APA Documentation Style


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In-Text Citations
  • Cite the source in parentheses immediately following the information being documented.
  • Always cite the author and the year of publication. Include a page number only when using a direct quote.  When paraphrasing, page numbers are optional, but remember to be consistent.  Note: when citing an author’s name in APA, do not use first and middle names; instead, use first and middle initials.  APA does this to reduce gender bias.  Also, only use an ampersand sign (&) inside parentheses or on the References page.
  • Smoothly incorporate the parenthetical reference into your text by placing it as near as possible to the material being documented.
  • The period of a sentence always follows the documentation in parentheses (except for in block quotations, see below).  For example: Despite social and academic change and reform, US literacy levels have progressed or regressed very little (Stedman, 1996).
  • Quotation marks for direct quotations go before the citation in parentheses.

Example:

“It would appear form the evidence that it is time to reconsider a return to an emphasis on decoding, on vocabulary building, and on word recognition, particularly in grades K-3” (Chall, 1996, p. 130).

  •  Quotations which are more than forty words long are set off as block quotations:
  1. Start a new line at the beginning of your quote.
  2. Indent the left margin ½ inch for the entire quote.
  3. Double space the quote.
  4. Do not use quotation marks.
  5. Document at the end of the quote.
  6. Place the period before the citation.
  7. The first sentence of your paragraph that follows the quote should begin a new line and should not be indented (try not to end a paragraph with a block quote).

Example:

Miele (1993) found the following:

The “placebo effect,” which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner. Furthermore, the behaviors were never exhibited again, even when real drugs were administered. Earlier studies were clearly premature in attributing the results to a placebo effect. (p. 276)

 

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References
  • At the end of your paper, you must provide a list of works used in your paper.  Make sure all entries are double-spaced.
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the title, the first letter of the first word immediately following a colon, and proper nouns.  All other words and letters should be lower case.
  • Article titles should not be put in quotation marks.
  • While underlining and italicizing for books, journals, magazines, and so forth really are the same thing, APA style prefers italicizing.
  • The word References should be centered one inch from the top of the page, not underlined, italicized, or bolded and in 12-point font.  Double space after the word References.
  • Include a page number on the References page.  For example, if the last page of the paper was 12, then the References page should begin on page 13.
  • Use a hanging indent for all entries: the first line of an entry is flush left, and all other lines in the entry are indented one half inch.

 

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Citing Electronic Sources
  • With electronic sources, some of the data which should be included on the References page is frequently missing. As a general rule, include as much data as you can find on your source, but do not be alarmed if you cannot find everything.
  • Because of the fluctuation within electronic media, it is important to carefully determine the credibility of electronic sources. Most articles that appear in journals or books have been reviewed and juried by several experts, enhancing their credibility. This is not always the case with electronic sources. Web sites ending in .edu (educational institution), .gov (government agency), and .org (non-profit organization) are more consistently credible than web sites ending in .com or .net.
  • Note: do not put a period after a URL in an APA References page entry even if it ends the entry.
  • For more information on citing databases in APA, visit the library’s online guide to citing electronic sources:   http://guide.unwsp.edu/citing

 

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