is Centered and Capitalized

Level Two is Centered and Capitalized

Level Three is Left-Aligned and Capitalized

Level four is tabbed once from the left and punctuated.

order of level use
Order of Level Use
  • Despite their numbering, Levels are not used in order. Which levels are used depends on the total number in the section. Levels appear in this order:
    • For a paper with only one level, use Level 1.
    • For a paper with two levels, use Level 1 and Level 3.
    • For a paper with three levels, use Level 1, Level 3, and Level 4.
    • For a paper with four levels, use Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4, respectively.
    • For a paper with all five levels, Level 5 appears first, followed by Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4.
apa page setup margins
APA Page Setup - Margins
  • 1” on every side of the document.
  • Microsoft Word default is 1.25” for left and right margins.
    • Use Page Setup under the File menu to change margin settings.
apa page setup spacing
APA Page Setup - Spacing
  • Spacing is double from the beginning of the paper to the end, including headings, quotations, and the References list.
  • One space follows all punctuation, do not space after internal periods in abbreviations (i.e., a.m.) or after a colon in a ration (i.e., 2:1)
  • 12 point font
as a general rule
As a General Rule…
  • Active voice: As a general rule, use the active voice rather than the passive voice. For example, use "We predicted that ..." rather than "It was predicted that ..."
apa style in text citations
APA Style – In-Text Citations
  • Ideally, no more than 25 percent of your paper should be direct quotations.
  • Paraphrase as much as you can.
  • Use direct quotations when citing a statistic or original theory
  • Use author's words if they capture a point exactly.
in text citation methods
In-Text Citation Methods
  • APA citations require the following:
    • Author(s) surname (excluding titles, Jr., or II)
    • Year of Publications
    • Page number (for direct quotes)
types of citations
Direct Quotes

Participants had demonstrated “words can be successfully ignored if the task conditions are right” (Strafford & Gurney, 2004, p. 977).

Stroop (1935) noted there commonly occurred a “sex difference in naming colors” (p. 21).


Some studies have suggested reading may not be an automatic process (Strafford & Gurney, 2004).

Stroop (1935) examined potential factors for the different reaction times his participants exhibited.

Types of Citations
number of authors
Parenthetical Citations:

One author:

(Stroop, 1935)

Two authors:

(Strafford & Gurney, 2004)

Three to five authors:

First citation: (Risko, Stolz, & Besner, 2005)

Subsequent citations: (Risko et al., 2005)

Six or more authors:

(Smith et al., 2004)*

* In the reference page, list up to six authors, and use ‘et al.’ after the sixth

As part of narrative:

One author:

Stroop (1935)

Two authors:

Strafford and Gurney (2004)

Three to five authors:

First citation: Risko, Stolz, and Besner (2005)

Subsequent citations: (Risko et al., 2005)**

Six or more authors:

Smith et al. (2004)

** It doesn’t matter if the first citation is parenthetical or part of the narrative; any subsequent citations, parenthetical or otherwise, will be listed with the ‘et al.’ abbreviation.

Number of Authors
exceptions and special cases
When two works with three or more authors shorten to the same abbreviation, use enough authors to distinguish between them:

(Smith, Jones, & Madson, 2004) and (Smith, Johnson, & Jones, 2004)

Shorten to: (Smith, Jones, et al., 2004) and (Smith, Johnson, et al., 2004)

DO NOT change the order of the authors! They must be represented as they are credited in the study.

When two different works have the same author and the same year:

(Smith, 2005a) and (Smith, 2005b)

Works will be listed as they appear in the reference pages

When two different authors have the same surname:

(A. Smith, 2005) and (C. D. Smith, 1995)

Even if the date of publication differs, distinguish between the two authors by including first initials

Exceptions and Special Cases
more citation rules
Multiple Studies in one Citation:

By the same author:

Order by year of publication:

(Skinner, 1966, 1981)

By multiple authors:

Order as references appear in Reference* page:

(Branch, 1980; Carlson, 2001; Todd & Morris, 2005)

One author cited multiple times in one paragraph:

If there is no possibility of confusion, only cite the year in the first citation*

*Once a new paragraph begins, the study must be fully cited again

More Citation Rules
  • *If one citation is more significant, it may be listed first, with a phrase such as “see also” inserted to
  • separate the others: (Zimmerman, 1993; see also Branch, 1980; Smith, 2001)
citation rules cont d
Anonymous authors:

Cite with ‘anonymous’ as author:

(Anonymous, 1994)

Unknown authors:

Cite the first few words of the title, along with the year:

For articles or chapters, use quotes: (“Cognitive dissonance,” 2004)

For titles of periodicals, books, brochures or reports, use italics: (Psychology, 2005)

Personal communications (i.e. letters, interviews, memos, emails, telephone conversations, etc.):

(A. F. Butan, personal communication, October 25, 2005)

Note: do not include personal communications in the reference list

Citation Rules, cont’d…
citation rules cont d18
Groups as Authors:

When a group or corporation has a long name and a common or easily understood abbreviation:

First citation: (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2000)

Subsequent citations: (NIMH, 2000)

Unknown date:

Cite with abbreviation “n.d.” for works with no known publication date:

(Samson, n.d.)

