Working with APA

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Information about Working with APA

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: DSC-UCF_WC



This presentation on the 6th edition of APA style is brought to you by the DSC-UCF Writing Center.

Working with APA

What is APA?  APA = American Psychological Association  Stylistic standards for publishing manuscripts in anthropological and psychological journals.  The current, sixth edition was released in 2009, with most changes focusing on how to cite electronic sources  Typically, Social and Behavioral Sciences use it:  Psychology  Social Welfare  Nursing  Business  Sciences  Education

Why do we use APA? You must cite others’ ideas and work, especially direct quotations, to avoid plagiarizing. As an author, you build your ethos (credibility) by citing your sources. You further build credibility by citing recent, relevant resources that your readers can look up if they want to know more. APA includes the year of the source in the parenthetical citation and as the second piece of information in the References because the publication date is equally important as the author.

Reading APA Sources

Getting Started Abstract 150 250 word, single paragraph that summarizes the paper. A reader should be able to decide if the paper is relevant to their research by skimming an abstract. Introduction Describes the topic or the problem being researched. The thesis or goal of the research is presented. The importance and relevance of their article is described. Brief literature review may be included.

Reviewing Literature Literature Review Summarizes and synthesizes current literature on a topic. Cites main authors and studies that appear repeatedly throughout others’ work (to build credibility). Presents possible gaps or problems with current literature. Suggests future research.

Reading Research Methods Provides detailed info on the research design, participants, equipment, materials, variables, and actions taken by the participants Should provide enough detail to allow someone else to repeat the process Results Summarizes the findings using text, tables, charts, and graphs; lots of statistics: p-values, ANOVAs, etc. Discussion Explains authors’ thoughts about the findings, any potential problems with their research, and how their findings relate to previous studies

APA In-Text Citations

Citing Sources Directly Quote – copying and pasting, word for word, from another text: Use quotation marks and cite the source, either as part of the sentence or parenthetically. Paraphrase – more than changing just one or two words: Put a sentence or chunk of text into your own words and cite, but do not use quotation marks. Summarize – explain the main idea(s) of a text: Cite. Synthesize – compare and contrast several sources: Cite more than one source in a sentence (sources are separated by semi-colons).

Integrating Sources The best way to integrate sources into your writing is to introduce them in the sentence with signal phrases. A signal phrase is the last name(s) of the author(s), the publication date in parentheses, and a past tense verb. For example:  As Jones (2013) noted, ―Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time‖ (p. 199).  Jones (2013) found ―students often had difficulty using APA style‖ (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?  According to Jones (2013), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners. No page number is necessary when paraphrasing.

Integrating Sources Readers will expect citations for statistics, facts, definitions, and phrases like ―research shows‖ or ―studies suggest.‖ These sentences are ideal for parenthetical citations at the end of the sentence, which include the last name of the author(s) and the publication year.  ―Approximately 78% of all statistics are made up‖ (Smith, O’Doole, & Jones, 2013). Note that the period goes outside the parentheses  APA style is proven to increase your social skills and sharpen your wit (Smith et al., 2013). For sources with 1-5 authors, list all authors the first time you cite that source. For 3-5 authors, the subsequent citations will be the first author + et al. For 6+ authors, the citation will always be first author + et al.

In-Text Citations (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Table 6.1 on p. 177)

APA Writing Style

Verb Tenses Use past tense in literature review and to present your results: Sanchez (2004) reported that… We found that 65% of the participants adopted more formal speech… Use present tense to discuss or synthesize: Overall analysis suggests that… The majority of researchers seem to support the hypothesis… Use active voice: When you write about roles of the participant, use active voice that portrays them as active participants, rather than passive recipients: ―The students completed the survey‖ instead of ―The survey was completed by the students‖

Language Sensitivity “Researchers who use APA often work with a variety of populations, some of whom tend to be stereotyped by the use of labels and other biased forms of language. Therefore, APA offers specific recommendations for eliminating bias in language concerning race, disability, and sexuality.” Only use gendered pronouns when you are referring to a specific person; otherwise, avoid the bias of gendered pronouns by: Rephrasing the sentence Using plural nouns or plural pronouns - "they" or "their‖ Replacing the pronoun with an article - instead of "his," use "the‖ Dropping the pronoun - many sentences sound fine if you just omit the troublesome "his" from the sentence Replacing the pronoun with a noun such as "person," "individual,‖ "child," "researcher," etc. (

