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Copyright © 2009 Paul Clee. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed
without the express prior written permission of the author.
Please note: This is a copyrighted work. I’m a one-man operation, not a faceless publishing conglomerate. If you like this
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APA Style: The eGuide 3

Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................... 2

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................ 5

MANUSCRIPT ORGANIZATION AND LAYOUT ................................................ 6


PAGE LAYOUT ..................................................................................................................... 6
PARTS OF THE PAPER ............................................................................................................. 6
Order of parts ............................................................................................................... 6
Title page..................................................................................................................... 7
Abstract ....................................................................................................................... 7
Text (Body of the paper) ................................................................................................ 7
Headings...................................................................................................................... 8
Illustration of Title and Abstract Pages ........................................................................... 10
Illustration of First Text Page ........................................................................................ 11
Reference list.............................................................................................................. 12
Appendix ................................................................................................................... 12
Author note ................................................................................................................ 12
Tables, figures, and footnotes ....................................................................................... 12
Tables ....................................................................................................................... 12
WRITING STYLE AND GRAMMAR ................................................................ 16
GENERAL PRINCIPLES ........................................................................................................... 16
Tips for avoiding wordiness........................................................................................... 16
ORDER AND CONTINUITY ...................................................................................................... 17
Logical order .............................................................................................................. 17
Punctuation ................................................................................................................ 17
Transitional expressions ............................................................................................... 17
Transitions: examples .................................................................................................. 17
VOICE AND PERSON ............................................................................................................ 18
Active and passive voice............................................................................................... 18
Person: first and third .................................................................................................. 18
First person ................................................................................................................ 18
Third person ............................................................................................................... 19
VERB TENSES ................................................................................................................... 19
Past tense .................................................................................................................. 19
Present tense ............................................................................................................. 19
Present perfect tense ................................................................................................... 19
The Subjunctive mood ................................................................................................. 19
AGREEMENT OF SUBJECT AND VERB .......................................................................................... 20
Subject and verb must agree in number ......................................................................... 20
Collective nouns.......................................................................................................... 20
PRONOUNS ...................................................................................................................... 21
Agreement ................................................................................................................. 21
Relative pronouns (who, which, that) ............................................................................. 22
Relative pronouns who and whom.................................................................................. 23
Pronouns with gerunds (the -ing form of the verb used as a noun) ..................................... 23
Pronoun reference ....................................................................................................... 24
MODIFIERS—MISPLACED AND DANGLING .................................................................................... 25
Misplaced modifiers ..................................................................................................... 25
Dangling modifiers ...................................................................................................... 26
APA Style: The eGuide 4

PARALLEL STRUCTURE .......................................................................................................... 26


Series........................................................................................................................ 26
That clauses ............................................................................................................... 26
Comparisons .............................................................................................................. 26
Balanced pairs ............................................................................................................ 27
UNBIASED LANGUAGE .......................................................................................................... 27
APA EDITORIAL STYLE ............................................................................... 28
PUNCTUATION ................................................................................................................... 28
Period (.) ................................................................................................................... 28
Comma (,) ................................................................................................................. 29
Semicolon (;) ............................................................................................................. 30
Colon (:).................................................................................................................... 31
Dash (—) ................................................................................................................... 31
Quotation marks (“”) ................................................................................................... 31
Parentheses ( ) ........................................................................................................... 32
Brackets [ ] ................................................................................................................ 33
Slash (/) .................................................................................................................... 33
Italics ........................................................................................................................ 33
SPELLING, AND HYPHENS WITH COMPOUND WORDS ....................................................................... 34
Preferred spelling ........................................................................................................ 34
Compound words and hyphenation ................................................................................ 34
CAPITALIZATION ................................................................................................................ 36
Sentence style ............................................................................................................ 36
Headline style ............................................................................................................. 36
What to Capitalize ....................................................................................................... 36
ABBREVIATIONS ................................................................................................................. 38
What to abbreviate ...................................................................................................... 38
Punctuation with abbreviations...................................................................................... 38
QUOTATIONS .................................................................................................................... 39
Run-in quotations........................................................................................................ 39
Block quotations ......................................................................................................... 39
Single quotation marks ................................................................................................ 39
Punctuation with quotations. (See Quotation Marks.)........................................................ 39
Making Changes from the source ................................................................................... 39
Introducing and incorporating quotations ........................................................................ 40
NUMBERS ........................................................................................................................ 42
General rule ............................................................................................................... 42
Exceptions to the general rule ....................................................................................... 42
When to use Words for numbers.................................................................................... 43
When to combine words and numbers ............................................................................ 43
Ordinal numbers ......................................................................................................... 43
Decimal fractions ........................................................................................................ 43
Commas in numbers .................................................................................................... 44
Numbers with no commas ............................................................................................ 44
Plurals of numbers ...................................................................................................... 44
Metric Measurements ................................................................................................... 44
STATISTICS ...................................................................................................................... 45
Ways to present statistics............................................................................................. 45
Rules for typing statistical symbols ................................................................................ 45
CITING SOURCES IN THE TEXT................................................................... 45
WHAT TO CITE .................................................................................................................. 45
APA Style: The eGuide 5

What you definitely need to cite .................................................................................... 45


What you don’t (or may not) need to cite ....................................................................... 46
What is Common Knowledge? ....................................................................................... 46
HOW TO CITE ................................................................................................................... 46
Basic forms with examples ........................................................................................... 47
THE REFERENCE LIST ................................................................................. 50
BASIC FORMAT .................................................................................................................. 50
ORDER OF REFERENCES (ALPHABETIZING) .................................................................................. 50
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN REFERENCE LISTS ................................................................................. 51
GENERAL NOTES ON REFERENCE LIST ENTRIES ............................................................................. 51
PRINT SOURCES................................................................................................................. 52
Articles in Periodicals ................................................................................................... 52
Books, brochures, and other print documents.................................................................. 57
Technical and research reports ...................................................................................... 64
Reviews ..................................................................................................................... 67
Proceedings of meetings and symposia........................................................................... 68
Dissertations and Theses .............................................................................................. 69
Unpublished work and publications of limited circulation ................................................... 70
AUDIOVISUAL SOURCES........................................................................................................ 71
ELECTRONIC SOURCES ......................................................................................................... 74
Online periodicals ........................................................................................................ 75
Online books, reference works, and other documents ....................................................... 77
Gray literature ............................................................................................................ 82
Online groups, postings, miscellany ............................................................................... 85
EXAMPLE OF A REFERENCES PAGE ............................................................................................ 87
USEFUL LINKS ............................................................................................ 88
APA Style: The eGuide 6

INTRODUCTION
THIS IS A QUICK-REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF APA STYLE FOR RESEARCH PAPERS. IT IS BASED
on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed) and the updated APA
Style Guide to Electronic Resources (2007). This guide doesn’t include everything in those 400+ pages,
but it does provide concise answers to most of the questions that are likely to come up while you're
writing or editing your work. It covers details of organization and layout, writing style, grammar and
punctuation, spelling and capitalization, use of numbers, quotations, and abbreviations, citations,
and references.

I designed this guide to be easy to read and easy to navigate—easy to find what you need without
having to fumble through a book while you’re working on your computer.

APA draws a distinction between copy manuscripts and final manuscripts. Copy manuscripts are
destined for publication in a professional journal and will be changed—edited and typeset—before
reaching their final form. Final manuscripts are theses, dissertations, and student papers that are, as
the name suggests, in their final form. This distinction accounts for some differences in manuscript
guidelines.

This guide deals with preparing final manuscripts. The guidelines here are those recommended by
APA and widely used in colleges and universities—but keep in mind that institutions and departments
often have their own ideas about how they want things done, and their guidelines take precedence.
These are the most common areas where individuals and institutions differ in what they require:
• The information that goes on the title page

• Whether or not you need to include an abstract


• Whether you are allowed to single-space block quotations and reference list entries
• Whether tables and figures can be incorporated into the text, or must be collected on
separate pages at the end of the paper
• Chapter and section headings for theses and dissertations

When in doubt, ask.


APA Style: The eGuide 7

MANUSCRIPT ORGANIZATION AND LAYOUT

Page Layout
Paper
Use standard 8½ x 11” heavy (20#) white bond paper. All pages should be the same size.

Font and typeface


Use 12-point Times New Roman or Courier New for your text. These are typefaces with
serifs, which are the little spiky extensions on letters. For figures, however, use a sans serif (without
the spiky extensions) typeface, like Ariel or Verdana.

Margins and justification


Set margins at 1” at the sides, top, and bottom. Align (justify) the text to the left and leave
the right margin unjustified (ragged right). Do not hyphenate a word at the end of a line.

Line Spacing
Double-space (leave one line blank) between each line of text. In final (not copy)
manuscripts, you may single-space block quotations, tables, and individual entries in the reference
list, depending on your local requirements (but double-space between entries).

Spacing after punctuation


Leave one space after all punctuation at the end of sentences. Leave one space after
commas, semicolons, and colons. Do not space after periods in abbreviations (i.e., p.m.) or before
or after colons in ratios.

Paragraphs
Indent the first line of paragraphs five to seven spaces using the tab key (the default setting
in most word processors). Do not indent the first line of block quotations.

Headers and page numbers


Place a header containing a shortened version of the paper’s title and the page number in the
upper-right corner of the page. Put the page number five spaces after the shortened title. The
header should appear on every page, including the title page. (See examples, pp. 11-12.)

Parts of the Paper


Order of parts
An APA paper can have as many as 10 parts, depending on individual requirements. Here is
the order in which the parts of a paper should be arranged.

1. Title page
2. Abstract
3. Text
4. Reference list
APA Style: The eGuide 8

5. Appendixes
6. Author note
7. Footnotes
8. Tables
9. Figure captions
10. Figures

Note: In final manuscripts, tables, figure captions, and figures may be incorporated into the text of
the paper rather than collected on separate sheets at the end. See the section labeled “Tables,
figures, and footnotes” below for more detail.

Title page
Beginning at the top of the page:
• Header with abbreviated title and page number 1 in the upper-right corner.
• Running head—a short version of the title placed three lines below the header and aligned
to the left margin. The shortened title is typed in all capital letters and contains no more than
50 characters (including spaces). The words running head are lowercase, except for the first
letter. From the left margin, the running head should read like this: Running head: MY
BRILLIANT PAPER
• The full title is placed a little above the center of the page, centered horizontally. Capitalize
all major words (except articles and short prepositions).
• Identifying information: author’s name, centered, two lines below the title; below author’s
name, centered and separated by one line each, put affiliation (school name in most cases),
and if required, instructor’s name and course title.

Abstract
The abstract is a summary of the paper’s purpose and its major points. It may also include a
brief explanation of research procedures. Do not include in the abstract any material that is not in
the paper. If an abstract is required, place it on a separate page (that would be p. 2) after the title
page. Center the label (Abstract) three lines below the header. Two lines below the title, type the
text as one unindented, double-spaced paragraph of no more than 120 words. To save space, you
may do the following:
• Use digits for all numbers (but never start a sentence with digits).
• Abbreviate familiar terms that don’t need to be explained (e.g., IQ, AIDS, vs., viz.).
• Write in the active voice, but without using the pronouns I or we (see the section on Voice
and Person below).

Text (Body of the paper)


On the first page of the text (after the title page and abstract), center the paper’s title three
spaces below the header. Use headline capitalization for the title. (See "Capitalization styles for
headings" on the next page.) Begin the text two spaces below the title.
APA Style: The eGuide 9

Headings
Use headings to reflect the hierarchy of sections of the paper in the same way you would
arrange the headings and subheadings of an outline. The APA system of headings takes some
getting used to. In APA style there are five levels of headings, which are distinguished by differences
in position, capitalization, and typeface. The number of different headings you use and the order in
which you use them depends on how many divisions (levels) there are in your paper. Headings for
sections of the paper that are on the same level are done in the same style. For example, if you use
the traditional system of headings for a paper reporting on an experiment—Method, Results,
Discussion—all three headings should be at the same level and in the same style.
Here are the five levels of headings as listed in the APA publication manual. (The first level
listed—level 5—is used only if a paper has five levels. Usually, the first heading will be level 2):

1. Level 5: CENTERED UPPERCASE HEADING


2. Level 1: Centered, Heading Style Capitalization (see note on capitalization below)
3. Level 2: Centered, Italicized, Heading Style Capitalization
4. Level 3: Flush Left, Italicized, Heading Style Capitalization
5. Level 4: Indented one tab, italicized, sentence style capitalization, ending with a
period (The paragraph that follows this heading is run-in—it begins on the
same line as the heading.)

These levels are applied in a different order depending on how many levels of heading you
have in your paper. For example, if you have two levels you would use headings 1 and 3. If you had
three levels you would use headings 1, 3, and 4. See the box labeled "Levels of Heading Styles"
on the next page to see how the various combinations look in practice.
All headings should be in the same size font as the text (usually 12 point). Do not boldface
headings. Don’t label the introduction Introduction—it has no heading. So the first heading goes with
the first section after the introduction. Headings mark major divisions, so most papers should not
need more than two or three levels of headings—often, just one.

Capitalization styles for headings


There are two styles of capitalization that apply to various levels of titles, headings, and
subheadings in a paper. (Repeated from section on capitalization under "Editorial Style.")

Sentence style
Capitalize
• the first word,
• the first word after a colon,
• all proper nouns and proper adjectives.

Headline style
Capitalize
• all words of four letters or more,
APA Style: The eGuide 10

• all verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns,


• both words in a hyphenated compound,
• the first and last words of titles and subtitles.

Note: Do not capitalize conjunctions and articles (and, a, the, etc.) or prepositions of three or
fewer words (of, on, in, etc.) unless they are the first or last words of a sentence.

Levels of Heading Styles

One level

Centered Heading in Headline Style

Two levels
Centered Heading in Headline Style
Flush Left, Italicized, in Headline Style

Three levels
Centered Heading in Headline Style
Flush Left, Italicized, in Headline Style
Indented, italicized, in sentence style, ending with a period. (Note: This heading is
run-in, which means the paragraph that follows begins on the same line.)

Four levels
Centered in Headline Style
Centered Italicized in Headline Style
Flush Left, Italicized, in Headline Style
Indented, italicized, in sentence style, ending with a period. (This heading is run-in,
which means the paragraph that follows begins on the same line.)

Five levels
CENTERED ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
Centered in Heading Style
Centered Italicized, in Heading Style
Flush Left, Italicized, in Heading Style
Indented, italicized, in sentence style, ending with a period. (This heading is run-in,
which means the paragraph that follows begins on the same line.)
APA Style: The eGuide 11

Illustration of Title and Abstract Pages

Brilliant paper 1

Running head: BRILLIANT PAPER

My Brilliant Psychology Paper


Hope I. Pass
Prestigious University

Brilliant paper 2

Abstract
The abstract is a summary of the paper’s purpose and its major points. It
is a concise, objective report, so do not give comments or evaluations
here. If an abstract is required, it is placed on a separate page (p. 2) after
the title page. Center the title (Abstract) three lines below the header.
Two lines below the title type the text as one unindented paragraph of no
more than 120 words. If you use any abbreviations, acronyms, or special
terms, define them—except for units of measurement. Do not use direct
quotations in the abstract; paraphrase information from sources. Use the
active voice, but do not use the pronouns I or we. Use digits for all
numbers, except those that begin a sentence. Double-space the text
throughout the paper.
Note: You might be asked to put
more information than shown on
the title page.
APA Style: The eGuide 12

Illustration of First Text Page

Brilliant paper 3

My Brilliant Psychology Paper

On the first page of the text (after the title page and abstract), center
the paper’s title three spaces below the header. Use headline
capitalization for the title. Begin the text two spaces below the title.
Indent all paragraphs in the body of the paper one tab (5-7 spaces).
The first part of the paper is the introduction, usually one or two
paragraphs that explain the topic or problem and present the thesis
statement (the main point that will be discussed and demonstrated in the
paper). The introduction also might explain research strategy or the
historical context of the topic. Note that the introduction is not labeled
Introduction. The text is double-spaced throughout the paper, including
spaces between body text and headings.
First-Level Heading
The heading for the first major section of the paper is centered and
in headline style. The heading should indicate the topic of this section.
Headings and subheadings are used throughout the body of the
paper in order to clarify for the reader what the major divisions of the
topic are. Like an outline, they reflect the relationship of the parts of the
paper to each other.
Second-Level Heading
A second-level heading signals a subdivision of the topic that is
dealt with in this first major section. This heading is flush left, headline
style, and italicized.
APA Style: The eGuide 13

Reference list
All sources cited in the paper must be included in a reference list, which is on a separate page
following the text and labeled References. See the section labeled The Reference List below
for more detail on organizing this page.

