Proper apa format for research paper


While writing an APA paper may seem difficult or confusing, start by breaking it down into more manageable steps. As you research your topic, creating an outline and a working bibliography can help you structure your paper and keep track of all of the references you use. Begin by doing your research and writing your paper, but be sure to keep a careful record of all your references.

Next, write the abstract section of your paper only after you are completely finished writing your paper. Finally, put all of your references together and create a title page. Once you have completed these steps, spend a little time editing your paper and reviewing your finished APA paper to be sure that all of the formatting is accurate.

Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter. American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed.

Paper Formatting Checklist - APA Style - Research Guides at Towson University

Washington, DC: Author. More in Student Resources. Title Page : Your title page should contain a running head, the title of the paper, your name and your school affiliation. This page provides important details for your readers, so it is important to learn how to write a title that accurately yet briefly relates what your paper is about. Abstract : The abstract is a very short summary of your paper. This section is placed immediately after the title page.

There are three types of notes for tables: general, specific, and probability notes.

How to Format Your Essay in APA Style

All of them must be placed below the table in that order. Put explanations of abbreviations, symbols, etc. To indicate specific notes, use superscript lowercase letters e. Asterisks indicate the values for which the null hypothesis is rejected, with the probability p value specified in the probability note. Such notes are required only when relevant to the data in the table. Consistently use the same number of asterisks for a given alpha level throughout your paper. If you need to distinguish between two-tailed and one-tailed tests in the same table, use asterisks for two-tailed p values and an alternate symbol such as daggers for one-tailed p values.

The most common forms of graphs are scatter plots, line graphs, bar graphs, pictorial graphs, and pie graphs. For more details and specifics on what kind of information, relations, and meaning can be expressed with the different types of graphs, consult your textbook on quantitative analysis. Spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel, can generate the graphs for you. When the dots cluster together, a correlation is implied. On the other hand, when the dots are scattered randomly, no correlation is seen. See example Figure 1….

In solid bar graphs, the independent variable is categorical, and each bar represents one kind of datum, e. A multiple bar graph can show more complex information than a simple bar graph, e. In sliding bar graphs, the bars are divided by a horizontal line which serves as the baseline, enabling the representation of data above and below a specific reference point, e. Pictorial graphs can be very deceptive: if the height of an image is doubled, its area is quadrupled.

Therefore, great care should be taken that images representing the same values must be the same size. For the sake of readability, no more than five variables should be compared in a single pie graph. Lines and dots can be used for shading in black and white documents. Thanks to software, both are now highly manipulable. For the sake of readability and simplicity, line drawings should be used, and photographs should have the highest possible contrast between the background and focal point.

Cropping, cutting out extraneous detail, can be very beneficial for a photograph. Use software like GraphicConverter or Photoshop to convert color photographs to black and white before printing on a laser printer. Otherwise most printers will produce an image with poor contrast. In preparing figures, communication and readability must be the ultimate criteria.

Avoid the temptation to use the special effects available in most advanced software packages. While three-dimensional effects, shading, and layered text may look interesting to the author, overuse, inconsistent use, and misuse may distort the data, and distract or even annoy readers. Design properly done is inconspicuous, almost invisible, because it supports communication. The APA has determined specifications for the size of figures and the fonts used in them.

Figures of one column must be between 2 and 3. Two-column figures must be between 4. The height of figures should not exceed the top and bottom margins. The text in a figure should be in a san serif font such as Helvetica, Arial, or Futura. The font size must be between eight and fourteen point. Use circles and squares to distinguish curves on a line graph at the same font size as the other labels. See examples above. For figures, make sure to include the figure number and a title with a legend and caption.

Then type the title of the figure in sentence case. Follow the title with a legend that explains the symbols in the figure and a caption that explains the figure:. Figure 1. How to create figures in APA style. This figure illustrates effective elements in APA style figures. Captions serve as a brief, but complete, explanation and as a title. If the figure has a title in the image, crop it. Graphs should always include a legend that explains the symbols, abbreviations, and terminology used in the figure. These terms must be consistent with those used in the text and in other figures.

The lettering in the legend should be of the same type and size as that used in the figure. There are a few common trends in abbreviating that you should follow when using APA, though there are always exceptions to these rules. When abbreviating a term, use the full term the first time you use it, followed immediately by the abbreviation in parentheses. According to the American Psychological Association APA , abbreviations are best used only when they allow for clear communication with the audience.