Avoiding Biased Language Use appropriate level of specificity: Avoid non-specific: ―at-risk children‖ Be specific: ―children at risk for early dropout‖ Avoid non-specific: ―over 18 years of age‖ Be specific: ―18- to 35-year-olds‖ Be sensitive to labels: Ask how participants prefer to be described Person-first language: ―child with autism‖ rather than ―autistic child‖ or ―person who lives with bi-polar‖ instead of ―bi-polar person‖ Capitalize racial and ethnic groups: ―Black‖ or ―White‖ or ―AfricanAmerican‖ or ―Caucasian-American‖ See

APA Format

APA Title Page Style: Times New Roman, 12 pt, double spaced, 1‖ margins Title, Name, School: Centered Author’s Note: Info about paper: class, professor, & date

Title Page Header 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Right click in the top margin of the paper. Select Edit Header. Check Different First Page in the Header & Footer tool ribbon. Type Running head: and a short title for your paper in CAPS. Hit tab twice, then click the Page Number drop down button, select Current Position, then Plain Number. 3 5 5 4 5

Page Headers 1. After completing your title page, hit enter after the Author Note until you’re on a new page. 2. Right click in the heading area of the page and select Edit header. Type your short title in all CAPS in the far left column. 3. Hit tab twice. In the tool bar, in the far right column, click on the Page Number drop-down button  Current Position  Plain Number 4. If your teacher does not want a page number on the title page, click Page Number, Format Page Numbers, then type in “0” in the Start at box.

Text • Click on the corner of the Paragraph toolbar • Double spaced • Left aligned • ½‖ paragraph indent • 0 pt space above & below paragraphs

Levels of Headings From

References  Insert a page break for a new page.  The page should be double spaced—no extra space between entries.  Select all of your citations, then open the Paragraph window and select Hanging under the ―Special‖ drop-down option  List alphabetically (Use AZ Sort button)  List works by the same author chronologically from earliest to latest.

Sample APA References

Journal Article Fairman, J. A., Rowe, M. D., Hassmiller, S., & Shalala, D. E. (2011). Broadening the scope of nursing practice. New England Journal of Medicine, 364, 193-196. According to Fairman, Rowe, Hassmiller, and Shalala (2011), state regulations limit the extent to which nurse practitioners (NPs) can exercise their skills and knowledge. However, sixteen states (not including Florida) now allow NPs to independently practice (Fairman et al., 2011). Author initials only, no degrees. In article titles, only capitalize first letter, proper nouns, and after colon. List up to 5 authors the first time; after that, first author + et al.

Book Lock, R. D. (2004). Taking charge of your career direction: Career planning guide, book 1 (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Lock (2004) defined career maturity as your ability to make appropriate and informed career decisions, becoming aware of what is required to make career choices, and the degree to which those choices are realistic and consistent over time. … [It] involves making truthful self-estimates of one’s abilities, sufficient experience with the social environment, family togetherness, and personal characteristics such as selfrespect and being thoughtful. (p. 4) Block quotes are over 40 words, indented ½”, and do not use quotation marks. An ellipses (…) indicates removed text. [Square brackets] indicate text inserted for clarity.

Website: Organization as Author Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014, January 8). Occupational therapist. In Occupational outlook handbook. Retrieved from healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm The name of the webpage follows the word “In” and the webpage title should be in italics. In May 2012, the average yearly income for occupational therapists was $75,400 (Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS], 2014). The job outlook for this career field is a projected growth of 29% (BLS, 2014). If an organization has an acronym, you can abbreviate it in parentheses after spelling it out the first time. If the first time you use it is in parentheses, use square brackets inside the parentheses.

Website: No Author Frequently asked questions about bipolar disorder. (2013). Brain & behavior research foundation. Retrieved from When there is no author, the article title appears first. The date will always be second. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed based on reported symptoms, cycles, and family history; it cannot be identified through blood draws or brain scans (“Frequently asked,” 2013). The title of the article goes in quotation marks and is abbreviated to 1-2 words

For More Info… DSC-UCF Writing Center Resource: Purdue Owl: APA Website Tutorial: Use Google! ―APA + ______‖

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