Documented Essay Apa Style

Papers in social sciences departments are generally written following American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. You will document your sources in two places: immediately after the borrowed information appears in the project (called in-text citation) and in a reference list at the end of the project. --In the following sections, some of the details of APA formatting and citations are explained, but you must be aware that these examples only provide a brief gloss of common citation rules and examples. More complex situations may not be covered or further assistance might be helpful for a complete citation of the source or situation. For the most accurate, effective citations, you should always consult a current copy of the official citation style handbook, via places such as the library or Writing Center. -- The following information is from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), Rules for Writers and A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker, and from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.

Paper Format

Font: use something standard and easily readable, such as Times New Roman, size 12.

Margins/spacing: use one inch on all sides and double space throughout.

Title page: state full paper title, your name, and the school’s name (on separate lines) in the upper third of the page; an “Author’s Note” at the bottom may also include course title or department, instructor’s name, and other information as requested.

Headers: select the “different first page” option in the header. On the cover page, left align the words Running head: followed by a shortened version of the essay title in all caps. Place page number flush to the right. On all subsequent pages, use that shortened version of the title (without the words Running head) and page, both right aligned.

Abstract: if an abstract is requested, it should begin a new page after the cover page with the centered title Abstract followed on the next line with an unindented brief synopsis of the paper.

Essay: begin a new page with the title of the essay, centered, then on the next line start the body of the discussion, left aligned, with the first line of each new paragraph indented.

No empty or excess space should be left unless a new page is needed (such as with the Abstract or References).

Sections: major section headings need to be centered and bold, using standard capitalization; subsections should be left aligned and bold.

For an example of APA formatting, see the Purdue OWL's sample paper. For a step-by-step walkthrough of how to implement APA formatting in a document, see this video by David Taylor. 

In-Text Citations

In-text citation provides a brief note or signal within the sentence that source material is used. This note identifies the source and other important information about the source or the material. When adding in-text citation to notes or projects, remember that every sentence requires its own in-text citation; a note at the end of a paragraph or section cannot cite the material clearly or properly. For APA in-text citations, the content that is typically used is the author's last name and the year. Also include a page number for direct quotations or for paraphrases that are confined to one page. Where and how this information is provided can vary depending on the structure of the sentence, but here are some general examples: 

Stating data at the end, with page: This claim is made (Author, date, p. #).

Stating the author in a signal phrase, with page: According to Author (date), this claim is made (p. #).

Stating data at the end, without page: This claim is made (Author, date).

Stating the author in a signal phrase, without page:According to Author (date), this claim is made.

Note that in these examples, all punctuation is placed correctly and should not be changed or moved. Commas separate key pieces of information, pages are prefaced with p and a period, and the period for the overall sentence is placed after the citation. Use the same punctuation at all times.

 If the source has no author, then the in-text citation will typically be the next major piece of information about the source (see the reference citation to identify what that information should be). It will often be the title of the article or source. In the in-text citation, use a shortened (but clear) version of the title in either a signal phrase or in parentheses, using correct formatting as required for that source type (an “Article Title” would be quoted while a Book Title would be italicized):

Stating the title in a signal phrase, without page: According to “Article Title” (date), this claim is made.

Stating the title at the end, without page: This claim is made (“Article Title,” date).

Tips and Rules for In-Text Citation

Authors are generally referred to by last name only, omitting initials, titles, or honors, even if the source includes them.

Present these names in the order the source includes them without rearranging them.

When a source has two authors, name both. Naming them in a signal phrase should use the word and spelled out: The research conducted by Author and Author (date) …. Naming them in the parentheses should use the ampersand (&): (Author & Author, date, p. #).

When a source has three to five authors, you must name all authors with the first use. Any further references to the source should give the first author only followed by et al.: The observations made by Author et al. (date) ….

When a source has six or more authors, use et al. phrasing every time, even the first.

If a source doesn’t have an author and needs to be listed by title, use quotation marks (or italics as needed) and capitalize any words of the title more than four letters long.

If a source doesn’t have paginated sections, leave out page and use paragraph number. If the source doesn’t have pre-numbered paragraphs, then leave out paragraph number and no further location detail is needed.

If a source doesn’t have a date, use n.d. to indicate this.

Sometimes a source will quote another source (this is called an indirect source). Be sure to follow APA rules carefully to illustrate who said what (see the example below).

For other situations involving in-text citation that aren’t covered here, please consult a more detailed handbook.

Examples of APA In-Text Citation at Work

A Standard Quotation

Humphrey (1959) insisted that “dancers love to suffer, and while they wallow in tragedy, they alienate and bore their audiences” (p. 40).

A Standard Paraphrase

The modern dance pioneer believed that many literary themes were inappropriate for dance because key relationships and ideas could not be succinctly portrayed to the audience (Humphrey, 1959, p. 40).

A Work with Two Authors

Stolerman and O'Connor (1986) argue that it is better for a writer to discuss a narrow aspect of a large topic in detail than to attempt to discuss loose generalizations (p. 4).

It is better for a writer to discuss a narrow aspect of a large topic in detail than to attempt to discuss loose generalizations (Stolerman & O'Connor, 1986, p. 4).

A Work with Three to Five Authors

First use: Eggen, Kauchak, and Harder (1979) define a hypothesis as “a tentative generalizing inference which is based upon the data available at the moment” (p. 27).

Any other use: Eggen et al. (1979) define a hypothesis as “a tentative generalizing inference which is based upon the data available at the moment” (p. 27).

Alternatively: A hypothesis is defined as “a tentative generalizing inference which is based upon the data available at the moment” (Eggen et al., 1979, p. 27).

Note: during the course of a writing project, you may add/remove material (for instance, the first use of the article above may be deleted during revision, leaving what was the second use now as the first). Since this citation style depends on when/where these authors are used in the essay, it may help to highlight or otherwise call attention to sources with 3-5 authors so that the citations can be checked or revised easily.

Indirect Source

The overall source is by Myers. Within the piece, though, Myers quotes or cites Smith. Important: the idea is created by Smith but you found it in Myers’s discussion. This clarification of who created what is vital to correctly credit the creator.

Smith illustrates that the tangible is still unknowable (as cited in Myers, 2003, p. 57).

This is important because attributing the source to Smith will lead the reader to look for the citation of Smith’s work in the reference page, which isn’t effective (as the correct source is actually Myers). Similarly, if the idea is simply attributed to Myers, this is inaccurate. While the idea appeared in Myers’s work, the claim is actually Smith’s.

Electronic Source with No Author and No Date

A report of the habits of college you revealed that the regular study and review resulted in the higher grades (“College You,” n.d.).

