APA Format
TCTC Writing Center
July, 2007
Prepared by Pat Seawright
American Psychological Association
Format
Note: If you are going to print
this PowerPoint presentation,
print it as a handout to save
paper. Go to file, print, print what
(handouts), and select three (or
more) per page. Printing the
individual slides wastes paper and
toner.
Ink blot—What do you
see?
1
Who Uses APA?
 In 1929 authors of articles appearing in
anthropological and psychological journals
began using a documentation style suited to
their subject matter, resources, and purposes.
Today, APA style is used in anthropology,
business, criminal justice, economics,
education, nursing, sociology, and psychology.
 APA is a format used in scientific writing,
especially for the preparation of journal
articles. Users of APA are concerned about the
timeliness of their sources; consequently, you
will see more emphasis on the date of
publication of your sources.
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What does APA style mean?
APA style refers to editorial style, not to
writing style.
APA style refers to such things as sections of
the paper, punctuation and abbreviation,
construction of tables and charts, inclusion
of headings, citation of references,
presentation of statistics, etc.
3
Side by Side Comparisons of MLA
and APA
I can see clearly now
--Johnny Nash
 Students often confuse APA with MLA. These side by side
comparisons will allow you to see the differences
between APA and MLA clearly.
 <http://lib.radford.edu/tutorial/VII/comp.asp>
or
 <http://faculty.goivytech.net/ligget/MLAAPA.htm>
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Definitive resources
 APA Manual--Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association, 5th
Edition—Copies are available in the
Writing
Center, in the library, and online.
 www.apastyle.org
Since the rules for the citation of electronic
sources are updated often, you will want to visit
this source for an expanded list of sample
references.
Both of these sources include excellent
sections on“Removing Bias in Language.”
 OWL—The Online Writing Lab at Purdue
University…Select APA.
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Other good help for students
writing papers in APA style
 The TCTC librarians have created an excellent
handout of sample reference list entries in APA
style. This handout is available in the library
and in the Writing Center in Oconee Hall, room
202. Students may print the handout from the
library site online.
 In addition to this PowerPoint on APA style, the
Writing Center has a handout on parts of the
APA paper that can be accessed online.
 Tutors in the Writing Center are available to
help students with papers in APA style.
6
Writing Psychology Papers
For specific help writing psychology papers, look
at
 George Mason University’s Psychology Writing
Guide
(http://www.gmu.edu/departments/psychology
/writing/index.htm ) or
 University of Washington’s Psychology Writing
Center (http://depts.washington.edu/physc/).
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Where students most often want
help with assignments requiring
APA format
 Parenthetical (in text) citations
 References list
Rock
Hard Place
Student with
assignment
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Reference list (not a bibliography)
 The reference list is a list of sources that
support your paper.
 Bibliographies may include the following:
sources of background material; sources for
further reading; sources that you looked at,
but did not use; and notes.
 If you are interested, you can look at an
annotated bibliography on pages 368-377
of the APA Publication Manual, 5th edition.
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Reference List
 In APA, the reference list is similar to the works cited
list in MLA. The reference list must be double-spaced
and have hanging indent.
 The reference list gives the reader the information
necessary to find each source.
 The author lists only the sources that are actually
used in preparation of the paper, unless instructed to
do otherwise.

: You should prepare the references list
as you write the paper. Waiting to complete the
references list until the paper has been finished often
causes students to make numerous errors on a
section of the paper that instructors check carefully.
10
Double check parenthetical (in
text) citations with references list
 For every in-text reference, there
will be an entry on the references
page, and every reference on the
references page will be referred to
in the text of the paper.
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Acceptable abbreviations for the
reference list








chap.
ed.
Rev. ed.
2nd ed.
Ed. (Eds.)
Trans.
n.d.
p. (pp.)
Chapter
Edition
Revised edition
Second edition
Editor (Editors)
Translator(s)
No date
page (pages)






Vol.
Volume as in
volume 4
Vols.
Volumes as in
4 volumes
No.
Number
Pt.
Part
Tech. rep. Technical
Report
Suppl.
Supplement
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the
American psychological association (5th edition). Washington,
D.C.: American Psychological Association.
12
Electronic media—often a problem
Additional resources:
 From the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing
Center--Includes examples for print materials
and electronic formats:
<http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocAPA
References_Elec.html>
 From Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)-Includes examples of print materials, electronic
media, and formats for other sources:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/
01/
13
More help with electronic sources
 From the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign-In-text citations (APA) from the Writer's Workshop:
<http://www.english.uiuc.edu/cws/wworkshop/writer_
resources/citation_styles/apa/intext_citation.htm>
 From the University of Wisconsin-Stout—
Specific examples of citations for UW-Stout
subscription databases:
<http://www.uwstout.edu/lib/reference/citationapa.ht
m>
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APA Help
WARNING: The following sites will help students create
citations for the reference list; however, the citations may
not be exactly what the instructor ordered. Students should
always double check the citations.
 Landmark’s Son of Citation Machine
http://citationmachine.net/
 21st Century Information Fluency Project/IMSA Illinois
Math and Science Academy
http://21cif.imsa.edu/tools/citation/
 Noodle Tools (Select APA)
http://www.noodletools.com/login.php
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Parts of the paper
Check with your instructor to find out if all of these parts
are necessary for your paper:
 Title page with running head for publication, title, and
byline and affiliation
 Abstract
 Text
 References
 Appendixes
 Footnotes/endnotes
 Tables
 Figure captions
 Figures
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General format
How the paper should look- Word processed, usually
12 point Times New Roman
 Double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11 paper
 One inch margins on all sides
 Numbered pages beginning with the title
page in the upper right corner
 References on a separate page under the
label references, centered with a capital R,
but no quotation marks or underlining
 References alphabetized in hanging indent
style
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More help with sections of the
paper
 In addition to the sources already
mentioned, the TCTC Writing Center
has prepared a handout giving a brief
description of each of the sections of
a paper in APA style. This handout is
available online or in the Writing
Center in Oconee 202.
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APA Format - Tri-County Technical College