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Using APA Style 2015


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A guide to creating a reference list and in-text citations using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

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Using APA Style 2015

  1. 1. Beth Downey Research Services MSU Libraries
  2. 2.  Overview of APA  In-text References  Reference List  Other citation tools
  3. 3.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.)  APA Style Guide to Electronic References (e- book)  APA Style website’s blog ◦  APA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue) ◦ 560/01/
  4. 4.   Examples and links for: ◦ APA (including links to Purdue OWL, APA site and e-book guide) ◦ MLA ◦ Chicago ◦ Harvard
  5. 5.  Citing is about intellectual honesty: ◦ Required in academia. ◦ Essential to retain integrity.  Citing is part of good research: ◦ Connects to previous research. ◦ Adds to the collective knowledge. ◦ Assists future researchers. ◦ Credits others for their ideas. ◦ Defines the ideas that are unique. ◦ Gives your ideas authority.
  6. 6.  The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.  Presenting the work of another as one’s own.  Failing to credit sources used.  Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another.  Failing to cite ALL resources used, including Internet, databases, and other electronic resources.
  7. 7.  Unique information.  Direct quotes.  Paraphrased passages.  “Borrowed facts.”  Anything that is not common knowledge.
  8. 8.  American Psychological Association citation and formatting guidelines.  Originally created and sponsored in 1929 by the United States National Research Council, the first edition was published in 1952.  Also used in the fields of: ◦ Anthropology ◦ Education ◦ Communication ◦ Business ◦ Political Science ◦ Other social sciences
  9. 9.  Title page  Abstract  Introduction  Method  Results  Discussion  References
  10. 10.  Footnotes ◦ Additional explanations ◦ Copyright permissions  References ◦ Sources used in your paper that identify unique information.
  11. 11.  Listing of the “recoverable” sources used in the paper.  Alphabetically by the surname of the first author.  Serves as an index for the reader; in-text references “link” to the main citation list.
  12. 12.  For authors and editors, abbreviate first and middle names to initials only. ◦ Invert all authors’ names (Author, A.B., Author, C.D., Author, E.F.). ◦ Invert editors’ names when referencing edited book, but not a chapter within an edited book.  Titles normally are “sentence-style”; capitalize only first word of title, subtitle, and proper nouns. ◦ Exceptions: periodicals and serials.
  13. 13. Author, A. B. (year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher. Johnson, S. (2002). Who moved my cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. New York: Putnam. Barnham, L., Priestley, P., & Targett, A. (1999). In search of Cheddar man. Stroud, UK: Tempus.
  14. 14. Jacobowitz, S. (2005). Chuck E. Cheese at noon: Adventures in parenting and higher education. In R. H. Bassett (Ed.), Parenting & professing: Balancing family work with an academic career (pp. 133-140). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.
  15. 15. Ma, L., & Lillard, A. (2006). Where is the real cheese? Young children's ability to discriminate between real and pretend acts. Child Development, 77(6), 1762-1777. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00972.x. If there is no DOI and the article was retrieved online, use the URL of the journal home page. Magazine articles, note, don’t normally use DOI; those citations can end at the page numbers. Carter, L., Sumrall, W., & Curry, K. (2006). Say cheese! Digital collections in the classroom. Science and Children, 43(8), 19-23. Retrieved from
  16. 16.  Print version: Hevesi, D. (2010, August 3). Morrie Yohai, 90, the man behind Cheez Doodles, is dead. The New York Times, p. A16.  Online version: Hevesi, D. (2010, August 2). Morrie Yohai, 90, the man behind Cheez Doodles, is dead. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  17. 17. Landmark, S. A. (2004). Effect of vitamin D fortified cheese on muscular strength in older adults (Master's thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 1425385) Aryana, K. J. (1997). Microstructure of some dairy foods and food protein gels (unpublished doctoral dissertation). Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.
  18. 18. Downey, E. M., & Davidson, K. S. (2010, June). Graphic novels on campus: Academic collaboration and outreach with the K-12 community. Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Library Association, Washington, D.C.
  19. 19.  Include report number. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2003). Managing asthma: A guide for schools (NIH Publication No. 02-2650). Retrieved from sth_sch.pdf
  20. 20. Sabieh, C. (2002). American Chunky Blue Cheese Salad: A Look at Multicultural Education. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED478571)
  21. 21. PZ Myers. (2007, January 22). The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind [Web log post]. Retrieved from nfortunate_prerequisites.php Screennames can be used by themselves if author’s real name is unknown.
  22. 22. Mississippi State University [msstate]. (2012, December 13). Celebrate 75 yrs of MSU cheese & tell us how you’re enjoying it this season, tweet a pic! Use hashtag #SayCheeseState. [Tweet]. Retrieved from /279351983213801472
  23. 23. Showtime (2008, March 10). Time-lapse of 1200 lbs. of cheese carved [Video file]. Retrieved from
  24. 24.  One Author ◦ Johnson (2000) found no relationship between … ◦ However, no relationship has been found between … (Johnson, 2000).  Two Authors ◦ Smith and Roberts (1995) suggested that … ◦ Others have suggested that … (Smith & Roberts, 1995). ◦ Note the “and” used to connect authors in the first example versus the ampersand in the second.
  25. 25.  Three to Five Authors ◦ According to Jackson, Leonard, and Pruitt (1986), … [first citation in text] ◦ Jackson et al. provided clear evidence [omit year from subsequent citations after first citation within a paragraph] ◦ Jackson et al. (1986) also found that … [subsequent first citation per paragraph thereafter]
  26. 26.  Six or More Authors ◦ According to Wirt et al. (2004), …  Multiple References ◦ Previous studies (Smith, 2004; Williams & O’Connor, 1999) showed …
  27. 27.  Personal communications (e-mail, letters, phone interviews) generally aren’t retrievable sources. Therefore cite them in text, but not in the reference list. ◦ R.S. Thomson (personal communication, June 13, 2006) emphasized that … ◦ … although this has been denied by the author (R.S. Thomson, personal communication, June 13, 2006).
  28. 28. When citing a direct quote you must include the page or paragraph (in the case of an HTML document) in which it appears.  (Williams, 2004, p. 243)  (Peterson, 1995, ¶5)
  29. 29.  Are references cited both in text and in the references list?  Do the text citations and reference list entries agree both in spelling and in date?  Are journal titles in the reference list spelled out fully?  Are the references (both in the parenthetical text citations and in the reference list) ordered alphabetically?
  30. 30.  EBSCOhost  ProQuest Dissertations and Theses  Scopus  MSU Online Catalog  Use these as guides, but review computer- generated citations for accuracy.
  31. 31.  Citation management software  Students - $50; Faculty - $75  Resource page ◦
  32. 32.  Instructional Media Center ◦ Thomas La Foe Instructional Technology Specialist Instructional Media Center 325-6781
  33. 33.  Phone, email, text or Tweet  Schedule a consultation with a subject specialist  Ask-A-Librarian Virtual Chat