In this section we are going to look at how you can set up a paper in APA style. Specifically, we are going to look at citing books and journal articles within your research paper.
APA is the style of documentation of sources used by the American Psychological Association. This form of writing research papers is used mainly in the social sciences, like psychology, anthropology, sociology, as well as education and other fields.
When working with APA there are two things to keep in mind: in-text citations and the reference page. In-text citations will use the author’s name and the date within your research paper. These citations will refer back to the reference page at the end, which lists all the sources that you may have used in your research paper.
Note: If you are assigned a research paper in APA style for one of your courses, it’s a good idea to ask your instructor the questions below. He or she will be able to explain details about the requirements for the paper. For now, we will go over the basic instructions of how to use in-text citations and how to set up the reference page.
Anytime you summarize, paraphrase, or quote information from another source, like passages from books or articles in an academic journal, you are required to list within your text the author’s name and the year the article was published. There are a couple of ways this can be arranged. Here are a few examples.
With the example above, the writer puts the author’s last name in the text and immediately after it puts the date in parentheses.
Here, the authors’ names and the date of publication are both put into the body of the text, without using parentheses.
No, not necessarily. Dr. Sadler, a professor in the psychology department at IUP, states that you can cite articles that will agree or disagree with your ideas. He goes on to say:
So, not only can you use journal articles to support your ideas, but you can also use them to show that some authors do not agree with your ideas or have ideas different from yours.
To let the reader know that a journal article is about to be cited in the body of your paper, you can use signal phrases that are appropriate for the ideas you want to express. These words include: adds, argues, claims, denies, illustrates, grants, notes, observes, suggests, etc. You could also use the standard “said.”
This is expressed in the sample below:
The References page lists all the sources you have cited in your paper. The entry for a journal article should look like this:
As you can see in the example above, the authors’ names appear first (last name, first name). Then the year of publication is given in parentheses. Then the title is listed (with only the first word of the title, the first word after the colon, and proper nouns capitalized). Then the name of the journal (in italics) is listed, the volume number, and finally, the pages of the article.
For a book, the entry looks like this:
In the example above, the author’s name is listed (last name, first name), then the date, followed by the title with only the first word capitalized, the city of publication, and then the name of the publisher.
Written by Mariel Lorenz This guide for APA was adapted from: Hacker, D. (2003). A Writer’ Reference. (5th ed.). Boston: St. Martin's.
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Updated January 28, 2005 by Renee Brown