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Scenes from Women's Studies

Guide to APA Formatting and Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, second printing.

Paper Format Guidelines

  • The page layout should be set to 1" margins on all sides.
  • All papers are to be double-spaced.
  • The font for the entire document should be set at 12 pt. and should be Times New Roman.

Title Page

  • Your title page should include three components: title of the paper, author and institutional affiliation, and running head.
    • Running head: A running head should be included in all papers and appears in the header of the document.  It is traditionally a shortened version of your paper title.  Typically, people will use the first part of a title when it includes a colon.  The running head should be no more than 50 characters. Note that this is characters and not words.  All punctuation, letters, and spaces count as characters.  The name of your running head appears in all uppercase letters, is left justified, and preceded by the term “Running head.” Note that the word “head” is not capitalized.  See the sample title page for a clear example.

Headings

There are a total of five heading categories, although most papers will use only three to four levels.  Heading levels provide a hierarchical organization to your paper.  Topics of equal importance should have the same level.  Additionally, sub-sections must have at least two headings for each section.  The title of your paper always appears centered in upper and lower case at the top of the first page, but does not count as a level in your paper.  Always begin with the first level and work towards the higher levels.  Additionally, you should never use a heading titled Introduction as it is assumed that the first part of your paper is just that.  See the next page for further details.

Level 1

Centered, Bold, Upper and Lower Case Heading

 

Level 2

Left Justified, Bold, Upper and Lower Case Heading

 

Level 3

     Indented, bold, lower case, paragraph heading ending with a period.

 

Level 4

     Indented, bold, italics, lower case paragraph heading ending with a period.

 

Level 5

     Indented, italics, lower case paragraph heading ending with a period.

 

 Example:

Short Paper (One Level)

Student Athletes: An Overview of Population Specific Needs (Title)

Historical Issues (Level 1)

Developmental Concerns (Level 1)

Future Trends (Level 1)

 

Medium Length Paper (Two Levels)

Student Athletes: An Overview of Population Specific Needs (Title)

Historical Issues (Level 1)

Developmental Concerns (Level 1)

Cognitive Development (Level 2)

Identity Development (Level 2)

 

Long Paper (Three Levels)

Student Athletes: An Overview of Population Specific Needs (Title)

Historical Issues (Level 1)

Developmental Concerns (Level 1)

Cognitive Development (Level 2)

Identity Development (Level 2)

              Racial identity. (Level 3)

              Gender identity. (Level 3)

Future Trends (Level 1)

Thesis or Dissertation Length (Four Levels or More)

Student Athletes: An Overview of Population Specific Needs (Title)

Historical Issues (Level 1)

Developmental Concerns (Level 1)

Cognitive Development (Level 2)

Identity Development (Level 2)

Racial identity. (Level 3)

              Asian American college students. (Level 4)

              Latino college students. (Level 4)

Gender identity. (Level 3)

Future Trends (Level 1)

Example:

Running Head: RETHINKING MENTORING                                                1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rethinking Mentoring: Developmental Relationships as Opportunities for Leadership Learning

John P. Dugan

Loyola University Chicago

Citations

The establishment of protocols for citing intellectual property and giving appropriate credit for original ideas is a core function of APA 6th Edition.  Citations are provided not only for direct quotations, but also for any thoughts or ideas of others that you paraphrase.  Whenever possible you should use primary sources in your papers.  However, this requires that you go back to the original text and actually read it.  Do not cite documents that you have not personally read.

SECONDARY SOURCES

IN TEXT: Name the original work, but give the citation for the secondary source: McClelland’s study (as cited in Cotheart & Haller, 1996) examined…  IN REFERENCE LIST: Cite the secondary source: Coltheart, M., & Haller, M. (1996). Reading comprehension: Dual-route and distributed-processing techniques. Psychological Quarterly, 9, 589-608.     

PRIMARY SOURCES

Citation of primary sources in text generally follows the author-date method.  If the author’s surname is mentioned in the text, then you simply add the year of publication in parenthesis.  For direct quotes a page number must be added.  For example: (Walker, 2000) Walker (2000) found that… (Walker, 2000, p. 82) If the name of an author appears as part of the narrative (i.e., in text) then the year follows in parentheses and it is not necessary to include the year again when the author’s name is repeated in the narrative of the same paragraph and cannot be confused with any other citations in the same paragraph.  Any parenthetical references (i.e., the citation appears in parentheses) in the same paragraph should include the year. In a recent study of reaction times, Walker (2000) found no interaction amongst variables in the cross-sectional data.  Walker’s research supports the work of others studying similar variables (James & King, 2004; Salinger, 1999).  However, interactions among variables were identified in the longitudinal data (Walker, 2000).  However, if the full citation appears in parentheses first, subsequent citations should always present the year along with the author’s last name.

In a recent study of reaction times, no interaction amongst variables in the cross-sectional data (Walker, 2000).  Walker’s (2000) research supports the work of others studying similar variables (James & King, 2004; Salinger, 1999).  However, interactions among variables were identified in the longitudinal data (Walker, 2000).

Quotations

Less than 40 Words

Consider the citation as part of the sentence and put the terminal punctuation mark after the closing parenthesis.

It is suggested that “the redefinition phase is, finally, evidence of changes that occurred in both individuals” (Kram, 1998, p. 62).

Kram (1988) suggests that “the redefinition phase is, finally, evidence of changes that occurred in both individuals” (p. 62).