References

In APA, the citation list is called References, and the following formatting rules should be used:

Start on a new page with the word References centered at the top of the page.

Double-space the entire page/list.

Alphabetized entries by last name (or first word of the citation, if no author is listed). If there are two works by the same author, arrange that author’s works by date.

Hanging indent all citations (meaning the first line is not indented but any subsequent lines of the citation are). This feature can be selected quickly using Ctrl/Command T for the highlighted material. Otherwise, use the Help feature of the word processor to find how to enable this option if the quick command doesn’t work.

No empty or extra spaces are needed between entries.

Note: the examples below illustrate only the citation for that source. You should always realize that the sources you find may have other features or information that must be taken into account in your own citations. These are merely basic examples to illustrate what proper citation looks like or may entail. However, the punctuation and placement of information on the citations below is correct and should be emulated logically.

Basic Print Book

Blom, L., & Chaplin, L. (1982). The intimate act of choreography. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author, I., & Author, I. (Year). Title of book. City, ST: Publisher.

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses. The book title is italicized and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

Book with Editor(s) Instead of Author

Barr, R., & Eversole, J. (Eds.). (2003). The fire chief's handbook. Tulsa, OK: Fire Engineering/PennWell Corp.

Author, I. (Ed.). (Date). Title of book. City, ST: Publisher.

Editors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). The clarification of Eds. is given in parentheses (short for Editors—use Ed. for only one editor). Date is given in parentheses. The book title is italicized and capitalized properly. City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

Book with Author(s) and Editor(s)

McLuhan, M. (2003). Understanding me: Lectures and interviews (S. McLuhan & D. Staine, Eds.). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: McClelland & Stewart.

Author, I., & Author, I. (Date). Title of book (I. Name, Ed.). City, ST: Publisher.

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses. The book title is italicized and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). In parentheses, editors are placed in traditional order, with Ed. or Eds. after. City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

A Revised Edition

Kennedy, X. J., Kennedy, D. M., & Muth, M. F. (2014). The Bedford Guide for College Writers (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Author/editors, I. (Year). Title of book (#rd ed.). City, ST: Publisher.

Authors/editors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses. The book title is italicized and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). In parentheses, edition number is given. City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

Article or Chapter in an Edited Book

Solomon, W. (1995). The site of newsroom labor: The division of editorial practices. In H. Hardt & B. Brennen (Eds.), Newsworkers: Toward a history of the rank and file (pp. 110-134). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minneapolis Press.

Author, I., & Author, I. (Year). Title of article or chapter. In I. Name (Ed.), Title of book (pp. #-#). City, ST: Publisher.

In this example, the article/chapter is written by someone other than the book editor (this is common in anthologies or collections). Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Note: the author of the article or chapter is stated here; this will differ from the author/editor of the overall book, which will come later. Date is given in parentheses. The chapter or article title is presented without quotes and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Start the next section with In (noting that the article is found in the book about to be named) and then the book authors/editors are stated in normal order, followed by a comma and the book title, which is italicized and capitalized properly. In parentheses, note the page range of the article or chapter. City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

Article or Chapter in a Book

Hacker, D. & Sommer, N. (2011). Academic writing. In Awriter’s reference (pp. 67-108). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Authors/editors, I. (Year). Title of article or chapter. In Title of book (pp. #-#). City, ST: Publisher.

In this example, the book overall is written or edited by the same person/people throughout. Authors/editors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial. If editors are named here, include Ed. or Eds. as shown in the editor examples above. Date is given in parentheses. The chapter or article title is presented without quotes and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Start the next section with In (noting that the article is found in the book about to be named) and then the book title, which is italicized and capitalized properly. In parentheses, note the page range of the article or chapter. City and state (or country) of publication is given, followed by a colon and the publishing company’s name.

Note: if any of these books are accessed via online methods (general web or database), then the citation will be largely the same with digital object identifier (DOI) or Retrieved from http://... at the end.

Evaluating Journals

Journals come in two major types:

1) Paginated by volume: the journals for the entire year have pages that are numbered continuously through, with an issue starting at the page number where the previous issue left off (e.g., Issue 1 runs from 1-459, so Issue 2 runs from 460-900).

2) Paginated by issue: each issue of the journal has page numbers that start over at 1 each time.

The two styles are cited slightly differently, so be aware of the practice of the journal in question.

Print Article in a Journal Paginated by Volume

Boivin, J. (2003). A review of psychosocial interventions in infertility. Social Science and Medicine, 57, 2325-2343.

Author, I. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, V, #-#.    

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Journal or publication title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization. Volume number is given after, also in italics. Since this is paginated by volume, this reference includes the volume number (57), but does not need the issue number. After volume, start and end page of the article is stated. Note: This is a print journal article (one accessed in actual paper format from the publisher). An article accessed via database or the web needs to be cited using the format below.

Print Article in a Journal Paginated by Issue

Heng, G. (1998). Cannibalism, the first crusade, and the genesis of medieval romance. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 10(1), 98-175.

Author, I. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, V(I), #-#.

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Journal or publication title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization. Volume number is given after, also in italics. Since this is paginated by issue, this reference includes the issue number (1) as well, which is not italicized. After volume, start and end page of the article is stated. Note: This is a print journal article (one accessed in actual paper format from the publisher). An article accessed via database or the web needs to be cited using the format below.

Journal Article with DOI (digital object identifier)

Losko, H.A. (2009). Educating nurse planners: Taking continuing nursing education on the talk show circuit. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40(9), 389-390. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20090824-08

Author, I. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, V(I), #-#. Doi: #

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Journal or publication title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization. Volume number is given after, also in italics. If the journal is paginated by issue, also include the issue number, which is not italicized. If journal is paginated by volume, then omit issue number. After volume/issue, start and end page of the article is stated. End the citation with the DOI number.

Journal Article without DOI

Heng, G. (1998). Cannibalism, the first crusade, and the genesis of medieval romance. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 10(1), 98-175. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/

Author, I. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, V(I), #-#. Retrieved from URL

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Journal or publication title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization. Volume number is given after, also in italics. If the journal is paginated by issue, also include the issue number, which is not italicized. If journal is paginated by volume, then omit issue number. After volume/issue, start and end page of the article is stated. End the citation with a simplified version of the URL for the database or website the article came from.

Electronic Source: Non-periodical Web Document (such as a report or PDF) with Author Listed

Mikuriya, T. H. (n.d.). Physical, mental, and moral effects of marijuana: The Indian hemp drugs commission report. In Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. Retrieved from http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/effects.htm

Author, I. (Date). Title of the article or page. In Document title. Retrieved from URL

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Document title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization, stated after the word In. Note: in this particular situation, the "document title" is also a proper noun (the name of the library), which needs to be capitalized; in most other situations where the title doesn't include proper nouns, the words would be lowercase. End the citation with the URL for website the article came from.

