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The Basics of APA Style, 6th Edition


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The Basics of APA Style, 6th Edition

  1. 1. Seminar for Project FREE-Paglaum Educational Research classes Dec. 20, 2014 MM Auditorium A, University of St. La Salle , Bacolod City, Philippines
  2. 2.  APA (American Psychological Association)- psychology, education, and other social sciences; also recommended by the American Chemical Society (author-date/Harvard)  MLA (Modern Language Association) - literature, arts, and humanities (author-title or author-page)  AMA (American Medical Association) and CSE (Council of Science Editors) - medicine, health, and biological sciences  Turabian (from Kate Turabian and the Univ. of Chicago Press) - designed for college students to use with all subjects, usually history and related subjects  Chicago Manual of Style - used with all subjects in the "real world" by books, magazines, newspapers, and other non-scholarly publications  Harvard Systems (Australian Government Publishing Service/AGPS or British Standards Institute/BSI) – author-date style adapted by the APA; attributed to Edward Lawrence Mark of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology
  3. 3. • APA Style originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers convened and sought to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension. • As with other editorial styles, APA Style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. It concerns uniform use of such elements as – selection of headings, tone, and length; – punctuation and abbreviations; – presentation of numbers and statistics; – construction of tables and figures, – citation of references; and – many other elements that are a part of a manuscript. • APA Style rules and guidelines are found in the (sixth edition of the) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
  4. 4.  Uniform style helps us scan articles quickly for key points and findings. Rules of style in scientific writing encourage full disclosure of essential information and allow us to dispense with minor distractions.  Style helps us  express the key elements of quantitative results,  choose the graphic form that will best suit our analyses,  report critical details of our research protocol, and  describe individuals with accuracy and respect.
  5. 5.  Term papers  Research reports  Empirical studies  Literature reviews  Theoretical articles  Methodological articles  Case studies
  6. 6. • Title page • Abstract • Introduction (Chaptes 1 &2 in theses/dissertations) • Method (Ch. 3) • Results (Ch. 4 & 5) • Discussion (Ch. 4 & 5) • References • Appendices
  7. 7. Manuscript format Headings Reducing bias in language Citing references in-text Reference list
  8. 8.  Paying attention to mechanical details such as:  Typeface  Line spacing  Margins  Page headers
  9. 9. • Use a serif typeface --short light lines projecting from the top or bottom of the main stroke of a letter (Chicago Manual of Style, 2003, p. 837)-- such as Times New Roman, for the text of your manuscript. Use a sans serif typeface, such as Arial, for figure labels. • Double-space the entire manuscript. Double- space between lines of body text and titles, headings and block quotations. Double-space the reference list and figure captions. • Indent the first line of every paragraph one- half inch. • Align the text to the left-hand margin, leaving a “ragged” right margin.
  10. 10. • When you submit your manuscript, number the pages consecutively starting with page 1 • Put the pages in the following order: – Page 1, Title page – Page 2, Abstract – Page 3, Beginning of text – References begin on a new page after the last page of text. – Each table begins on a new page. – Each figure begins on a new page. Include the figure caption on the same page as the figure. – Each appendix begins on a new page.
  11. 11. • Headings help readers find key points of your paper and track the development of your thoughts. • APA Style uses five levels of headings. In the 6th edition of the Publication Manual, please note these changes: – Proceed through the levels numerically, starting with Level 1, without skipping over levels (this is in contrast to the 5th edition heading style, which involved skipping levels depending on the total number of levels you had—how complicated!). – That first heading won’t be called “Introduction” or be the title of your paper; these are common mistakes. Actually, the first heading will likely be somewhere in the body of your paper. In an experimental study, for example, often the first real heading is the Method section, and it would thus go at Level 1. – Use as many levels as necessary to convey your meaning. Many student papers and published articles utilize two or three levels. Longer works like dissertations may demand four or five.
  12. 12.  Objectivity in scientific reporting  Fair treatment of individuals and groups  Guidelines:  Describe at the appropriate level of specificity.  Be sensitive to labels.  Acknowledge participation.
