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  1. 1. Running head: WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS 1A Guide for Writing APA Style Research PapersSusan B. SmithCapital Community CollegePROVIDE A “RUNNING HEAD” ORSHORT TITLE OF YOUR PAPER INALL CAPS FOR EACH PAGE OF THEPAPEREach page is numberedstarting with the title page.The title of your paper is centered andpositioned in the upper half of the page. Itshould be no longer than 12 words.Student’s name: first, middle initial, last.Institutional affiliationThe recommended typeface is TimesNew Roman with a 12 point font size.Based on the Sixth Ed. of the PublicationManual of the American PsychologicalAssociation. Updated September 19, 2012.
  2. 2. WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS 2AbstractThis paper is a guide to writing a general paper in according to the Publication Manualof the American Psychological Association. The guide instructs a user on how to formata paper in APA style, illustrating structure, style and content, as well as presenting detailedexamples of references cited, including print examples of books, magazine articles andreference works. Additional examples are provided for electronic versions of the above.Keywords: APA, research papers, format, style guideAn abstract is a brief comprehensivesummary of the paper between 150 and250 words. Do not add to or comment onthe body of the work here. It provides thereader with a brief overview of the article.The running head or short titlePage numberCheck with your instructor tosee if an abstract and/orkeywords are required elementsof your paper.Type theabstract inblock format,one paragraph,no indentationsand doublespaced.
  3. 3. WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS 3A Guide for Writing APA Style Research PapersThere are several different types of articles appropriate for publication in theAPA or American Psychological Association style. These include reports of empiricalstudies, literature reviews, theoretical articles, methodological articles, and case studies.Each of these types of articles follows a proscribed format. Refer to the PublicationManual of the American Psychological Association, 6thedition for the most up to dateand comprehensive details of setting up your manuscript. This paper will serve as ageneral guide only, and as always, your instructor has the final word on the format andstyle required for the assigned paper.MethodA research paper presents the results of your investigations on a selected topic.Based on your own thoughts and the facts and ideas you have gathered from a variety ofsources, a research paper is a creation that is uniquely yours. The experience ofgathering, interpreting, and documenting information, developing and organizing ideasand conclusions, and communicating them clearly will prove to be an important andsatisfying part of your education. Generally, the formatting of citations recommendedbelow is based on the American Psychological Association guidelines. Your instructormay require another format. It is important to follow consistently and accurately arecommended format that is clear and concise and that has been approved by yourteacher. This guide may suffice for most students needs for most academic purposes, butfor advanced research projects it is by no means a substitute for the Publication ManualPage 3 begins the body of the paper.Type and center the titleof the paper on this page.Do not bold or underline.Running head on every page1 inch marginson all sides 1 inch marginson all sides.Leave right sideragged and donot hyphenatewords.2 spaces after apunctuation markhelps the reader.Level 1 HeadingThe headingstylerecommended byAPA consists of5 possibleformattingarrangements.Check with yourinstructor and/orthe APA Manualsection 3.02 forfurther guidanceregardingheadings.1 inchmargin1 inchmargin
  4. 4. WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS 4of the American Psychological Association Sixth Edition (2010). That handbook can bepurchased in most bookstores and copies should be available in every college andmunicipal library. This guide and a guide similar to this one, but based on the MLAstyle, are available online. “Your best source of advice on all these matters is, of course,your instructor and your library professionals” (Darling, 2008, p. 98).Once your topic has been approved, gather information from authoritative sources:pertinent books, encyclopedias, and articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers.Librarians will be happy to show you how to use the various research toolswithin the library and may suggest other sources of information. Important new resourcesare now available to you through electronic services which provide many learning andreference tools as well as access to the Internet, where you can often discover anabundance of information. Depending on the resources available and the lengthof your assignment, you may find it necessary to widen or restrict the scope of yourtopic (Darling, 2008, pp. 