Text of T HE B ASICS OF APA S TYLE Sixth Edition. W RITING IN APA S TYLE APA stands for the American...
T HE B ASICS OF APA S TYLE Sixth Edition
W RITING IN APA S TYLE APA stands for the American Psychological Association and this writing style was first developed to effectively communicate research of the Behavioral Sciences. This writing style has been expanded to many disciplines besides Psychology. Publication in most scholarly journals require the use of this style, therefore it is now taught at the undergraduate level.
W HAT APA W RITING S TYLE IS NOT APA is Not MLA-MLA writing utilizes quotes which are referenced by numbers that match the works cited page. APA uses quotes sparingly if at all. A good rule of thumb is to only use quotes on an exact definition that you could not paraphrase. NOTE: More than 2 quotes per paper is too many and it is best if there are none. APA is NOT an editorial or opinion style of writing. Sources are paraphrased with little opinion in the paper.
G UIDELINE TO STRUCTURING A P APER Writing a paper at the college level
W HERE TO B EGIN To begin writing, one must know the objective of the assignment. In APA assignments at the undergraduate level, most assignments are either essays or research reports. Both the essay and research report require a literature search for information from reputable sources such as: Journal articles Web based journals Limited use of recognized web sites ( e.g. National Institute of Mental Health, Bureau of Labor Statistics) Limited use of books Absolutely no Wikipedia, or other type of encyclopedic reference. Information used in the paper is most often in the form of previous research studies or review articles Information is summarized and not quoted and one must use citations. Information cannot be copied word for word from the study/article even if it is being cited. This is PLAGIARISM.
E XAMPLE : There is an area of the brain that always becomes active when a vivid memory is being retrieved. The area is within the left inferior prefrontal cortex. The activity of this area, captured by an fMRI during learning, predicts whether something that was stored is being recalled in crystal clear detail. Excerpt taken from: Medina, J. (2009). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: First Pear Press, 34-35. If you wanted to cite the passage from this book, one would summarize the passage in your own words and give credit to the author.
The area of the brain responsible for recall of a vivid memory is the inferior prefrontal cortex which can be seen on an fMRI. Activated areas seen on the fMRI during learning makes it possible to predict the level of recall (Medina, 2009). The original text is summarized and at the end of the summary the authors last name and year of publication are put in parentheses in text. If there were two authors, both would be listed, such as ( Medina & Jones, 2009) APA in text citation never uses initials, title of the book or article or simply a number such as MLA (e.g. (1) ). The entire reference entry (Medina, J) as seen on the previous slide would be put in the reference section.
It has been reported that a Nazi-like professor is insisting that all students learn to write in the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Graduate students in the department do not agree with her decision ( Peterson, 2009) This citation must be listed in your reference section in the format for a newspaper article.
T HE R ESEARCH P APER As an Research Proposal
S TRUCTURE OF A R ESEARCH PAPER Title Page Abstract Introduction Methods Results Discussion
T ITLE P AGE All APA papers must contain a title page. The title is very important and there are specific rules in APA style. A title should be a concise statement of the main topic. The title should identify the variables or theoretical issues under investigation and the relationship between them. The title should be typed in upper and lower case letters, centered between the left and right hand margins, and positioned in the upper half of the page. Recommended length for a title is no more than 12 words. Good Title: Effects of Age on Detection of Emotional Information
T ITLE P AGE ( CONTINUED ) Page numbers are on the same line as the running head. The page numbers begin on the cover page and begin with one. The running head and number should be set up as a header and it should continue on every page following the title. The authors name ( byline) is centered under the title and should have your first name, middle initial and last name. The institution should be centered under the name.
T ITLE P AGE ( CONTINUED ) The Running head appears on the title page and on every page after. The first letter of the first word is capitalized and the second word is not, a colon follows the second word (e.g. Running head: ). There should be two spaces after the colon. The actual running head should be the first 5 to 7 words of the title and should not exceed 50 characters ( including spaces). The actual running head should be in all caps. Ex. EFFECTS OF AGE ON DETECTION OF EMOTION Running head: EFFECTS OF AGE ON DETECTION OF EMOTION
Running head: EFFECTS OF AGE ON..1 Effects of Age on Detection of Emotion Pamela M. Stuntz Texas Christian University
I NTRODUCTION The title of the paper is again repeated at the beginning of the Introduction, centered at the top of the page, under the running head and page number. Strong opening paragraph that introduces the specific problem under study and why the problem is important. Ex, Music is an important part of todays culture and many people listen to music while engaged in various tasks. Does listening to music facilitate the task at hand, or can it be distracting. Does the type of music affect concentration or memory? As music is an integral part of life, it is therefore important to examine its effects on specific tasks.
I NTRODUCTION : R ESEARCH P ROPOSAL The hypothesis should be introduced in the introduction. While APA suggests the hypothesis should be at the end of the introduction, for the purpose of this assignment, the hypothesis should be in the Opening paragraph of the introduction, preferably in the last sentence. For Example: The purpose of the current experiment is to compare the effects of country music and classical music on learning as measured by a general psychology exam.
I NTRODUCTION Introduce the idea of previous research and cite the studies that will be summarized later in the paper. Previous research suggests that listening to classical music while studying enhances memory (e.g. Anderson, 2005; Calvo & Lang, 2004; Hinojosa, Mecado & Tapia, 2006). Citations are made from references which are presented in alphabetical order. Do NOT reorder the names of the authors, simply present the citations in alphabetical order with a comma, the year, and separated by a semi-colon.
I NTRODUCTION (L ITERATURE REVIEW ) Based on information from literature search, no hard data of your own to report. Structured by you ( or instructions from class assignment) to fit your topic. Puts idea into the context of a particular thesis. The objective of the lit review is to inform the reader in depth on a particular topic or theme. Another part of the lit review should describe studies relevant to the proposed study. Descriptions of previous studies should describe the participants, basic methods and conclusions reached. No statistics should be reported. Relate each study you cite back to your proposed study..
T EXT Following the intro paragraph within the introduction, one should operationally define the constructs in the paper. For example, in this example one may want to define classical music and country music as well as other constructs such as memory. After the section of operational definition, you should begin discussing studies that relate to the hypothesis. Discuss the relevant literature, but do not feel compelled to include an exhaustive historical account. A scholarly description of earlier work provides a summary of the most recent directly related work.
T EXT When summarizing earlier research, avoid nonessential details. Emphasize pertinent findings, relevant methodology and major conclusions. Demonstrate the logical continuity between the previous research and your study. For example, Anderson ( 2005) presented participants with images representing four categories.(relevant methodology).Results indicate that younger adults show detection benefits for arousing information in the environment ( major conclusions. The focus of the present study is to determine the extent to which age influences automatic detection of emotional information. (Continuity between the previous research and your study).
I NTRODUCTION Summary paragraph within the Introduction: Here you will sum up the studies you discussed in your introduction, with citations. You will also state your prediction. Previous research suggests that classical music, such as Mozart enhances learning and memory in school age children. Some research suggests that younger people are more attuned to musical influence ( again, list the references in alphabetical order). Gray and Calvo ( 2005) indicated music enha