Appendix
An appendix contains supplementary information that might be distracting if included in the
body of the paper, such as detailed descriptions of equipment and materials, or a complicated
mathematical proof. Begin each appendix on a new page, with the label Appendix A,
Appendix B, and so on at the top of the page. (If there is just one appendix, don’t use a letter.)
Then double-space and write the title, centered and in heading capitalization (see capitalization
below). Arrange appendixes in the order in which they are mentioned in the paper.

Author note
An author note may do any or all of the following:
• Identify affiliation
• List sources of funding
• Acknowledge the contributions of others
• Give contact information
• Disclose any other pertinent information relating to the paper

Tables, figures, and footnotes


In manuscripts designed for publication (copy manuscripts), tables, figures, and footnotes are
put on separate pages at the end of the manuscript. But in student papers, theses, and dissertations
(final manuscripts) tables and figures may be incorporated into the paper, each one on a separate
page following the page that contains a reference to it. Very short tables can go on the same page
as the reference to them. Put footnotes at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced.
Number tables and figures consecutively throughout the paper and put a reference to them by a
number in the text, something like this:

as shown in Table 1
Dr. Dibble’s execrable grading practices (see Table 1)…
Line spacing in final manuscripts may also differ from the spacing required in copy manuscripts,
where everything has to be double-spaced. However, in final manuscripts APA encourages single-
spacing where it would improve readability—in table titles and headings, figure captions, footnotes,
and long, indented quotations (40 words or more).

Tables
(See example on the next page)
Identification. Place the word Table and its number (in roman typeface) three lines below
the header, flush with the left margin. Number tables consecutively throughout the paper.
APA Style: The eGuide 13

Reference list
All sources cited in the paper must be included in a reference list, which is on a separate page
following the text andlabeled References. See the section labeled The Reference List below
for more detail on organizing this page.

Appendix
An appendix contains supplementary information that might be distracting if included in the
body of the paper, such as detailed descriptions of equipment and materials, or a complicated
mathematical proof. Begin each appendix on a new page, with the label Appendix A,
Appendix B, and so on at the top of the page. (If there is just one appendix, don’t use a letter.)
Then double-space and write the title, centered and in heading capitalization (see capitalization
below). Arrange appendixes in the order in which they are mentioned in the paper.

Author note
An author note may do any or all of the following:
• Identify affiliation
• List sources of funding
• Acknowledge the contributions of others
• Give contact information
• Disclose any other pertinent information relating to the paper

Tables, figures, and footnotes


In manuscripts designed for publication (copy manuscripts), tables, figures, and footnotes are
put on separate pages at the end of the manuscript. But in student papers, theses, and dissertations
(final manuscripts) tables and figures may be incorporated into the paper, each one on a separate
page following the page that contains a reference to it. Very short tables can go on the same page
as the reference to them. Put footnotes at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced.
Number tables and figures consecutively throughout the paper and put a reference to them by a
number in the text, something like this:

as shown in Table 1
Dr. Dibble’s execrable grading practices (see Table 1)…
Line spacing in final manuscripts may also differ from the spacing required in copy manuscripts,
where everything has to be double-spaced. However, in final manuscripts APA encourages single-
spacing where it would improve readability—in table titles and headings, figure captions, footnotes,
and long, indented quotations (40 words or more).

Tables
(See example on the next page)
Identification. Place the word Table and its number (in roman typeface) three lines below
the header, flush with the left margin. Number tables consecutively throughout the paper.
APA Style: The eGuide 15

Example of a Simple Table

Title in italics
Identification Important
words
capitalized

Table 1

Dr. Dibble’s Grading Pattern as a Function of Frequency of Sexual Activity


Grades
stubhead Headings (an
explanatory word
Frequency or phrase above
of activity A B C D F the headings, like
grades, is called a
boxhead).
2x per week 62 22 14 1 1
stub
1x per week 43 16 17 15 8

1x per month 22 9 33 22 14

1x per semester 1 4 24 29 42

Note. The values represent percentages of grades given.

general
note

Figures

Any illustration that is not a table is called a figure (a diagram, graph, photograph, chart,
map, etc.). Tables are generally best for quantitative data; figures for describing interactions and
nonlinear relations. Figures should give only essential facts and should be easy to read and
understand. They should not duplicate information given in the text, but rather add to it. The APA
publication manual discusses many types of figures and gives specific and detailed information for
formatting and presenting each type for publication. Here, I’ll give general guidelines that apply to
any type of figure.
Placement of figures and captions. In final manuscripts, figures may be incorporated into
the body of the paper (see the paragraph under Tables, figures, and footnotes above). If a figure is
incorporated into the paper, put it on a separate page following the page on which it is mentioned.
Put captions below the figure, like this, with the word Figure and the number italicized:
APA Style: The eGuide 16

Figure 1.Graph showing results of the experiment.

For copy manuscripts designed for publication, figures are gathered, each figure on a
separate page, in the order listed above under Parts of the Paper, Order of parts. Furthermore, the
captions for all figures, with their numbers, are typed together starting on a separate page, not
under the figures. The label Figure Captions is centered at the top of the page. One reminder:
the format a final manuscript should follow often depends on the instructor’s or department’s
requirements.

Heading, layout, and typeface. Above the figure put a heading, flush left, with the figure
number and label (note that the word figure is not italicized.)
Figure 1. My incredibly informative chart.
Use a sans serif typeface such as Helvetica or Ariel for all lettering in the figure and label. The point
size of type used for different parts of the figure (labels, numerals, legend) can vary, but by no more
than 4 points—minimum 8 point, maximum 14 point.
Legend. The legend explains any symbols used in the figure. It is placed in the figure itself,
unlike the heading and caption, which are placed outside.

Footnotes
There are two kinds of footnotes: content footnotes give additional explanatory
information. They should be kept short and present only one idea. Copyright permission
footnotes acknowledge the source of copyrighted material used in the text for which permission
was granted.
In copy manuscripts, footnotes are gathered together on a separate page labeled Footnotes
at the end of the paper. But in final manuscripts they may be placed at the bottom of the page
on which they are referenced. Again, check with your institution’s rules for which method to use.
Format for footnotes. In the text, footnotes are referenced by a superscript number placed
outside the final punctuation mark, like this.1 However, if the footnote number precedes a dash—
like this2—or refers to material within parentheses (like this3) the footnote number is placed as
shown.
On the footnote page, or at the bottom of the page, whichever method you’re using, indent
one tab (about five spaces) and type the superscript footnote number. Type the footnote,
aligning subsequent lines flush left. In other words, treat the footnote like a paragraph. Number
the footnotes consecutively, making sure they correspond to the footnote numbers in the text. In
final manuscripts, single-space the material in the footnotes; if footnotes are collected on a
separate page, double-space between them. In copy manuscripts, double-space within and
between footnotes.
APA Style: The eGuide 17

WRITING STYLE AND GRAMMAR


General principles
APA advocates a writing style marked by orderliness, clarity, precision, economy, propriety,
and, of course, grammatical correctness. It’s a style that eschews poetic flourishes, colorful
language, and colloquial speech. Language should be precise, economical, concise, and free of
jargon and redundancy. Avoid overly long sentences. APA style favors direct, relatively short
sentences and common words. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use technical terms, but where
there is a choice, opt for the common term.
The elements of style listed in this section do not by any means constitute a complete guide
to good writing; they are the elements singled out by APA for special attention.

Tips for avoiding wordiness


Certain expressions come to mind like prefab templates. That’s because they are used so
often in bureaucratic (including academic) speech that they seep into your brain like a vile, toxic
emission. The notion that inflated language reflects profound ideas is rife in the land, and guarding
against it requires constant vigilance. Here are some examples of wordy expressions and how to
avoid them. There are plenty more where those came from. Try googling “plain language.” (Also see
Useful Links at the end of this book.)

Wordy expression Replace with

the reason why is that because

in spite of the fact that although, though

due to the fact that because

until such time as until

at the present time now, currently

in the event that if

for the purpose of for

in order to to

green in color green

large in size large

prior to the time that before

at this point in time now

for the purpose of for, to


APA Style: The eGuide 18

Order and Continuity


Logical order
At bottom, it is the logical arrangement of parts that establishes the underlying order of a
paper. If your parts are all mixed up, you can fuss with wording and sentences all night long and it’s
not going to help much. It should be clear to a reader why one sentence, one paragraph, one section
follows or precedes another. Does this sentence continue a train of thought? Present a
counterargument, or a qualification, or a logical conclusion? But readers don’t always automatically
see connections that are plain as day to you, with your long-term intimate relationship with the
material. Because of this writer-reader gap, you need to take special measures to make connections
clear.

Punctuation
Punctuation helps to clarify the relationships between parts of a sentence. A comma after an
opening subordinate clause, for example, tells readers that they have reached the end of a less
important piece and are about to embark on the main part of the sentence. A colon at the end of a
sentence indicates that an example or amplification or quotation is coming. You can find further
information on this subject in the section that follows: APA Editorial Style.

Transitional expressions
Transitional words and expressions tell the reader explicitly what one thing has to do with
another. They function as signposts, pointing the way. Here is a list of common transitions along
with the functions they perform.

Transitions: examples
Function Expression

Time relationship and sequence next, before, after, thereafter, finally, then, first
(second, third...),
Addition and, additionally, furthermore, what’s more,
moreover,
Cause and effect because, because of, consequently, therefore, as
a result,
Logical conclusion therefore, as a result, in conclusion, thus
Example for example, for instance, to illustrate, in one
case,
Contrast or exception however, but, nevertheless, in spite of, although,
on the other hand, yet

Summary or conclusion in conclusion, to summarize, finally, thus, as a


result, in brief, in short
APA Style: The eGuide 19

Note: It is best not to use since or while in place of because to signal cause and effect. The reason
is that both words are used to signal time relationships as well as cause and effect, and therefore
there is a chance of ambiguity. APA style is firmly opposed to ambiguity. Leave that to the poets.

Voice and Person


Active and passive voice
APA urges writers to use the active voice rather than the passive whenever appropriate. The active
voice is more direct, says who did what, and usually uses fewer words.

Active voice. Someone does something.


Jack prepared the chart.
Active voice says who did what.
We used LANDSAT images to distinguish forest areas from coffee plantations.

Passive voice. Something is done to something by someone.


The chart was prepared by Jack.
Passive voice often removes the actor from the action.
The chart was prepared.
LANDSAT images were used to distinguish forest areas from coffee plantations.

Generally, prefer the active voice. But use passive voice if you don’t know who performed
the action or if the object of the action is more important than the doer.

Construction of the new building was completed last summer.


Who cares who built the building?

Person: first and third


The term person refers to the voice in which the author is speaking: the first person (I, we), the
second person (you), or the third person (he, she, it, they).

First person. If you are writing about something that you or your team did, use the first
person (I, we) unless your editor or instructor forbids it. Using the first person puts you in the
picture and ensures that the sentence will be in the active voice. However, do not use the
first person we in a general sense—that is, to refer to human beings, Americans,
psychologists, students, liberals, and so on. Such usage is called the editorial we and is
frowned upon darkly.

Editorial we: We know in our hearts when we have done something wrong.
Acceptable subject: Most people know in their hearts when they have done something wrong.
APA Style: The eGuide 20

Note: It used to be that the first person was absolutely forbidden in


scientific writing. You had to be objective, no place for the subjective “I”
in science. But that prohibition is loosening in some quarters. If you’re in
doubt about what to do, it’s best to ask your instructor or editor. But
APA now recommends the first person when speaking about you or your
coauthors.

Third person. Avoid referring to yourself in the third person, as if you are someone else.
Wrong: The researcher [ meaning you] used LANDSAT images to distinguish forest areas from coffee
plantations.

Verb Tenses

Past tense
Use the simple past tense to describe actions, studies, procedures, experiments, and results
completed in the past.

Garbowski (1894) claimed that a bump on the skull behind the left ear indicated a tendency to walk through
mud puddles.
As we neared the deadline, tension increased dramatically.

Present tense
Use the present tense to discuss results and conclusions. (Here the writer is not reporting on
the past, but rather is discussing a general principle or conclusion.)

We found that as a deadline approaches, tension increases dramatically.

Present perfect tense


Use the present perfect tense (have or has + verb) to talk about actions that began in the
past and continue into the present.

Since Dr. Dibble’s disappearance, we have been much more careful in the design of our experiments.

The Subjunctive mood


The subjunctive is a form of the verb that most of us wish would go away. It is used most
often in a limited number of expressions, like these:
1. To describe hypothetical conditions, or conditions contrary to fact
APA Style: The eGuide 21

If I were [not was] younger, I wouldn’t be as old.


Jason acts as though he were already chairman.

2. In clauses beginning with that, following verbs of command, demand, suggestion,


recommendation, doubt, wish, request, insistence

The director insisted that Doris verify (not verifies) her findings.
Dr. Dibble requires that everyone be [not is] standing on one foot when he enters the room.
I wish that I were in the land of cotton.

Agreement of Subject and Verb


Subject and verb must agree in number: singular subject, singular verb; plural subject, plural
verb. Problems most often arise with certain kinds of subjects and with words—especially
prepositional phrases—that come between subject and verb.

A slew of examples was (not were) still not enough to convince the judge.
Slew (singular) is the subject. Examples (plural) is the object of the preposition of. So the
verb was agrees with slew. Don’t be fooled by a preposition sandwiched between
subject and verb
Not all subjects are clearly singular or plural. For example:

Five pages of Irving’s thesis are in the waste basket.


Five pages is a lot of work.

In the second example, the writer is thinking of the five pages as a single unit, not separate pages.
Sometimes you have to consider whether you’re talking about the parts or the whole.

The number of differences between humans and monkeys is (not are) miniscule.

The subject in the sentence above is number—singular—not differences—plural. The sentence


is talking about the number as a single lump. But if the object of a preposition names a group
that is acting individually, then the verb should be plural.

A number of the candidates are (not is) slowly turning blue.

Collective nouns name a group, such as class, team, group, committee, choir, and audience. These
nouns are treated as singular if the group is acting as a unit, but plural if each member is acting
individually.

The team posted its first win in 42 games.


The team ate their lunch during halftime.

Some problem words may look as if they’re singular, but are really plural.

The data don’t (not doesn’t) lie. (Data is plural.)


The media do lie.
APA Style: The eGuide 22

Pronouns
Agreement
Pronouns stand in for nouns so that you don’t have to keep repeating the same noun over
and over again. The noun that a pronoun stands for is called its antecedent. A pronoun should
agree in number and gender with its antecedent.

Agreement in number. A pronoun that stands for a singular antecedent should be singular; a
pronoun that stands for a plural antecedent should be plural.

A common problem of agreement in number occurs when the sentence has a singular subject
that represents a larger group.

A student in Dr. Dibble’s class must make sure their paper conforms strictly to APA style.

In the strict constructionist view, the sentence above is held to be wrong because student is
singular, even though the sense of it is plural—and their is a plural pronoun.
A similar problem occurs when the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun like someone, everyone,
each, nobody, and anybody.

Note: Traditionally, it was the practice in English to use the masculine singular pronoun his
with indefinite pronouns (Everyone has his own ideas about the experiment.). However, times
have changed and we don’t do that anymore. Critics have objected that traditional usage
carries a masculine gender bias—which it does. The best solution is to rewrite the sentence,
where possible, to avoid the problem. A simple solution that often works is to make the
subject plural:
Students in Dr. Dibble’s class must make sure their papers conform strictly to APA style.

Just make sure that everything is in agreement—notice that I needed to change the verb
conform to match the singular subject. If rewriting won’t work, you can use his or her in
place of their, though that’s a clumsy fix from a stylistic point of view. You should also know
that among grammarians there is a heated controversy over this very question of usage. My
copyeditor’s handbook and the University of Chicago Press both now recommend using they
and their after an indefinite subject:
Everyone has their own opinion.
My recommendation? If in doubt, take the conservative, strict-constructionist approach—
especially in proper, academic writing—or put the question to your instructor or editor.

Agreement in gender. Pronouns can be masculine, feminine, or neutral (him, her, it ). A


feminine subject takes a feminine pronoun, and so on.
Subjects that are inanimate objects or entities. Treat corporations, government institutions,
and other such organizations as singular and neutral.

On Monday, the American Psychological Association announced that henceforward it (not they) is
prohibiting the use of the semicolon in all its (not their) publications.
APA Style: The eGuide 23

Relative pronouns (who, which, that)


Relative pronouns join clauses to a base sentence. Who is used for humans, that or which for
things and animals (unless the animal has been given a name).

The cow that jumped over the moon has gone into orbit.
It was Bessie who set the record for gallons of milk per hour.
Students who go barefoot should cut their toenails.

The possessive form of who—whose—may be used with inanimate objects.


The book buyer won’t take the book whose cover your dog ate.

Punctuating relative clauses. Clauses headed by relative pronouns can be either essential or
nonessential to the meaning of the sentence. In the first example above, the clause that
jumped over the moon is essential to identifying which cow we’re talking about. Such clauses
are called restrictive. All three of the examples above are restrictive. As you might guess,
clauses that add nonessential information are called nonrestrictive.

