Students of – (-) are required to use the guidelines provided by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for preparing written assignments, except where otherwise noted. – has made APA templates and other resources available; therefore, students are not required to purchase the APA manual in general, though specific programs may require it.
This guide is a brief overview of APA Style. Additional examples can be found on the – Library’s Citing Sources in APA guide (https://libguides.-.edu/APA) and on the official APA Style website (https://apastyle.apa.org/).
The curriculum materials (Syllabus, Lectures/Readings, Resources, etc.) created and provided by – in online classrooms are prepared using an editorial format that relies on APA as a framework but that modifies some formatting criteria to better suit the nature and purpose of instructional materials. Students and faculty are advised that – course materials do not adhere strictly to APA format and should not be used as examples of correct APA format when preparing written work for class.
Academic writing, which is independent thought supported by reliable and relevant research, depends on the ability to integrate and cite the sources that have been consulted. Use APA style for all references, in-text citations, formatting, etc.
Use the student paper format unless directed otherwise by the assignment. Dissertations and related projects use their own formats with additional elements. Refer to the dissertation templates for those projects.
See the official APA Style website’s sample student paper (https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/sample-papers) or the – APA Typing Template for examples of the formatting rules below.
The basic organization of an APA-style student paper includes the title page, abstract if required, body, and reference section, though students are encouraged to follow any specific directions given in their assignment.
APA has two sets of rules for capitalization in titles and headings. Title case capitalizes all words over four letters, along with any word that would be capitalized in sentence case. Sentence case capitalizes proper nouns, acronyms, the first word of a title, and the word after a colon or em dash (the long dash, —). Title case is used on the title page, and for all titles, subtitles, and headings in the body—including the titles of figures or tables. Title case is also used for the titles of periodicals on the reference page. Sentence case is used for all titles other than periodical titles in the reference list.
The title page provides basic information about the paper.
The abstract covers the main points of the paper and is required only when listed in the assignment. Read the assignment instructions carefully to determine if the assignment requires an abstract.
The body will contain all of the author’s main points as well as detailed and documented support for those ideas.
The references page will contain a list of all sources actually cited in the paper.
Write in first person to describe your own actions or personal reflections, for example: “I interviewed a kindergarten teacher.” Use “we” when describing the actions of the group for group projects. Do not refer to yourself in the third person.
Use “they” as a singular word to refer to anyone who uses that pronoun, or for whom the correct pronoun is unknown—do not use “s/he” and do not use either she or he alone to refer to a person of unknown gender. “They” as a singular still uses a plural verb. For example: “The author of this work is unknown. They are thought to be from Athens.”
Abbreviations shorten words, often using the first letters of the words in a name or title (acronyms).
Use Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com) as a default for spelling words. The dictionary can also be used as a resource for hyphenation, capitalization, and so forth.
The en dash (–) is used in numerical ranges and with compound adjectives of equal weight, for example author–date citation style. In particular, it is an en dash (–), not a hyphen (-), which appears in page number ranges in both in-text citations and references. On PC keyboards with a number pad, the en dash is Ctrl+Number – (the minus sign on the number pad, not the hyphen). On Mac, it is option+hyphen or Alt+hyphen. On PCs without a number pad, such as many laptops, you will need to select the en dash from the Symbol or Special Characters menu. Many word processing programs will allow you to assign the en dash to a keyboard shortcut.
In-text citations are used in the body of a paper to show which sources were used for particular material.
When you use material from a source, you need to document that source by using a citation and reference. All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must be referenced. Using material from a source without citing that source is plagiarism. When paraphrasing, do not repeat the citation on every sentence of a paragraph if the source has not changed. Cite on the first sentence only. Cite again if you begin a new paragraph. Examples of the appropriate level of citation can be found in the APA Style website sample student paper (https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/sample-papers)
Common knowledge does not need to be cited. General references to common software, tools, and websites also do not need a citation. For example: “We conducted a survey using Survey Monkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com)” or “The data was compiled in Excel.”