Electronic Source: Non-periodical Web Document with no Author

National Confectioners Association. (2014). State of the industry. Retrieved from http://www.candyusa.com/data-insights/state-of-the-confectionery-industry/

Organization in place of author. (Date). Title of the article or page. Retrieved from URL

APA format and documentation. (2015, October.). Retrieved from http://www.webster.edu/academic-resource-center/writingcenter/writing-tips/apa.html

Title of the article or page. (Date). Retrieved from URL

When no author is stated, organization name may be utilized instead. All other citation information is stated like the example with author. For no author and no clear or appropriate organization name, use the next piece of information (other than date) and place it first—in this case, the title of the article or webpage, capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below. Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. End the citation with the URL for website the article came from.

Electronic Source: Non-periodical Web Document with no Author or Date Listed

Plagiarism prevention. (n.d.). In Webster University. Retrieved from http://www.webster.edu/academic-resource-center/plagiarism_prevention/

Title of the article or page. (n.d.). In Website Name. Retrieved from URL

When no author is stated, use the next piece of information (other than date) and place it first—in this case, the title of the article or webpage, capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below. Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. Website title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization, stated after the word In. Note: to find the website name, it is sometimes necessary to go to the site’s home page, navigating away from the specific article/document. End the citation with the URL for website the article came from.

Electronic Source: Article from an Online Periodical

Lee, C. (2015, October 23). The Clydesdales return to A-B commercials [Electronic version]. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved from http://www.stltoday.com/

Author, I. (Date). Title of article [version type, if any]. Periodical Title. Retrieved from URL

Authors are presented in inverted order (Last then Initial). Date is given in parentheses; include as much date information as the source provides. The article title is presented without quotes or italics and capitalized properly (see Tips and Rules below). Periodical title is listed next in italics, using proper capitalization, stated after the word In. If the periodical is a journal or magazine, volume/issue/page information may be needed, presented in the same style as those shown above. End the citation with the URL for website the article came from. Note: this citation model is for an article found on the basic web, not a database.

Tips and Rules for References

Authors’ first names are presented with initial only, even if the source shows them in full. Omit any titles or honors. State as many initials as the author has names (such as middle or maiden). State last name first then initials for all authors. 

One author: Last, I.

Two authors: Last, I., & Last, I. 

Three authors (or more): Last, I., Last, I., & Last, I. 

List authors in the order they are stated by the source; do not rearrange them in any way.

Use italics for the following data: book titles and subtitles, journal titles and volume, newspaper and magazine titles, and website titles

Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle for books and the titles of short pieces (like an article, essay, webpage, or other small piece). All other words should be lowercase. The exception to this rule is that proper names should remain capitalized.

Capitalize words within the titles of journals, newspapers, magazines, and websites if they are four or more letters long. Note: this does not apply to the titles of books or short works; see above.

Do not use quotation marks for the titles of articles or other short works in the reference list—however, do so if referring to those works in the body of the essay or in in-text citation.

If multiple publication cities are provided, list only the first.

Use p. or pp. to indicate page numbers in newspaper articles and items in edited books, but not for articles in magazines and journals.

Include a digital object identifier (DOI) for any source accessed online (if it has one); otherwise, use Retrieved from http:// … and do not use a final period after the URL.

Include an accessed date (Retrieved Date from http:// …) only if the online source is likely to change. Otherwise, just use URL.

For Further Guidance

There are many more variations, in both print and electronic resources. For full documentation guidelines, consult Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker or Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.

[Material adapted and updated by Laura Hardin Marshall, Oct. 2015]

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. You’ll most likely use APA format if your paper is on a scientific topic. Many behavioral and social sciences use APA’s standards and guidelines.

What are behavioral sciences? Behavior sciences study human and animal behavior. They can include:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Neuroscience

What are social sciences? Social sciences focus on one specific aspect of human behavior, specifically social and cultural relationships. Social sciences can include:

  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Human Geography
  • Archaeology
  • Linguistics

Many other fields and subject areas regularly use this style too. There are other formats and styles to use, such as MLA format and Chicago, among many, many others. If you’re not sure which style to use for your research assignment or project, ask your instructor.

While writing a research paper, it is always important to give credit and cite your sources, which acknowledge others’ ideas and research that you’ve used in your own work. Not doing so can be considered plagiarism, possibly leading to a failed grade or loss of a job. This style is one of the most commonly used citation styles used to prevent plagiarism.

In this guide, you’ll find information related to writing and organizing your paper according to the American Psychological Association’s standards. You’ll also learn how to form proper in-text citations that correspond to an entry in a “Reference List.” Click here for further reading on the style.

Writing and Organizing Your Paper in an Effective Way

This section of our guide focuses on proper paper length, how to format headings, and desirable wording.

Paper Length:

Since APA style format is used often in science fields, the belief is “less is more.” Make sure you’re able to get your points across in a clear and brief way. Be direct, clear, and professional. Try not to add fluff and unnecessary details into your paper or writing.  This will keep the paper length shorter and more concise.

Using Headings Properly:

Headings serve an important purpose – they organize your paper and make it simple to locate different pieces of information. In addition, headings provide readers with a glimpse to the main idea, or content, they are about to read.

In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with different sizes and purposes

  • Level 1: The largest heading size
    • This is the title of your paper
    • The title should be centered in the middle of the page
    • The title should be bolded
    • Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary (called title capitalization)
  • Level 2:
    • Should be a bit smaller than the title, which is Level 1
    • Place this heading against the left margin
    • Use bold letters
    • Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary
  • Level 3:
    • Should be a bit smaller than Level 2
    • Indented in from the left side margin
    • Use bold letters
    • Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. All others should be lowercase. The exception is for pronouns as they should begin with a capital letter.
  • Level 4:
    • Should be a bit smaller than Level 3
    • Indented in from the left margin
    • Bolded
    • Italicized
    • Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. All others should be lowercase. The exception is for pronouns as they should begin with a capital letter.
  • Level 5:
    • Should be the smallest heading in your paper
    • Indented
    • Italicized
    • Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. All others should be lowercase. The exception is for pronouns as they should begin with a capital letter.