Citation Rules, cont’d…
citing web pages
The in-text citation of web-based material follows the same rules of citation of other materials:

If no author, use the first few words of title: (“Chimps,” 2005).

If no date, use the abbreviation “n.d.” : (Johnson, n.d.)

Direct quotes of web-based documents:

Since websites do not include page numbers, cite the paragraph number if possible:

(Kirby, 2004, para. 5)

Cite the sub-section and paragraph number if possible:

(“Snakes,” n.d., Care and Feeding section, para. 4)

Note: when a web-based source is printed, the top of the page will include a number for the purpose of printing, i.e. “1 of 3.” These are NOT the page numbers of the document and should not be cited as such.

Citing Web Pages
reference list
Reference lists should be alphabetized by the last name of the first authors listed. Remember, you can not change the order of authors within the study!

Nothing precedes something:

Green, E. C. (2000).

Greene, B. A. (1994).

Harrison, M. R. (2004).

Harrison, M. R., & Blake, C. D. (2001)

Multiple works by same author:

One author: arrange chronologically

Blake, B. R. (1990)

Blake, B. R. (1993)

One author, same year: order by title

Blair, S. M. (2000a). Care and feeding…

Blair, S. M. (2000b). Observations…

Reference List
samples of common types of reference entries
Samples of Common Types of Reference Entries:
  • Book:

Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L. B. (2005). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.

  • Journal paginated by volume:

Risko, E. F., Stolz, J. A., & Besner, D. (2005). Basic processes in reading: Is visual word recognition obligatory? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 119-124.

  • Journal paginated by issue:

Schmidt, J. R., & Cheesman, J. (2005). Dissociating stimulus-stimulus and response-response effects in the Stroop task. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology,59(2), 132-138.

journal pagination volume or issue
Paginated by Volume

Periodic journals which publish volumes per year differ in the way they paginate the individual issues. Some journals begin each issue where the last left off:

Volume 1, issue 1: page 1-200

Volume 1, issue 2: page 201-400

These journals are paginated by volume, and do not require the issue number in the reference citations

Paginated by Issue

Journals whose issues each begin on page one require the issue number in the reference page to specify the issue in which an article appears:

Volume 23, issue 1: page 1-205

Volume 23, issue 2: page 1-300

[An article listed in volume 23, page 189, would not tell a reader which issue contained the article]

Journal Pagination: Volume or Issue?
more common reference list entries
More common reference list entries:
  • Book with an editor:

Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals (K. V. Kukil, Ed.). New York: Anchor.

  • Article from an online periodical:

Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial visual reactions [Electronic version]. Journal of Experimental Psychology,121(1), 15-23.

(Note: if there is no print version available, include date of access and URL after the issue: Retrieved July 5, 2005, from http://www... Use the exact URL of the article if possible, unless you have retrieved an article from a newspaper’s site (i.e., www.newyorktimes.com)

  • Article from a database:

Holliday, R. E., & Hayes, B. K. (2001, January). Dissociating automatic and intentional processes in children’s eyewitness memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,75(1), 1-5. Retrieved February 21, 2001, from Expanded Academic ASAP database (A59317927).

reference entries cont d
Reference Entries, cont’d…
  • Non-periodical web document
    • List as many as possible of the following, in this order:
      • Author’s name
      • Date of publication (use “n.d.” if no date is known or available)
      • Title of the document in italics
      • Date of access
      • URL directly to the source

Chovil, I. (n.d.). What is schizophrenia? Retrieved November 6, 2005, from http://www.chovil.com/first.html

If there is no author, use the title as the author, followed by the date in parenthesis.

reference entries cont d25
Reference Entries, cont’d…
  • Encyclopedia Entries:
    • Glickman, H. (1994). Occupational safety and health administration (OSHA). In World book encyclopedia (Vol. 14, pp. 647-648). Chicago: World Book.
    • Occupational therapy. (1994). In World book encyclopedia (Vol. 14, p. 648). Chicago: World Book.
  • Newspaper articles:
    • Schwartz, J. (1993), September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

A complete list of types of sources, cross-referenced to examples, can be found in the APA publication manual on pages 232-239.