Full references for most examples in this section can be found in the reference examples section.
One key to writing more often is to plan time to write on a set schedule (Silva, 2018).
According to Silva (2018), writers who write a lot write on a set schedule with time set aside for writing.
(Holland & Forrest, 2017)
In a book by Holland and Forrest (2017)…
(Nazzal et al., 2020)
A study done by Nazzal et al. (2020)…
(Johnson, Peterson, et al., 2019)
(Johnson, McGuire, et al., 2019)
The American Nursing Association (ANA, n.d.)…
Over 6 million children are estimated to have ADHD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016).
Some writers find it easier to write long hand first rather than write on a computer (“Writing Tips,” 2020).
Dr. S. Knight, a professor of English…(personal communication, March 2, 2020)
(S. Knight, personal communication, March 2, 2020)
Holland and Forrest (2017) define an argument as a claim or belief with a set of reasons in support, presented in a structured way. An argument is to defend a position as reasonable, even if it can’t prove a claim true. Good arguments are also an important part of developing one’s own thinking. They continue,
In order to argue well, you must first learn how to develop good arguments by yourself, independent of a discussion with someone else; and if you are able to present a rational defense of a claim palatable enough to quench your own skepticism, it is likely that you will be able to present it to others for their edification as well. (Holland & Forrest, 2017, Chapter 1, “Essential Features” section)
Knowing how to write academically can be a challenge for some students (Nazzal et al., 2020). Students need to be explicitly taught “how to make a claim and advance an argument by threading the claim throughout the paper” (Nazzal et al., 2020, p. 285).
Silvia, P. J. (2018). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. American Psychological Association.
Silva (2018) notes that “writing schedules, aside from fostering much more writing, dampen the drama that surrounds academic writing” (p. 15).
Writing on a schedule takes the stress and drama out of writing (Silva, 2018).
The reference list should appear at the end of a paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.
Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page References, capitalized and in bold, centered at the top of the page. The References page should be double-spaced just like the rest of the paper.
The examples in this section are some of the most common source types. Additional examples can be found on the – Library’s Citing Sources in APA guide (https://libguides.-.edu/APA) and the APA Style website (https://apastyle.apa.org).
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Publisher. https://doi.org/xyz
Goldfinger, K. B. (2019). Psychological testing in everyday life: History, science, and practice. SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781071802830
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Publisher.
Holland, R. A., & Forrest, B. K. (2017). Good arguments: Making your case in writing and public speaking. Baker Academic.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Publisher. http://www.xyz
Curtis, E. (2020). Control alt achieve: Rebooting your classroom with creative Google projects. Dave Burgess Consulting. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088FZ44M2/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_9EIdFbVPCDGAZ
Format: Include the DOI if there is one
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of work. Publisher.
Pauwels, L., & Mannay, D. (Eds.). (2020). The SAGE handbook of visual research methods. SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526417015
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx–xxx). Publisher. https://doi.org/xyz
Higgins, E. T. (2020). Thinking more is more when less is more. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), My biggest research mistake: Adventures and misadventures in psychological research (pp. 19–21). SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781071802601.n9
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. x–x). Publisher.
Ellis, M., Adebonjo, L., & Campbell, K. (2013). Why go mobile? In A. W. Dobbs, R. L. Sittler, & D. Cook (Eds.), Using LibGuides to enhance library services (pp. 239–253). ALA TechSource.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of chapter or entry. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. x–x). http://www.xyz
Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 17–43). http://www.science.com/ Philosophy and the science.pdf
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of reference work. Publisher. https://doi.og/xyz
Group Author. (Year). Title of reference work. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from https://xyz
Fitzpatrick, J. (Ed.). (2017). Encyclopedia of nursing research (4th ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved May 24, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work. Publisher.