Here is a visual example of the levels of headings:

Bullying in Juvenile Detention Centers    (Level 1)

Negative Outcomes of Bullying in Detention Centers (Level 2)

Depression (Level 3)

Depression in School (Level 4)

Withdrawal from peers (Level 5)

Withdrawal from staff

Depression at Home (Level 4)

Anxiety

Positive Outcomes of Bullying in Detention Centers

Resiliency

Writing Style Tips:

Writing a paper for scientific topics is much different than writing for English, literature, and other composition classes. Science papers are much more direct, clear, and concise. This section includes key suggestions, from APA, to keep in mind while formulating your research paper.

Verb usage:

Research experiments and observations rely on the creation and analysis of data to test hypotheses and come to conclusions. While sharing and explaining the methods and results of studies, science writers often use verbs. When using verbs in writing, make sure that you continue to use them in the same tense throughout the section you’re writing.

Here’s an example:

We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants.

It wouldn’t make sense to add this sentence after the one above:

We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants. Researchers often test solutions by placing them under a microscope.

Notice that the first sentence is in the past tense while the second sentence is in the present tense. This can be confusing for readers.

For verbs in scientific papers, the manual recommends using:

  • Past tense or present perfect tense for the explantation of the procedure
  • Past tense for the explanation of the results
  • Present tense for the explanation of the conclusion and future implications

Tone:

Even though your writing will not have the same fluff and detail as other forms of writing, it should not be boring or dull to read. The Publication Manual suggests thinking about who will be the main reader of your work and to write in a way that educates them.

Reducing Bias & Labels:

The American Psychological Association strongly objects of any bias towards gender, racial groups, ages of individuals or subjects, disabilities, and sexual orientation. If you’re unsure whether your writing is free of bias and labels or not, have a few individuals read your work to determine if it’s acceptable.

Here are a few guidelines that the American Psychological Association suggests:

  • Only include information about an individual’s orientation or characteristic if it is important to the topic or study. Do not include information about individuals or labels if it is not necessary to include.
  • If writing about an individual’s characteristic or orientation, make sure to put the person first. Instead of saying, “Diabetic patients,” say, “Patients who are diabetic.”
  • Instead of using narrow terms such as, “adolescents,” or “the elderly,” try to use broader terms such as, “participants,” and “subjects.”
  • Be mindful when using terms that end with “man” or “men” if they involve subjects who are female. For example, instead of using “Firemen,” use the term, “Firefighter.” In general, avoid ambiguity.
  • When referring to someone’s racial or ethnic identity, use the census category terms and capitalize the first letter. Also, avoid using the word, “minority,” as it can be interpreted as meaning less than or deficient.
  • When describing subjects, use the words “girls” and “boys” for children who are under the age of 12. The terms, “young woman,” “young man,” “female adolescent,” and “male adolescent” are appropriate for subjects between 13-17 years old. “Men,” and “women,” for those older than 18. Use the term, “older adults.” for individuals who are older. “Elderly,” and “senior,” are not acceptable if used only as nouns. It is acceptable to use these terms if they’re used as adjectives.

Spelling, Abbreviations, Spacing, and other Word & Number Rules:

  • Use one space after most punctuation marks unless the punctuation mark is at the end of a sentence. If the punctuation mark is at the end of the sentence, use two spaces afterwards.
  • If you’re including an acronym in your paper (like “APA”), it is not necessary to include periods between the letters.
  • Use abbreviations sparingly. If too many abbreviations are used in one sentence, it may become difficult for the reader to comprehend the meaning.
  • Prior to using an unfamiliar abbreviation, you must type it out in text and place the abbreviation immediately following it in parentheses. Any usage of the abbreviation after the initial description, can be used without the description.
    • Example: While it may not affect a patient’s short-term memory (STM), it may affect their ability to comprehend new terms. Patients who experience STM loss while using the medication should discuss it with their doctor.
  • If an abbreviation is featured in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as is, then it is not necessary to spell out the meaning. Example: AIDS
  • Use an oxford comma. This type of comma is placed before the words and OR or in a series of three items. Example: The medication caused drowsiness, upset stomach, and fatigue.
  • Use the same spelling as words found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (American English)
  • If the word you’re trying to spell is not found in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a second resource is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.
  • If attempting to properly spell words in the psychology field, consult the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology
  • When writing a possessive singular noun, place the apostrophe before the s. For possessive plural nouns, the apostrophe is placed after the s.
    • Singular: Linda Morris’s jacket
    • Plural: The Morris’ house
  • For hyphens, do not place a space before or after the hyphen: custom-built
  • For numbers, use the numeral if the number is more than 10. If it’s less than 10, type it out.
    • 14 kilograms
    • seven meters

Use of Graphics:

  • If you plan to add any charts, tables, drawings, or images to your paper, number them using Arabic numerals. The first graphic, labeled as 1, should be the first one mentioned in the text. Follow them in the appropriate numeral order in which they appear in the text of your paper. Example: Chart 1, Chart 2, Chart 3.
  • Only use graphics if they will supplement the material in your text. If they reinstate what you already have in your text, then it is not necessary to include a graphic.
  • Include enough wording in the graphic so that the reader is able to understand its meaning, even if it is isolated from the corresponding text. However, do not go overboard with adding a ton of wording in your graphic.

Fundamentals of an APA Citation

Generally, APA citations follow the following format:

Contributors. (Date). Title. Publication Information.

Click here to find additional information about citation fundamentals.

Contributor Information and Titles:

The main contributor(s) of the source (often the name of the author) is placed before the date and title. If there is more than one author, arrange the authors in the same order found on the source. Use the first and middle name initials and the entire last name. Inverse all names before the title.

One author:

Smith, J. K. (Date). Title.

Two authors:

Smith, J. K., & Sampson, T. (Date). Title.

Three authors:

Smith, J. K., Sampson, T., & Hubbard, A. J. (Date). Title.

Eight or more:

Smith, J. K., Sampson, T., Hubbard, A. J., Anderson, J., Thompson, T., Silva, P.,…Bhatia, N. (Date). Title.

Other contributor types

Sometimes the main contributor is not an author, but another contributor type, such as an editor for a book, a conductor for a musical piece, or a producer for a film. In this instance, follow the contributor with the contributor type (abbreviate Editor(s) as Ed. or Eds. and most other roles can be spelled out in their entirety).

One contributor examples:

Smith, J. K. (Ed.). (Year published). Title.

Lu, P. (Producer). (Year published). Title.

Two contributors examples:

Smith, J. K., & Sampson, T. (Eds.). (Year published). Title.

Lu, P., & Winters, U. (Producers). (Year published). Title.

Corporate or group authors

Some sources may have corporate or group authors. Write these organizations in their entirety, and place them where you would write the author. If the organization is also the publisher of the source, write “Author” instead of repeating the publisher name.

