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Brief APA Publication Manual Guidelines

Much of this page was constructed by Russ Dewey . It has been added to in order to make it appropriate for first year undergraduates to use as an abbreviated guideline. If you have any questions that you can't seem to find the answers to here, e-mail me j.martin@bangor.ac.uk and I'll see what I can do for you. Do the same if you have any suggestions as well. Jesse Martin

Introductory information Style Tips Layout o Title Running Head o Abstract o Introduction o Method Participants Apparatus Experimental Design Procedure o Results o Discussion o References o Other Sections o Appendix o Figures Recent Format Changes Rules o Abbreviations o Avoiding biased and pejorative language o Capitalisation o Commas o Hyphenation o Italics (underlining) o Miscellaneous o Numbers o Quotation marks Reference formats o Abbreviating within a reference o Alphabetising within reference lists o In-text references o Reference list formats o Online materials

Note: The APA publication manual specifies underlining in cases where italics will be printed. However, the opposite is true in this document: italics are used to show underlined passages. This is because Netscape and other browsers may use underlining to indicate links.

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Introductory information
APA style is the style of writing specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed., 1994). The publication manual began as an article published in Psychological Bulletin in 1929. That article reported results of a 1928 meeting of representatives from anthropological and psychological journals, "to discuss the form of journal manuscripts and to write instructions for their preparation." By 1952 the guidelines were issued as a separate document called the Publication Manual . Today the manual is in its fourth edition, and the APA format described in it is a widely recognised standard for scientific writing. Some of the more commonly used rules and reference formats from the manual are listed here. However, this web page is no substitute for the 368 page manual itself, which should be purchased by any serious psychology student who is writing for a journal which uses APA format. The APA manual can be found in almost any college bookstore as well as in many large, general-purpose bookstores, in the reference and style guide section. APA format is the accepted format and style of writing in psychology. Once you have figured out the basics, with only a few altercations, you should be able to write up, not only your undergraduate work in psychology, but also your PhD and journal articles as well. Back to top

Style tips
Here are some general style tips. Write in a well ordered and clear manner. APA format can help with the structure of an article, but you will have to still write the words. Here are two points which will help you write in a more objective and professional manner.

1) Write in the past tense. This is a sensible rule, as it is easier to write in the past tense. It looks better as well. 2) Write in the third person. Avoid saying " I did this" or " We did that". Although you may find this restrictive at first, you will quickly get the hang of it.

LAYOUT
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Title Page
Your title page will contain only a few lines of information. It contains your title, your name, your affiliation (your university or place of business), and your running head . From the title page, right to the end of the manuscript, APA style requires double spacing. The title of your project is an explanation of what you are doing, in ten words or less. This is not as simple as it may seem. For example, " A Report about Pubs " is certainly nice and concise - but it doesn't tell us anything about what the experiment was about or what the experiment was trying to do.

On the other hand, " An Experiment to Demonstrate the Effects of the Frequency of Pub Visitation on the Divorce Rates of Middle-Aged Married Couples in the Bangor Area " tells the whole story, it is unnecessarily long and detailed. The trick is to say a lot without being long-winded. Perhaps the above study could be entitled " A Report Concerning Pub Visitation Frequency upon Divorce " - this gives enough information to be unambiguous, but not so much that the reader has fallen asleep in the middle of reading the title. In most cases the best title will state the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable .

Experimental states:" The Effects of X on Y... " Relational Studies:" The Relation Between X and Y... " Running Head

The running head is the heading that will appear at the top of every page of your manuscript. It is typed in capital letters near the top of the title page of your manuscript. This short title appears in the top, right hand corner of every page of the manuscript, followed by the page number. the running head is important to remember in case your pages get mixed up with manuscripts belonging to other people. Back to top

Abstract
The second page of your manuscript is reserved for your Abstract. You should have the word "Abstract" centred at the top of this page. The first line of the body of text which makes up your Abstract is not indented. An Abstract is a summary that describes what you were trying to find out, how you did it, what you found, and the conclusions you reached. So, although the Abstract is the first section, it is a sensible idea to write it last , after you have written the rest of the report, so that you have the necessary information right in front of you. The Abstract should only be between 100 and 150 words - it is important to stick to this. Too few words, and you are probably missing something, too many and you are including too much detail. Your Abstract should include the major experimental hypotheses , a summary of the method , and a synopsis of the main results and conclusions . Back to top

Introduction
The next page of your manuscript is where you start your Introduction. At the top of this page is your full title (properly centred) followed by the body of your Introduction (with the first line indented). There is no heading called introduction. When writing your Introduction, follow the policy of starting broad and ending narrow : first discuss general issues , then write a short review of the relevant literature , and conclude by briefly describing and stating the purpose of your experiment , and outline your experimental hypothesis . The Introduction is largely a review of the literature that relates to your experiment. It should not only consider the very specific area of your work, but should consider itself with (usually recent) work in related fields. it should be clear from the work you have cited in your Introduction, just how your particular question arose from the questions asked in other experiments. In this way, your experiment can usefully be placed in the context of related work.

