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APA Referencing Guide

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APA Referencing Guide

Short for American Psychological Association, APA is a referencing style commonly used in behavioral and social science papers. Behavioral science is a subject that studies animal and human behavior and may include neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology. Social sciences on the other hand look at a specific aspect of a human behavior and may include anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, archaeology, human geography, and linguistics. There are many other subject areas and fields that use APA referencing too. If you are not so sure about what style to use on your project, ask your professor or have your paper done by an assignment help provider. When drafting a research paper, you should always give credit to the sources from which you got your information. Citing your sources acknowledges other people’s work and ideas that you have used in your paper. Not doing this may be considered plagiarism and could possibly lead to a poor grade. APA referencing is one of the best ways to avoid plagiarism in your college work. We have prepared this guide to help you write and organize your work in accordance with the APA standards.

Organizing Your Paper

When writing your paper, it is always important to get your ideas across in a clear and concise manner. Be direct and professional and avoid adding irrelevant information to your writing. Doing this will help you keep the paper shorter and stick to the word count. Do not forget to use headings, as these will help the reader locate important information in your paper. Headings also help readers understand what the author is talking about, the main ideas and the content.

APA Writing Style Tips

Writing science papers is much different from preparing literature, English, or art assignments. Science papers are more concise, clear and direct. Below are important tips to keep in mind when formatting your research paper in APA:
  • Use of verbs: Research experiments, observations, and results rely heavily on the gathering and evaluation of data for hypotheses testing in order to come up with meaningful conclusions. Science writers usually use verbs to share and explain the methods and observation of the study conducted. When writing a science paper, make sure to use the verbs in the same tense in your entire paper. Verbs in scientific papers can be in past or present perfect tense to explain the procedure that was undertaken when conducting the research,past tense to explain results, or present tense to explain conclusions or future implications.
  • The tone: Even if you will not be adding any fluff to your writing, don’t let it be dull or boring. Think about your target audience and draft the content in a manner that educates them.
  • Reduce bias: APA objects any form of bias toward racial groups, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, or ages of individual subjects. If you are not quite sure whether you have followed this rulein your writing, have a few of your classmates read it to determine whether it is free of bias or not.
  • Using graphics: If you will be adding tables, charts, images or drawings toyour content, have these numbered in Arabic numerals. Make sure that these follow a specific order depending on how they appear in the paper. For instance, use Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc. Graphics should only be used in instances where they supplement the material in the text. If you are going to repeat what you already have in text, including graphics won’t be necessary.

Basics Of APA Referencing

In general APA referencing follows  the format below: Authors. (Date).Content Title. Information on Publication.
  • Authors and titles: The name of the author should always come before the date and the title of the work. If your information source contains more than one author, arrange the names in the order they have been placed in the content. Use initials for the first and middle name and last name in full.
Example: Dan, A. J. (Date).

Title Dan, A. J., Marie, H.L. (Date). Title Dan, A. J., Marie, H.L. Shawn, K. D. (Date). Title

  • Other author types: There are times when the primary contributor is not the writer if the work but another typeof contributor like a musical piece conductor, fitness coach, film producer, oreven a book editor. In such instances, include the contributor type in the citation. This should be abbreviated depending on the role the contributor plays e.g. Ed. or Eds for Editor (s).
Example: Dan, A. J. (Ed.). (Publication Year). Title Chris, K. P. (Producer). (Publication Year). Title Dan, A. J., & Karen, F. (Eds.). (Publication Year). Title Chris, K. P. & Gregg, B. (Producers). (Publication Year). Title If your source has group or corporate authors, place the name of company where you would write the name of the author.

Example: The Daily Citizen. (Date). Title. Dallas, TX: Author

  • Sources with no contributor name: At times, your information source may not contain any contributor information. In such cases, do not start with the date. Instead, jot down the title first and then include the date follow by the rest of the information.
Example: The Daily Citizen. (2009). Atlanta, GA: The Citizen.
  • Title capitalizing and italicizing: Titles of articles from large works such as web pages, book chapters and informally published work should not be italicized. Italicization is only done on standalone titles such as those for journals and books. The rule of thumb here is to capitalize the letter that comes first in the title and in proper nouns.
  • Publication: Once you have written the author name and the title, you will need to include the publication information too. Below are examples for referencing various publication templates:
Book: Grace, W. G. (Date of Publication). Title of the book. City, State: Publisher.

Journal: Grace, W. G. (Date of Publication). Article title. Title of the journal, Volume (Issue), Page.

Magazine: Grace, W. G. (Date of Publication). Article title. Title of the magazine, Volume (Issue), Page.

Website: Grace, W. G. (Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from

Newspaper: Grace, W. G. (Year, Month, Day of Publication). Article title. Title of the newspaper, Page. In cases where there is no date, use the abbreviation “n.d” in brackets, which simply means “no date”. Page numbers for newspapers and book chapters should be denoted as “p” or “pp”(for multiple pages).

Formatting In-Text Citations

Most researchers will include citations inside the text to acknowledge the work of others. Generally, in-text citations include the author’s last name and the year in which thework was published. When citing a direct quote, page numbers from where the quote was picked are also inserted. In-text citations in APA referencing style are usually done toward the end of the sentences and in most instances, between the last word of the sentence and the period.

Example: The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet 1950s (Elias, 2010). According to Elias, the only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet (2008). If your information source has two authors, your in-text citation will look like this: The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet. (Elias & Gilbert, 2008). For citations with between three and five authors, format your content like this: The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet (Elias, Gilbert, & Melissa, 2008). The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet (Elias et al. 2008). OR Elias et al. (2008) argue that the only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet. For publications with six or more contributors, write only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.”

Example: The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet (Elias et al., 2008). If you are working with a source that has no author, your citation will look something like this: Eating vegetables and drinking enough water reduces acne (“New Data,” 2010)

Citing A Section Of Work

When citing a specific section of work, you must provide the part identifier such as tables, chapters, or figures or page number. Make sure to include page numbers for direct quotes.

Example: He makes everything clear when he says, “The only shortcut to losing weight is working out and eating the right diet.” (Elias, 2008, p. 43). If you are using an online source or one that doesn’t have any page numbers, cite specific sections of the publication like the paragraph number, tables and figures, or chapters, APA citation style has been used since time immemorial to reference scientific work. If you are having trouble citing your work in this format, don’t hesitate to contact our homework help experts.