A quick guide to APA formatting
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A quick guide to APA formatting William A. Sodeman, Ph.D. Hawaii Pacific University Use only one font and size! • Times Roman, Arial or Courier – Fonts affect page length! • 12 point size • No bold or underlines – Be careful with web addresses and URLs! • Italics are acceptable – Required in Level 3, 4 and 5 headers Margins and spacing 5.03 and 5.04 • One inch margins on all sides • Double spacing APA paper structure Page Section 1 Title page 2 Abstract page 3 Body of the paper Reference list Appendixes, author notes, footnotes, figures and tables Page 1: The title page 5.15 • Page header with page number 1 (5.06) – Include 2-3 descriptive words from title • Running head with an abbreviated title – 50 characters maximum • Author's title and affiliation • Course and date may be included Page 2: The abstract page 1.07 and 5.16 • The last page you should write! – Provides a summary of the paper's content • Not the paper's structure, headers or organization – One paragraph, 120 words maximum • The first page many readers look for – Used in bibliographic databases for indexing your paper Page 3 and beyond: The body of the paper • Contains the actual content of the paper • Indent each paragraph (5.08) – ½ inch or 5-7 spaces Headings 3.30-32 • Use at least 2 levels of headings – Provide structure for your content – Clearly organized and well chosen – See 3.32 and 5.10 for examples • 1, 3 • 1, 3, 4 • 1, 2, 3, 4 • 5, 1, 2, 3, 4 Outline your headings • In a separate document, outline your APA headings • Print and use that document as a guide while you write the paper Avoid using block quotes! 3.34 and 3.35 • Indirect quotes are better – Paraphrase carefully in your own words • Use direct quotes only when these words really help your paper • Size matters! Shorter quotes are better Citations 3.94 – 3.103, 4.16 • Must appear with every outside source and quotation in the paper • Must be accurate and properly formatted Find reliable and reputable sources • Look for high quality news and journal articles • Find and cite books and other textbooks when relevant • Use the library databases (EBSCO) • Don't depend on the Internet and search engines! Find a variety of references • Avoid excessive bias in your research • Don’t rely on the same articles or authors for most of your citations • Directories and reference works are a good place to start, but avoid using them in your paper Avoid marketing material! • These sources are usually biased – “White papers” – Advertising sections and supplements – Press releases – Sales and catalog content – Corporate web sites Find reliable and reputable sources • Your course textbooks do not count as a primary source! • You may use but not cite general references – Dictionaries – Glossaries – Encyclopedias Secondary sources 4.16: 17 and 22 • A source that is mentioned in another source of material – An author cites or quotes an article or book • If you need to cite this secondary source, it is always best to find and cite the original source • If you can't find the original source, then use the APA formats for secondary sources Reference list 4.16, 5.18 • All sources and citations used in the body of the paper must appear in the reference list! – Hanging indent – Double-spaced – Alphabetical order by first author’s last name • If there is no author, use the article or book title Academic honesty • Students in this course can't help each other on individual papers! – All paper content must be your own work – Find your own sources and references • Does the instructor keep an updated databases of references? • Can he check references across several student papers? You can get some help, but you need to do the actual corrections • Style, grammar and spelling • Word processors and other programs • APA formatting Proofread your work! • Have someone else read your work! – The instructor should never be the first person to read your paper • Use but don't trust spell and grammar check – Look for synonyms and homonyms – Check people, place and company names – Be careful with technical terms RTFM Read the fine manuals! • The APA Publication Manual is the best source for formatting and style information • Learn to use your word processor! – Use the Help function or check the Web – Don't reinvent the wheel! – Find the function you need Plan and manage your time • Start early! • Plan ahead! • Don’t wait for the last minute! • Back up your files! • Allow 24-72 hours for TurnItIn.com to return a draft originality analysis • Ask plenty of questions!