American Psychological Association (APA) Guide Sixth Edition, 2010 Basic Format of Paper 1. For spacing, APA distinguishes between manuscripts (those written for publication) and theses, dissertations, and student papers. A manuscript is completely double-spaced (APA, 2010, p. 229). Student papers are double-spaced to include references on the reference page and long quotes (APA, 2010, p.37, example p. 59). You will need to ask your professor which spacing rule is preferred for your assignment. 2. The paper needs to have one-inch margins (APA, 2010, pp. 228-229). Do not justify the right margin (APA, 2010, p. 229). Font size needs to be 12 point (APA. 2010, p. 228). 3. Past tense (e.g. “Smith (1996) showed”) or present perfect tense (“researchers have shown”) is appropriate for literature review (APA. 2010, p.77-78). 4. After a period at the end of a sentence, you will space twice. Spacing twice after punctuation marks at the end of a sentence aids reader of draft manuscripts (APA, 2010 p. 87-88). Example: The researchers examined gender differences in math. They found… 5. If the last word on a line is too long to stay at the end of a line, do NOT divide the word with a hyphen. Just let the word fall to the next line (APA, 2010, p. 229). 6. Remember, it is PLAGIARISM to copy someone else‟s work or ideas. If you copy four or more words in a row from the journal that are the author‟s original words, you must use quotation marks and cite. When you paraphrase information, you give a citation, but you do not use quotation marks (APA, 2010, p. 170-171). Direct Quoting 7. All direct quotes of print sources must be cited with author‟s last name, year, and a page number immediately following the end quotation mark (APA, 2010, p. 170). This can be done in two ways as follows: Example 1: According to Smith and Jones (1995), “the gender difference was not significant” (APA, 2001, p. 456). OR Example 2: The results indicated “the gender difference was not significant” (Smith & Jones, 1995) with males and females performing equally (APA, 2001, pp. 456-457).
*Citation will immediately follow the end quotation mark (APA, 2010, p. 170). * If quote falls on two pages, use “pp.” instead of “p.” (APA, 2010, p. 170). * For electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, indicate paragraph of the quote by using the paragraph symbol: (Smith, 1999, ¶6). 8. Notice that you join two or more authors with the word and in the running text, but you use the ampersand (&) in parenthetical material (APA, 2010, p. 175). 9. A direct quote (one that is in quotation marks) must be just that – you cannot change one word of what you are quoting, leave any words out, or add any words without letting the reader know you‟ve done so (APA, 2010, p. 172). 10. Again, a quote must be exact. If citations are embedded within your quote, these citations must also go in your quote. These embedded citations are not put on the reference page (unless you happen to cite them yourself elsewhere in the paper) (APA, 2010, p. 173). 11. You may change in a quote, without any explanation, the capitalization of a letter (a capital letter may be changed to a lower case and vice versa); you may change the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence, or a double quote to a single quote (APA, 2010, p. 172). 12. If there is an error in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that is in the text that you are quoting, you must quote the mistake since you must quote directly as written. However, you need to let the reader know that the mistake was not made by you. You do this by following the mistake with [sic], the word sic in italic. Then, continue your quote (APA, 2010, p. 172). This is NOT required for APA mistakes, just spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Example: Smith (1990) indicated, “the students were concerned about his [sic] math grade.” ↓ indicates that the mistake was in the original text as quoted 13. If you need to add your own words to a quote for clarification,...
References: on succeeding pages.
Grammar and Usage Tips: 62. Good to have at least three sentences in a paragraph. 63. Do not use words like “we”, “us”, “our”, or “you” (APA, 2010, p. 69). 64. Effect and affect: Usually, “effect is used as a noun. “Affect” is used as a verb. 65. “Group” takes a singular verb. For example, “the group was” NOT “the group were” 66. “Data” takes a plural verb. For example, “these data were, NOT “this data was” (APA, 2010, pp. 78-79). 67. Remember, results from a study DO NOT prove, only give a support for a theory. So DO NOT say “Smith‟s (1990) results proved. . . “Say something like “Smith‟s (1990) results indicated that . . .” or “Smith‟s (1990) results gave support for. . .” 68. Do not use contractions; for example, use “do not” instead of “don‟t.” 69. When you give your paper a title, it must be original. You cannot use the title of the journal article you are critiquing because that is plagiarism. The title on the title page must math the title on the first page of the body of the paper. 70. Correct any noun/verb disagreement. Writing center can help out in this area. 71. Further, correct any noun/pronoun disagreement (APA, 2010, pp. 79-80). Example of incorrect way: If a student misbehaves, then their teacher should . . . Example of correct way: If students misbehave, then their teacher should. . . 72. Do not end a sentence with a preposition. Examples of prepositions include: “in”, “at”, “for”, and “on”. 73. You do not use a comma before the word “but” unless what follows it is a complete sentence.
Examples: Bob took the test but failed. (no comma since what follows “but” is not a complete sentence) Bob took the test, but he failed (comma since what follows “but” is a complete sentence) 74. Use of conjunctions such as “therefore”. “Therefore” is preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma if what precedes it and follows it is a complete sentence. “Therefore” is preceded by a comma and followed by a comma if what either precedes it or follows it is NOT a complete sentence. This applies to other conjunctions like “however”, “nonetheless”, “nevertheless”, “whereas”, etc. Examples: Bob stayed up all night watching TV, therefore, failed his test. Bob stayed up all night watching TV; therefore, he failed his test. 75. “Two” is a number. “Too” means also, excessive, or very. “To” is moving towards. 76. Use caution with words that are absolutes, such as “everyone”. Incorrect: Everyone wants what is best for his or her children. (Unfortunately, not everyone does) Correct: Most want what is best for their children. 77. Their shows ownership (Their car was stolen). There refers to location (The phone is over there). They’re is the contraction of “they are” – but you will not use contractions in APA papers. 78. If you are using quotation marks to introduce an ironic comment, and the quotation is at the end of the sentence, then the period goes inside the quotation Example: The behavior was deemed “normal.” ↓ The period goes inside the quotation marks. 79. To make a word plural, you add s. To make a word possessive, you add „s. If the word is plural and possessive, you add s‟. Examples: The students ran in the gym today (More than one student ran, so the s is added). A student‟s paper was graded (One student had a paper. The „s shows student ownership of the paper). The students‟ papers were graded (More than one student, so the s is added. The apostrophe is then added to show ownership). 80. One exception to the above rule is the possessive its and other possessive pronouns (his, our, etc.). The possessive its does not have an apostrophe. It’s is used to mean it is. Example: The school lost its funding (no apostrophe). It‟s going to be a fun day (it’s has the meaning of it is). NEED HELP? The APA Manual has a section on grammar that I recommend. This section is on pages 77-88.
A WONDERFUL book that I HIGHLY recommend is Nitty-Gritty Grammar by Edith H. Fine and Judith P. Joesphson published in 1998. The publisher is Ten Speed Press, Berkley, California. It is an excellent, easy to use, quick reference to grammar. You can get is on amazon.com for less than $10.00. APA has a website to offer helpful hints: http://www.apastyle.org/pubmanual.html
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