  13. 13.  Examples:  “children at risk for early-school dropout”, not just “at-risk children”  “18- to 35-year-olds”, not just “over the age of 18”  Differences should be mentioned only when relevant. Marital status, sexual orientation, racial and ethnic identity, or the fact that a person has disability should not be mentioned gratuitously.
  14. 14. • Call people what they prefer to be called, keeping in mind that these preferences can change over time. • Examples: – “Dine” rather than “Navajo” for Native Americans – Muslim (religious affiliation) or Moro (socio- politico-cultural identity)? • Also: – “children in the autism group” or “people diagnosed with autism”, rather than “autistic children/people”
  15. 15. • When writing about the roles of individuals in an experiment, use language that portrays them as active participants, not as passive recipients of the experiment. • Examples: – “The students completed the survey” instead of “The survey was administered to the students” • Write about the people in your study in a way that acknowledges their participation but is also consistent with the tradition of the field in which you are working. Thus, although descriptive terms such as college students, children and respondents provide precise information about the individuals taking part in a research project, the more general terms participants and subjects are also in common usage. • Subjects and sample are customary when discussing certain established statistical terms (e.g., within-subject and between-subjects design).
  16. 16. • Cite the work of those individuals whose ideas, theories or findings have directly influenced your work, even if you are paraphrasing or describing someone else’s idea. • To avoid plagiarism, take careful notes as you research to keep track of all sources and collect the information you need to cite them properly.
  17. 17. • To insert a citation in text, include the author’s surname and year of publication. For a direct quotation, include the page number or specific location of the phrase or sentences in the original work. • Examples: – Kessler (2003) found that epidemiological samples… – Early onset results in a more persistent and sever course (Kessler, 2003). – In 2003, Kessler’s study of epidemiological samples showed that…
  18. 18. Basic Citation Styles Type of citation First citation in text Subsequent citations in text Parenthetical format , first citation in text) Parenthetical format, subsequent citations in text One work by one author Santiago (2007) Santiago (2007) (Santiago, 2007) (Santiago, 2007) One work by two authors Santiago and Abelarde (2004) Santiago and Abelarde (2004) (Santiago & Abelarde, 2004) (Santiago & Abelarde, 2004) One work by three authors Ramirez, De Juan and Soo (2000) Ramirez et al. (2000) (Ramirez, De Juan & Soo, 2000) (Ramirez et al., 2000) One work by four authors Ramirez, De Juan, Soo and Bradley (2006) Ramirez et al. (2006) (Ramirez, De Juan, Soo & Bradley, 2006) (Ramirez et al., 2006) One work by five authors Walker, Allen, Bradley, Ramirez and Soo (2008) Walker et al. (2008) (Walker, Allen, Bradley, Ramirez & Soo, 2008) (Walker et al., 2008) One work by six or more authors Cruz et al. (2005) Cruz et al. (2005) (Cruz et al., 2005) (Cruz et al., 2005) Groups (readily identified through abbreviation ) as authors National Economic Development Authority (NEDA 2003) NEDA (2003) (National Economic Development Authority [NEDA], 2003) (NEDA, 2003) Groups (no abbreviation) as authors Commission on Audit (2006) Commission on Audit (2006) (Commission on Audit, 2006) (Commission on Audit, 2006)
  19. 19. • When citing two or more works together, arrange the in-text citations alphabetically in the same order in which they appear in the reference list. • Examples: – Training materials are available (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2001, 2003). Past research (Gogel, 1990, 2006, in press)… – Several studies (Derryberry & Reed, 2005a, 2005b, in press-a; Rothbart, 2003a, 2003b)… – Several studies (Miller, 1999; Shafranske & Mahoney, 1998)…
  20. 20. • The purpose of a reference list is to help readers find the sources you used. Therefore, the reference list should be as accurate and complete as possible. • All citations should be listed in the reference list, with the exception of personal communication and classical works. • Put references in order by the author’s surname, or first author’s surname if there is more than one author. • Use the hanging indent paragraph style. Double-space the entire reference list.