Restrictive clauses are not set off with commas.


Nonrestrictive clauses are set off with commas.

Whether or not you set off a clause with commas can affect the meaning of the sentence. The
two sentences below illustrate this subtle phenomenon:

Science students, who are proficient with computers, will be well prepared for the next big thing.
Science students who are proficient with computers will be well prepared for the next big thing.

The first sentence, the one with commas, says that all science students are proficient with
computers and will be well prepared. The who clause gives additional, but nonessential,
information.

The second sentence says that only those science students who are proficient with
computers will be prepared. The who clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence. It
limits (restricts) the group of science students to those who are proficient with computers. So no
commas.

That and which. As a rule, the pronoun that is used to begin restrictive clauses, whereas which
begins nonrestrictive clauses. That clauses are usually not set off with commas; which clauses
usually are set off. (There are times when you’ll see a which clause used restrictively, however. The test
is whether the information in the clause is essential or not.)

Restrictive. The survey that Reginald designed did not ask the right questions.
Nonrestrictive. Reginald’s survey, which he had designed himself, did not ask the right questions.

Note: Sometimes the that can be left out: for example, The survey Reginald designed. . .
APA Style: The eGuide 24

Relative pronouns who and whom


There are different forms of pronouns for subjects and objects. Familiar examples are she
and he for subjects, him and her for objects. This distinction applies also to the relative pronouns
who (subject) and whom (object)—a distinction that tends to drive people round the bend.

Jack is the one who saw Monty jump in the pond during the party.

Who in that sentence stands for the subject, Jack. Try substituting a pronoun (he or him) for who
and see how it works. You wouldn’t say Him saw Monty jump, would you? Of course not. You’d use
the subject pronoun and say, properly, He saw Monty jump. Therefore, the subject pronoun who is
correct.

Contrast that sentence with the following one.

We have two new team members whom you will meet tonight.

Whom stands for members, the direct object of the sentence. You wouldn’t say, We will meet they
tonight, would you. Nope. You’d say, We will meet them tonight. You’d use the object pronoun, so
you’d also use whom.

You also need to be aware of the who/whom conundrum when you’re asking questions, as in this
example:
On whom do you rely when the going gets tough?

Whom is the object of the preposition on. You rely on her (not she).

Pronouns with gerunds (the -ing form of the verb used as a noun)

The present participle is the form of a verb that ends in –ing. When the participle is used as a
noun (a subject or object) it is called a gerund. A pronoun (or noun) that modifies a gerund should
be in the possessive case. Notice the –‘s appended to Dibble in the sentence below.

The class objected to Dr. Dibble’s (not Dr. Dibble) introducing a new policy in the middle of the semester.
They also protested against his (not him) giving assignments on Friday to be turned in on Monday.
The copyeditors objected to their (not them) being portrayed as pedantic drudges.
APA Style: The eGuide 25

Note: The possessive-with-gerund rule is not invariable, so once again we encounter an issue over which
grammarians lock horns. The venerable Strunk and White, in their Elements of Style sorted it out with these
examples:
Do you mind me asking you a question?
Do you mind my asking you a question?
The explanation: “In the first sentence, the queried objection is to me, as opposed to other members of the
group, putting one of the questions. In the second example, the issue is whether a question may be asked at
all.” (Elements of Style, p. 13)
Simply put, use the possessive case when the stress is on the person rather than on the action expressed by
the gerund; otherwise, use the regular object form of the pronoun.

Pronoun reference
The connection between a pronoun and the term or idea it refers to (the antecedent) should be
clear. When readers come across an it or a this, they shouldn’t have to hunt around to find out what
the heck it refers to. One problem occurs when there is more than one antecedent that the pronoun
could refer to. In such a case it is best to name the subject.

Unclear reference: The administrators told the faculty that they would receive a raise.
Problem: The pronoun they could refer to either administrators or faculty.

Solutions: The administrators told the faculty that they, the administrators, would receive a raise.
Or, The administrators said that the faculty would receive a raise.

This, that, and the like. Be especially careful with the pronouns this, that, these, those, and it.
The relative pronouns which and that can also cause trouble.

Unclear reference:
Larry stomped out of the seminar yelling, “You’re all idiots!” Because of this, Dr. Dibble gave
a pop quiz.
Problem. Does this refer to Larry’s stomping out of the seminar, or to his yelling?

Solution. Larry stomped out of the seminar yelling, “You’re all idiots!” Because Larry left the
seminar, Dr. Dibble gave a pop quiz.

Unclear reference:

Dr. Dibble’s policy forbids texting during lectures, which caused a mass demonstration.
Problem: Does which refer to policy or to texting?
Solution: Dr. Dibble’s policy, which caused a mass demonstration, forbids texting during lectures.
APA Style: The eGuide 26

Modifiers—misplaced and dangling


Misplaced modifiers
Adjectives and adverbs—whether single words, phrases, or clauses—should refer clearly to
the words they modify. A modifier that is misplaced in a sentence can lead to an unintended
meaning or to ambiguity. As a general rule, keep related words close together.

Misplaced. While doing field work in Pago Pago, the native people enjoyed inventing
spurious legends for the young anthropologist.
It’s doubtful that the native people were doing field work.
Clear. While the young anthropologist was doing field work in Pago Pago, the native people
enjoyed inventing spurious legends for him.

Misplaced. Ronald was referred to a counselor with serious emotional problems.


Who has the problems, Ronald or the counselor?

Clear. Ronald was referred to a counselor who has serious emotional problems.
Also clear. Ronald, who has serious emotional problems, was referred to a counselor.

Only, almost, usually, nearly, even, just


These words and their kin often cause ambiguity. Place them next to the words they modify.

Misplaced. The study only indicated that there were three possible alternatives.
Clear. The study indicated that there were only three possible alternatives.

Misplaced. Students who sit in the front of the classroom usually can improve their grades.
Ambiguous. Do the students usually sit in the front of the room, or can they
usually improve their grads?

Clear. Students who sit in the front of the classroom can usually improve their grades.
Also clear. Students who usually sit in the front of the classroom can improve their grades.

Misplaced. Jack just had two beers and he’s already impersonating Richard Nixon.

Does just mean recently or only here?

Clear. Jack had just two beers and he’s already impersonating Richard Nixon.
APA Style: The eGuide 27

Dangling modifiers
When a modifier dangles, there is nothing in the sentence for it to refer to. Dangling
modifiers tend to make a kind of absurd sense. Tip: Make sure that the word a modifier is supposed
to modify is placed clearly in the sentence.

Dangling. After reading the whole article, it still didn’t make sense.
Did the article read itself?

Attached. After I read the whole article, it still didn’t make sense.

Dangling. After plowing the street, my car was able to get out.
Did my car plow the street?

Attached. After the street was plowed, I was able to get my car out.

Parallel Structure
Parallelism is the use of the same grammatical form for words, phrases, and clauses that are
in a series or in a balanced pair. (Like the two prepositional phrases in a series or in a balanced
pair.)

Series
The committee discussed the issue, took a vote, and lunch was eaten ate lunch. (series of parallel verb
phrases)

Driving while talking on a cell phone can result in a heavy fine or even being thrown in jail. in a jail sentence.
(series of prepositional phrases)

To ensure clarity, it’s usually a good idea to repeat the preposition in a series of phrases, as
in the sentence above.

That clauses
In a sentence with two or more clauses beginning with that, be sure to repeat the that with
each one.
that
The committee members knew that the fate of the earth hinged on their decision and ^they couldn’t have lunch until
the vote was taken.

Comparisons
Include words needed to make sure comparisons are clear and logical. In the uncorrected
version of the example below, the writer unintentionally compares two unlike things—a writing style
with a writer.
that of
The difference between Dr. Dibble’s writing and ^Ernest Hemingway is vast.
APA Style: The eGuide 28

Balanced pairs
Certain pairs of conjunctions (called correlative conjunctions) are used to link parallel
ideas: either. . .or, neither. . .nor, both. . .and, not only. . .but also, between. . .and. When you use
these pairs of conjunctions, make sure that the structure that follows the first conjunction is the
same as the structure that follows the second.

Repetition. In the following example, repeating because after each conjunction makes it
clear that the two ideas expressed in the sentence are parallel. (Note: Usually a comma is placed
before the second conjunction.)
because
The survey was flawed not only because the sample was too small, but ^ it didn’t ask the right questions.

In the next example, the part of the sentence following and introduces a different structure.

The pizza was both overdone and it was delivered late.

Between...and. When between. . .and is used to express a span of numbers, don’t replace
the and with a dash.
Wrong: A frozen pizza should be cooked between 15–20 minutes.
Right: A frozen pizza should be cooked between 15 and 20 minutes.

Placement. Make sure that the first conjunction in a pair comes before the sentence element
that is repeated, and not before an earlier word. If you look at the first sentence below with the cold
eye of logic, you’ll see that the sentence leads you to expect a word parallel to puzzling after but.
And it isn’t there. (See the third sentence below.)

Wrong: It is not only puzzling that our estimates were wrong, but that they were wrong by such a huge amount.

Right: It is puzzling not only that our estimates were wrong, but that they were wrong by such a huge amount.

Right: It is not only puzzling that our estimates were wrong, but infuriating that they were wrong by such a huge
amount.

Unbiased Language
The way people refer to other people sometimes betrays an habitual, unintended, or
unconscious bias. APA advises authors to use language that is not sexist, racist, demeaning,
dehumanizing, pejorative, or prejudicial. Following are some basic guidelines.

Be specific. For age groups, specify the range (ages 13-19 rather than teenagers). For ethnic
groups, identify a specific country (Vietnamese Americans rather than Asian Americans). Don’t set
up classifications of white and nonwhite for participants in a study or results of a survey; identify
specific nonwhite groups. When you refer to a racial or ethnic group, use the term that the majority
of people in the group accept. And remember, times change.
APA Style: The eGuide 29

Don’t label people if you can help it. Labeling objectifies people as if they are their condition. Refer
to a person with a neurosis as a person with a neurosis rather that a neurotic; replace the elderly
with elderly people; (Speaking for myself, I prefer people of a certain age.)

Use gender-neutral terms for positions, occupations, etc. Use police officer rather than policeman,
spokesperson rather than spokesman (too bad mouthpiece didn’t make it into general use), chair
rather than chairman and so on. Watch for unintended bias seeping in—CIA agents can’t talk to their
wives (spouses or partners) about their work. Don’t identify professions by gender. A housewife is a
homemaker. Cut the female in female rocket scientist and the male in male preschool teacher. Find
a substitute for any expression with man or mankind in it (Since ancient times, man has humans
have wondered about their place in the universe.)

Don’t use emotionally charged language. Rather than referring to someone who has had a heart
attack as a heart-attack victim, simply say a person who has had a heart attack.

Terms for racial and ethnic groups should be as specific as possible. For example, rather than
referring to someone from Guatemala as Hispanic, use Guatemalan. Use Salish or Ute rather than
American Indian. In general, use terms that are preferred by members of the group you are writing
about, keeping in mind that not all members agree with each other and that preferences change
over time. The trend seems to be toward using the term that will offend the fewest people.
Capitalize Black and White when used to denote racial groups.

Detailed guidelines for reducing bias in language are available on the APA Web site, at the APA style
page: http://apastyle.apa.org/

APA EDITORIAL STYLE


(punctuation, spelling, capitalization, abbreviations, quotations, numbers, statistics)

Punctuation
Period (.)
Use a period
● at the end of a complete declarative sentence.

● with these abbreviations:


• initials of names, with a space placed after the period (I. M. Mei)
• U.S. (no spaces) when it is used as an adjective (U.S. Congress).
• labels to conceal the identity of participants in a study (L.B.J.)
• Latin abbreviations (a.m., cf., i.e., vs.)
• reference abbreviations (Vol. 4, 3rd ed., Eds., p. 3, Rev., F. Supp.)
• the abbreviation for inch (in.)
*Do not use periods with these abbreviations:
• state names and Washington, DC (OR, CA, OK)
APA Style: The eGuide 30

• abbreviations and acronyms in capital letters (MLA, CDC, NASA, IQ)


• abbreviations of measurements (ft, cm, min, hr, lb, kg, ml, qt)

Comma (,)
Use commas
● to separate items in a series of three or more.

Place a comma before the and or the or that joins the last two items in a series. This
final comma, called the serial comma, is there to ensure that there is no chance of
ambiguity. In the example below, the last two items (oppressed and downtrodden)
could be read either as two separate groups or as one combined group. In the
following example, the comma after oppressed makes it clear that the oppressed
and the downtrodden are two separate groups. Without the comma, the
sentence is ambiguous.

The groups represented at the meeting were the meek, the lame, the oppressed, and the downtrodden.

Note: The serial comma might seem to be unnecessary sometimes, but to be


on the safe side it’s a good idea to use it every time. APA requires it.

eat, drink, and be merry


over the hill, around the bend, and through the woods

● to set off a clause that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.

Science students, who are proficient with computers, will be well prepared for the next big thing.
Science students who are proficient with computers will be well prepared for the next big thing.

The first sentence above, the one with commas, says that all science students are
proficient with computers and will be well prepared. The who clause gives additional,
but nonessential, information.

The second sentence says that only those science students who are proficient with
computers will be prepared. The who clause is essential to the meaning of the
sentence. It limits the group of science students to those who are proficient with
computers. So no commas.

● before a conjunction joining two independent clauses.

An independent clause is a string of words that, standing alone, could qualify as a


complete sentence. It has a complete subject and verb, and it makes sense. When two
such clauses are joined with a conjunction, put a comma before the conjunction (not
after it).

The World Series was down to the ninth inning of the seventh game, and the noise in the stadium
was deafening.
APA Style: The eGuide 31

Sometimes a missing comma can cause serious misreading, or at least a bump in the
road for a reader.

An old man burned incense and women were not allowed at the ceremony.

At first glance, a reader sees this: An old man burned incense and women. . . . Oops!
It looks as if both incense and women are objects of the verb burned.

Note: do not use a comma before a conjunction that joins the two parts of a
compound subject or predicate.

Dr. Dibble went to the podium and began to read his ancient, yellowed notes.

There is no comma before the and; the words following the and (“began to read his
ancient, yellowed notes”) do not constitute an independent clause.

● before and after the year in exact dates.

December 7, 1941, was a day that will live in infamy.

It was on Easter Sunday, 1999, that I first saw a rabbit lay an egg.

Note: no comma is needed for approximate dates.

Paloma was born in June 1942.

● after the last name in parenthetical in-text citations

(Gorman, Herman, & Klinger, 1967)

*Elements of a measurement are not separated by commas.


6 min 32 s 5 years 7 months

Semicolon (;)
Use a semicolon
● between two closely related independent clauses not joined by a conjunction.

Jenna is going to Europe this summer; Lon is going to China.

● between elements in a series that has commas within it.

The committee was made up of three factions: the greens, who wanted change; the reds, who defended the
status quo; and the blues, who wanted to get the meeting over and go to the bar.
APA Style: The eGuide 32

Colon (:)
Use a colon
● after a complete sentence that is followed by an amplifying phrase or clause.

Salmon come up our river in two waves: first the chinook and then the coho.
Simon could never make it into the major leagues: He couldn’t hit a slider.

Note: Do not use a colon after an incomplete sentence.

Wrong: There were many problems with the experiment, including: an unrepresentative sample, poor
design, and sloppy record-keeping.
Wrong: Two secrets of success are: secret number one and secret number two.

No punctuation is needed after including in the first sentence, or after are in the
second. These strings of words before the colon are not complete sentences. This rule
applies also to introductions to quotations, whether incorporated in your text or set off
as a block quotation. (See Quotations)

● between elements in ratios and proportions


The magnification of the macro lens is 1:1.

Dash (—)
Use a dash
● to set off words or phrases at the end of a sentence.
Dr. Dibble’s exam was incredibly easy—all multiple choice.

● to enclose an interrupter that has commas within it.

All members of the team—first string, second string, and third string—must show up
for practice at 5 a.m.
The dash can often replace the colon, giving a more informal feel.

Note: Do not confuse a dash with a hyphen. On most word processors and typewriters a
dash is composed of two hyphens. The hyphen is used to join compound words, not to
punctuate sentences.

Quotation marks (“”)


Use quotation marks

● before and after a passage of fewer than 40 words quoted verbatim from a
source. (See Quotations)

● before and after the titles of articles, chapters, and books placed in your text
(but no quotes with titles in the reference list).
APA Style: The eGuide 33

● before and after slang words, coined expressions, words or phrases used
ironically.
Pam teased Evan about his “brilliant” solution to the problem. (Ironic)
My father called a temporary fix a “doofer”—it will do for now. (Coined expression)

Punctuation with quotation marks.

