Apa Writing Citation Guide

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APA: USING REFERENCES EFFECTIVELY
The Writing Centre

In this Presentation
• About academic writing, sources, plagiarism • Kinds of research

• General paper formatting
• In-text citations • References list

Academic Writing
• Presenting new perspectives • Making a POINT • Proving your points with research • Giving the reader PROOF • Relating back to the overall argument of your paper • Adding some explanatory COMMENTARY

Types of Sources
• Primary
• Original research, theories, or documented experiences. • Original work that you are writing. • Examples: carrying out your own experiments,

conducting surveys or interviews, reviewing primary documents such as letters and treatises, as well as documentaries.

• Secondary
• Supports your argument based on source material

authored by other people. • Information and arguments from other writers about a topic or primary source. • Examples: journal articles, books, films.

Plagiarism
• Plagiarism can be intentional: • Buying a paper, submitting a friend’s, paying someone to write a paper for you, piecing together text from websites, etc.

• It can also result unintentionally from a failure to cite your

sources and/or cite them properly (i.e. according to a style guide)

Avoiding Unintentional Plagiarism
• Paraphrase, quote, or summary
• Have you made the appropriate choice?

• Don’t rely too heavily on others’ work
• How much cited material is in each paragraph/section?
• Who’s really making the point?

• Know how to use your style guide properly,

keep it with you and reference it at all stages of research and writing!

Citations
• Summary: provides an understanding of the core

argument of a text in your own words.
• Paraphrasing: provides an understanding of one

aspect of the text in your own words.
• Used most often.

• Quotation: uses the author’s EXACT words to

provide one idea.
• Used to put emphasis on the words of the author or when

it is difficult to write the idea equally well in your own words.

Use a Style Guide
• These are standards for formatting your paper and citing

your sources
• Three common options: • APA (usually the sciences & social sciences) • MLA (usually the humanities) • Chicago (certain disciplines like History)

What is APA?
• Formatting and referencing style of

the American Psychological Association. Currently 6th Edition. • Handout with essentials in the Writing

Centre
• Full manual located in Ryerson

Library, 2nd Floor Reserves at BF76.7.P82 2009 and in the Book store

General Formatting
• Standard legal paper size 8.5” x 11” • Typed at 12 pt. Time New Roman font and double-spaced

• 1” margins on all sides
• Page header and number on all pages

Page Header
• Page number in top right corner of EVERY page. Title

page starts as “1.”
• Title in top left of EVERY page: • Title page: “Running head: TITLE OF PAPER” • All other pages: “TITLE OF PAPER” • Use the “Page Header” section in Microsoft Word.

Title Page 1/2
• Double-spaced and in the

upper half of the page • Full title (may take two lines) • Writer’s name • Institution name • Do not bold or italicize anything

Title Page 2/2
• Some professors may require additional

information so be sure to follow WHAT YOUR PROFESSOR WANTS
• Date

• Professor’s name
• Course name/code/section • etc.

Abstract 1/2
• Not always required, but advised • Page 2 • First line, centered: “Abstract” (plain text) • Do not indent first line • In 150-250 words, detail the important points of the paper

Abstract 2/2
• Should include a concise

summary of the key information
• research topic, questions • participants, methods • results, conclusions

In-text Formatting: The Basics
• Begin your essay on the first line of the page

following the title (or abstract) page
• Type the title at the top centre then continue with

the introduction on the next line
• Remember: everything is...
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