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1 Created by Denise Regeimbal and Amanda Rutstein, 2012 APA STYLECreated by Denise Regeimbal and Amanda Rutstein, 2012This power point provides students with answers to commonly asked questions about formatting research papers in APA style. APA style is the paper writing format used by the College of Business, the College of Education, and some departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, to insure that all submitted papers follow a similar pattern for source documentation of reference material and also provide a clear and concise method of delivery for the individual elements and body of the paper.Using APA style prevents misunderstanding by giving the reader the ability to pay attention to the content of the research, rather than questioning the mechanics of the information provided. Standardization equals better focus for the reader: you, your colleagues, and your professor.
2 Basic APA Research Paper Elements Structure and contentClear and concise organizationMechanics of styleTables and figuresParenthetical citationsReferencesThe content and written portion of a research paper are the most important aspects of the student's writing; however, the presentation shows that the student, the writer, cares. The basic formatting elements of APA style are structure and content; clear and concise organization, mechanics of style, tables and figures, crediting sources within the text, and a references page.
3 Getting Started General Document Formatting Setting up a Word documentSelect Font/Font SizeTimes New RomanFont Size 121” margins all aroundLeft justified with right ragged edgeDouble spacedAll paper elements should be double spaced except in-text table/figure notationIndent the first line of all paragraphsPrior to actually beginning to put words on a blank computer document, formatting the document with APA style formatting elements makes it virtually unnecessary to make general technical corrections and adjustments at other times during the writing process.First, be sure to select the Times New Roman font with a font size of 12. Next, be sure that the margins of the blank document are set at 1" all around. Also, that the margins are left justified with a right ragged edge. Finally, be sure to set up the document to be double-spaced between all sentences, paragraphs, and section headings. If MS Word is being used, in the Paragraph tab under line spacing, click on Remove Space After Paragraph. This will insure that all spacing within the paper will be double-space only and there will be no need for adjustments later.
4 Title Page Elements Header Title page body Running head and paper titlePage numbersTitle page bodyPaper TitleYour NameInstitutionThe university pledgeAPA sample title pageIn the header section of the title page, the words Running head, then a colon, and then the title in all capital letters are required. These should be left justified. In addition, the page number should also appear, but be right justified. On subsequent pages the words Running head are omitted and only the title in all capital letters and page number are needed. In MS Word, this is accomplished by clicking on Different First Page in the design tab when formatting the header.All that is required in the body of the title page is the paper title, your name, and University of Mary Washington; however, some students add additional information or a professor may request it. This is generally not a problem. Also, don’t forget to add the pledge under the institution name or in the footer and sign near the pledge before turning the paper in!
5 Basic APA Elements of a Research Paper AbstractSample APA style research paperBasic Elements of a Research PaperIntroductionBody of paperIn-text citationsParenthetical Tables and figuresConclusionReferencesReference page formatOrder of source information for each resourceOrder of all sources on reference page (alphabetized)Hanging indent-5 spacesOne element which may be included in an APA style paper is an abstract but this is up to the professor. If an abstract is requested, write it after the paper is completed. The abstract is a word summary of the contents of the paper. It lets the potential reader have a glimpse of the information that is included in the body of the paper, and they can decide whether they might find the information useful or not. The abstract is located on a separate page between the title page and the introduction to the paper.The introduction follows the abstract, and it is where the reader’s interest is piqued on the topic of the paper and also where the thesis is stated or the problem being solved is described.Next is the body of the paper which is where the bulk of the citations will be. The citations give credit to the sources used while also providing the reader with the ability to easily locate the researched information, either to verify it for themselves or to do additional research. Citations should be included with: direct quotations, anything that is not common knowledge, summarized or paraphrased material, and statistics and graphics. The general rule for in-text citation is to either include them as part of a sentence for instance: Roberts (2009) states…, or at the end of a sentence (Roberts, 2005). A page number is required after any quoted material and some professor’s will require it for any research; however, in general, the page number is only needed with a quotation.APA style also has rules for labeling tables and figures. Click on the Powerpoint link for a handout with instructions.And of course, the paper will have a conclusion. Not just a summary of what has been written thus far, but some meaningful discussion of why the topic is important, answering the “So what?” question.Another element, the reference page will list all the sources (and only those sources) that were used in the body of the paper. Each reference page entry should include the author’s name (or the title for works with no author), the publication date, the title of the article, the title of the periodical, and the publication information. For example, HerbstDamm, K. L. & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, doi: / There are variances for different types of sources, but each generally follows this format.Finally, the professor may request some elements that aren't required in APA style such as an Executive Summary, a Table of Contents, special page numbering, or appendices that are located in an excel document. These do require special handling, but there is some leeway in the way they are presented in a paper. The Writing Center or the professor can help with these components.
