APA BASIC GUIDELINES
Based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Ed. Created by Dr. Charles Lucado-Modified by Dr. Marilyn Berrong (7/09)
* Margins—1” Top, 1” Bottom, 1” Right, 1” Left. * Double-space everything. Leave one full-size blank between each line of type on the page. Set the line spacing to 2 or double on most word-processing software. You should have at least 3/16 in. to ¼ in. of space between the typed lines on the paper. * Preferred typefaces include: 12- pt Times Roman, 12 pt Courier, or similar font and size. * Use italics for books, periodicals, and microfilm publications. However, as a general rule, use italics infrequently. See guidelines on pages 104 – 106 of the APA manual for when to use and when not to use italics. * All pages, except artwork for figure pages, should be numbered in sequence, starting with the title page using Arabic numerals. The page number should appear at least 1 in. from the right-hand edge of the paper, in the space between the top edge of the paper and the first line of text. If you have to insert or delete a page after numbering is completed, renumber the pages. Do not insert pages with “5a” or other repairs. * Typed lines
* a maximum of 6 ½ in. each
* Do not justify right margin
* Do not break words at the end of a typed line. Let a line run short rather than break a word at the end of a line. * Indent each paragraph 1 TAB. The remaining lines of the manuscript should be typed to a uniform left-hand margin. Exceptions include: the abstract, block quotations, titles and headings, table titles and notes, and figure captions. * Avoid language that can be construed as biased or pejorative. * Manuscript should be logically and coherently organized. * Balance the rules with good judgment.
* Focus on clear, concise communication.
* Present in a professional, non-combative manner.
* Use standard edited English.
* See page 92 for guidelines on using quotation marks. You may want to review this whole section on punctuation, pages 87-96 (period, comma usage, semicolon, colon, dash, quotation marks, parentheses, brackets, & slash). *
Use active voice rather than passive voice. The active voice is usually more lively/vigorous and precise/direct. In the active voice, the subject performs the action. Ex. I shall always remember my first visit to Florida. *
In the passive voice, the subject does not act; it receives the action. Ex. My first visit to Florida will always be remembered by me. * The passive voice may be used to emphasize the person or thing receiving the action or when the person or thing performing the action is unknown. * Avoid mixing the passive and active voice in the same sentence or related sentences. *
Tables are referred to as tables. They usually represent quantitative data which are arranged in orderly displays of columns and rows. Some tables are word tables used to present qualitative comparisons. You should be selective when using tables. (See pages 138 – 150 of the manual for detailed guidelines and examples). You will also find a Table Checklist on pages 150 that includes a final review of the key points to consider when using tables. *
Figures include any type of illustration other than a table, e.g., graphs, pictures, photographs, drawings, etc. (See pages 150-167 of the manual for detailed guidelines and examples). You will also find a Figure Checklist on page 167 that reviews the key points you should consider when using figures. *
In the text, tell the reader what to look for in tables and figures by sharing the highlights. Don’t discuss every item. Tables and figures should supplement the text, not duplicate it. *
REFER TO THE APA WEBSITE FOR UPDATES (www.apastyle.org). Also keep in mind that the information provided here is to get you started. Use the APA Manual...
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