In American English, commas and periods always go inside the final quotation mark.

The question is whether “to be or not to be.”

Other punctuation marks go inside quotation marks if they are part of the quoted material;
otherwise, they go outside.

When he saw his assignment, Ruben said, "Why me?"

Only the words within quotation marks are a question.

Who wrote "love is just a four-letter word"?

Here, the whole sentence is a question.

In British English, periods go outside the final quotation mark unless the period belongs to
the quotation.

The question is “to be or not to be”.

Note: Do not use quotation marks for emphasis, to introduce a technical term, or to
refer to a word as a word. Use italics for these purposes.

Parentheses ( )
Use parentheses

● to enclose supplementary and explanatory information, and abbreviations


following a spelled-out name the first time it is used.

The validity of intelligence tests (e.g., the Stanford-Binet) has been questioned.

My body mass index (BMI) is considerably higher than it should be.

● to enclose letters that mark a series.

Your options are (a) move back, (b) move ahead, and (c) stay put.

For use of parentheses with citations, see CITING SOURCES IN THE TEXT.
APA Style: The eGuide 34

Brackets [ ]
Use brackets
● to enclose parenthetical material that is already in parentheses.

(For further information see Snodgrass [1956])

● to enclose information inserted into a quotation, either to clarify something or to


make the quotation fit with the syntax of your own sentence.

Cranston maintains that “they [the Lumiere brothers] are falsely credited with showing the first movies.”

Slash (/)
Use a slash
● with alternatives when at least one term is a hyphenated compound.

Hits/at-bats ratio
A damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t situation

● to separate numerator and denominator in fractions.

½, Y/Z

● to stand in for per in numerical units.

dilute with plain water 10 ml/L

● between two publication dates (whether separate or republished works).

Barstow (1986/2001)

Don’t put a space after a slash.

Italics
Use italics
● to introduce a technical or key term. But italicize the term only the first time it is
used.
● for titles of stand-alone publications: books, journals, newspapers, etc.

● to refer to a letter as a letter, a word as a word, a phrase as a phrase.

How do you write the letter b in Old English?


What is the meaning of syzygy ?

● for names of species, letters used as statistical symbols or algebraic variables,


anchors of a scale, periodical volume numbers in reference lists.

Malus fusca, P(a/b), satisfaction ranged from 1 (miserable) to 5 (ecstatic)


APA Style: The eGuide 35

● to prevent misreading

There were more prominent citizens at the meeting.

(With italics the sentence makes it clear that there are more of them, not that they were
more prominent.)

Spelling, and Hyphens with Compound Words


Preferred spelling
APA uses Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) as its standard reference for
spelling (now available on CD-ROM). If more than one spelling is given, use the first one listed.
Be aware of unusual singular/plural pairs: datum/data; matrix/matrices, etc.

Compound words and hyphenation


There is more to hyphenation than most people ever imagine. Hyphens are often used
between words in a compound term. Compound terms come in three varieties: hyphenated, open
(two words not hyphenated), and closed (two words collapsed into one). These categories are
constantly shifting, tending toward closed compounds as the words become more familiar with use.
Not all dictionaries agree on how to treat particular terms. For APA style, consult Webster’s
Collegiate when in doubt.
Some compounds are permanent; that is, they are always either hyphenated, open, or
closed, no matter how they are used. Again, the dictionary is the best resource. But other
compounds change form depending on how they are used.

General rule (with plenty of exceptions): compound adjectives placed before the
word they modify are usually hyphenated.

Ten-mile run, half-hour meeting, top-of-the-class student, ten-year-old bourbon


13th-floor apartment, twenty-first-century predictions, middle-class income, two-way radio

Compound adjectives placed after the word they modify are usually not hyphenated
unless the hyphenated form is permanent (check dictionary).

The run wound through the city for ten miles. Elena reached the top of the class. Jo lives on the 13th floor.

But…if the compound adjective follows a linking verb, it is usually hyphenated.

Papers must be double-spaced. Linda’s paper was first-rate. Jack’s computer is cutting-edge.

Do not hyphenate
● a compound whose first word ends in –ly.
wholly owned subsidiary, wrongly accused suspect, overly cautious plan
● a compound that includes a comparative or superlative adjective.
better prepared proposal, lowest interest bonds, less expensive alternative
APA Style: The eGuide 36

● chemical terms
hydrogen peroxide treatment, mercury vapor lamp
● foreign phrases used as adjectives or adverbs
ad hoc committee, a priori concept, de jure segregation
● a modifier whose second element is a letter or numeral
type A personality, group 2 report
● fractions used as nouns
Arnold spent two fifths of the annual budget.

Do not use hyphens with the following prefixes

After afterglow Inter interdict Multi multiband Semi semismart


Anti antiabortion Intra intramural Non nonentity Socio sociocultural
Bi bisexual Macro macrocosm Over overdone Sub substandard
Co coordinate Mega megabyte Post postwar Super supermarket
Counter counterforce Meta metaphysics Pre prenatal Supra supraorbital
Equi equidistant Micro microdot Pro probiotic Ultra ultraviolet
Extra extravirgin Mid midpoint Pseudo psuedomorph Un unrepentant
Infra infrared Mini miniskirt Re reread Under underfunded

*Exceptions

● Use a hyphen with the prefix if there is a chance of misreading (e.g., to distinguish
re-cover from recover, or re-form from reform).
● Use a hyphen after a prefix if the base word is
a number mid-1980s
capitalized post-World War II
an abbreviation pre-NAFTA
a compound non-self-replicating

● Use a hyphen if the prefix and the base word begin with the same vowel.

anti-intellectual, un-unionized, pre-existing

● Use a hyphen with all self- compounds regardless of their placement or function
in the sentence.

self-regulating, self-absorbed, Jim was self-motivated, Jill had high self-esteem


APA Style: The eGuide 37

Exception to the exception: do not hyphenate self psychology.

● Use a hyphen with numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine when they are spelled out.

Suspended hyphens. A suspended hyphen is followed by one space. It is used when the base
word has more than one modifier.

a five- to ten-minute break (space after the first hyphen)


a 6- 9- or 12-point spread (space after the first two hyphens)

Capitalization
There are two styles of capitalization that apply to various levels of titles, headings, and
subheadings in a paper (see Headings).
Sentence style
Capitalize
• the first word,
• the first word after a colon,
• all proper nouns and proper adjectives.

Headline style
Capitalize
• all words of four letters or more,
• all verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns,
• both words in a hyphenated compound,
• the first and last words of titles and subtitles.

Note: Do not capitalize conjunctions and articles (and, a, the, etc.) or prepositions of three or
fewer words (of, on, in, etc.) unless they are the first or last words of a sentence.

What to Capitalize
The general rule is to capitalize proper nouns and proper adjectives. Proper nouns are
the names of people, national and ethnic groups, and the official, specific name of a particular place
or thing. Here are some examples:

I went to the University of Oregon I attended a university


President Obama Barack Obama is the president
I’m studying oceanography I’m taking Oceanography 223
Our deck is made from fir Our deck is made from Douglas Fir
the Sears Tower the tower
I visited the Museum of Modern Art I visited a modern art museum
I’m heading west (direction) I live in the West (place)
the Roman Empire The Romans built an empire
New York City (City part of the name) the city of New York
I live in Washington State I live in the state of Washington
APA Style: The eGuide 38

Proper adjectives are adjectives derived from proper nouns: Freudian slip, New York
minute, Cuban cigar, Shakespearean actor, French paradox, Boolean algebra (named after George
Boole). Proper adjectives should be capitalized when the nouns from which they come are a literal
part of the adjective. When you talk about a Cuban cigar, you’re talking about a cigar from Cuba.
But some adjectives derived from nouns have lost—or never had—that intimate connection, and so
they are no longer capitalized. There is a huge list of them in the Chicago Manual of Style. Here are
a few: french fry, brussels sprouts, bohemian lifestyle, italic type, venetian blinds, india ink.
Not all dictionaries and style guides agree on whether particular adjectives should or should
not be capitalized. Consult Webster.

Specific rules of capitalization--Capitalize the following:

• the first word of a complete sentence.

• the titles of books and articles within the text of the paper (in headline style).

• table titles and figure legends (in headline style).

• names of specific academic departments and courses.

Department of Earth Studies, University of Mars.


I wonder if Woebegone University has an earth studies department.
Norgo is considering a major in earth studies.
Sandy flunked Psychology 101.
Albert majored in physics.

• trade names and brand names.

Dell, Kleenex, Xerox, Jacuzzi

• nouns before numerals or letters—but not before variables—that are part of a sequence.
Experiment 3, Figure 5, Trial 9 ( but...trial x)

• exact titles of tests (but not words like test or scale unless they are part of the title).

Thematic Apperception Test, Paulhus Deception Scales… but, Rorschach inkblot test,
MMPI-2 test, hearing test

• names of conditions, factors, variables, groups, and effects—but only when specific.

Seven of the members of Group Z fell asleep. Marvin was asked to be in a control group.
Factor 7 came after Factor 6. One negative factor is Jason's propensity to snooze.

◊ Do not begin a sentence with a brand name that starts with a lowercase letter.

iPod, eBay, iMac


APA Style: The eGuide 39

◊ Do not capitalize names of laws, theories, models, or hypotheses, except for proper
names included in them.

big bang theory, law of unintended consequences, Newton’s first law, self-regulation model,
theory of self-efficacy, Kübler-Ross model

Abbreviations
What to abbreviate
Use abbreviations sparingly. The test is whether the abbreviation aids communication or
gets in the way. Two reasons to use an abbreviation: (1) It is conventional and the reader is
familiar with it (like APA), or (2) considerable space can be saved by using it.

Write out a term fully on first use. Put the abbreviation in parentheses following the term.
Thereafter, the abbreviation may be used by itself. To some extent the choice of abbreviating or
spelling out depends on the audience, on how familiar your readers would be with the abbreviation.

Abbreviations commonly used as words do not need to explained or written out.

AIDS, IQ, ESP, REM

Latin abbreviations are used only within parentheses. When Latin terms are used outside
parentheses, write out the full term in its English translation.

Common Latin Abbreviations


cf. compare i.e. that is
e.g. for example viz. namely
etc. and so forth vs. versus, against

Abbreviate units of measurement accompanied by numbers.

7 mm, 4 min, 3 kg, 2 s

Punctuation with abbreviations


Use periods with
• initials of names (T. J. Hacker).
• U.S. (United States) when used as an adjective.
• Latin abbreviations (e.g., a.m., et al., cf.).

Do not use periods with


• two-letter postal codes for U.S. states (WA, MA, AZ) and Washington, DC.
• abbreviations of organizations and of academic degrees (PhD, MLA).
APA Style: The eGuide 40

• capitalized abbreviations and acronyms (NASA, CDC, NOW).


• Abbreviations of measurements (ft, m, kg [except inches—use in.]).

To form the plural of abbreviations add s alone—no apostrophe, no italics.

Do not begin a sentence with a lowercase abbreviation or a stand-alone symbol.

Quotations
Run-in quotations
Enclose quotations of fewer than 40 words in double quotation marks and
incorporate them into your own text. These are called run-in quotations. After the final quotation
mark, space once, add the citation in parentheses, and then the final period. (See examples on
the next page.)

Block quotations
Quotations of 40 words or more should be set as a block, separate from your text.
● Do not use quotation marks around block quotations.
● Start a block quotation on a new line, and indent the whole block ½ inch (five to
seven spaces). Do not indent the first paragraph of the quotation.
● If the quotation has more than one paragraph, indent the first line of each additional
paragraph ½ inch.
● Double-space the entire quotation (rules for final manuscripts may allow single-
spacing of block quotations).

Single quotation marks are used to mark a quotation within a quotation. In run-in quotations,
reduce any double quotation marks in the source to single quotation marks in your text. (In
block quotations, however, keep any double quotation marks that are in the original.)
Citing sources. Always give author, year, and page numbers in the text. (See In-text citations.)

Punctuation with quotations. (See Quotation Marks.)

Making Changes from the source


Changes you don’t need to acknowledge. To fit a quotation with your own wording, you can
change the first letter of a quotation to an uppercase or lowercase letter, and you can
change the end punctuation mark. You do not need to show that you made these changes.

Changes you do need to acknowledge


Omissions—ellipsis points. Use three spaced periods (. . .) to indicate material you
have omitted from a sentence in the original source. Use four periods if the omission
includes one or more complete sentences (three for the ellipsis and the fourth for the
period at the end of the sentence). Do not insert the ellipsis from the Insert menu,
symbols, or special characters in Word—these points are not spaced.
APA Style: The eGuide 41

Do not use ellipsis points at the beginning or end of a quotation unless, for clarity, you
need to show that the quotation begins or ends in the middle of a sentence.
Insertions—brackets. Use square brackets [ ] around material that you insert into a
quotation. You might need to insert words to provide clarifying information or to make
a quotation fit the syntax and grammar of your own sentence.
Emphasis—italics. Use italics to emphasize words in a quotation. Immediately after
the italics put [italics added] in brackets.

Introducing and incorporating quotations


The examples in this section are drawn from the following extract from Stephen Jay Gould’s
book The Lying Stones of Marrakech:

In addition to general benefits conferred by wealth and access to influential


circles, Darwin enjoyed specific predisposing advantages for becoming the midwife
of evolution. His grandfather Erasmus had been a famous writer, physician, and
freethinker. (In the first sentence of his preface to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,
P.B. Shelley had, in order to justify Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment, alluded to
Erasmus Darwin’s atheistical view on the possibility of quickening matter by
electricity.) Erasmus died before Charles’s birth, but the grandson studiously read
and greatly admired his grandfather’s writing—and Erasmus Darwin had been a
thoroughgoing evolutionist. Charles studied medicine in Edinburgh, where he
became close to his teacher Robert Grant, a committed Lamarckian evolutionist
delighted to have Erasmus’s grandson as a student. And then, of course, Darwin
enjoyed the grandest privilege of five years’ exposure to nature’s diversity aboard
the Beagle. Still, he remained a creationist, if suffused with nascent doubt, when
he returned to London in 1836.

Run-in quotation
As Stephen Jay Gould (2000) explained, “Darwin enjoyed specific predisposing
advantages for becoming the midwife of evolution” (p. 173).
Darwin’s early life shows “specific predisposing advantages for [his] becoming the
midwife of evolution” (Gould, 2000, p. 173).
Note: The final period comes after the parentheses.
Run-in quotation ending in midsentence

Gould (2000) noted that in his early life Darwin “enjoyed specific predisposing
advantages” (p. 173) that prepared him to formulate one of the great theories of modern
science—natural selection.
Note: The citation comes directly after the quotation.

Note: The first run-in example uses a signal phrase followed by a comma to introduce the
quotation. The second example integrates the quotation with the writer’s own sentence structure, so
APA Style: The eGuide 42

there is no punctuation between the two. (Note the insertion of [his] so that the grammar of the
quotation fits with the grammar of the introduction.)

Block quotation
Stephen Jay Gould (2000) explained why he believed that experiences in Charles
Darwin’s early life prepared him to formulate one of the great theories of modern
science—natural selection:
In addition to general benefits conferred by wealth and access to influential circles, Darwin
enjoyed specific predisposing advantages for becoming the midwife of evolution. His
grandfather Erasmus had been a famous writer, physician, and freethinker. . . . Erasmus
died before Charles’s birth, but the grandson studiously read and greatly admired his
grandfather’s writing—and Erasmus Darwin had been a thoroughgoing evolutionist. Charles
studied medicine in Edinburgh, where he became close to his teacher Robert Grant, a
committed Lamarckian evolutionist. . . . And then, of course, Darwin enjoyed the grandest
privilege of five years’ exposure to nature’s diversity aboard the Beagle. Still, he remained a
creationist . . . when he returned to London in 1836. (p. 173)
Note: The period comes at the end of the quotation, not after the parentheses.

The block quotation is introduced by a complete sentence ending with a colon—by far the
best way to introduce a block quotation. If you do introduce a block quotation with a
signal phrase rather than a complete sentence, follow the phrase with a comma—just as
you would if it were a run-in quotation. Do not use a colon after a phrase, only after a
complete sentence. I know, I know—you see colons after introductory phrases all the time
in news reports, Dave Barry’s column, and especially in writing for the Web. But in the
rarified halls of academia, don’t do it. But note:
Stephen Jay Gould (2000) wrote, (comma)

Stephen Jay Gould (2000) wrote the following: (colon)

Ellipsis points (three spaced periods) show where words have been omitted from
the original. If the omission comes after a complete sentence, the final period (or other
end punctuation like a question mark or exclamation point) is put at the end of the
sentence and is followed by the three ellipsis points. The reason for omitting certain words
and sentences is to make the quotation as brief as possible, including only the information
that is pertinent to the writer’s purpose for using the quotation.