Exceptions : Standard abbreviations like units of measurement and states do not need to be written out. Exceptions : Use a period when abbreviating the United States as an adjective U. Marines or U. Units of measurement and statistical abbreviations should only be abbreviated when accompanied by numerical values:. Citations should be as condensed as possible, so you should know the basic rules of abbreviation endorsed by the APA to provide your readers with reference information.

When including statistics in written text, be sure to include enough information for the reader to understand the study. Although the amount of explanation and data included depends upon the study, APA style has guidelines for the representation of statistical information:. The APA poster at the link below is a printable jpg file you may download and print out at different sizes for use in classrooms, writing centers, or as a pocket reference. Please keep in mind that the file size, as a print-quality resource dpi , is large, so it may take a while to download.

You may adjust the print size of the poster from your print menu. As is, the poster is 27 x 36 inches. Because the poster is quite large, standard printers cannot print the poster. If you do not have access to a printer that can print large documents, contact a local print shop to print the poster. The Purdue OWL cannot grant requests to print and mail posters.

Writing a Research Paper in APA Format

This resource presents the changes made between the fifth and sixth editions. Please note that the first printing of the APA sixth edition contained misprints; if you are using the APA manual, make sure you are using at least the second printing of the sixth edition. Traditionally, psychologists were the main users of APA, but recently, students and writers in other fields began using APA style.

Therefore, the sixth edition was written with a broader audience in mind. The changes made to the sixth edition reflect this broader audience.

How to write in APA format?

Headings are used to help guide the reader through a document. The levels are organized by levels of subordination, and each section of the paper should start with the highest level of heading. For example, in a scientific report following APA style, a report contains three sections: Method, Results, and Discussion. Each of these sections start with level 1 headings:. Refer to participants at the appropriate level of specificity.

The manual provides the example of using women and men to refer to all human beings instead of only using man. Man is appropriate to use when referring to one man but not when referring to a population that includes men and women. Refer to participants how they wish to be called. Try to avoid labels if possible, but if this is not avoidable, be respectful. Focus on the people and not the label. Spacing 4.

Other Tools & Resources

Regarding punctuation in manuscript drafts, APA suggests using two spaces after periods ending sentences to aid readability. This research project explores how to discuss palliative care with patients. Approximations 4. Use words to express approximations of days, months, and year. Reporting statistics 4.

Use a zero before the decimal point with numbers less than one when the statistic can be greater than one. Include effect sizes and confidence intervals with statistics. This will allow the reader to more fully understand the conducted analyses. Use brackets to group together confidence interval limits in both the body text and tables 5. The sixth edition includes a section 5. This section can help you decide when and how to display your data. For example, your data might show that you are exploring data and information, or your data may serve a storage purpose for later retrieval.

Figures include graphs, charts, maps, drawings, and photographs. As a general rule, only include figures when they add to the value of the paper. If the figure merely repeats what is written in the paper, do not include it, as it does not add any new information to the paper. The sixth edition also emphasizes the importance of clearly labeling electrophysiological, radiological, and genetic data.

If the quotation is less than 40 words, incorporate the quotation into the text and place quotation marks round the quotation. Cite the source immediately after the quotation and continue with the sentence. If the quotation has more than 40 words, use a block quotation. Begin the quotation on a new line and indent a half-inch from the left margin. Double-space the entire quotation, and at the end of the quotation, provide citation information after the final punctuation mark.

John Nicholson anticipated this effect when discussion farming methods in the nineteenth century:. Electronic sources 6. Because electronic publishing has become a standard in research, the sixth edition provides an overview of electronic sources and how to reference them, specifically with URLs and DOIs. URLs, more commonly known as a web address, locate information housed on the Internet. While citing from a webpage, you may not be able to find a page number to refer to, i. Contributors: Joshua M. To do this, please follow these steps:. Type in the text you would like for the first page.

Then type the shortened title inside the header as you wish it to appear throughout your document. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. The APA manual models several different templates for references, but the forms given may not apply to all documents. In this case, the APA manual states that you should format the entry as best you can in accordance with their models:. In such a case choose the example that is most like your source and follow that format…When in doubt, provide more information rather than less.

