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What is APA? APA
What is APA? APA style, or APA format are the terms commonly used to describe the writing style guidelines which are developed, maintained, and periodically revised and updated by the American Psychological Association (APA).
History The American Psychological Association came into being in its current form through the 1945 amalgamation of a number of different psychological societies and organizations which existed in the U. S. A. at that time, at both the national and state levels. The APA currently has almost 160, 000 members and is the largest association of psychologists in the world. Over the years, the APA has developed a standard for writing style that is now widely used by writers in the social sciences, education, business and psychology. Accordingly, the APA documentation style is now used throughout the world, in both business and academia.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association The APA's Publication Manual covers all aspects of the writing and publishing process including: Organizing Writing Formatting Keying Submitting
APA Rules APA documentation style (in similar fashion to MLA style) calls for "in-text" citations of sources of information to be listed within the text where they are referenced, rather than in footnotes and endnotes, as some systems require.
To assist those who would rather not wade through APA's 439 page Publication Manual, I have broken down and summarized the APA Rules for the Preparation of Manuscripts into three distinct sections as follows: Overall APA Paper Format Rules APA Rules For In-Text Citation of Sources Compiling and Formatting the APA Reference List
Overall Paper Format - APA The paper should be typed and doublespaced, on standard 8 ½” x 11”, 20 -pound white paper. All four outside margins should be set at 1 inch.
As many as applicable of the following sections should appear in the paper, each one beginning on a separate page: abstract, text, references, appendices, author identification notes, footnotes, tables, figure captions, figures. Each section should have a running header on the first line of the page, flush right.
The manuscript title on the first page should begin about 1/3 of the way down the page. The title block on that page should include: full title (one or more lines), writer's name, course name and number, instructor's name, and the date - all centered on double-spaced lines
A running header with consecutive page numbering should appear flush right in the upper right-hand corner of each page, including the manuscript title page. This running header will appear one-half inch from the top of the page, and should contain a short version of the manuscript title, followed by the page number.
In-Text Citation of Sources - APA In general, APA in-text documentation format uses the author-date style of citation, with the author's name, followed by the year of publication, cited within the body text of an article. The complete details on the source document are included in the "References" list at the end of the paper
Normally, an in-text citation will be introduced with a "signal phrase" that includes the author’s last name, followed by the year of publication in parentheses. The page number in the source document, preceded by a "p. ", should appear in parentheses immediately after the quotation. Example: As Smith (1998) observed, "There was only one way to go after that" (p. 97).
In cases when the author's name is not in the signal phrase, enclose the author's last name, the year, and the page number, in parentheses at the end of the quotation. Example: (Smith, 1998, p. 263). If the work cited has two authors, name both authors in the signal phrase and in parentheses at the end of the quotation. For the latter, separate their names with the "&" symbol. Example: (Hartwick & Rogers, 1999).
For more than two authors, identify all of the authors in the introductory signal phrase or in the parentheses the first time they are named. Example: (Brendan, Donaldson, Smith, & Warden, 1995). Later citations of the same work can use the first author's name followed by "et al. " Example: (Brendan et al. , 1995).
If the author is an organization with a long cumbersome name, use the entire name in the body text the first time it is used, with the acronym for the organization enclosed in parentheses, followed by the year. Example: (American Society of Strategic Planners [ASSP], 1997). For later citations of the same work, use the acronym followed by the year. Example: (ASSP, 1997).
Reference List - APA A list of all sources cited in the paper must be included at the end of the paper. This list is entitled "References" and must begin on a separate page after the last page of text. This heading should be centered on the page.
The reference list will arranged in alphabetical order, by author's last name. If there is more than one work by the same author, place the entries in order of publication date, from oldest to most recent. (i. e. list 1991 references before 1995 references for the same author).
The first line of each entry in the list of references is typed flush to the left margin. Subsequent lines for the same entry are indented one-half inch. All lines are doublespaced with no extra spaces between entries. For the references list, use the last name of the author; do not use "et al" there.
All author's names in the references list are to use the inverted form; with last name first. Initials should be used for the author's first name. For two or more authors, separate the names by commas and use "&" instead of "and" for the last name mentioned. When an author appears as both a sole author, and as the first author of a group, list the single author entry first.
If no author name is available for a publication, alphabetize the entry by the title of the work, and use a shortened version of the title in parenthetical "in-text" citations in the body of the text. For the title of the work being cited, use underlining or italics, not both. They are equivalent in this case. Whichever convention is chosen must be used throughout the essay for all titles cited.
When referencing BOOKS, capitalize the first word and all proper nouns contained in the title and sub-title. Do not use all capitals. When citing ARTICLES capitalize the first word and all proper nouns in the title. Do not put titles of articles in quotations. When referencing PERIODICALS such as magazine articles or articles in scholarly journals, list the volume number in arabic numerals, and underline it. Do not use "vol. " before the number, and do not use "p. " or "pp. " for the page numbers. (These can be used when referencing newspaper articles or works in anthologies).