There are standard ways of referring to other work, for example, " Jones and Jones (1994) showed that... " or " ... In a study of vodka related hangovers (Jones and Jones, 1994) ... ". There is a section below which deals with this in detail. Avoid unsubstantiated evidence , such as " Recent research has shown that... " and " It is generally known that... ", without any indications either to you or to your readers as to the trustworthiness of this evidence. Back to top

Method
This section begins with the centred header "Methods" (no new page) and should be sub-divided into four subheadings with the sub-heading underlined and aligned on the left of the page: 1) Participants You should give the following information:

a) the total number of participants b) the population from which they were drawn (for example, from first year students at the University of Wales, Bangor) c) selection procedures, if any (were your participants randomly chosen, were they volunteers, were they the slowest runners, etc.) d) any other details which might effect the outcome of the experiment - sex, age, education, knowledge of participants (N.B. participants in practicals are often briefed about the nature of the experiment beforehand)

Top of this file 2) Apparatus Don't simply list the equipment you used, describe it, in terms of positioning, dimensions, values, and so on, so that the reader knows exactly what you are talking about. This is particularly important if you used non-standard equipment, and it may be helpful to include a diagram of the apparatus as seen from the participants viewpoint. If you used questionnaires, tape recorders, computers - anything that comprised part of your experimental equipment - it should be mentioned here. Top of this file 3) Experimental Design Describe the design - don't just mention it. Justify your choice of design by explaining its advantages over other designs that could have been used. Describe the independent variables, the dependent variables, and explain the way participants were assigned to groups. Draw attention to any aspects of your experiment which contributed to its overall design. Consider relevant details such as randomisation and balancing and how they were achieved in your design. Top of this file 3) Procedure

The procedure is concerned with all the events from the moment the participant and experimenter come into contact until that contact is terminated (a chronological account is often best). Therefore, describe all relevant events as presented to the participant during the experimental session . Include details of any precautions taken, a verbatim account of any written or verbal instructions to the participants, and details of control procedures, practice trials, etc. Do not include such things as the following:

a) pre experimental briefings (this should be included in the participants section) b) how the results were collected (this should be included in the Results section) c) how the apparatus was set up (if the tasks are normally conducted by the experimenter, these details should not be included here, but in the Apparatus section)

The Procedure is an important section, as it is a comprehensive account of what you, the experimenter, actually did. Therefore it is the most important section for someone who wishes to replicate your experiment. Describe everything as clearly as possible. It is a good idea to read over your Procedure section and ask yourself "Could I do this experiment, if I knew nothing about it, simply from reading the Procedure section?" If the answer is no, then tidy it up until it is a straightforward account of "how to do it". Back to top

Results
Present your results so that they will be as clear as possible to the reader. Raw data and statistical tables printed out by computer packages do not go in this section , but rather in an Appendix at the end. The Results section should consist of summaries of data, such as carefully constructed tables, figures , means, standard deviations , and confidence levels. Although for strict APA guidelines, figures and tables are never included in the body of the text, APA does make allowances for work submitted for course requirements and not for publication. In student papers (while you are enrolled in the School of Psychology at the University of Wales, Bangor) you are to include tables and figures in the body of text of the Results section. In a Results section, you begin by describing the main results, and then go into the detail of any follow-up tests. This section is written in prose - in full sentences . It should not consist simply of a list of numbers. Include a sentence or two to direct readers to your graphs and tables - never put figures in a manuscript without referring to them in the text. Back to top

Discussion
The Discussion section is the final textual portion of your manuscript. The purpose of this section is to interpret the results you have just described. A table or graph is of little use unless you tell the reader what you think it means. Nothing is blindly obvious from a results section (at least that must be your assumption). Comment on the shape and slopes of the graphs, and on the outcome of statistical tests. Always try and give the simplest interpretation, and one which is consistent with your own (and possibly other people's) data. If there is more than one possible outcome to the data, you should discuss what experiments need to be done in order to find out which account is correct. Do not ignore unusual results! If you have carried out your procedure carefully, and your design is foolproof, there is no such thing as a wrong result. You should consider the implications of wayward results very carefully. It may be that they are due to some extraneous variables hat you didn't account for. If so, you should discuss procedures that would overcome such problems, should the experiment be done again.