6 Heading LevelsHeading levels are an important organizational tool used in APA Style. There are five heading levels which are useful to show the subordination of material within a paper. For a handout showing the heading levels, click on the heading level link. In a scientific paper, your heading levels may be Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. In a research paper more conceptual headings will be used. For example, in a paper titled Strategy and Leadership of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (one of America’s greatest rock and roll bands!), the first level heading might be “Motion Picture Interview” rather than Introduction. In the body of the paper, a first level heading might be “Vision” and second level headings under this might be “Petty’s Vision” and “Primary Organization’s Vision.” Keep in mind, with these conceptual headings, the terminology used will allow the reader to know what will be discussed in a particular section.
7 Quotation Rules Frame all quotes Punctuation goes inside quotation marksBlock quotes:Any quote longer than four lines of text (or at the professor’s discretion)Indent each line of the quoteOmit quotation marksSingle spaceIt is important to put all quotes in context. The student writer may understand why a particular quote is appropriate to a particular topic or paragraph, or to whom the quote can be attributed, but the reader might need further clarification.Make sure all quoted material is introduced and explicated.Likewise, quotes make terrible transition sentences, so try to avoid ending any paragraph with a quote.
8 Extras Following the professor’s specific instructions Using the MS Word References tab or other formatting softwareWhole numbers under 10 are spelled out while whole numbers over 10 are numerical.Use full name of source the first time and then refer to source by last name in subsequent referencesArticle titles are not framed with quotation marks in the reference listWhen there are more than three sources in a parenthetical citation, replace all but the first name with “et al.” after the first use of that citationDo not cite Wikipedia…just don’tSince individual professors sometimes have specific paper requirements and sometimes request different mechanical and formatting elements than those stated in this PowerPoint, always follow the professor’s guidelines. However, if the professor’s directions are not clear, just ask them to explain. Professors are more than willing to provide help and clarification.Next, it may be helpful to use reference formatting software, such as Zotero. These programs can help format source information while also maintaining the references in an online file for use on a future paper. It is always a good idea to double check the references generated by these programs against an example reference to make sure all of the important source elements are put in the correct order.Heading levels are an important organizational tool used in APA Style. There are five heading levels which are useful to show the subordination of material within a paper. For a handout showing the heading levels, click on the heading level link. In a scientific paper, your heading levels may be Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. In a research paper more conceptual headings will be used. For example, in a paper titled Strategy and Leadership of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (one of America’s greatest rock and roll bands!), the first level heading might be “Motion Picture Interview” rather than Introduction. In the body of the paper, a first level heading might be “Vision” and second level headings under this might be “Petty’s Vision” and “Primary Organization’s Vision.” Keep in mind, with these conceptual headings, the terminology used will allow the reader to know what will be discussed in a particular section.
9 Writing Center Information Fredericksburg Campus Writing Center(540)Located in Trinkle 107AMonday-Thursday 10-5 and Friday 10-3Stafford Campus Writing Center(540)Located in the lobby of the South BuildingMonday-Thursday 4-8*Handouts regarding APA Style guidelines and punctuation rules are available at both the Fredericksburg and Stafford Writing Centers
10 Where to Go For additional Information Sixth Edition of APA Publication ManualPurchase highly recommendedStafford Writing Center websiteFredericksburg Writing Center websiteAPA websiteThe Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue Owl)Purdue Owl