Group Author. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from https://xyz
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Animal-assisted therapy. In APA dictionary of psychology. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://dictionary.apa.org/animal-assisted-therapy
Title of Version. (Reprint Year). Site Name. https://xyz (Original work published Year)
New American Standard Bible. (2008). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-American-Standard-Bible-NASB (Original work published 1995)
King James Bible. (2020). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)
Title of Version. (Year). Publisher. (Original work published Year)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (2001). Crossway.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2012). Zondervan. (Original work published 1984).
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of study bible. Publisher.
Barker, K. (Ed.). (1985). The NIV study bible. Zondervan.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), xx–xx. https://doi.org/xyz
Copeland, T., Henerson, B., Mayer, B., & Nicholson, S. (2013). Three different paths for tabletop gaming in school libraries. Library Trends, 61(4), 825–835. https://doi.org/10.1353/lib.2013.0018
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author, C. C., Author, D. D., Author, E. E., Author, F. F., Author, G. G., Author, H. H., Author, I. I., Author, J. J., Author, K. K., Author, L. L., Author, M. M., Author, N. N., Author, O. O., Author, P. P., Author, Q. Q., Author, R. R., Author, S. S. … Author, Z. Z. (Year). Title of article. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), xxx–xxx. https://doi.org/xyz
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), xx–xx. http://www.xyz
Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38–48. http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), xx–xx.
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Periodical Title, xx–xx.
Nazzal, J. S., Olson, C. B., & Chung, H. Q. (2020). Differences in academic writing across four levels of community college composition courses. Teaching English in the Two Year College, 47(3), 263-296.
Brody, L. (2019, November 21). Poor grammar irks teachers. Some students say that ain’t a problem. Wall Street Journal, A10B.
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Periodical Title. http://xyz
Rittgers, R. (2020, May 19). Martin Luther helps us see divine love in pandemic suffering. Christianity Today. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/martin-luther-coronavirus-black-plague-alien-work-of-god.html
Author, A. A. (Date). Title of work [Format or description]. LoudCloud. https://lms-ugrad.-.edu/learningPlatform/user/login.lc
-. (2015). UNV-104 topic 1 resource [Class document]. LoudCloud. https://lms-ugrad.-.edu/learningPlatform/user/login.lc
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work (Publication No. XYZ) [Type, University]. Database Name.
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work [Type, University]. Archive or Site Name. https://xyz
Coello, C. M. (2020). Teacher leaders’ self-efficacy in professional learning communities: A qualitative descriptive study (Publication No. 27956392) [Doctoral Dissertation, -]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.
Bassen, J. (2020). Adaptive guidance for online learning environments [Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University]. Stanford Libraries. https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/13500152
Organization or Agency name. (Year). Title of report (Publication No. X). Parent agency or agencies if present. http://www.xyz
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2014). Improving cultural competence (HHS Publication No. 14-4849). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK248428/
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of report. Agency or Organization Name. http://www.xyz
Perez, G. A., Mertz, L., & Brassard, A. (2019). A literature scan and framework of a diverse nursing workforce and its effect on the social determinates of health. Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. https://campaignforaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SDOH-Populations_Research_Workforce_Final.pdf
Director, Producer, Host, or Interviewer Last Name, F. I. (Role). (Date). Title of work [Description]. Production Company. DOI if provided.
Burton, H. (Host). (2014). Understanding ADHD–A conversation with Stephan Hinshaw [Video]. Open Agenda Publishing. http://doi.org/10.4135/9781473957329
Uploader, U. U. (Date). Title of work [Description]. Site Name. https://xyz
– Academics. (2015, May 7). Evaluating websites tutorial [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/hgG8qDMkmgw
Author, A. A. (Date). Title of work. Site Name. https://xyz.
Belton, P. (2020, May 22). Get ready for the ‘holy grail’ of computer graphics. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52541218
Organization Name. (Date). Title of work. https://xyz
American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Scope of practice. https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/scope-of-practice/
Author, A. A. (Date). Title of work. Site Name. https://xyz
Roos, D. (2020, May 18). When did people start eating in restaurants? History Channel. https://www.history.com/news/first-restaurants-china-france
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