Corporate author:

American Psychological Association. (Date). Title. Washington, DC: Author.

Government author:

Illinois Department of Industrial Relations. (Date). Title. Springfield, IL: McGraw-Hill

No contributor information

Sometimes you will come across sources with no contributor information. In this instance, do not write the date first. Instead, write the name of the title and then the date, then followed by the remaining appropriate bibliographic data.

Webster’s dictionary. (1995). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Title Rules – Capitalization and Italics

Article titles and works within larger works, such as chapters and web pages, as well as informally published material are not italicized. Main titles that stand alone, such as those for books and journals, are italicized. Generally, capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title or any subtitles, and the first letter of any proper nouns. For titles of periodicals, such as journals and newspapers, capitalize every principal word.

Publication Information

After the contributor information and title comes the publication information. Below are different publication templates.

Book:

Last, F. M. (Date Published). Book title. City, State: Publisher.

Journal:

Last, F. M. (Date Published). Article title. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), Page(s).

Magazine:

Last, F. M. (Date Published). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), Page(s).

Website:

Last, F. M. (Date Published). Web page title. Retrieved from Homepage URL

Newspaper:

Last, F. M. (Year, Month Day published). Article title. Newspaper Title, Page(s).

Note: If there is no date, use “n.d” in parentheses, which means “no date.

Note: Page numbers for chapters of books and newspapers are preceded by “p.” or “pp.” [plural], while those of magazines and journals are only written with numbers.

Additional information

For less conventional source types, you can add descriptions about the source after the title, in brackets, immediately after the title. For example, you can add [Brochure] after the title of a brochure (separated by a space) to clarify the type of source you are citing.

Getty Images. (2015, September 19). David Wright #5 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.gettyimages.com/license/489162016

When citing nonperiodical sources, advanced information such as the edition and series information comes before the publication information and immediately after the title, grouped in the same parentheses. See the example below:

Smith, J. (2002). Power. In R. C. Richardson (Ed.), The time of the future (5th ed., Volume 3). Philadelphia, PA: Sage.

Here’s a useful site to help you understand citations a bit more.

How to Format In-Text, or Parenthetical Citations:

Researchers include brief parenthetical citations in their writing to acknowledge references to other people’s work. Generally, parenthetical citations include the last name of the author and year of publication. Page numbers are also included when citing a direct quote.

If some of the information is included in the body of the sentence, exclude it from the parenthetical citation. In-text APA citations typically appear at the end of the sentence, between the last word and the period.

Example of a parenthetical citations without the author’s name in the text:

Harlem had many artists and musicians in the late 1920s (Belafonte, 2008).

Example of a parenthetical citation when author is mentioned in the text:

According to Belafonte, Harlem was full of artists and musicians in the late 1920s (2008).

For parenthetical citations with two authors, format your parenthetical citation like this:

Rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking (Stewart & Colbert, 2010).

For parenthetical citations with three to five authors:

  • Include all names in the first in-text parenthetical citation, separated by commas and then an ampersand (&).
    • Rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking (Stewart, Colbert, & Oliver, 2010).
  • For all subsequent in-text parenthetical citations, include only the first author, followed by “et al.” and the publication year if it is the first citation in a paragraph.
    • The event resulted in thousands of participants flocking to the National Mall in support of the cause (Stewart et al. 2010).

OR

    • Stewart et al. (2010) state that the event resulted in thousands of participants flocking to the National Mall in support of the cause.

For parenthetical citations for six or more authors, include only the last name of the first author, followed by “et al.” and publication year in ALL parenthetical citations.

The study did not come to any definitive conclusions (Rothschild et al., 2013).

For parenthetical citations for sources without an author:

  • If a work has no author, include the first few words of the bibliography entry (in many cases, the title) and the year.
  • Use quotation marks around the titles of articles, chapters, and/or websites.
  • However, unlike in your reference list, parenthetical citations of articles and chapters should have all major words capitalized.
  • Italicize the titles of periodicals, books, brochures, or reports.

Example:

    • Statistics confirm that the trend is rising (“New Data,” 2013).
    • The report includes some bleak results (Information Illiteracy in Academia, 2009).

Citing a part of a work:

When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page number or section identifier, such as a chapters, tables, or figures. Direct quotes should always have page numbers.

Example for citing part of a source in your in-text or parenthetical APA citation:

One of the most memorable quotes is when he says, “You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!” (Green, 2012, p. 272).

If the source does not include page numbers (such as online sources), you can reference specific parts of the work by referencing the:

  • Paragraph number (only use if the source includes actual paragraph numbers. Do not count paragraphs) with the abbreviation “para.” (Klein, 2017, para. 7).
  • Tables and figures spelled out, starting with capital letters (Klein, 2017, Table 1) or (Klein, 2017, Figure A).
  • Chapters spelled out, starting with capital letters (Klein, 2017, Chapter 19).
  • Official headings can be spelled out, starting with a capital letter. If they’re lengthy, use the first few words of the title. (Klein, 2017, Methodology section).
  • These specific parts can be combined. (Klein, 2017, Chapter 19, para. 8).

Citing groups or corporate authors:

Corporations, government agencies, and associations can be considered the author of a source when no specific author is given.

  • Write out the full name of the group in all parenthetical citations
    Example:
    The May 2011 study focused on percentages of tax money that goes to imprisonment over education funding (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 2011).
  • You may abbreviate the group name if the group’s name is lengthy and it is a commonly recognized abbreviation in all subsequent parenthetical citations.
    Example:
    The report found that over a half billion of taxpayer dollars went to the imprison residents “from 24 of New York City’s approximately 200 neighborhoods” (NAACP, 2011, p. 2).

Parenthetical citations for classical, biblical, or religious works:

  • It is not necessary to create a full APA reference list citation at the end of your project for these source types. Only include in-text, or parenthetical citations, for these sources.
  • Cite the translation or version used.
    • (Homer, trans. 1998).
    • (King James version).
  • When citing specific content from these sources, include the paragraph/line numbers that are used in classical works. This information is consistent across versions/editions, and is the easiest way to locate direct quotes from classical works.
    • The Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:4 New International Version).

Citing and formatting block quotes:

When directly quoting information from sources in your writing, you may need to format it differently depending on how many words are used.

If a quote runs on for more than 40 words:

  • Start the direct quotation on a new line
  • Indent the text roughly half an inch from the left margin
  • If there are multiple paragraphs in the quotation, indent them an extra half inch
  • Remove any quotation marks
  • Double-space the text
  • Add the parenthetical citation after the final sentence

Example:
Packer (2017) states that:

The future of fantasy sports depends on the advocacy of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association to work with various state government agencies on legislation and reform. With over ten executive board members on the Fantasy Sports Trade Association’s team, we regularly attend various state legislation sessions when fantasy sports is on the agenda. This ensures that we’re aware of and ready to take action on any changes in legislation. (p.34).