Author, date, and page number need to be given for all direct quotations (for
paraphrases and summaries page numbers are not required, nor are they forbidden.)
Whatever information is not given in the introduction to the quotation should be included
in parentheses at the end (see the two examples of run-in quotations).

Reference list entry


A reference list entry for the quotations used in these examples would look like this:
APA Style: The eGuide 43

Gould, S. J. (2000). A sly dullard named Darwin. In The Lying stones of Marrakech:
Penultimate reflections in natural history. New York: Harmony Books.

Numbers
General rule
Use numerals for numbers 10 and above. Write out numbers one through nine. This
rule applies to both cardinal and ordinal numbers. There are exceptions.

Exceptions to the general rule


Numbers lower than 10 are written as numerals in the following instances:

Numbers grouped for comparison. Use numerals for numbers smaller that 10 when they
are grouped with larger numbers.

3 of the 20 trials, the 3rd of 26 floors, questions 4 and 14, 6 out of 21 answers

Numbers preceding a unit of measurement

a 4 cm dose, 1 mm, 6 s, a 3 lb cheese

Numbers used in statistics and mathematics

5% of the class, a ratio of 1:1, the 7th percentile, divide by 3

Numbers that represent time, dates, and ages

8-year-old bourbon, 3 days hence, May 2, 1954, 2 hr 6 min 3 s

Numbers for population size

1.2 billion Chinese

Numbers for a specific number of participants or subjects

4 participants

Numbers for scores or points on a scale, exact sums of money, and numbers
referred to as numbers

score of 0 on an 8-point scale, a $6 admission fee, lucky number 7

Numbers indicating a place in a series

Chapter 2, Figure 4, Trial 6


APA Style: The eGuide 44

When to use Words for numbers


Use words
• for numbers under 10 that are not exact measurements and that are grouped for
comparison with numbers under 10.

The fourth of six trials, three pieces, six-toed cat, eight quizzes

• for zero and one when there is a chance of confusion

zero-percent attendance, one-word response

• in common fractions

one half of the group, a two-thirds majority

• for numbers that begin a sentence, title, or heading

Thirty-two students protested Dr. Dibble’s grading practices.

• in common, widely accepted expressions

the Ten Commandments, the Eightfold Path

When to combine words and numbers


Use words and numerals in combination

• for large round numbers

a cost of $700 billion, 1 million voters

• for two modifiers, back-to-back

4 three-course dinners, the first 8 questions, thirty 18-year-olds

Ordinal numbers
For ordinal numbers, use the same guidelines listed above for cardinal numbers.

that was my 3rd three-course dinner today, Dr. Dibble gave the fourth 10-question quiz this week

Decimal fractions
• Use zero before the decimal point with numbers less that 1.

0.57 kg

• Do not use a zero if the number cannot be more than 1, as in some correlations and
proportions.
APA Style: The eGuide 45

Commas in numbers
• Put commas between groups of three numerals in numbers of 1,000 or more.

5, 345, 234, 000

Numbers with no commas


• Page numbers page 1369
• Binary digits 0110110110
• Serial numbers 12345678
• Temperature 1000 ◦F
• Acoustic frequency 1000 Hz

Plurals of numbers
To form the plural of a number, add s or es. Do not add an apostrophe.
1960s, all at sixes and sevens, four 10s

Metric Measurements

APA policy
Physical measurements should be expressed in metric units. APA uses the International
System of Units (SI). Measurements that are made in nonmetric units should be immediately
followed by SI equivalents, in parentheses.

The ditch is 3 ft (0.91 m) deep

Style for metrics


Abbreviation. Use the metric symbol with numerals (e.g., 8 k) and in tables (with one space
between the number and the abbreviation). When you refer to a measurement in your text
without a number, spell it out (e.g., the speed-limit signs were in kilometers).
Capitalization. Use lowercase letters for metrical units, except for the following:
Use an uppercase letter
ƒ at the beginning of a sentence.
ƒ with certain symbols derived from someone’s name (e.g., A, angstrom).
ƒ with symbols for some prefixes that stand for the power of 10 (e.g., G, giga
and M, mega).
ƒ for liter (L) so it won’t be confused with the number 1.

Plurals. Don’t pluralize symbols of measurements. Leave them singular (4 mm). Do pluralize
spelled-out measurements (14 kilometers to the motel).
APA Style: The eGuide 46

Statistics
Ways to present statistics
APA recommends using the following guidelines for presenting statistical and mathematical
copy. Whether you incorporate the material in the text or use a table or figure depends on how
many numbers you are dealing with.
• Use a sentence for 3 or fewer numbers.
• Use a table for 4 to 20 numbers.
• Use a graph or figure for more than 20 numbers.

Rules for typing statistical symbols


Spacing. Put spaces between the elements in statistical and mathematical copy in the same
way you would space between words: Write a + b = c rather than a+b=c.
Put a space before and after such symbols as =, +, <, and >. Example: p < .04.
Do not put a space between a letter and an item in parentheses. Example: F(2, 36), r(45).

Typeface. Use italics for most statistical symbols.


Exceptions: Boldface symbols for vectors. Use regular (roman) typeface for numbers,
Greek letters, subscripts, superscripts that function as identifiers, and abbreviations that are
not variables.

Values in parentheses. Use parentheses to enclose statistical values and degrees of


freedom. Example: (M = 5.6, SD = 1.43)

Percent. Use the percent symbol (%) only with numbers; if no number is given, use the
word percentage (e.g., 72% of Dr. Dibble’s students complained; a high percentage of Dr.
Dibble’s students complained).

CITING SOURCES IN THE TEXT


What to Cite
You must cite any information (facts, findings, theories, ideas) that you take from a source, whether
published or unpublished. The purpose of citation is to give credit where credit is due. The word cite
here means that you provide an acknowledgement of the source at the appropriate point in the text
and a corresponding entry in the reference list at the end of the paper. To present the work of
someone else as your own is plagiarism and carries horrific consequences. But there is a gray area
called common knowledge, and if a bit of information qualifies as common knowledge, you don’t
need to cite it. The problem is that common knowledge is a little hard to define (see below).

What you definitely need to cite


• Direct quotations. Key words, phrases, passages quoted verbatim (word-for-word) from a
source.
APA Style: The eGuide 47

• Paraphrases and summaries. Material from a source, including ideas, arguments, and
conclusions, that you present in your own words.
• Articles and studies you refer to in your text. If you mention an article or study, you
need to document it.
• Some factual information. (See "What is Common Knowledge?" below for more on this.)

What you don’t (or may not) need to cite


Well-known sayings and proverbs
“Strike while the iron is hot”

Well-known quotations.
“I am not a crook”

Well-established historical and scientific facts.


Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon; the United States entered
World War I in 1917; Albert Einstein formulated the theory of relativity; Sigmund
Freud concluded that all dreams are forms of wish fulfillment

What is Common Knowledge?

Any attempt to define common knowledge is going to be fuzzy. A couple of rules of thumb:
Common knowledge includes established facts that most educated people would know. It includes
facts that can easily be found in numerous standard (not specialized) references—dictionaries,
encyclopedias, almanacs, and the like. New information should be cited. The statement “Human
activities are causing global warming” is not a fact; it is still an arguable judgment not yet
established as fact. But the statement “The earth revolves around the sun” has been verified enough
to make it an established fact, even though some people might disagree.
Another consideration is the community to which you belong and the audience for which you
are writing. For example, if you are a graduate student in psychology writing a dissertation, you can
probably assume that your readers will accept certain information as common knowledge—
information that would not be common knowledge to a general audience. In short, context is a
determining factor. Among professors and editors there is no consensus on what constitutes
common knowledge, so it’s always a good idea to check. (Check Useful Links at the end of the book
for Web sites that offer more detailed advice on this issue.)

How to Cite
For citing sources, APA uses the author-date system. That means that whenever you use
material from a source you must provide a citation in the text that gives the author(s) last name(s)
and the publication date of the source. You must also give page numbers for verbatim quotations.
APA Style: The eGuide 48

APA recommends, but does not require, page numbers for summaries and paraphrases in your own
words. The idea is to give enough information so that the reader can find the complete reference in
the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you give authors’ names in the text of your paper, you do not need to repeat them in the
parenthetical citation.
Pay close attention to capitalization, punctuation, typeface, and spacing in the
examples that follow.

Basic forms with examples

1. One author not mentioned in your text. If you don’t mention the author’s name in
your text, put the name and date in parentheses following the referenced material. Note
punctuation: Put a comma and a space between the name and date, and a final period
after the closing parenthesis. (For a block quotation, the final period goes after the
quotation itself, not after the parentheses.)
Analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the three months following September 11,
2001, “suggests that the number of Americans who lost their lives on the road by avoiding the risk of
flying was higher than the total number of passengers killed on the four fatal flights” (Gingerenzer,
2004, p. 286).
2. One author mentioned in your text. If you include the author’s name in your own text,
you don’t need to repeat it in the parenthetical citation. Just give the date. The example
below is a summary and so does not require quotation marks or a page number.
According to an analysis by Gingerenzer (2004), data from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the
three months following September 11, 2001, suggested that more Americans died in traffic accidents while
trying to avoid the risk of flying than did passengers on the four hijacked flights.

3. Two authors. Cite both names every time the reference occurs in your text. When the
names are in a parenthetical citation, use an ampersand (&) to separate them. But when
you give the names in your text, spell out and. Note in the second example below that
only the page number is given within the final parentheses because the author’s
names were mentioned in the text.

“Overall, the results provide evidence that observers encode and can use the local color properties of faces, in
particular, in tasks in which color provides diagnostic information and the availability of other cues is
reduced” (Nestor & Tarr, 2008, p. 1242).
Nestor and Tarr (2008) found evidence that “observers encode and can use the local color properties of faces,
in particular, in tasks in which color provides diagnostic information and the availability of other cues is
reduced” (p. 1242).

4. Three to five authors. Cite all authors in the first reference, but in later
references cite only the last name of the first author followed by et al. (The abbreviation
al. is followed by a period; et is not an abbreviation.)
APA Style: The eGuide 49

First reference. Winken, Blinken, and Nod (1889) reported setting off in a wooden shoe.
Second reference. Winken et al. (1889) then sailed off on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew.

Special case. It might happen that two second references have the same form. For
example, Winken, Blinken, and Nod (1889) and Winken, Johnson, and Nod
(1889); both shorten to Winken et al. (1889). In such a case, cite as many authors’
names as needed to make it clear these are references to different sources: Winken,
Blinken,et al. and Winken, Johnson, et al. Use this form for all references
after the first one.

5. Six or more authors. Cite only the last name of the first author followed by et al.
However, the same rule described above for two references that shorten to the same
form applies here—give as many names as needed to distinguish the two.

6. Organizations as authors. Publications by organizations such as corporations,


government agencies, and associations often don’t name the authors. In such cases, use
the name of the organization in place of the author’s name in a citation. Spell out the
name of the organization every time you use it, unless the organization is commonly
known by a familiar abbreviation (APA, DOT, CDC, etc.). But even if you do use an
abbreviation, give the full name in the first reference followed by the abbreviation in
brackets, and use only the abbreviation in subsequent references.

In September 2008, the Chinese government announced that the industrial chemical melamine had been
discovered in infant formula produced in China. As of October 22, 2008, melamine-contaminated products
manufactured in China have been found in several countries throughout the world, and the list of affected
countries and products continues to grow (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2008).
Later references. (CDC, 2008)

7. No author. To reference a work with no author, put the first few words of the reference
list entry in place of the author’s name. This will usually be the title. If you are citing a
stand-alone work (e.g., book, periodical, pamphlet) italicize the abbreviated title; if you
are citing something that is part of a larger work (e.g., article, chapter) enclose the title in
quotation marks.
The only way to get rid of carpenter ants is to destroy the source (How to Eliminate, 2006).
Ants’ patterns of behavior are well beyond our understanding (“The Secret World of,” 1974).

8. Anonymous author. Use anonymous as the author’s name only if the work is signed
anonymous. Handle it like a single-author citation: (Anonymous, 2003)

9. Authors with the same last name. If you cite two sources for the same piece of
information, and the authors of each source have the same last name, include the first (if
there are more than one) author’s initials in all citations.
Q. X. Dibble and X.Q. Dibble (1947) agreed that….
Q. X. Dibble and Jones (1947) and X.Q. Dibble and Smith (1956) demonstrated that….
APA Style: The eGuide 50

10. Two or more works in the same parentheses, separated by a comma. If you cite
two sources in the same parentheses, put them in the same order as in the reference list.
Two or more works by the same authors. Put the earliest publication first.
(Dibble & Jones, 1947, 1950).

Two or more works by the same author in the same year. Distinguish publications by
an author in the same year by putting lowercase letters after the year, thus:
(Dibble, 1947a, 1947b, 1947c).
Use the same notation for entries in the reference list.

Two or more works by different authors in the same parentheses. Cite in alphabetical
order by the first author’s last name. Separate with semicolons.
Several studies (Dibble, 1947; Jones, 1954; Starsky & Hutch, 1983) show…...

11. Unknown date. Use the abbreviation n.d. if no date for the source is given.
(Dibble, n.d.)

12. Classical works. For very old works, the date of publication may not be known or is
irrelevant. Cite the year of the translation you used.
(Seneca, trans. 1969)

13. References to the Bible. Cite book, chapter, and verse. In your first citation only,
give the version you used. You don’t need to include an entry for the Bible in the
reference list.
(John 3:16, New International Version)

14. Parts of a source. You can cite specific parts of a source in a parenthetical citation—
book, chapter, verse, and so on. Always give page numbers with verbatim quotations.
(Plato, Book III), (Alighieri, Canto IV), (Dibble, chap. 2)

15. Personal communication. Personal communications are cited only in the text, not in the
reference list. They may be letters, emails, interviews, telephone conversations,
memos and other unpublished items. They are handled like this:
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember what happened to that monkey” (Dibble, personal
communication, November 16, 2007).

16. Secondary source. A primary source is the original work by an author. A secondary
source is a work in which that author is quoted or paraphrased. If you are using
material from a secondary source, you need to note it, like this:
Dr. Q.X. Dibble has frequently advocated draconian measures to enforce order in the
classroom (as cited in Cronk, 1967, p. 63).
APA Style: The eGuide 51

17. Electronic sources. Citations for electronic sources follow the same form as for print
sources, except that page numbers are not always given for online documents. If there
are no page numbers in a document, put the paragraph number, if there is one, using
either the paragraph symbol ¶ or the abbreviation para.
(Dibble, 1947, ¶ 7)
If no paragraph number is available, use the number of the section and the number of the
paragraph in that section.
(Dibble, 1947, Methods section, para. 2)

THE REFERENCE LIST


Begin the reference list on a separate page at the end of the paper. Label the page with the
word References centered at the top of the page. Include in the reference list an entry for each
source cited in your paper (except personal communications), and give enough information for a
reader to locate the original source.

Basic Format
Begin the list one double-spaced line below the title.
Hanging indent. Begin each entry on a line flush with the left margin. Indent the second
and subsequent lines one-half inch, or one tab space.
Spacing. In copy manuscripts, double-space within and between entries. However, in final
manuscripts you may be allowed to single-space the entries and double-space between them.

Order of References (Alphabetizing)


Arrange references in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author listed in the
publication. If the first, or first few, letters of two authors’ names are the same, alphabetize by the
first letter that is different (e.g., Smither comes before Smithson). If a name has a prefix (de, la,
von, etc.) and the prefix is considered to be part of the name, alphabetize according to the prefix. If
the prefix is not part of the last name, alphabetize the name without the prefix. For example, Walter
de la Mare would be listed under D but Le Corbusier would be listed under C. APA suggests checking
the biographical names section of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to resolve these thorny
issues. Alphabetize the prefixes M’, Mc, and Mac as they are; don’t mentally insert an a in M’ or Mc.
If no author is given, alphabetize by the title of the work as if the title were the author’s name.

Alphabetizing multiple authors or works.


More than one entry for the same author. Arrange according to year of publication, the
earliest first. (The same holds for works with multiple authors listed in the same order.) If
references by the same authors published in the same year are part of a series, order the
references in the order of the series, not by title. Identify works in a series with lowercase
letters—a, b, c—after the year in the reference list entry.

Dibble, Q. X. (1947a).
APA Style: The eGuide 52

Dibble, Q. X. (1947b).

One-author and multiple-author entries beginning with the same author's name. List
the one-author work first.

Different authors with the same last name. Arrange alphabetically by the first initial.

Same first author but different second or third authors. Arrange alphabetically by the
last name of the second author, or if necessary, the third, or fourth, or....
Multiple references by the same author(s) with the same publication date. Arrange
alphabetically by title.

