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Your guide to apa style

Your Guide to APA Style

What is apa

  • When instructors ask you to write in the APA Style, they are referring to the editorial style that was adopted to present written materials in the social and behavioral sciences. The APA style is a requirement for student writing assignments in many leading universities.

Why do you have to learn apa style
Why do you have to learn APA style?

  • Because graduate level writing means mastering uniform writing style.

  • Because APA style is the most common writing style in the social sciences.

What s included in apa style
What’s Included in APA Style?

  • Basically everything in your paper:

    - How your pages are set up

    - How you cite sources

    - Your references

    - Your language

Where can you learn apa style
Where can you learn APA style?

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Anderson C.E., Carrell S.T., & Widdifield, J.L. (2007). Citingsources with APA documentation. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Lipson, C. (2006). Cite right. Chicago, IL: The University ofChicago Press.

Amato, C.J. (2008). The world’s easiest guide to using the APA (4th ed.). Corona, CA: Stargazer.

Internet sources about apa citation style
Internet Sources about APA Citation Style

  • You can also use reliable Internet sources to find answers to your questions about APA citation style:

The list of references
The List of References

  • Required if you cite any sources in your paper

  • Every source cited in your paper must appear on the reference list

  • Double spaced!

Single authored book
Single-authored book

Perloff, R. M. (1995). The dynamics of persuasion. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dual authored book
Dual-authored book

Baran, S. J., & Davis, D. K. (1995). Mass communication theory: Foundations, ferment and future. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

*Note: when listing authors, use an ampersand (&) in the reference list, not “and.”

Single authored article
Single-authored article

Garramone, G. M. (1985). Effects of negative political advertising: The roles of sponsor and rebuttal. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 29, 149-159.

*Note: The first letter of each word in the title of the journal is capitalized.

Two or more authors article
Two or more authors (article)

Suzuki, S., & Rancer, A. S. (1994). Argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness: Testing for conceptual and measurement equivalence across cultures. Communication Monographs, 61, 256-279.

*Note: Can you find the volume number and page numbers in this citation?

Personal communication
Personal Communication

Personal communications may be private letters, e-mails, interviews, telephone conversations, and the like. Personal communications are not included in the reference list. Cite personal communications in text only.

T.K Lutes provided us with his company’s business expenses in 2009 (personal communication, April 18, 2010)

Article in an online journal retrieval information
Article in an online journal: Retrieval Information

  • Johnson, T. E. & Lee, G. (2009). The relationship between shared mental models and task performance in an online team-based learning environment. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(3), 97-112. doi: 10:1002/piq.20033

    * Include DOI, or Digital Object Identifier!

Article in an online journal retrieval information1
Article in an online journal: Retrieval Information

Frederickson, B. L. (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3. Retrieved from

*If DOI is not listed, the URL of where the document was found is used instead

It s only the beginning
It’s only the beginning…

Learning how to do your reference page is only the beginning

In text citations when do you need to cite your sources in your paper
IN-TEXT CITATIONS:When do you need to cite your sources in your paper?

  • When you’re referring to an idea or concept you drew from something you read.

  • When you quote from something you read or heard.

  • When you want to give the reader some other places to look for additional information.

Apa style in text citations
APA Style In-Text Citations

  • Any works that are mentioned in the body of your paper must be cited.

  • There are two ways of citing the work of other authors:

    1) by paraphrasing, and

    2) by quoting directly

In text citations format
In-Text Citations (Format)

  • Include the author’s last name (no initials) in your text. Write the year of publication in parentheses. Then paraphrase the statement.


    According to Watkins (2005), the number of MBA students in the United States will be growing.

In text citations format1
In-Text Citations (Format)

  • If a work is referred to indirectly, cite the last name of the author and the year, separated by a comma, in parentheses


  • These data are consistent with other statistics and research concerning this topic (U.S.Census, 2007; Patterson, 2009; Smith & Jones, 2008)

What is paraphrasing
What Is Paraphrasing?

Scott (1992) identified…

Several researchers (Anthony, 1990; Gregory & Jacobs, 1985; Polk et al., 1980) reported…

Or at the end of a sentence paraphrased from another work (Scott, 1992).

Verbs used in apa style
Verbs used in APA style

acknowledged added admitted affirmed

agreed answered argued asked asserted attacked believed called claimed commented compared confirmed contended countered counterattacked

declared defined denied disputed echoed

emphasized endorsed estimated found,


Citing sources with several authors
Citing Sources With Several Authors

1 – 5 Authors:

List the last names of all authors the first time you cite them.

For a second or more time, list last name of first author, followed by “et al.,” and the date.

Citing sources with several authors1
Citing Sources With Several Authors


If there are 6 or more authors, write the first author’s last name followed by

‘et al.’ for the first and subsequent citations.


Scott, Williamson, and Schaffer (1990) reported that…


Scott et al. (1990) reported that


6 or more authors, use “et al.,” first time and every time.


Citing while quoting
Citing while quoting

  • You need to put the author last name(s) and date, like while paraphrasing, but also the PAGE NUMBERS or PARAGRAPH NUMBERS (for online sources).

  • Example: “the research findings clearly indicate support for the hypotheses” (Douglass, 1986, p. 55).


  • Keep quotations to a minimum (less than 3 per paper)

  • Don’t forget the quotation marks and page numbers (or paragraph numbers), or you will be guilty of plagiarism!

How to set up your paper in apa
How to set up your paper in APA

  • Use 8 ½ by 11” white paper, with margins of 1” (or 1 ¼”)

  • Double space EVERYTHING

  • Font should be Times Roman 12 pitch

  • Page numbers in upper right hand corners

Title page
Title Page

APA style requires a page number at the top right-hand corner of each page of your document. The first page of your manuscript is the title page, which is numbered page 1. The title page consists of three parts: the running head, the title, and the byline.

Running head
Running Head

The running head is an abbreviated title specified by the author that would be used if the article was published. It should be typed flush left at the top of the title page in all capital letters, and should not exceed 50 characters.

Rules to follow when writing your references page
Rules to follow when writing your references page:

Start the reference section on a new page.

The word “References” should be centered at the top of the page in boldface, but should not be underlined or capitalized.

List citations alphabetically by the author’s last name. If you have more than one citation for the same author, order them from oldest to most recent.

Other rules
Other rules

  • Title page should contain the title of your paper (not a topic, but a title that reflects the content of the paper), your name, the course name the paper is for, and the date you wrote it

If you have references tables and appendices
If you have references, tables, and appendices…

They go in this order…

  • Title page

  • Paper

  • References

  • Appendices

  • Notes

  • Tables, Figures, etc.