Click here to learn more about parenthetical citing.

Web Rules

When citing electronic or online sources, keep these things in mind:

  • When including URLs in the citation, do not place a period at the end.
  • If a URL runs across multiple lines of text in the citation, break the URL off before punctuation (e.g., periods, forward slashes) – except http://.
  • For journal articles, include the DOI (digital object identifier) in the citation, if there is a DOI number available. DOI numbers are preferred over URLs because DOIs never change, they remain static. URLs on the other hand can become broken or outdated links. Format it as follows: http://dx.doi.org/xxxx
    • If no doi is provided, include the URL of the homepage for the journal that published the article. Format it as follows: Retrieved from http://www.xxx
    • Do not include database information, such as the name of the database or its publisher.

Plagiarism Basics:

We include citations in our research projects to prevent plagiarism. Plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work in your own project, but do not acknowledge that author and their original work. You may pretend it’s your own work or change the original author’s work to make your own project seem valid.  Plagiarism, while preventable, can result in serious consequences. Click here to learn more about plagiarism.

How to Format an APA Bibliography

  • Label the page References and center it at the the top of the page
  • Double space the entire list
  • Every line after the first line of a citation should be indented one-half inch from the left margin (also known as hanging indentations)
  • Alphabetize your entire bibliography list
  • Note that on EasyBib.com, when using the EasyBib citation generator, it will format your references list, alphabetized and indented, and ready to hand in!

How to Format an APA Style Paper:

Your teacher may want you to format your paper using the Publication Manual’s guidelines. If you were told to create your citations in APA format, your paper should be formatted using these guidelines.

General guidelines:

  • Use 8 ½ x 11” paper
  • Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
  • The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch
  • Use Times New Roman font, size 12
  • Double space the entire paper
  • Include a page header known as the “running head” at the top of every page. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page)
    • To create a running head/page header, insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of the page numbers)
    • Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left using all capital letters
    • If your title is long, this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper.

  • APA Format Papers Components: Your essay should include these four major sections:
    • An APA format Title Page:
      • This page should contain four pieces: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. Create the page header/running head as described above. *Please note that only on the title page, your page header/running head should include the words “Running Head” before your title in all capital letters. The rest of the pages should not include this in the page header. It should look like this on the title page:

  • The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay, but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
  • It should be centered on the page and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Do not underline, bold, or italicize the title.
  • Your title may take up one or two lines, but should not be more than 12 words in length.
  • All text on the title page should be double-spaced in the same way as the rest of your essay.
  • Do not include any titles on the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms.
  • The institutional affiliation is the location where the author conducted the research.

Abstract

On the following page, begin with the Running title.

  1. On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
  2. On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew.
  3. This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
  4. If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords: in italics.  Then list your keywords that stand out in your research.

APA Sample Paper Abstract page:

The Body

On the following page, begin with the Body of the APA paper.

  1. Start with the Running title
  2. On the next line write the title (do not bold, underline, or italicize the title)
  3. Begin with the introduction. Indent.
  4. The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based.  It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
  5. Begin a new section with the Method. Bold and center this subtitle The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
  6. Begin a new section with the Results. Bold and center this subtitle.  The Results section summarizes the data. Use charts and graphs to display this data.
  7. Begin a new section with the Discussion. Bold and center this subtitle. This Discussion section is a chance to analyze and interpret your results.
    1. Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
    2. Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
    3. Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.

** Throughout the body, in-text citations are used and include the author name(s) and the publication year.

   Ex: (Wilkonson, 2009).

Sample Body page:

APA Referencing

On a new page, write your references.

  1. Begin with a running title
  2. Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title)
  3. Alphabetize and Double-space all entries
  4. Every article/source mentioned in the paper and used in your study should be referenced and have an entry.

Sample Reference Page:

How to Cite Various Source Types:

Books

A book is a written work or composition that has been published – typically printed on pages bound together.

Book citations contain the author name, publication year, book title, city and state or country of publication and the publisher name.

Much of the information you need to create a print book citation can be found on the title page. The title page is found within the first couple of pages of the book.

Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.

James, H. (2009). The ambassadors. Rockville, MD: Serenity.

If you need further assistance with citing books, EasyBib’s APA format generator will automatically cite them for you. See more across the site.

Chapter in a Print Book:

A chapter is a specific section, or segment, of a book. Chapters often have their own title or they are numbered.

Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of chapter. In F. M. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (pp. xx-xx). Publisher City, State: Publisher.

Much of the information you will need to create a chapter in a print book citation can be found on the title page. The title page is found within the first couple of pages of the book. You will also need some of the information found on the table of contents. The chapter title, author, and page numbers can be found there.

Shuhua, L. (2007). The night of MidAutumn Festival. In J. S. M. Lau & H. Goldblatt (Eds.), The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature (pp. 95-102). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

E-Books:

An e-book is a written work or composition that has been digitized and is readable through computers or e-readers such as Kindles, iPads, Nooks, etc.

Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of work [E-reader version]. Retrieved from URL

Stoker, B. (2000). Dracula [Kindle HDX version]. Retrieved from http://www.overdrive.com/

Chapter in an E-book:

Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of chapter. In F. M. Editor (Ed.), Title of book [E-reader version] (pp. xx-xx). Retrieved from URL or http://dx.doi.org/xxxx

The Bible and Other Classical Religious Texts:

The Bible and other classical religious texts (such as the Torah, the Qur’an, and others) do not require a citation in the reference list. However, you must include an in-text citation anytime you reference these texts in your writing.

For the in-text citation, when quoting or paraphrasing specific excerpts from the text, include the information about the specific verse, line, page, etc.

If the version of the religious text you are using is relevant, mention it in the first reference in your writing. This can be as either a general reference or a formal in-text citation.

Example:

The Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:4 New International Version).

Remember, you only need to cite the version of the religious text used in the first general reference or in-text citation of the source. In all other instances, leave it out.

Journals

Scholarly, or academic, journals are often created for specific fields or disciplines. They are issued periodically throughout the year and feature scholarly articles, research studies, and/or reviews.

In journal citations, journal titles are written in title case and followed by the volume number. Both of these fields should be italicized.

Journals found on a database or online:

Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Article title. Journal Title, Volume Number(Issue Number), pp.-pp. http://dx.doi.org/xxxx or Retrieved from homepage URL

Database information and the retrieval date are not required in journal article citations.