Group authors or no authors. For groups such as corporations and government agencies,
alphabetize by the first word of the full name of the organization, not by the abbreviation. For
no author, alphabetize by the first word of the title. (In either case, don’t include the, a, or an
as the first word for the purpose of alphabetizing.)
Anonymous author. Use anonymous as the author only if the article is signed anonymous.

Abbreviations used in reference lists


Use the following abbreviations for parts of publications.

chap. chapter p. (pp.) page (pages)


ed. edition Vol. Volume (as in Vol. 4)
Rev. ed. revised edition vols. volumes (as in 4 vols.)
2nd ed. second edition No. number
Ed. (Eds.) Editor (Editors) Pt. Part
Trans. Translator(s) Tech. Rep. Technical Report
n.d. no date Suppl. Supplement

General Notes on Reference List Entries


• For each type of source listed here you will find a basic format and an example of a
reference-list entry. For some sources, I also give examples of how that source could be cited
in an in-text citation. These examples are just that—examples; they do not constitute an
exhaustive list of all possible ways a source could be cited. There are also notes
accompanying some examples to point out details that require special attention.

• If you don’t find an example that matches exactly a source you’re using, look at the general
form for the category your source fits and use the example that comes closest to your
source. If you’re not sure of what information to include, it’s better to give too much than too
little. Keep in mind that the whole idea is to enable a reader to find your source.

• Pay very close attention to picky details in the examples: order of information, punctuation,
spacing within and between elements, use of parentheses or brackets, capitalization, and font
style (roman or italic). These things matter. (Brackets are sometimes used to identify certain
APA Style: The eGuide 53

types of content—abstract, cd, software, etc. The bracketed information is placed directly
after the title with no punctuation between the two.)

• Most of the reference-list examples are real, but some are invented. You’ll probably be able
to tell the difference. It’s the form that counts.

About reference-creating software: I’ve spent a lot of time correcting errors in reference
lists created using software programs that produce entries from information that you
plug in. Give them the details, and they crank out an entry. They are not foolproof. If you use
one of these programs, I suggest that you check your reference list carefully.

Print Sources
Articles in Periodicals
(scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters)

Basic format for journal articles

Author, A. B., Author B. C., & Author, C. D. (Year of publication). Title of article in sentence
caps. Title of Publication in Heading Caps. Volume#(issue#), page#–page#.

See under Capitalization for definitions of sentence caps and heading caps.
If more than six authors, omit the ampersand and place et al. after the last author's initials.

Note: A detail that often escapes notice is that the volume number is italicized, followed by
the issue number in parentheses (not italicized), and that there is no spacing between
the two.

Journal with separate paging in each issue


Lang, B. (2005). Hyphenated-Jews and the anxiety of identity. Jewish Social Studies,
12(1), 1–16.

In-text citations (Lang, 2005); As Lang (2008) suggests. . .

Examples of citations for quoted material:


“Even the dramatic political social developments confronting the world Jewish community
since World War II, including the emergence of the State of Israel, have not essentially
altered or transformed their hyphenated-Jewish identity” (Lang, 2005, pp. 2-3).

Lang (2005) wrote that “even the dramatic political social developments confronting the
world Jewish community since World War II, including the emergence of the State of
Israel, have not essentially altered or transformed their hyphenated-Jewish identity” (pp.
1-2).
APA Style: The eGuide 54

Note: Give volume and issue number as shown in the example. Note that the volume number
is italicized.

Journal with continuous paging

Cherry, K. E., Elliott, E. M., & Reese, C. M. (2007). Age and individual differences in working
memory: The size judgment span task. The Journal of General Psychology, 134, 43–65.

In-text citations, three authors (Cherry, Elliott, & Reese, 2007); According to Cherry,
Elliott and Reese (2007). . .
Note: If paging is continuous from one issue to the next throughout the year, give just the
volume number and omit the issue number.

Abstract of a journal article

Nestor, A. & Tarr, M. J. (2008). Gender recognition of human faces using color [Abstract].
Psychological Science, 19, 1242.

In-text citations, two authors (Nestor & Tarr, 2008); In a study by Nestor and Tarr (2008),

Note: Information in brackets denotes the type of content. Place it directly after the title, no
punctuation between the two, followed by a period.

Secondary source (as cited in...)

If you use information that was quoted or referred to in a book or article, you must cite in the
text of your paper both the original (primary) source and the source where you found the
material (secondary source). But list only the secondary source in the reference list. In the
following example, a study by Shaw, de la Garza, and Lee (primary source) was referred to in
an article by Bullock and Hood (secondary source). If you use the information about the study
that you found in the Bullock and Hood article, you need to handle the citation as a secondary
source.

Reference list
Bullock, C. S., & Hood, M. V. (2006). A mile-wide gap: The evolution of political Hispanic
emergence in the deep south. Social Science Quarterly, 87, 1121.

In-text citation
A study by Shaw, de la Garza, and Lee in 2000 (as cited in Bullock & Hood, 2006) found that
mobilizing Latinos was a key determinant of Hispanic turnout in the 1996 presidential election.
APA Style: The eGuide 55

Monographs
Monographs issued as part of a series, even though they might look like books or pamphlets,
are treated as periodicals.

With issue and serial (or whole) number

Wegner, G. E. (1998). News anchor banter. Journal of Random Chatter Monographs, 2(5, Serial
No. 346).

Note: Include both issue and serial number in the final parentheses.

Bound separately as a supplement to a journal

Wegner, G. E. (1998). News anchor banter. Journal of Random Chatter Monographs, 2(5, Pt.2).

Note: In the final parentheses, give the part or supplement number.

Bound into a journal with continuous paging

Wegner, G. E. (1998). News anchor banter [Monograph]. Journal of Random Chatter, 2, 76–83.

Note: Treat as a journal entry, but with [Monograph] in brackets after the title.

Non-English journal article, translated title

Dandurand, R. B. (1985). Les dissolutions matrimoniales, un phénomène latent dans le Québec


des années 60 [Dissolutions of marriage, a phenomenon latent in Quebec for 60 years].
Anthropologie et Sociétés, 9(3), 87-115.

Note: • The only difference between this and an entry for an English language article is the
translated title in brackets after the original title.

• If you use a translated article as a source, simply give the title in English as you
would for any other journal article.

Periodical published annually

Sookoian, S. (2007). Hepatitis B virus and pregnancy. Hepatitis B Annual, 4(1), 12-23.

Note: If a work is published regularly, treat it as a periodical, not a book.


APA Style: The eGuide 56

Entire issue or special section of a journal

Clinger, M. (Ed.). (1985). What to study if nothing is wrong [Special issue]. Journal of Normal
Psychology, 1(1).

Note: • Give the editor and the title of the issue, and identify it as a [Special issue].
• If no editor is named, put the title in the author slot and use a shortened version of it
in the in-text citation.

Journal article in press

Core, S., Miller, S., Widowski, T., & Mason, G. (in press). Eye white percentage as a predictor
of temperament in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science.

In-text citation
First reference (Core, Miller, Widowski, & Mason, in press)
Later references (Core et al., in press)

Note: An in-press article is one that a journal has accepted for publication. Do not give the
year or the volume and issue numbers until the article is published.

Magazine Article

Monthly
Paul, A. M. (1998, February). Crazy? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no. Psychology Today, 31, 16.

In-text citation (Paul, 1998)

Weekly
Kukis, M. (2008, December 8). Closing down the dark side. Time, 172, 36.

In-text citation (Kukis, 2008)

Note: • In the reference list, give the month for monthlies, month and day for weeklies. In
the in-text citation, just give the year.
• Place the volume number, italicized, after the title, then the page number.
APA Style: The eGuide 57

Newsletter article (quarterly)

Ingle, L. (2008, Winter). Chocolate Sundays. Library Landscapes, 1, 1.

In-text citations (Ingle, 2008); Ingle (2008) described. . .

Newsletter article, No author

A study of nurse uniform color and perceptions of professionalism. (2006, Fall). Notable
Nursing, 7, 1-3.

In-text citations (“Study of Nurse Uniform,” 2006); In a study of nurse uniform colors (2006)

Note: Article titles in the text of the paper, including in-text citations, are in heading caps (see
Capitalization) and enclosed in quotation marks.

Daily newspaper article

Vivanco, L. (2009, January 2). A healthy dose of ha: Can laughing your troubles away help you
feel better than ever? Chicago Tribune, p. B5.

Note: • Give complete date—year, month, and day—and section letters and page numbers
preceded by p. or pp. If an article continues on another page, include both section
letters and both page numbers (e.g., pp. A1, E6).
• If there is no author, lead with the title, as in the example from a newsletter above.

Weekly newspaper article

Neshwim, L. (2008, December 24). City council votes “no confidence” in mayor. East County
News, p. A2.
Note: If the article continues on another page, include both page numbers (e.g., A2, C4).
APA Style: The eGuide 58

Newspaper editorial

Radamaker, S. (2009, February 2). Talk to Iran. Then What? [Editorial]. The New York Times,
p. A19.

In-text citation (Radamaker, 2009)

Note: Put [Editorial] in brackets following the title of the article.

Letter to the editor

Miles, B. (2009, February). Tilting at windmills [Letter to the editor]. Harper’s, 319, 4.

Note: See note for magazine article. Place [Letter to the editor] in brackets following the title.

Books, brochures, and other print documents

Basic format for books

Author, A. B., Author, B. C., & Author, C. D. (year of publication). Title italicized and in
sentence caps. Place of publication: publisher.

Publishers’ locations
For place of publication, give city and state (two-letter U.S. postal code abbreviations) for
U.S. publishers (see exceptions below). For publishers outside the U.S. give city, state or
province, and country. You don’t need to include the name of the state for university
presses that include the name of the state (e.g., University of Florida Press). And for the
following major cities, you do not need to give state or country:

Baltimore New York Amsterdam Paris


Boston Philadelphia Jerusalem Rome
Chicago San Francisco London Stockholm
Los Angeles Milan Tokyo
Moscow Vienna
APA Style: The eGuide 59

Abbreviations for states and territories

AL Alabama MO Missouri
AK Alaska MT Montana
AS American Samoa NE Nebraska
AZ Arizona NV Nevada
AR Arkansas NH New Hampshire
CA California NJ New Jersey
CO Colorado NM New Mexico
CT Connecticut NY New York
DE Delaware NC North Carolina
DC District of Columbia ND North Dakota
FL Florida OH Ohio
GA Georgia OK Oklahoma
FM Federate States of OR Oregon
Micronesia PA Pennsylvania
GU Guam PR Puerto Rico
HI Hawaii RI Rhode Island
ID Idaho SC South Carolina
IL Illinois SD South Dakota
IN Indiana TN Tennessee
IA Iowa TX Texas
KS Kansas UT Utah
KY Kentucky VT Vermont
LA Louisiana VA Virginia
ME Maine VI Virgin Islands
MD Maryland WA Washington
MA Massachusetts WV West Virginia
MI Michigan WI Wisconsin
MN Minnesota WY Wyoming
MS Mississippi

Book, one author

Ferris, D. (2002). Treatment of error in second language writing classes. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press.

In-text citations
(Ferris, 2002)
In his book Treatment of Error in Second Language Writing Classes, Ferris
(2002) claims that. . .

Note: • For a book title in the body of the paper, use heading caps and italics (see
Capitalization). But in the reference list entry, use sentence caps.

• For university publishers, if the name of the state is in the name of the press, you
don’t need to give the state abbreviation.
APA Style: The eGuide 60

Book, 2–6 authors

Mims, B. C., Toto, K. H., Luecke, L. E., Roberts, M. K., Brock, J. D., & Tyner, T. E. (2004).
Critical care skills: A clinical handbook (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders.

Note: • Give names of authors in the order listed on the book’s title page.
• If there are more than six authors, list the first six and place et al. after the last
author’s name.

Book, numbered edition

Smith, P. K., & Cowie, H. (1991). Understanding children’s development (2nd ed.). Oxford:
Basil Blackwell.

In- text citations (Smith & Cowie, 1991)


Smith and Cowie (1991) explained that. . .

Note: Put the edition number in parentheses after the title, no punctuation between the two.

Book, revised edition

Konner, M. (2003). The tangled wing: Biological constraints on the human spirit (Rev. ed.).
New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Note: For a revised edition, put (Rev. ed.) in parentheses after the title, no punctuation
between the two.

Edited book

Moreau, D. (Ed.). (2004). Critical care nursing made incredibly easy. Ambler, PA: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.

In-text citation (Moreau, 2004)

Note: Citing an entire edited book, put the editor’s name in the author position, followed
by (Ed.)—or if multiple authors, (Eds.). Don’t forget the period after (Ed.).
APA Style: The eGuide 61

Article or chapter in an edited book

Przeworski, A. (1986). Some problems in the study of transition to democracy. In G.


O’Donnell, P. Schmitter, & L. Whitehead (Eds.), Transitions from authoritarian rule:
Comparative perspectives (pp. 47-63). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

In-text citation (Przeworski, 1986)

Note: Place page numbers for the cited article in parentheses after the title of the book.

Book, no author or editor

Microsoft word version 2002 step by step. (2001). Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press.

In-text citation (Microsoft Word Version 2002, 2001)

Note: • Put book titles that are written out in the text of the paper, including in-text
citations, in italics and heading caps (see Capitalization).

• If no author, the name of the publisher takes the place of author’s name.
Alphabetize by the first major word of the title (not by A, An or The).

Multivolume work, entire

Greenberg, J. H. (Ed.). (1978). Universals of human language (Vols. 1–4). Palo Alto, CA:
Stanford University Press.

In-text citation (Greenberg, 1978)

Note: • When the editor is in the author position, give last name first, followed by initials.
• Give all volumes of the work in parentheses after the title (not italicized).

Multivolume work, single volume

Greenberg, J. H. (Ed.). (1978). Universals of human language: Vol. 2. Phonology. Palo Alto,
CA: Stanford University Press.
APA Style: The eGuide 62

Note: • When citing a single volume, place a colon after the title of the work as a whole,
then give the volume number (italicized), followed by the title of the volume
cited.
• When the editor is in the author position, give last name first, followed by initials.

Multivolume work, chapter or article

Vihman, M. M. (1978). Consonant harmony: Its scope and function in child language. In J. H.
Greenberg (Ed.), Universals of human language: Vol. 2. Phonology (pp. 281–334). Palo
Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

In-text citations (Vihman, 1978)


As Vihman (1978 writes. . .

Note: • See note for Multivolume work, single volume


• Give page numbers for the article or chapter.
• Editors’ names, initials first

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(Rev. 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

In-text citations
First citations
(American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders, 2000)
According to the American Psychiatric Association (Diagnostic and statistical manual of
mental disorders, 2000), . . .
Later citation (DSM–IV–TR, 2000)

Note: When the association is both author and publisher, put “Author” in the publisher
position. In the reference list, include the edition used in parentheses, with Arabic
numerals.
APA Style: The eGuide 63

Translated book

Nietzsche, F. (2009). Beyond good and evil. (M. Faber, trans.). New York: Oxford University
Press, USA. (Original work published 1886).

In-text citation (Nietzsche, 1886/2009)

Note: • For classical works, give the date of the version or translation used, then at the
end of the citation give both the original publication date and the publication date
of the translation..
• List the names of translators, like those of editors, initials first.
• In the in-text citation, put the original publication date and the date of the version
you’re using.

Non-English book

Pena, M. (1989). Historia de la literatura mexicana [History of Mexican literature]. Mexico


City: Alhambra Mexicana.

Note: Give the original title (italicized), followed by the translated title in brackets (not
italicized), and then the period.

Article in a non-English edited book, translated title

Bibeau, G. (1987). Repères pour une approche anthropologique en psychiatrie [Paving the Way
for an anthropological approach in psychiatry]. In E. Corin, S. Lamarré, P. Migneault, & M.
Tousignant (Eds.), Regards anthropologiques en psychiatrie (pp. 7-13). Quebec, Canada:
Les Éditions du GIRAME, Université Laval, département d'anthropologie.

In-text citation (Bibeau, 1987)

Note: Put everything in the original language except the translation of the article’s title,
which goes in brackets following the original title.
APA Style: The eGuide 64

Secondary source

A secondary source is one that is cited in another work—the primary source. List only the
primary source in the reference list, but both sources in your text. In the example that
follows, the quotation is from Yann Martel’s book The Life of Pi, which is quoted in Virginia
Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style.

Reference list entry

Tufte, V. (2006). Artful sentences: Syntax as style. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.

In-text citation
As Yann Martel put it, “That’s what predators do; they kill prey” (as cited in Tufte,
2006, p. 129.)

Encyclopedia or dictionary entire, one author

Crystal, D. (2003). The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language (2nd ed.).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Article in an encyclopedia, one author

Kennedy, K. A. (2000). Assessment of occupational stress. In J. A. Siegel, P. J. Saukko, & G. C.


Knupper (Eds.), Encyclopedia of forensic sciences (Vol. 1, pp. 206-217). London:
Academic Press.

