American Psychological Association (APA) style is a widely accepted style of documentation. APA style specifies the names and order of headings, formatting, and organization of citations and references, and the arrangement of tables, figures, footnotes, and appendices, as well as other manuscript and documentation features. APA style uses Harvard referencing, also known as the author-date system of citations and parenthetical referencing, keyed to a subsequent list of "References." The APA Publication Manual provides basic guidelines for documenting both print and electronic resources.
- Level 5: CENTERED UPPERCASE HEADING
- Level 1: Centered Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
- Level 2: Centered, Italicized, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
- Level 3: Flush Left, Italicized, Uppercase and Lowercase Side Heading
- Level 4: Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
If an article has:
- One level: use Level 1 headings
- Two levels: use Level 1 (superordinate) and Level 3 (subordinate) headings
- Three levels: use Level 1, Level 3 and Level 4 (from superordinate to subordinate)
- Four levels: use Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 (from superordinate to subordinate)
- Five levels: use Level 5, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 (from superordinate to subordinate)
No guidelines are provided for articles with six or more levels of headings. Note that APA style does not permit preceding numbers or letters for the headings.
==Citation Reference citations in text are those which are referenced within a passage of text in the body of an article. As APA calls for Harvard referencing, typically a citation involves enclosing the author's surname and the date of publication within parentheses (as well as the page number if needed). The citations are generally placed immediately after the reference or at the end of the sentence in which the reference is made.
Full bibliographic information is then provided in a Reference section at the end of the article. APA style defines that the reference section may only include articles that are cited within the body of an article. This is the distinction between a document having a Reference section and a Bibliography, which may incorporate sources which may have been read by the authors as background but not referred to or included in the body of a document.
- Single author
- Format should be Author's last name (no initials) followed directly by a comma, then the year of publication. When one makes the reference to the author(s) directly as a part of the narrative, then only the year (and page number if needed) would remain enclosed within brackets. The same holds for multiple authors.
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling, 2005).
- Pauling (2005) discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism.
- Two authors
- Authors should be presented in order that they appear in the published article. If they are cited within closed brackets, use the ampersand (&) between them. If not enclosed in brackets then use expanded "and".
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling & Liu, 2005).
- Pauling and Liu (2005) discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism.
- Three to five authors
With three to five authors, the first reference to an article includes all authors. Subsequent citations in the same document may refer to the article by the principal author only plus "et al." However, all authors must be present in the references section.
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling, Liu, & Guo, 2005).
- Pauling, Liu, and Guo (2005) conducted a study that discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism.
- Pauling et al. (2005) discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism.
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling et al., 2005).
- Six authors or more
Starting with the first author mentioned in text, the correct format is (Author et al., Year) In the reference section, all six authors' names should be included.
- Pauling et al. (2005) discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism.
- Multiple publications, same author
If an author has multiple publications that you wish to cite, you use a comma to separate the years of publication in chronological order (oldest to most recent). If the publications occur in the same year, the Publication Manual recommends using suffixes a, b, c, etc. (note that corresponding letters should be used in the reference list, and these references should be ordered alphabetically by title).
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling, 2004, 2005a, 2005b).
- Pauling (2004, 2005a, 2005b) conducted a study that discovered a possible genetic cause of alcoholism
- Multiple publications, different authors
Follow the rules for one author above, and use a semicolon to separate articles. Citation should first be in alphabetical order of the author, then chronological.
- A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Alford, 1995; Pauling, 2004, 2005; Sirkis, 2003)
- Direct quotes
The same rules as above apply here, the format being (Author, Year, Page Number).
- When asked why his behavior had changed so dramatically, Max simply said "I think it's the reinforcement" (Pauling, 2004, p. 69).
The APA style guide prescribes that the Reference section, bibliographies and other lists of names should be ordered by surname first, and mandates inclusion of surname prefixes. For example, "Martin de Rijke" should be sorted as "De Rijke, M." and "Saif Al Falasi" should be sorted as "Al-Falasi, S." (The preference for Arabic names now is to hyphenate the prefix so that it remains with the surname.)
- Book by one author
- Sheril, R. D. (1956). The terrifying future: Contemplating color television. San Diego: Halstead.
- Book by two or more authors
- Smith, J., & Peter, Q. (1992). Hairball: An intensive peek behind the surface of an enigma. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University Press.
- Article in an edited book
- Mcdonalds, A. (1993). Practical methods for the apprehension and sustained containment of supernatural entities. In G. L. Yeager (Ed.), Paranormal and occult studies: Case studies in application (pp. 42–64). London: OtherWorld Books.
- Article in a journal paginated separately
- Crackton, P. (1987). The Loonie: God's long-awaited gift to colourful pocket change? Canadian Change, 64(7), 34–37.
- Article in a journal with continuous pagination
- Rottweiler, F. T., & Beauchemin, J. L. (1987). Detroit and Narnia: Two foes on the brink of destruction. Canadian/American Studies Journal, 54, 66-146.
- Article in a weekly magazine
- Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135, 28–31.
- Article in a newspaper
- Wrong, M. (2005, August 17). Misquotes are "Problematastic" says Mayor. Toronto Sol, p. 4.
- Government document
- Revenue Canada. (2001). Advanced gouging: Manual for employees (MP 65–347/1124). Ottawa: Minister of Immigration and Revenue.
For electronic references, websites, and online articles, the APA Style website asserts some basic rules. The first is to direct readers specifically to the source material and the second is to provide references that work.