If no DOI is listed, use the periodical homepage URL. Example: Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1936-2706

Trier, J. (2007). “Cool” engagements with YouTube: Part 2. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(7), 598-603. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.50.7.8

Journals found in print:

Author, F. M., Author, F. M. & Author, F. M. (Year of Publication). Article title. Journal Title, Volume Number(Issue Number), page range.

Lin, M.G., Hoffman, E.S., & Borengasser, C. (2013). Is social media too social for class? A case study of Twitter use. Tech Trends, 57(2), 39-45.

If you need help citing your journal articles, EasyBib’s APA generator cites them automatically for you.

Newspapers

A newspaper is a daily or weekly publication that contains news; often featuring articles on political events, crime, business, art, entertainment, society, and sports.

Newspapers found in print:

Author, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article title. Newspaper Title, pp. xx-xx.

If the article is printed on discontinuous pages, list all of the page numbers/ranges and separate them with a comma (e.g., pp. C2, C4, C7-9.)

Bowman, L. (1990, March 7). Bills target Lake Erie mussels. Pittsburgh Press, p. A4.

Newspapers found online:

Author, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article title. Newspaper Title. Retrieved from newspaper’s homepage URL

The URL of the newspaper’s homepage is used to avoid broken links

Kaplan, K. (2013, October 22). Flu shots may reduce risk of heart attacks, strokes and even death. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com

If you are using a bibliography tool, like EasyBib’s APA citation machine, make sure you are citing a newspaper article – not a website!

Magazines

A magazine is a periodical that often contains text and/or graphics that revolve around a specific topic or subject. Most articles in magazines are relatively short in length (compared to journals) and often contain colorful images.

Magazines in print:

Author, F. M. (Year, Month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume number(Issue number), page range.

The volume number can be found on the publication information page of the magazine. Page numbers are typically found on the bottom corners of an article. If issue number is not provided, omit it from the citation.

Luckerson, V. (2014, January). Tech’s biggest promises for 2014. TIME, 183, 23-25.

Magazines found online:

Author, F. M. (Year, Month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume number(Issue number). Retrieved from URL of magazine’s homepage or DOI number.

The volume and issue number may not be on the same page as the article. Browse the website before omitting it from the citation.

Luckerson, V. (2014, January). Tech’s biggest promises for 2014. TIME. Retrieved from http://time.com/

Need further help with your magazine citations? Try EasyBib’s APA formatter.

Blogs

An online blog generally revolves around one specific subject matter and contains text or graphics that are added by an individual, group, or organization. Individual blog posts are regularly added to a blog site.

Author, F. M. (Year, Month, Day of Publication). Title of blog post [Blog post]. Retrieved from URL

If the author’s full name is not available, the author’s screen name or handle is acceptable to use.

Silver, N. (2013, July 15). Senate control in 2014 increasingly looks like a tossup [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/senate-control-in-2014-increasingly-looks-like-a-tossup/

Websites

A website is a group of online pages, placed together, that can contain text and/or images for informational or entertainment purposes. Most websites revolve around a topic or theme. There are news websites, sports, research, shopping, and many other types of websites.

Note that many sources have citation structures for their online versions (e.g., online newspapers, dictionaries, magazine or journal articles). Check the other formats on this page to see if there is a specific citation type in an online format that matches your source.

Website with an author:

Author, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of web page [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Only include information about the format in brackets if the website is a unique type of document, such as a PDF.

Limer, E. (2013, October 1). Heck yes! The first free wireless plan is finally here. Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/heck-yes-the-first-free-wireless-plan-is-finally-here-1429566597

Website without an author:

Title of web page [Format]. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Retrieved from URL

Only italicize the title if it stands alone (such as a singular online document or complete report). If you’re unsure of whether or not to italicize, then do not italicize the title.

Mongolia. (2016, December 5). Retrieved from https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/mongolia.html

Tweet:

A tweet is a post that is made on the social media site, Twitter.

Last name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Day of Posting). Text of tweet [Tweet]. Retrieved from URL

If the author’s full name is unavailable, only include the username at the beginning of the citation, without brackets.

RealTalkRaph. (2017, September 2). The Patriots are always many moves ahead of every other NFL team. Extreme organizational depth at all skilled positions & a fearless leader [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/RealTalkRaph/status/904061814278955008

YouTube Video:

YouTube is a popular website that displays videos that are uploaded by individuals and companies.

Uploader’s Last name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Day of Posting). Video title [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

If the author’s full name is unavailable, only include the username at the beginning of the citation, without brackets.

305 Fitness. (2017, August 18). When I grow up [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/a8-svSALTmk

Musical Recording:

Musical recordings are musical audio clips, songs, or albums. Many are found online and listened to digitally.

Songwriter’s Last name, F. M. (Publication year). Song title [Recorded by F. M. Singer’s Last Name]. On Album title [Audio file]. Retrieved from URL

Only include the information about the individual or band who performs the song if it is different than the name of the author, or songwriter.

Red Hot Chili Peppers. (2006). Tell me baby. On Stadium arcadium [Audio file]. Retrieved from open.spotify.com/track/0itNMuBHye9fu392b4e9oa

Don’t forget, our EasyBib APA reference generator cites your musical recordings and songs for you!

Sheet Music or a Musical Score:

The American Psychological Association’s guidelines do not specify how to cite sheet music. We suggest following the book format when citing sheet music. After the title of the piece, indicate that you are citing sheet music by way of using a descriptor like [Sheet music], [Libretto], or [Musical score]. One major difference between a book and sheet music is that sheet music is written by a composer, not an author. You can specify this fact if you would like, by formatting the beginning of the citation like this:

Composer’s Last name, F. M. (Composer).

Or, treat the composer like an author by not including the word composer in parentheses.

Additionally, sheet music can come as individual work or it can be part of a collection or book.

Sheet music found in print:

Composer’s Last name, F. M. (Year of Publication). Sheet music’s title [Format]. Publisher’s Location: Publisher.

Beethoven, L. (2002). Fur Elise [Sheet music]. New York: Random House.

Sheet music found online:

Composer’s Last name, F. M. (Year of Publication). Sheet music’s title [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Beethoven, L. (Composer). (2002). Fur Elise [Sheet music]. Retrieved from https://www.8notes.com/scores/7063.asp

Films:

Producer’s Last name, F. M. (Producer), & Director’s Last name, F. M. (Director). (Year of publication). Title of film [Format]. Retrieved from URL

The format is placed in brackets directly after the title. It can be either DVD, video file, or another medium that the film is found on.