Note: • Put volume and page numbers together in parentheses after the title.
• If no author is given, put the title in the author position and give a shortened version
of the title in the in-text citation.

Brochure, corporate author

Modern Language Association. (n.d.). Language study in the age of globalization: The college-
level experience. New York: Author.

In-text citation (Modern Language Association [MLA], n.d.)


APA Style: The eGuide 65

Note: • When the publisher is also the author, put “Author” in the publisher position at the
end of the entry.

• In the first reference, write out the name of the organization in full with the
abbreviation in brackets. Thereafter, use just the abbreviation.

Technical and research reports

Basic format for reports

Author, Q. X. (publication date). Report title italicized (report number). Place of publication:
Publisher’s name.

Note: • If there is a report number, put the information in parentheses immediately after
the title, no punctuation between the two, not italicized. (See the
first example below.)

• Give the publisher’s name as it appears on the report. If the report is produced
by a department within a department, give both names if the department that
produced it is not well known. If the issuing department is well known, you
don’t need to give the higher department (or agency, or office). For example, in the
Report from a government agency, no author below, NIH is an institute of the U.S.
Dept. of Health and Human Services. But NIH is well known, so the name of the
higher agency is not necessary. If you give more than one agency, put the higher
agency first.

Research report, private organization

Camara, W. J., & Schmidt, A. E. (1999). Group differences in standardized testing and social
stratification (College Board Rep. No. 99-5). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

In-text citations (Camara & Schmidt, 1999)


In a report by Camara and Schmidt (1999). . .

Note: Put the number of the report in parenthesis directly after the title, with no punctuation
between the title and the report number.
APA Style: The eGuide 66

Report available from the Government Printing Office (GPO), group author

National Intelligence Council. (2008). Global trends 2025: A transformed world (4th ed.). (NIC
Publication No. 2008-003). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

In-text citations

First reference (National Intelligence Council [NIC], 2008)


Later references (NIC, 2008)

Note: For documents available from GPO, put GPO as publisher.

Report not available from GPO or document deposit service

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2002). Measures of patient safety based on
hospital administrative data—the patient safety indicators (AHRQ Publication No. 02-
0038). Rockville, MD: Author.

Note: • Place the publication number in parentheses directly after the italicized title, no
punctuation between the two.

• When the publisher is also the author, put “Author” in the publisher position at
the end of the entry.

Report from a government agency, no author

National Institutes of Health. (2004). Strategic plan for NIH obesity research (NIH Publication
No. 04-5493). Bethesda, MD: Author.

In-text citations
First reference (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2004)
Later references (NIH, 2004)

Note: When the publisher is also the author, put “author” in the publisher position at the
end of the entry.
APA Style: The eGuide 67

Report from a university, monograph

Larson, E. H., Johnson, K. E., Norris, T. E., Lishner, D. M., Rosenblatt, R. A., & Hart, L. G.
(2003). State of the health workforce in rural America: Profiles and comparisons. Seattle,
WA: University of Washington, Center for Health Workforce Studies.

In-text citations (Larson et al., 2003)


Larson et al. (2003) studied. . .

Note: • In an in-text citation for six or more authors, shorten to the first author’s name
followed by et al. (Don’t forget the period after al.)
• In a reference list, you must include all names up to and including six authors.

Edited monograph

Davis, R. M., Gilpin, E. A., Loken, B., Visawanath, K., & Wakefield, M. A. (Eds.). (2008). The
role of the media in promoting and reducing tobacco use (Tobacco Control Monograph No.
19). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of
Health, National Cancer Institute. NIH Pub. No. 07-6242.

Note: • Give the name of the monograph series and the number of the monograph cited in
parentheses following the title.
• Only the names of the editors are available for this publication, so the editors are
treated as authors (last names and initials inverted). The list of names is followed by
(Eds.).

Report from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

Gordon, H. W. & Gantz, M. D. (1996). Individual differences in the biobehavioral etiology of


drug abuse. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. (NTIS No. PB96-178363)
Note: Format the same as for a book, with NITS number in parentheses at the end, no period
after it.
APA Style: The eGuide 68

Report from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Bingman, M. B. (2002). Documenting outcomes for learners and their communities: A


report on a NCSALL action research project. Boston: National Center for the Study of
Adult Learning and Literacy. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED465868)

Note: The reference is the same as for a book, with the addition of the ERIC document
number, no period after it.

Reviews

Book review

Sieck, J. (2007). [Review of the book African American foodways: Explorations of history and
culture]. Anthropological Quarterly, 80(4), 1193-1199.

In-text citation
(Sieck, 2007)
In a review of the book African American Foodways: Explorations of History
and Culture, Sieck (2007) wrote. . .

Note: • If the review has no title, use the title of the book in brackets in the title position.
• If the review is titled, give the title as you would for a journal article, followed by
the title of the book being reviewed in brackets.
• Re: the in-text citation. Use heading capitalization for italicized titles in the body of
the paper, but not in the reference list (see Capitalization).

Motion picture review

Dargis, M. (2009, December 27). A dashing war hero, but way too Cruise. [Review of the
motion picture Valkyrie]. International Herald Tribune, p. 9.

In-text citations (Dargis, 2009); In a review of Valkyrie (Dargis, 2009). . .

Note: Put review information in brackets after the date. Italicize movie titles.
APA Style: The eGuide 69

Proceedings of meetings and symposia

Basic format
The formats used for proceedings and symposia are similar to those for printed journals and
books with the addition of information identifying the event.

Published proceedings, published contribution to a symposium

Heine, S. J. (2003). An exploration of cultural variation in self-enhancing and self-improving


motivations. In R. A. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Vol. 49.
Cross-cultural differences in perspectives on the self (pp. 101-128). Lincoln: University of
Nebraska Press.

Note: Use heading caps (see capitalization) for the title of the symposium. The state name is
in the name of the university, so doesn’t need to be repeated.

Unpublished contribution to a symposium

Clee, P. & Garratt, F. (1987, June). Cut plug or whole herring? In S. M. Sires (Chair). Bait
presentation methods for salmon. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Puget
Sound Anglers Association, Snag Harbor, WA.

Proceedings published regularly

Wang, E. T., Kodama, G., Baldi, Pierre, & Moyzis, R. K. (2006). Global landscape of recent
inferred Darwinian selection for Homo sapiens. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, USA, 103, 103-135.

Note: The format is the same as for periodicals. If you are citing an abstract, put [Abstract]
directly after the article.

Unpublished paper presented at a meeting

Steenbek, W., Wijngaert, L., Brand, M., Brinkkemper, S. F., & Harmsen, F. (2005). Sourcing
decision-making: Eliciting consultancy knowledge using policy capturing. Paper presented
at the meeting of the 13th European conference on information systems. Regensburg,
Germany: Universität Trier.

In-text citation (Steenbek, Wijngaert, Brand, Brinkkemper, & Harmsen, 2005)


APA Style: The eGuide 70

For two to five authors, cite all authors the first time, and thereafter just the last name of the
first author and et al. (Steenbek et al., 2005)

Note: In this case, the reference is not to published proceedings, so the title of the paper is
italicized and the name of the conference is in roman type. When proceedings are
published, the title of the publication is italicized, and the title of the paper is in roman
type.

Poster session

Tan, S. Lei, J. Shi, S. & Zhao, Y. (2003, April). The adult-children tension: Activity design and
selection in after-school programs. Structured poster session presented at the annual
meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

In-text citation (Tan, Lei, & Zhao, 2003)

Note: Give the year and month of the presentation. Italicize the title of the presentation.

Dissertations and Theses

Doctoral dissertations

Unpublished dissertation

Wynn, E. (1979). Office conversation as an information medium. Unpublished doctoral


dissertation, University of California—Berkeley.

Note: If the dissertation you’re using is abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts


International (DAI) and you obtained it from a university, you need to add that
information. In that case, the entry for the dissertation above would look like this:

Wynn, E. (1979). Office conversation as an information medium. (Doctoral dissertation,


University of California—Berkeley, 1979). Dissertation Abstracts International, Vol.#,
xxx.

Give just the number of the volume, in italics, (without the word Vol.) and the page
number.

Note: If you obtained the dissertation from UMI, add the UMI number in parentheses after
the final period at the end of the entry, like this: (UMI No. xxxxxxx) No period at the
end.
APA Style: The eGuide 71

Unpublished master’s thesis

Clee, P. (1967). The relationship between rhythm and symbol in the novels of D. H.
Lawrence. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Oregon, Eugene.

Note: Give the abbreviation for the state if the state’s name is not in the university’s name.
For a university outside the United States, give the city, state or province, and
country.

Unpublished work and publications of limited circulation

Unpublished manuscript

Dewar, G. (2000). Mental health promotion and self-help books. (Unpublished manuscript).

Unpublished manuscript with a university cited

Bungee, C. (2003). A comparative analysis of apples and oranges. Unpublished manuscript.


Bob’s University, Whiskey Bend, WA.

Note: For a university outside the United States, give the name of the country as well.

Manuscript in progress or submitted but not yet accepted

Clee, P. (2006). The nine thousand year-old man: The story of Kennewick Man and the battle
for America=s past. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Note: Do not include the name of the publisher to which the manuscript was submitted.

Unpublished raw data from a study, untitled

Cassidy, B. & Kidd, S. D. (1875). [Response time of sheriff to bank alarm]. Unpublished raw
data.

Note: Brackets show that the material is a description of content, not a title—no italics.
APA Style: The eGuide 72

Publication of limited circulation

Lederman, P. S. (Ed.). (2009, January). Healthcare Traveler. (Available from Healthcare


Traveler, 106 Milford Street, Suite 105, Salisbury, MD 21804)

Note: Give a name and address where a reader can obtain the publication, in parentheses
after the title.

Audiovisual Sources

Formats for audiovisual materials


The form varies depending on the medium. See notes for individual entries. Common elements
are the identification of the medium in brackets following the title, and the identification in
parentheses of the roles (writer, producer, director, etc.) played by the various luminaries
involved in audiovisual production.

Motion picture

McQuarrie, C. (Writer/Producer), & Singer, B. (Director). (2008). Valkyrie [Motion Picture].


United States: United Artists.

In-text citation (McQuarrie & Singer, 2008)

Note: • For place of publication, put the country of origin. For the publisher, put the name
of the studio. For films of limited circulation, give the distributor’s name
and complete address in parentheses at the end of the reference.
● Give positions of writers, producers, and directors in parentheses following their
names. Identify the medium in brackets following the title.

Television broadcast

Miller, K. (Producer). (2008, December 12). Bill Moyer’s Journal [Television broadcast]. New
York and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service.

In-text citation (Miller, 2008)


Note: • Place the producer’s name in the author position, followed by (Producer).
• Place identification of the medium after the title—[television broadcast].
APA Style: The eGuide 73

Television series

Cooper, A. (Executive Producer). (2008) Planet in Peril: Battle Lines [Television series].
Atlanta, GA: Cable News Network.

In-text citation (Cooper, 2008)

Television series, single episode

Sarnoff, E. (Writer), & Shill, S. (Director). (2005). New money [Television series episode]. In
D. Milch (Executive producer), Deadwood. New York: Home Box Office.

In-text citation (Sarnoff & Shill, 2005)

Note: When citing a single episode, put the writer and director in the author position, and
the producer in the editor position. Note that the producer’s name is written
initials first. Italicize the series title, but not the episode title.

Radio broadcast

Franklin, D. (2008, December 30). Family struggles with ambiguity of genetic testing [Radio
Broadcast]. Washington, DC: National Public Radio.

In-text citation (Franklin, 2008)

Note: Identify the medium in brackets following the title, no punctuation between the two.

Music recording, entire album

Roberts, M. (1996). Marcus Roberts trio: Time and circumstance [CD]. New York: Sony Music
Entertainment, Inc.

In-text citation (Roberts, 1996)

Note: Identify the medium in brackets following the title, no punctuation between the two.
APA Style: The eGuide 74

Music recording, single track

Roberts, M. (1996). Reflecting mirrors. On Marcus Roberts trio: Time and circumstance
[CD]. New York: Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

In-text citation In Marcus Roberts’s tune “Reflecting Mirrors” (Roberts, 1996, track 3),...

Note: Put the medium in brackets after the title; include track number in the in-text citation.

Audio recording

Wallace, M. (Author). (2008). Between you and me [CD Audiobook]. New York: Hyperion
Audio.

Note: In the author slot, put the name and function of the originator or primary contributor.
Identify the medium in brackets following the title, no punctuation between the two.

Transcript of a broadcast

Inskeep, S. (2008, September 18). Learning to thrive with attention deficit disorder. Morning
edition [Radio broadcast]. [Transcript]. Washington, DC: National Public Radio. Available
from National Public Radio Web site: http://www.npr.org/

In-text citation (Inskeep, 2008)


Note: • Give source of original broadcast, additional information in brackets.
• Use “Available from” instead of “Retrieved from” if the URL leads to the Web site
where you can obtain the transcript rather than to the transcript itself.

Work of art

Wood, G. (1930). American gothic [Oil on beaverboard]. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Ill.

Note: Put the medium in brackets after the title, and at the end put the name and place of
the institution where the original work is housed.
APA Style: The eGuide 75

Electronic Sources
The information in this section is based on the most recent APA guidelines in the APA Style
Guide to Electronic References (2007) which is a revised and updated version of section 4.16 of the
5th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It differs in a number
of ways from the 5th edition. I’ve added some sources that are not covered in this revised version of
the APA guide.
General form for entries. Reference list entries for electronic sources are the same in
most respects as for print sources, but they also include information needed to locate the source
online. This information is placed at the end of the entry in the retrieval statement. The retrieval
statement includes the month, day, and year that you accessed the source, and the electronic
address (URL, database name, or Digital Object Identifier [DOI]). Example of a retrieval statement:

Retrieved February 3, 2009, from http://www.bartleby.com/65/gr/grouppsy.html

You don’t need to give all of this information for every type of publication. Give a retrieval date if a
publication might be changed or updated, or if no date or edition or version number is available.
See notes for the individual examples in this section.

Use “Available from” instead of “Retrieved from” if the URL leads to a Web site where you can
obtain the information rather than to the information itself.

DOI. Because the make-up and location of Internet content is unstable, the APA-preferred
way of identifying scholarly online materials is the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This is an
alphanumeric string that trails the article wherever it goes. The DOI can usually be found on the
first page of the article. To access an article using the DOI, copy and paste the DOI into your
browser or a search engine. The article will pop up.

In-text citations Citations for electronic sources follow the same general form as for print
sources, except that online documents don’t always have page numbers. If there are no page
numbers in a document, put the paragraph number, if there is one, using either the paragraph
symbol ¶ or the abbreviation para.
(Dibble, 1947, ¶ 7)

If no paragraph number is available, use the number of the section and the number of the
paragraph in that section.
(Dibble, 1947, Methods section, para. 2)

You can find more information on general guidelines for electronic sources on the APA Web

site: http://apastyle.apa.org/elecref.html
APA Style: The eGuide 76

Online periodicals

Journal article with no DOI

Andserà, A., Boix, C., & Payne, M. (2003). Are you being served? Political accountability and
quality government. Journal of Law Economics & Organization, 19(2), 445-490.
Available from http://jleo.oxfordjournals.org/

Kingham, M. & Gordon, H. (2004). Aspects of morbid jealousy. Advances in Psychiatric


Treatment, 10, 207-215. Retrieved from http://apt.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/10/3/207

Note: • If an article is accessible by subscription, like the first example, give the URL of the
journal home page. Use “available from” rather than “retrieved from.” If an article
is open-access, like the second example, give the complete URL that will take the
reader directly to the article.
• You don’t need a retrieval date if you are referencing the final version of the article.
• In-text citations are the same as for journal articles in print.
• Do not put a period at the end of a URL—a period is not part of the address.

Journal article with DOI assigned

Wigley, T. M., & Raper, S. C. (2001, July 20). Interpretation of high-projections for global
mean warming. Science, 293(5529), 451–454. DOI: 10.1126/science.1061604.

Note: If an article has a DOI, you don’t need any other retrieval information. In-text
citation is in the same form as for a print article.

Journal article from a database

Cyrenne, C. (2006). Is thick description social science? Anthropological Quarterly, 79(3), 531-
540. Retrieved from ProQuest database (1288114871).

Note: Give retrieval information—name of database and document number, if any. No


retrieval date is needed because this is the final version of the article.

Preprint

Rogers, M.A., Theule, J., Ryan, B. A., Adams, J. R., & Keating, L. (2009, February 2).
Parental Involvement and Children's School Achievement: Evidence for Mediating
Processes. Canadian Journal of School Psychology. Advance online publication. Retrieved
February 4, 2009. doi:10.1177/0829573508328445
APA Style: The eGuide 77

Note: Preprints are articles published online before they are published in print. Because
preprints might not be in final form, include the retrieval date. The DOI will locate the
most recent version.