More than 40 Words

Quotations of more than 40 words should be presented in block format with a five space indentation on the left hand side only (use the tab key).  Start the quote on a new line and place the page reference after the terminal punctuation mark.  In the event that you quote multiple paragraphs, add an additional five spaces indentation to the first line of each paragraph.  Note that block quotes should retain the double-spaced formatting required by APA style.  

Newcomb (1962) suggested that:

In so far as we are interested in what college experience does to students' attitudes we must, because of the nature of attitude formation and change, be interested in the groups to which students (wittingly or not) yield power over their own attitudes. (p. 479)

Additional Considerations

  • Quotes within Quotes: If a direct quote appears within the text that you are quoting enclose the secondary quote with single quotation marks (‘ ’) when in the text and with double quotation marks (“ ”) when in block format.  
  • Ellipsis Points: An ellipsis (. . .) is used to indicate that a segment of the direct quote has been omitted.  Use three periods with a space before and after each period to indicate that something was left out of a sentence.  Use four periods (one to end the sentence and three additional) to indicate that there is an omission between sentences.  
  • Brackets: Brackets ([ ]) can be used to insert text by someone other than the original author of a quote.  These can be useful in clarifying material that may otherwise be lost when a quote is removed from the original text.

Reference List

A reference list should be provided at the end of all papers to assist readers in identifying and retrieving sources.  Only include references for material cited in your paper.  Note that this is what differentiates a reference list from a bibliography.

Items in your reference list should be listed alphabetically by the first author’s surname.  The list is double spaced and formatted using a hanging indent (i.e., the second line of each item is indented five spaces).  There are five core elements to each listing:

Element One = author

Element Two = year

Element Three = title of article/ chapter

Element Four = name of journal/ book

Element Five = publisher location and name

Samples of common reference formats are provided on the next page.  A more expansive list can be found in the APA 6th Edition book (p. 193).

Additional Considerations:

  • Publishers’ Locations: You are required to list the publisher’s city and state for all books.  If the publisher is a university you do not have to restate the name of the state if it appears in the name of the school.
  • Several Works by the Same Author: Arrange the references chronologically starting with the earliest date.
  • Sources by both Author Individually and with Others: In this case list the individual reference first, followed by the group publications.  
  • Sources with Six or More Authors: For references with six or seven authors, list all of them in the reference citation.  For references with eight or more authors, list the first six authors, then insert three ellipses, and add the last author’s name.

Engberg, M., Dugan, J. P., Haworth, J., Williams, T., Kelly, B., Johnson, W., … Stewart, S. (2009). Navigating the complexity of higher education preparation program administration. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

  • Capitalization: Note that only the first word of a book or article title is capitalized.  If the title has a colon, then the first word after the colon is capitalized as well.  Each word in the title of a journal is capitalized.
  • Italics versus Underline: Italics are used for the names of book and journal titles in lieu of underlining. 

Examples for Reference Page

Books:

Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence in student affairs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

 

Edited Book:

Gilligan, C., Lyons, N. P., & Hammer, T. J. (Eds.). (1989). Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

* Note that the name of the school retains its capitalization since it is a proper noun *

Chapter in an Edited Book:

McEwen, M. E. (2003). The nature and uses of theory. In S. R. Komives, D. B. Woodard, Jr. (Eds.), Student services: A handbook for the profession (4th ed.; pp. 153-178). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

* Note the comma, rather than a period, after (Eds.) *

Second or Later Edition of a Book:

Komives, S. R., & Woodard, D. B. (Eds.). (2003). Student services: A handbook for the profession (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Book Review:

Komives, S. R. (1995). Elements of truth [Review of the book Reform in student affairs: A critique of student development]. NASPA Journal, 32, 316-319.

Journal Article:

Boatwright, K. J., & Egidio, R. K. (2003). Psychological predictors of college women’s leadership aspirations. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 653-669.

Komives, S. K., Owen Casper, J., Longerbeam, S. D., Mainella, F., & Osteen, L. (2004). Leadership identity development. Concepts & Connections, 12(3), 1-6.

* Note that because this publication begins each issue of a volume with page one, you are required to put the issue number in parentheses next to the volume number. Do not put a space between them and do not put the issue number in italics. *

Newspaper Article:

Coughlin, E. K. (1993, March 24). Sociologists examine the complexities of racial and ethnic identity in America. The Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. A7-A8.

Magazine Article:

Henry, W. A. (1990, April 9). Beyond the melting pot. Time, 135, 28-31.

Abstracted Doctoral Dissertation:

Tyree, T. M. (1998). Designing an instrument to measure the socially responsible leadership using the social change model of leadership development (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (AAT 9836493)

Electronic Reference Items

A key addition to APA 6th Edition is an expanded section on citing electronic sources.  Central to this in a reference list is the inclusion of digital object identifiers (DOIs).  These are codes assigned to many, but not all, electronically published sources that allow for the more accurate retrieval of electronic documents.  They are sometimes found on the actual electronic document (e.g., PDF), but may also be listed in the retrieval system (e.g., web database listing).  Any sources that are retrieved electronically and provide a DOI should list it following the model below:

Avolio, B. J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the roots of positive forms of leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315-338. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.001

If no doi is assigned to the online document, include the homepage URL for the periodical:

Avolio, B. J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the roots of positive forms of leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315-338. Retrieved from http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620221/description

* Note that you do not end this type of reference with a period. Nor should you leave the hyperlink in the URL. *

Three key guidelines should inform your formatting of electronic reference items:

  • You should direct the reader as closely as possible to the item you are referencing;
  • When page numbers are not available use paragraph numbers to guide the reader to the appropriate section; and
  • Provide URL addresses that work.

 

For more detailed instructions for APA format, click here