  21. 21. • References contain the following components: – Author name or names – Publication date – Title of the work – Publication data • Example: – Mikulincer, M., Gerber, H., & Weisenberg, M. (1990). Judgment of control and depression: The role of self-esteem threat and self-focused attention. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14, 589-608
  22. 22. • Make sure the version you are citing is the most recent one. • Include journal volume number and page numbers if this information is available. • Type or use the copy-paste function of your word processor to capture the article DOI and place it at the end of the reference. – A digital object identifier (DOI) is a permanent identifier given to an object. Its most common application is identifying electronic documents. – The International DOI Foundation (IDF) defines DOI name as “a digital identifier for any object of intellectual property.” • If there is no DOI, cite the homepage URL.
  23. 23.  Writers can include many kinds of material in their reference lists, such as dissertations, podcasts, book reviews, and archival material.  For scholarly articles, the kinds of references most commonly included are:  Journal articles  Entire issue of a journal  Chapter in an edited book  Entire book  Conference proceedings
  24. 24.  Type the article title in sentence case and the journal title in title case.  Italicize the journal title and volume number.  Include the issue number in parentheses if the journal is paginated by issue.  Type the DOI in the format shown in the first example. Do not put a period at the end of the DOI.  DOI Herbet-Saze, K. L. & Kulik, J. K. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status and the survival times of terminally-ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225- 229. doi: 10.1037/0278- 6133.24.2.225  No DOI Light, M.A. & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal, 8(1), 73- 82.  URL Wheeler, S. F. & Bragin, M. (2007). Bringing it all back home: Social work and the challenge of returning veterans. Health and Social Work, 32, 297-300. Retrieved from
  25. 25.  To cite an entire issue of a journal, give the editors of the issue and the title of the issue.  If the issue has no editors, move the issue title to the author position and alphabetize the reference entry by the first significant word in the title.  These instructions are also applicable to formatting a reference to a special section.  Example: Greenfield, P. & Yan, Z. (Eds.) (2006). Children, adolescents and the Internet [Special section]. Developmental Psychology, 42, 391-458.
  26. 26.  After the chapter title, type In, the editor’s name, the abbreviation Ed. in parenthesis, and then the title of the book.  Give the page numbers in parenthesis after the book title.  Example: Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective wellbeing. In M. Eid & M. J. Larson (Eds.), The science of subjective wellbeing (pp. 17-43). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  27. 27.  Type the title of the book in sentence case. Capitalize the first word following a colon or end punctuation in the title.  If you cited an electronic book (e-book), give information about the format in square brackets after the title.  For electronic books, give the DOI or URL in place of publisher location and name.  Print book Shutton, M.A. (1989). Computer addiction? A study of computer dependency. London, England: Taylor & Francis.  Electronic book (with DOI) Schiraldi, G. R. (2001). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery and growth [Adobe Digital Editions version]. doi: 10.1036/100371393722
  28. 28.  The third example below shows how to format the name of a corporate author that is the same as the publisher name. American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  29. 29.  To cite proceedings that are published regularly, use the same format as in a periodical.  To cite proceedings that are published in book form, use the same format as for a chapter in an edited book.  Published regularly Herculano-Rozel, C., Collins, C. E., Wong, F., Kaas, J. H. & Lent, R. (2008). The basic nonuniformity of the cerebral cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105. 12593-12598. doi: 10.1073/pres.0805417105  Published in book form Katz, I., Gabayen, H. & Aghajan, E. (2007). A multi-touch surface using mutltiple cameras. In J. Blanc-Talon, W. Philips, S. Popescu & P. Schroeders (Eds.) Lecture notes in Computer Science: Vol. 467B. Advanced Concepts for Intelligent Vision Systems (pp. 97-108). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. doi: 10.1667/978-3-340-74607-2_9
  30. 30.  Publication Manual, preferably 6th ed. (2 older editions in the library)  New guidelines to acknowledge and incorporate advances in computer technology, including new guidelines for referencing electronic sources  Reorganized and streamlined for ease of use, includes the writing process and ethics  Focus broadened to include examples in education, business and nursing  Mastering APA Style – Instructor’s Resource Guide , preferably 6th edition (one 5th edition in library)  Mastering APA Style – Students’ Workbook and Training Guide, 6th edition  Mastering APA Style -- Students’ Workbook and Resource Guide, 5th ed. (1 in library)  (specifically, The Basics of APA Style, Learning APA Style section at