- Internet article based on a print source (With exact formatting of original)
- Marlowe, P., Spade, S., & Chan, C. (2001). Detective work and the benefits of colour versus black and white [Electronic version]. Journal of Pointless Research, 11, 123–124.
- Internet article based on a print source (Formatting differs from original)
- Marlowe, P., Spade, S., & Chan, C. (2001). Detective work and the benefits of colour versus black and white. Journal of Pointless Research, 11, 123–124. Retrieved October 25, 2007, from http://www.pointlessjournal.com/colour_vs_black_and_white.html.
- Article in an Internet-only journal
- Blofeld, E. S. (1994, March 1). Expressing oneself through Persian cats and modern architecture. Felines & Felons, 4, Article 0046g. Retrieved October 3, 1999, from http://journals.f+f.org/spectre/vblofeld-0046g.html.
- Article in an Internet-only newsletter
- Paradise, S., Moriarty, D., Marx, C., Lee, O. B., Hassel, E., et al. (1957, July). Portrayals of fictional characters in reality-based popular writing: Project update. Off the Beaten Path, 7 (3). Retrieved October 3, 1999, from http://www.apastyle.org. http://www.newsletter.offthebeatenpath.news/otr/complaints.html.
- Stand-alone Internet document, no author identified, no date
- What I did today. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2002, from http://www.apastyle.org. http://www.cc.mystory.life/blog/didtoday.html.[Fictional entry.]
- Document available on university program or department website (note
- APA spells website Web site)
- Rogers, B. (2078). Faster-than-light travel: What we've learned in the first twenty years. Retrieved August 24, 2079, from Mars University, Institute for Martian Studies Web site, http://www.apastyle.org http://www.eg.spacecentraltoday.mars/university/dept.html. [Fictional entry.]
- Electronic copy of a journal article, three to five authors, retrieved from database
- Costanza, G., Seinfeld, J., Benes, E., Kramer, C., & Peterman, J. (1993). Minutiæ and insignificant observations from the nineteen-nineties. Journal about Nothing, 52, 475–649. Retrieved October 31, 1999, from NoTHINGJournals database. [Fictional entry].
- E-mail or other personal communication (cite in text only)
- (A. Monterey, personal communication, September 28, 2001)
- Book on CD
- Nix, G. (2002). Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr [CD]. New York: Random House/Listening Library.
- Book on tape
- Nix, G. (2002). Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr [Cassette Recording No. 1999-1999-1999]. New York: Random House/Listening Library.
- Gilby, A. (Producer), & Schlesinger, J. (Director). (1995). Cold comfort farm [Motion picture]. Universal City, CA: MCA Universal Home Video.
Statistical Expressions in APA
It is customary to list the hypothesized results first and then to branch out into the effect size, power and then means and standard deviations. Typical expression for statistics:
F-test expression: - F(df-between, df-within)=F-obtained, p<> .05 example: F(2, 42)= 2.35, p<.05.
("<" is used when the p value is less than .05. ">"is used if the p value is greater than .05).
- It is important to know that in univariate or two factor ANOVA reporting data the df within is the same as df error.
T-test expression: - t(df)=t-obtained, p<>.05 example: t(9)=2.35, p<.05
Chi-square expression: X2(df)=Chi-obtained, p<>.05 example X2(4)=2.35, p<.05
Means and Standard Deviation and Standard Error: (M=mean, SD=standard deviation, SE=standard error) example: (M=45, SD=1.02, SE=1.84)
Graph and Table Layout
- graphs should not have tick marks for the measures
- should have titles for the x and y axis
- should not have outline around the graph
- should not have minor lines on the chart
- The legend should either not exist if the graph is simple or should be inside the chart
- Graphs need to be on a figure captions page, with an explanation of the data represented
- Graphs do not have page numbers, and should have penciled in, on the back the top and the figure caption that corresponds to it.
- Have page numbers
- Template:Harvard citation"Occasionally, an article requires five levels of heading. In such cases, subordinate all four levels above by introducing a Level 5 heading..."
- APA Style Guide to Electronic References (PDF). (June 2007). Downloadable PDF. ISBN 1-4338-0309-7 (10). ISBN 978-1-4338-0309-3 (13).
- The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001). 5th ed. New York: American Psychological Association. ISBN 1-55798-790-4 (10) (hardcover). ISBN 978-1-55798-790-7 (13). ISBN 1-55798-791-2 (10) (softcover). ISBN 978-1-55798-791-4 (13). ISBN 1-55798-810-2 (10) (spiral bound). ISBN 978-1-55798-810-2 (13). (Also available in Spanish.)
- APA Books: APA Style – List of APA style-related books published by the American Psychological Association.
- APA "Citation Styles" Online Guide - Resource hosted by the Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Apacite – "A BibTeX style which closely follows American Psychological Association style citations, providing a very good match."
- APA.cls – Resource compiled by Athanassios Protopapas, Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), Athens, Greece.
- APA Guide Basics Summary (pdf) - Webpage summary of APA Rules.
- APA Style - APA Style Online home page.
- "Citation Creation Machine: StudentABC builds APA and MLA Style Bibliographies" - Resource hosted by StudentABC.com.
- "Citation Machine" – Citation style generator (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian).
- Introduction to APA Style - Hypertextual electronic workshop hosted by the Online Writing Lab (OWL), Department of English, Purdue University.
- "KnightCite: A Project of Hekman Library – APA, MLA, and Chicago Style citation generator hosted by Calvin College.
- Psychology with Style: A Hypertext Writing Guide (for the 5th edition of the APA Manual) (February 1, 2007 - Version 5.014). - Teacher's Guide compiled by Mark Plonsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.