APA REFERENCING GUIDE FOR STUDENTS
APA (American Psychological Association) is a specific format of citing sources in papers within the broad field of social sciences, including psychology. Formatting papers according to the mentioned style is necessary in an academic environment since the quality of the papers depends on the properly implemented and cited evidence in order to support adequately the stated thesis. The general APA guidelines include technical requirements about the design of the paper; it should be double-spaced with a margin of one inch on all sides. Likewise, the students need to insert a page header in the upper right corner of every page, consisting of a part of the title and the page number.
There are also certain requirements in relation to the in-text citation capitalization and underlining. For instance, the students need to capitalize author names and proper nouns. Referring to the title of a source requires capitalizing of the words in the title if they are not longer than four lines. In the other case, when the titles are longer, as in books, literary collections, films, it is necessary to underline or italicize the titles. The students have to put quotation marks in the titles of shorter works as journal articles or song titles.
APA Style for the References Page
At the end of your essay, place a list of the references you have cited in the text. Arrange this in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames, and then chronologically (earliest publication date first) for each author where more than one work by that author is cited.
The author’s surname is placed first, followed by initials or first name, and then the year of publication is given.
If the list contains more than one item published by the same author(s) in the same year, add lower case letters immediately after the year to distinguish them (e.g. 1983a). These are ordered alphabetically by title disregarding any initial articles (a, an or the).
Reference List: Basic Rules
- All lines after the first line of each entry in your 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
Example of a Reference to a Journal, One Author
Anderson, J. A. (1988). Cognitive styles and populations. Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 2-9.
The above reference refers to the:
Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Article title. Journal Title, volume # (issue #), pages.
Journal, More than One Author
Bourhis, J., & Allen, M. (1992). Meta-analysis of the relationship between communication apprehension and cognitive performance. Communication Education, 41(2), 68-76.
Unpublished Paper at a Meeting, More than One Author
Bourhis, J., & Stubbs, J. (1991, April). Communication apprehension, learning styles, and academic achievement. Paper presented at the meeting of the Central States Speech Association, Chicago, IL.
Book, One Author
Griffin, E. (2012). A first look at communication theory (8th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Book, Three or More Authors
Frey, L. R., Botan, C. H., & Kreps, G. L. (2000). Investigating communication: An introduction to research methods (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Edited Book, One Author
Bloom, B. S. (Ed.). (1956). A taxonomy of educational objectives: Handbook II: The cognitive domain. New York, NY: Longmans & Green.
Article in an Edited Book, More than One Author
Bourhis, J., & Berquist, C. (1990). Communication apprehension in the basic course: Learning styles and preferred instructional strategies of high and low apprehensive students. In L. Hugenberg (Ed.),
Basic communication course annual III (pp. 27-46). Boston, MA: American Press.
Electronic Information, More than One Author
Meserve, J., & King, J. (1999, June 16). Gore launches presidential campaign [Online]. Retrieved from:
APA SAMPLE PAPER
Title: APA Sample Paper
Student: Superb Essay Writers
School Affiliation: superbessaywriters.com
Begin your abstract here. Do not indent the first line. The abstract is a comprehensive, concise summary of your paper’s content. It is double-spaced. Not all instructors require you to include an abstract. APA 5th edition asked to make the abstract 120 words or less. APA 6th edition does not specify, but instead instructs authors not to exceed the abstract word limit of the journal or publication to which they are submitting. Usually, this word limit varies from 150 to 250 words according to APA. To be safe, ask your instructor or stick with the old rule of 120 words.
Keywords: APA, citations, references
APA Sample Paper
The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010) presents a style almost as clunky as those of the preceding editions, but on the plus side, some of its sections (particularly those on grammar) have been reduced, other sections have been reorganized, and new formatting features make it easier to read. This paper provides examples of manuscript title page, abstract page, first text page, running heads, and citation and reference style, as well as an overview of the new APA manual as a whole. It also provides, in the first section, clear-cut instructions for how to deliver proper new APA style when working in Microsoft Word (both pre-2007 and 2007 versions).
Setting Up the Two Running Heads in Word
To set up the running heads, proceed as follows (the instructions for Word 2007 are given first, with those for pre-2007 versions of Word following in italics):
- In your Word document, click Insert, select Header, and choose Blank (the first option), then, in the left margin, type your running head title (do not include the words “Running head” in this header). For pre-2007 versions of Word: in View, select Header and Footer, and type your title.
- Next, with your cursor still inside your header, and still working within the Design tab, under Header & Footer Tools, click Insert Alignment Tab and then select Right (because the page numbers go on the right margin), and click OK. Then click Page Number, then Current Position, and select the Plain Number window to have the page numbers inserted. You should now have a header with your running head (on left) and page number (on right). For pre-2007 versions of Word: in Insert, select Page Numbers, then, in the alignment window, and select Right (and make sure the “Show number on first page” box is checked).
- At this point you should click somewhere outside the header (get your cursor into the body of your paper) and finish formatting the rest of your title page (your name and institution).
- To set up the second header (for your title page), you should type something (just a few words, for now) on your second page.
- After you have text on your second page, return to your title page and double-click inside the header that you just made.
- In the Header & Footer Tools, in the Design tab, select Different First Page. Your original header and page number will go away, but don’t panic. Simply type the words “Running head:” (with the colon, but without the quotation marks) and then add your title. Set up alignment (right alignment) as you did before and enter the page number (as you did in #2 above). Your title page running head is now set (with the words “Running head”), and your second and subsequent pages will also (still) be set (same as the title page running head, but without the words “Running head”!). For pre-2007 versions of Word: in File, select Page Setup and check “Different First Page,” then set up running head and page number as before.
- Avoid causing difficulties for others who may be using pre-2007 versions of Word. When you save your document, use the Save As and Word 97-2003 options to get general compatibility. You will need to do this each time you save a new document. If you prefer to make compatibility a default setting, follow these steps: Click the Office button (the multi-colored circle in the upper-left corner of the window), then click Word Options, then, in the option bar, click Save, and finally, in the window bar beside Save files in this format, select Word 97-2003. Then click OK.
APA Headings and Subheadings
The first level of heading is bolded and centered, and the first letter of each word in the heading is capitalized. The paragraph text should be typed on the following line and indented five spaces from the left.
The second level of heading is bolded and situated flush left, and the first letter of each word in the heading is capitalized. The paragraph text should be typed on the following line and indented five spaces from the left.
The third level of heading is bolded, indented five spaces from the left, and followed by a period. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the heading and of proper nouns. The first paragraph following this heading should be typed on the same line as the heading.
The fourth level of heading is bolded, italicized, indented five spaces from the left, and followed by a period. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the heading and of proper nouns. The first paragraph following this heading should be typed on the same line as the heading.
The fifth level of heading is italicized, indented five spaces from the left, and followed by a period. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the heading and of proper nouns. The first paragraph following this heading should be typed on the same line as the heading.
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