For example, if your website has no author, you can use the following example as a template for the citation for your reference page:. All 33 Chile miners freed in flawless rescue. The College of William and Mary. College mission statement. For names with suffixes e. However, if the clip art is presented in a separate medium like a handout , and you want to be very thorough about citation or if your presentation is specifically about clip art and the point is to discuss clip art from different sources, then you should cite the source. Here is the format you should follow:.

For the clip art from on-line sources, because these are texts that are relocated from an outside source, you should probably cite them regardless of the situation. Name of image creator, A. Year images was made. Title of image in italics [medium of image — i. Blackwell, E. A five dimensional measure of drinking motives. Ting, J. Mental health help-seeking in ethnic minority populations: A theoretical perspective. Rightsholder, A. Title of program Version number [Description of form]. Location: Name of producer.

Your second choice is to refer to the lecture as personal communication. Please note: personal communication is only cited in-text and not within your References list. In italics write the name or title of the lecture. Berliner, A. Lecture on Reminiscences of Wundt and Leipsig. Personal Collection of A.

Wyeth, A. Since a survey you conducted yourself is not published elsewhere by someone else, you do not cite it in the same way you cite other materials. In your paper, you should include a short overview of your survey method: whom the survey was administered to, how it was administered, how many responses you got, and what kind of questions you asked.

You should include a copy of the survey instrument the full set of questions asked as an appendix to your paper. You do not need to include your survey in your works cited list. You can access a version of The Bluebook by clicking here. The following sample reference to a statute in a state code and its explanation can be found on page The general format for this reference is as follows:.

Year, Month Day. Title of material. Name of Collection Call number, Box number, File name or number, etc. Name of Repository, Location. While the APA publication manual lists many different references, product instructions are not something that has a specific reference example.

Since there is not a specific reference guideline for instructions, I would adapt another similar reference for your uses. Title of the Instructions Year. Name of the product. Company Name, City, State. Current Location of the Product. The APA does not seem to specifically address this issue, probably because it is very particular. If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source: Permanence and Change.

Long quotations Place direct quotations that are 40 words, or longer, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks. Kernis et al. Harris et al. According to the American Psychological Association ,… If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations.

Johnson, ; L. Citing Indirect Sources If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. Johnson argued that… as cited in Smith, , p. Electronic Sources If possible, cite an electronic document the same as any other document by using the author-date style. Sources Without Page Numbers When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. According to Smith , … Mind over Matter section, para.

Footnotes and Endnotes APA does not recommend the use of footnotes and endnotes because they are often expensive for publishers to reproduce. Content Notes Content Notes provide supplemental information to your readers. Content Notes can also point readers to information that is available in more detail elsewhere. Reference List: Basic Rules Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. Basic Rules All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.

This is called hanging indentation. Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work. For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent. Present the journal title in full.


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Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title. Capitalize all major words in journal titles. When referring to books, chapters, articles, or Web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.

Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word. Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals. Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections. Therefore, if you have a source that APA does not include, APA suggests that you find the example that is most similar to your source and use that format. Single Author Last name first, followed by author initials. Berndt, T. Friendship quality and social development.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11 , Wegener, D. Mood management across affective states: The hedonic contingency hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66 , Kernis, M. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65 , Miller, F. Rubin, L. In Word , click on File, then click Options. Next, click on Proofing. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word , click on Settings. Next to Spaces required between sentences , change the setting to 2.

Click OK to exit. This setting will alert you to single spaces after a period with the green squiggle that shows when there is a grammar error in your paper. Leave 1 in. Microsoft Word usually is set to 1 in. You can check this by clicking on Page Layout , then click on Margins. The margin you are using is highlighted, select Normal if it is not already selected. APA style recommends placing two spaces after a period that ends a sentence. This rule is often not enforced by professors.

The reasoning behind it is to aid in proofreading. Microsoft Word and later editions does not allow the user to put in two spaces after a period in any automatic way. You can set-up your grammar check to alert you when you have failed to place two spaces after a period. In Spaces Required Between Sentences, select 2.

Proper apa format for research paper
Proper apa format for research paper
Proper apa format for research paper
Proper apa format for research paper
Proper apa format for research paper
Proper apa format for research paper

Related proper apa format for research paper



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