Thomas, E. (Producer), & Nolan C. (Director). (2017). Dunkirk [Video file]. Retrieved from https://watchmovie.info/watch-movie-operation-dunkirk/h0Eq

Remember, you can cite your movies quickly and easily with EasyBib’s APA citation maker. Looking for a free APA citation creator? Trial EasyBib’s APA formatter.

TV/Radio Broadcast/Podcast:

To cite an individual television episode or radio podcast or broadcast streamed online, use the following structure:

Writer’s Last name, F. M. (Writer), & Director’s Last name, F. M. (Director). (Year published). Title of individual episode or podcast [Television series episode or podcast]. In F. M. Producer’s Last name (Executive producer), Television or Podcast series name. Retrieved from URL

Dick, L. (Writer), & Yaitanes, G. (Director). (2009). Simple explanation [Television series episode]. In P. Attanasio (Producer), House, M.D. Retrieved from https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4y4g93

To cite a full television series or podcast/radio broadcast in its entirety, use the following structure:

Producer’s Last name, F. M. (Producer), & Creator’s Last name, F. M. (Creator). (Year aired). Title of television series or podcast series [Television series or podcast series]. Retrieved from URL

Benihoff, D. & Weiss, D. B. (Producers & Creators). (2017). Game of thrones, season 7 [Television series]. Retrieved from http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones

The EasyBib citation builder automatically cites your TV, radio broadcast, and podcast sources for you!

Thesis or Dissertation:

A thesis is a document submitted to earn a degree at a university. A dissertation is a document submitted to earn an advanced degree, such as a doctorate, at a university.

Many theses and dissertations can be found on databases. For this specific source type, include the name of the database in the citation. In most other source types, the name of the database isn’t included in the citation.

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or Master’s thesis). Retrieved from Database Title. (Order number or Accession number).

Knight, K.A. (2011). Media epidemics: Viral structures in literature and new media (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from MLA International Bibliography Database. (Accession No. 2013420395)

If the thesis or dissertation is found on a website, use this structure:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or Master’s thesis). Retrieved from URL

Wilson, P.L. (2011). Pedagogical practices in the teaching of English language in secondary public schools in Parker County (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/11801/1/Wilson_umd_0117E_12354.pdf

Conference Paper:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year presented, month). Title of conference paper. Paper presented at the meeting of Name of Organization, Place of Meeting. Retrieved from URL

Briden, J., Burns, V., & Marshall, A. (2007, March). Knowing our students: Undergraduates in context. Paper presented at ACRL National Conference, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/baltimore/papers/184.pdf

Interview:

Reference lists only include works that can be found by the reader. As a personal interview is not published or “findable,” it should not be included in the reference list. Instead, a personal interview should be referenced as a parenthetical citation. For example: (J. Smith, personal communication, June 18, 2017).

If you would like to include a personal interview as part of your reference list, then include the interviewee, the date of the interview, and the type of interview.

Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Interview). Interview by F. M. Last name [Format of Interview].

Mobile App:

Apps are often used on digital devices such smartphones, tablets, and wearables such as smartwatches. Apps are downloaded from an app store by the user. Some apps correlate with a website and some apps stand alone.

Creator’s Last name, F. M. or Company. (Year version was published). App’s Title (Version). [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from URL’s homepage

SoundCloud. (2017). SoundCloud – Music & Audio (Version 5.12.0). [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/

Encyclopedia:

Encyclopedias are reference works that focus on a specific discipline or they may contain information about all general topics. Encyclopedias are often organized in alphabetical order and contain entries, which are brief overviews, of a topic.

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of entry. In F. M. Editor’s Last name (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia (Version). Retrieved from URL

Davis, A. S., & Landis, D. A. (2011) Agriculture. In D. Simberloff & M. Rejmanek (Eds.), Encyclopedia of biological invasions. Retrieved from https://books.google.com

Dictionary:

Dictionary entry. (Year published). In Title of dictionary (Version). Retrieved from URL

Donkey. In Oxford English living dictionary. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com

Our EasyBib APA citation generator cites your dictionary entries automatically for you!

Need more information? Click here to learn more about crediting sources.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a summary of a scholarly article or scientific study. Scholarly articles and studies are rather lengthy documents and abstracts allow readers to first determine if they’d like to read an article in its entirety or not.

You may come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display abstracts in the search results and also often display them before showing the full text to an article or scientific study. It is important to create a high quality abstract, that accurately communicates the purpose and goal of your paper, as readers will determine if it is worthy to continue reading or not.

If you’re planning on submitting your paper to a journal for publication, first check the journal’s website to learn about abstract and paper requirements.

Here are some helpful suggestions to create a dynamic abstract:

  • Feature the main keywords of your project or paper in the abstract. In addition, use the keywords or keyword strings that you think readers will type into the search box. Individuals who are researching the same or similar topics may come across your abstract and find it useful to read or use for their own research purposes.
  • Use concise, brief, informative language. You only have a few sentences to share the summary of your entire document, so be direct with your wording.
  • Use an active voice, not a passive voice. When writing with an active voice, the subject performs the action. When writing with a passive voice, the subject receives the action.

Example:

Active voice: The subjects reacted to the medication.

Passive voice: There was a reaction from the subjects taking the medication.

  • Instead of evaluating your project in the abstract, simply report what it contains.
  • If a large portion of your work includes the extension of someone else’s research, share this in the abstract and include the author’s last name and the year their work was released.

Categories of Papers:

  • Empirical Studies
    • Empirical studies take data from observations and experiments to generate research reports. It is different from other types of studies in that it isn’t based on theories or ideas, but on actual data.
  • Literature Reviews
    • These papers analyze another individual’s work or a group of works. The purpose is to gather information about a current issue or problem and to communicate where we are today. It sheds light on issues and attempts to fill those gaps with suggestions for future research and methods.
  • Theoretical Articles
    • These papers are somewhat similar to a literature reviews, in that the author collects, examines, and shares information about a current issue or problem, by using others’ research. It is different from literature reviews in that it attempts to explain or solve a problem by coming up with a new theory. This theory is justified with valid evidence.
  • Methodological Articles:
    • These articles showcase new advances, or modifications to an existing practice, in a scientific method or procedure. The author has data or documentation to prove that their new method, or improvement to a method, is valid. Plenty of evidence is included in this type of article. In addition, the author explains the current method being used in addition to their own findings, in order to allow the reader to understand and modify their own current practices.
  • Case Studies:
    • Case studies present information related an individual, group, or larger set of individuals. These subjects are analyzed for a specific reason and the author reports on the method and conclusions from their study. The author may also make suggestions for future research, create possible theories, and/or determine a solution to a problem.

 

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