Online newspaper article

Rabin, R. C. (2008, December 31). Blood sugar control linked to memory decline, study says.
New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
Note: The date is given, so you don’t need to include it in the retrieval statement.

Online newspaper article, no author

Lice behind deer decline (2009, February 13). Retrieved from


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com

In-text citation (“Lice behind,” 2009)

Note: If there is no author, lead with the title.

Online magazine article

Ambinder, M. (2009, January/February). Race over? The Atlantic. Retrieved February 3,


2009, from http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/obama-race

Note: No volume number is available for the online version of this magazine.

In-press article retrieved from institutional or personal Web site

Core, S., Miller, S., Widowski, T., & Mason, G. (in press). Eye white percentage as a predictor
of temperament in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science. Retrieved February 21, 2009,
from http://jas.fass.org/papbyrecent.dtl

Note: • Give (in press) in place of publication date. Don’t give volume number, issue
number, or page numbers.

• To be referenced as “in press” articles must have been accepted by the publication.
If an article has not yet been accepted, italicize the title, followed by a period, and
do not include the title of the journal. Add “unpublished manuscript,” “manuscript
APA Style: The eGuide 78

in preparation,” or “manuscript submitted for publication” after the title, followed


by a period. Then the retrieval information.

Online books, reference works, and other documents

Electronic book (eBook), original publication

Tyler, G. W. (2008). Evolution in the systems age. Available from


http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=142&action=setvar&vartype=hist
ory&varname=bookmark&v1=1&v2=46&v3=2

Note: • This reference is for a book that exists only in electronic form. You don’t need to
give the publication information.
• Use Available from in the retrieval statement when the URL takes you to
information on obtaining the book, rather than to the book itself.

Electronic version of a previously published book

Adams, H. (1918). The education of Henry Adams. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved
February 3, 2009, from http://www.bartleby.com/159/

In-text citation (Adams, 1918)

Note: The reference is the same as for the print version, citing the original date of
publication and the publisher, with the addition of the retrieval statement.

Chapter from an eBook

Decker, M. W. (2006). Cognition models and drug discovery. In E. D. Levin & J. J. Buccafusco
(Eds.), Animal models of cognitive impairment. Retrieved from the National Center for
Biotechnology Information Web site:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=frcogimp&part=ch16

In-text citation (Decker, 2006)

Note: This book is available online, so the URL leads directly to the chapter cited. This is the
final version, so a retrieval date is not needed.
APA Style: The eGuide 79

Reference work entry, no author

Group psychotherapy. (2007). In The Columbia encyclopedia (6th ed.). Retrieved January 1,
2009, from http://www.bartleby.com/65/gr/grouppsy.html

In-text citation (“Group Psychotherapy,” 2007)

Note: • When there is no author, the article title is in the author position.
• Use quotation marks and heading caps for article and chapter titles within your
text, including the in-text citations.

Reference work entry, one author

Christman, J. (2003). Autonomy in moral and political philosophy. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.),


Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved February 3, 2009, from
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/autonomy-moral/

In-text citation (Christman, 2003)

Note: The retrieval date is given because this article has been updated and could be again.

Document from a university Web site

Barlow, J. (2008, December 15). Work with fungus uncovering keys to DNA methylation.
Retrieved from the University of Oregon, Eugene, http://pmr.uoregon.edu/science-and-
innovation/uo-research-news/research-news-2008/december-2008/work-with-fungus-
uncovering-keys-to-dna-methylation

Note: If from the Web site of an organization, such as a university, include the name of the
organization in the retrieval statement.

Undated article from a Web site

Kaiser, P. (n.d.). Physics of visual stimulus. In The joy of visual perception (chap. 15).
Retrieved February 15, 2009, from http://www.yorku.ca/eye/toc.htm
Note: Give the exact date of retrieval since the document is undated.
APA Style: The eGuide 80

Chapter from a web document

Benton foundation. (2005). Putting the remote control back into the hands of parents. In
Citizen’s guide to the public interest obligations of digital television broadcasters (chap.
6). Retrieved December 31, 2008, from
http://benton.org/pioguide/PDFs/citizensguide.pdf

Note: • If there are no page numbers, to identify the part of the document you’re citing, use
chapter or section numbers.
• If it’s available, give the URL that goes directly to the chapter (in this case it
doesn’t).

Dissertation retrieved from a Web site

Ackerman, J. M. (2003). Delinquents and their friends: The role of peer effects and self-
selection (Doctoral dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, 2003). Retrieved from
http://etda.libraries.psu.edu/theses/approved/WorldWideIndex/ETD-361/index.html

Note: put identification information, source, and date in parentheses following the title.

Abstract as original source

Haynie, D. L., Weiss, H. E., Piquero, A. (2008). Race, the economic maturity gap, and criminal
offending in young adulthood (NCJ No. 225011) [Abstract]. Retrieved from National
Criminal Justice Reference Service abstracts database.

Note: If there is a publication number, include it in parentheses after the title.

Abstract from a secondary source

Grossjean, B. (2005). From synapse to psychotherapy: The fascinating evolution of


neuroscience. The American Journal of Psychotherapy, 59(3), 181. Abstract retrieved
from ProQuest database (989072871).

Note: In the retrieval notice, include name of the database and the ID number assigned by
the database.
APA Style: The eGuide 81

Report from a government agency Web site

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (n.d.). Substance abuse and
suicide prevention: Evidence and implications. Retrieved February 3, 2009, from
http://www.samhsa.gov/matrix2/508SuicidePreventionPaperFinal.pdf

In-text citation (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


[SAMHSA] n.d.)
Later references (SAMHSA, n. d.)

Note: When there is no publication date, give the exact date of retrieval.

Bibliography from a Web site

Balderston, D., & Guy, D. J. (1997). Bibliography of sexuality studies in Latin America.
Retrieved from Stanford University Libraries and Academic Resources Web site:
http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/hasrg/latinam/balder.html

Note: Give the URL directly to the source, not just to the Web site. Dated publication, no
retrieval date necessary.

Online dictionary

Neurosis. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Unabridged. Retrieved December 3, 2008 from


http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/

In-text citation (Merriam-Webster Unabridged, n.d.) Italicize book titles in citations.

Software, download

Levy, M. & Ransdell, S. (2008). Laboratory in cognition and perception (Version 3.2)
[Software]. Available from http://www.psychologysoftware.com/instructing.htm

Note: Put the version number in parentheses right after the title, followed by [software]. No
punctuation between these elements.
APA Style: The eGuide 82

Audio podcast

Johnston, D. C. (2008, November 20). Inequality, the vast majority, and health [Audio
podcast]. Retrieved from the University of Washington, School of Public Health and
Community Medicine Web site:
http://sph.washington.edu/podcasts/podcast.asp?content_ID=333

In-text citation (Johnston, 2008)


Note: Give the exact date in parentheses after the author. Identify the medium in brackets
after the title.

Data set

The Pew Research Center for People & the Press. (2008). Political and believability survey
[Dataset]. Available from Pew Research Center for People & the Press Web Site:
http://people-press.org/dataarchive/

In-text citation (The Pew Research Center for People & the Press, 2008)

Qualitative data

Walsh, D. (Interviewer) & Rickey, B. (Interviewee). (1955). Transcript of interview with Branch
Rickey [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division,
Branch Rickey Papers http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/robinson/davis.html

In-text citation (Walsh & Rickey, 1955)

Graphic representations of data

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2009). [Interactive map]. Climate


Observations and Monitoring (COM) Program. Retrieved from http://nosa.noaa.gov/

In-text citation
First reference (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], 2009
Later references (NOAA, 2009)
APA Style: The eGuide 83

Gray literature
Gray literature is information produced by scholars but not peer reviewed. It comprises a
variety of documents available on the Web.

Fact sheet

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2008, September 8). Facts about age
discrimination [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html

In-text citations
First reference (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], 2008)
Later references (EEOC, 2008)

Annual report

Smithsonian Institution. (2007). Explore globally, engage locally: 2007 Annual Report.
Retrieved from http://www.si.edu/opa/annualrpts/2007report/index.htm

In-text citation (Smithsonian Institution, 2007)

Press release

College Board. (2008, October 29). Financial aid grows but fewer private loans even before
credit crisis [Press release]. Retrieved from
http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/201194.html

In-text citation (College Board, 2008)

Policy brief

A policy brief is a document that concisely explains the rationale for a particular policy or
course of action.

Hanson, C., & Sandalow, D. (2006, April 1). Greening the tax code. Retrieved from
http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2006/04environment_hanson.aspx

Note: The publication date is given, so you don’t need to include the retrieval date in the
retrieval statement.
APA Style: The eGuide 84

Consumer brochure

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2009). ADHD—A guide for families
[Brochure]. Retrieved from
http://www.aacap.org/cs/adhd_a_guide_for_families/resources_for_families_adhd_a_gui
de_for_families

In-text citation
First reference (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
[AACAP], 2009)
Later references (AACAP, 2009)

Note: A brochure or pamphlet is a stand-alone publication, so the title is italicized. This is a


dated publication, no retrieval date necessary.

Public service announcement

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Producer). (2007). Wildfires and at-risk
populations [Podcast]. Retrieved 2009, February 15) from
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/psa/at_risk.asp

In-text citation

First reference (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2007)

Later references (CDC, 2007)

Note: Put the producer (in this case the agency) in the author position if no author is named.

White paper
A white paper is a document that advocates a certain position or a solution to a problem. White
papers are commonly used in government and business. By contrast, a green paper is a
tentative report or discussion document.

Serafino, N., & Weiss, M. (2008, September 18). Transitions: background and congressional
action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other civilian stabilization and
reconstruction capabilities [White paper]. Retrieved February 15, 2009, from
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/110767.pdf

Note: • The retrieval date is included because this document has been recently updated and is
likely to be updated again.
APA Style: The eGuide 85

• Put the identification [White paper] in brackets following the title, with no punctuation
between the two.

Presentation slides, PowerPoint

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Major trends and patterns in health and
aging [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/otheract/aging/ppt_english.htm

In-text citation
First reference (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2007)
Later references (CDC, 2007)

Note: Put the identification [PowerPoint slides] in brackets following the title, no punctuation
between the two.

Technical and research reports

Parsad, B., Lewis, L., & Tice, P. (2009). After-school programs in public elementary schools:
First look (Report No. NCES 2009–043). Retrieved from National Center for Educational
Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009043.pdf

Note: Give the report number, if there is one, in parentheses after the title, no punctuation
between the two.

Educational standards

Washington Department of Education. (2008). Essential academic learning requirements and


grade level expectations: K-10, Science. Retrieved from
http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/EALR_GLE.aspx

In-text citation (Washington Department of Education, 2008)


APA Style: The eGuide 86

Wiki

Conceptual analysis. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2009, from NursingWiki:


http://en.nursingwiki.org/wiki/Conceptual_analysis

In-text citation (“Conceptual Analysis,” n.d.)

Note: • Anyone can contribute to or edit a wiki, so the information they provide is suspect. If
possible, check the credentials of the contributor.
• The title is written as the title of an article, so it is placed in quotation marks in the
in-text citation.

Online groups, postings, miscellany

Post to a blog, online discussion group, etc.

Kim, Jeanne. (2008, August 18). Project readOn—change we can believe in. Message posted
to http://www.iddblog.org/?m=200808

Note: List author’s name as you would for a journal article. If only a screen name is
available, use that. Give the exact date of the posting.

Video post

Zudweg, M. (2009, February 4). How to tie Matt Zudweg’s “Chewbacca” streamer pattern for
trout [Video file]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umBy7gowOko

In-text citation (Zudweg, 2009)

Note: Put the type of medium in brackets following the title, no punctuation between the
two.

Personal communications (e-mail, etc.)

Personal communications are cited in the paper but are not included in the reference list. In
your text, put (personal communication, date) in parentheses after the person’s name.

In-text citation G. R. Shulenbarger (personal communication, November 7, 2007) observed


that correct use of the apostrophe is disappearing from American life.
APA Style: The eGuide 87

Curriculum guide

Way, Cynthia. (2006). Focus on photography: A curriculum guide. Retrieved from the
International Center of Photography Web site:
http://www.icp.org/site/c.dnJGKJNsFqG/b.2017177/k.9B45/Curriculum_Guide.htm

Note: If the type of document is not identified in the title, put [Curriculum guide] following the
title.

Lecture notes

Silbey, S. (2008). The Post-modern self, an excursus on identity [PDF document]. Retrieved
from MIT OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Anthropology/21A-
218JIdentity-and-DifferenceFall2002/LectureNotes/

In-text citation (Silbey, 2008)

Note: Give the document type (PDF document, PowerPoint slides, etc.) in brackets following
the title.
APA Style: The eGuide 88

Example of a References Page


Single-spacing within entries;
double-spacing between entries

Brilliant paper ??

References
Ambinder, M. (2009, January/February). Race over? The Atlantic.
Retrieved February 3, 2009, from
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/obama-race
Cherry, K. E., Elliott, E. M., & Reese, C. M. (2007). Age and individual
differences in working memory: The size judgment span task. The
Journal of General Psychology, 134, 43–65.
Gordon, H. W. & Gantz, M. D. (1996). Individual differences in the
biobehavioral etiology of drug abuse. Rockville, MD: National
Institute on Drug Abuse. (NTIS No. PB96-178363)
Greenberg, J. H. (Ed.). (1978). Universals of human language (Vols.
1–4). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Kaiser, P. (n.d.). Physics of visual stimulus. In The joy of visual
perception (chap. 15). Retrieved February 15, 2009, from
http://www.yorku.ca/eye/toc.htm
Miles, B. (2009, February). Tilting at windmills [Letter to the editor].
Harper’s, 319, 4.
Modern Language Association. (n.d.). Language study in the age of
globalization: The college-level experience. New York: author.
Rabin, R. C. (2008, December 31). Blood sugar control linked to
memory decline, study says. New York Times. Retrieved from
http://www.nytimes.com
Smithsonian Institution. (2007). Explore globally, engage locally: 2007
Annual Report. Retrieved from
http://www.si.edu/opa/annualrpts/2007report/index.htm
Wynn, E. (1979). Office Conversation as an Information Medium.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California—
Berkeley.
APA Style: The eGuide 89

Useful Links

Writing Academic Papers

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/soc_sciences/write.shtml

This site from Dartmouth University is called “General advice for non-majors,” but the advice is good
for anyone writing in the social sciences. In particular, follow the link to “Attending to Style.”

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/psychology/writing/

From George Mason University comes this site packed with advice for psychology majors. Here you
will find advice on writing styles and on the various types of papers commonly assigned in
psychology courses.

http://depts.washington.edu/psywc/handouts.shtml

This site from the University of Washington Psychology Writing Center offers a number of handouts
on various topics about writing psychology papers, from conducting interviews to using apostrophes
correctly.

(http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html

Here are several good examples of the proper and improper use of sources, including information
on citing figures and graphs.

http://www.umdnj.edu/idsweb/shared/apa_tables.doc

This URL allows you to open a Word document with information about presenting APA tables.

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University has a wealth of information about writing
academic papers. Some of the advice is for specific areas of study, such as social work, psychology,
and engineering. There is also a good handout on unbiased language.

Writing Dissertations

http://library.albany.edu/subject/tutorials/education/write_dissertations.html

This site from the University at Albany is a compendium of links and print documents having to do
with various aspects of writing dissertations. Includes links to distinguished dissertations from the
School of Education, University at Albany.

Writing Well

http://www.plainlanguage.gov/
APA Style: The eGuide 90

Government agencies, private companies, and NGOs have long championed the movement to use
language that normal people can understand. Sadly, the academic world has been slow to follow.
Inflated language and convoluted sentences still plague a high percentage of academic prose. This
site, the U.S. government’s masterwork on plain language, contains scads of guidelines, examples,
and resources. If you’re interested in being understood in the world at large, this is a good place to
start.

http://home.comcast.net/~garbl/stylemanual/betwrit.htm

Garble’s Concise Writing Guide is a compendium of advice, links, book recommendations, and
quotations from famous personages about the virtue of—what else?—concise writing.

http://www.brint.com/papers/writing.htm

Computer Advice

http://www.marygrove.edu/Library/pdf/APA.pdf

Good advice on setting up Word for APA papers. How to set general document format (margins, font,
spacing, etc.) and how to format the various parts of the paper. From Marygrove College.

http://www.cameron.edu/library/apa_word_tutorial.html
Another site with advice on setting up Word for APA papers.

Wikipedia: Manual of Style

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style

Designed for contributors to Wikipedia, this is the most thorough style guide I’ve been able to find
on the Web. It differs in some details from conservative scholarly writing, and includes information
specific to writing on the Web. But when the this guide takes a position on a disputed issue, it
usually gives an explanation and discusses how various other style guides treat treat the issue—and
why.