96-97).DiscussionUsing someone elses ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas as your own,either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism.Ideas or phrasing includes written or spoken material, from whole papersand paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases but it also includes statistics, labresults, art work, etc. Someone else can mean a professional source, such as a publishedLevel 1 HeadingIf you are instructed by your professorto use headings, refer to section 3.02 ofthe Publication Manual of the APA.If a quotation is40 or morewords, start anew line, usinga blockquotation;indent as if anew paragraph,double space,and do not usequotationmarks.Quotationsfewer than40 words areincorporatedinto the textusing quotemarks. Citethe specificpage of thequote.Quotations
  5. 5. WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS 5writer or critic in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, journal or in an electronic resourcesuch as material you discover on the Internet; another student at your school oranywhere else; or a paper-writing service which offers to sell written papers for a fee.Newton (2011) found that he penalty for plagiarism is usually determined by the instructorteaching the course; in many schools and colleges, it could involve failure for the paper andit could mean failure for the entire course and even expulsion from school. At the very least,however, students who plagiarize have cheated themselves out of the experience of beingresponsible members of the academic community and have cheated their classmates bypretending to contribute something original which is, in fact, a cheap copy (Newton, 2011).Summary and Concluding DiscussionOne-inch margins at the top, bottom, right and left sides are now required by APA.Double spacing is required throughout the paper. In 2011 Newton stated that if you wish touse single spacing for quotations of verse and drama because it more nearly approximateswhat the poet would want, you must consult with your instructor before doing so.Each page is numbered consecutively including title page and reference page. Type thenumbers in the upper right-hand corner using Arabic numerals. Arrange the manuscript asfollows: title page, abstract, body of the paper, and reference page. A short title is usedthroughout the paper. R. Newton (personal communication, July 20, 2012) states that theshort title is a two or three word derivation of the title of the paper. If the title of your paperwere Understanding Patterns of Byzantine Intrigue, the short title could be Byzantine Intrigue(R. Newton, personal communication, July 20, 2012).Citing references in textOption #1Option #2Option #3Personalcommunication,option #1Personal communication, option #2Do not include references to personalcommunications, such as letters, emails,interviews, telephone conversations on thereference page as they are not recoverable.You may however cite them in-text. What youcite should have scholarly relevance.Options 1, 2, and 3 are all acceptableformats for pointing to the source listedon the reference page.or(Newton, 2011, Chapter 3)or(Newton, 2011, p. 11)
  6. 6. WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER 6ReferencesDarling, C. (2008). Saints of diminished capacity. New York: Random House.Language (2009). In Columbia electronic encyclopedia. Retrieved September 18,2012, from http://www.informationplease.comHarkavy, W. (2010, November 3). Educational writings. Village Voice.Retrieved September 8, 2012 from http://villagevoice.comNewton, R. (2011). A reference guide to learning about research. Hartford,CT: Merganser University Press.South, S., Oltmanns, T., & Turkheimer, E. (2009). Interpersonal communicationacross peer groups. Journal of Communication, 73, (2) 675-692.doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2005.00325South, S.,Oltmanns, T., & Turkheimer, E. (2009). Interpersonal communicationacross peer groups. Journal of Communication, 73, (2) 675-692. Retrievedfrom http://search.ebscohost.comWheatcroft, G. (2008, June). The challenge of education. The Atlantic, 293(3), 56–72.Arrange entries in alphabetical order by theauthor’s last name, or if no author, by the 1stword in the citation.APA StyleInclude page number in upper right cornerUse Times New Roman 12 point font.Book with 1 authorOnline journalarticle from adatabase withno DOI. (Samearticle as abovewhen no DOIis provided).Article retrieved from anonline reference work with noauthorWeb siteBook 1 authorPrint journal article. Full titleitalicized in upper and lowercaseletters. Italicize the volumenumber but not the issue andpage numbers.Online journalarticle with DOI.Include the DOI(digital objectidentifier) inyour citationwhenever it isprovided.Capitalize onlythe first word ofa journal articletitle and subtitle.Do not italicize.The reference page provides theinformation necessary for a reader to locateand retrieve any source you cite. Eachsource you cite in the paper must appear inyour reference list.