If odd results cannot be traced back to human error, it may be that you are on to something big! Your name may be in lights because of this amazing result you have uncovered! So don't ignore them - a good psychologist should be able to handle unusual results with aplomb (and s/he will have to learn to do so as such results are very much a part of psychology). Having talked about the specific implications of the results, it is quite in order to suggest generalisations that could be made. Make sure that you do not mislead yourself or your reader by faulty generalisations. Equally, do not fail to make generalisations where appropriate. Any problems with your procedure should be mentioned here. Do not be afraid to admit that something went wrong or could have been improved upon. Say how it could have been improved upon. Finally, you should return to the questions raised in your Introduction, and discuss how far your experiment has been successful in providing answers to them. The Discussion, in contrast to the Introduction, should start narrow (consider the results of your experiment and results) and end broad (consider the results of your work within the context of other studies in the general area. Back to top

References
The Reference section is started on a new page with the heading "References" centred at the top of the page. The references are listed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the first author. Each new reference is indented. All sources cited in the text should be written in full in this section. References are one of the most difficult parts of a manuscript for new students to do properly. The format is complex, so care should be taken in preparing a reference section. There are a few examples of references in the reference formats below. Back to top

Other Sections
There are several other sections which are a part of APA format, but you may not need to deal with as a part of your undergraduate career. Each of the following sections begins at the top of a new page with the heading centred at the top. In order, they are:

Author notes - this is where acknowledgements are made regarding financial aid and support. Footnotes - if your manuscript has footnotes, this is where they are listed. Tables - for submission of articles requiring APA format, tables are not included in the body of the results sections, but are placed here, after the footnotes. Figure Captions - once again, for submission of articles requiring APA format, Figures are not included in the body of text. It is important to have well written figure captions.

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Appendix
This is where raw data, statistical tables, calculations, and, where appropriate, the stimulus materials and (if nonstandard) a picture of the apparatus used is included. You can preface the Appendix with a list of its contents, if there are several, and each separate Appendix should have a heading.

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Figures
Figures - the figures are the final pages in an APA manuscript. Since you will be including your figures in the text, here are a few pointers. Include captions saying what the symbols in them are meant to represent, for example "Figure 1: A graph showing the effects of attending too many parties upon university performance." The caption to a graph is placed underneath it while the caption to a table is usually on top of it. If you have drawn a graph, don't forget to label the axes! Back to top

Recent Changes in APA Format


The fourth edition of the style manual, issued in 1994, contained these additions and changes to the pre-existing APA style:

Abstracts are now limited to 960 characters including spaces. Bibliographic entries should be indented five to seven spaces on the first line, just like other paragraphs. Electronic references should have an address permitting retrieval (see the discussion in the Reference list examples section). Horizontal rules (lines) should be typed into tables; do not draw them in by hand. Hyphenation should not occur at the end of lines, only between words when necessary. Institutional affiliation should appear in the byline, departmental affiliation in the author note. Italics should be indicated on a word processor by underlining , not italics . [However, see the note above. Italics are used throughout this document in place of underlining.] Journal names are now underlined continuously from the title through the comma after the volume number, for example, Journal of Psychoneuromimmunology, 6, 7-8. Justification should be set to "off" or "left margin only" (the right margin should be uneven). Margins should be at least 1" all around. Paragraphs should be indented five to seven spaces. Running heads should be placed before the title.

The manual notes (pp. 237-8) that "The size of the type should be one of the standard typewriter sizes (pica or elite) or, if produced from a word processor, it should be 12 points." The body of the paper should be in a serif typeface (like Courier or Times Roman) with lettering on figures in a sans serif face (such as Helvetica or Arial). Back to top Following is a summary of rules and reference examples in the APA style manual. The manual itself contains all this information and more, organised and worded differently, indexed and illustrated. If in doubt about a specific rule or example, consult the manual itself.

GENERAL RULES
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Abbreviations

Avoid abbreviations except for long, familiar terms (MMPI). Explain what an abbreviation means, the first time it occurs.

If an abbreviation is commonly used as a word, it does not require explanation (IQ, LSD, REM, ESP). Do not use the old abbreviations for subject, experimenter, and observer (S, E, O). The following abbreviations should NOT be used outside parenthetical comments: o cf. [use compare ] o e.g. [use for example ] o etc. [use and so forth ] o i.e. [use that is ] o viz. [use namely ] o vs. [use versus ] Use periods when making an abbreviation within a reference (Vol. 3, p. 6, 2nd ed.) Do not use periods within degree titles and organisation titles (PhD, APA). Do not use periods within measurements (lb, ft, s) except inches (in.). Use s for second, m for meter. To form plurals of abbreviations, add s alone, without apostrophe (PhDs, IQs, vols., Eds). In using standard abbreviations for measurements, like m for meter, do not add an s to make it plural (100 seconds is 100 s), and when referring to more than one page in an book excerpt, use the abbreviation pp. (with a period after it and a space after the period). Do not use the abbreviation "pp" for magazine or journal citations; just give the numbers themselves. Do use "pp" for citations of encyclopaedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books. Use two-letter postal codes for U.S. state names (GA).

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Avoiding Biased and Pejorative Language


In general, avoid anything that causes offence. The style manual makes the following suggestions:
DO NOT use... ethnic labels (for example, Hispanic) "men" (referring to all adults) "homosexuals" "depressives" when you can use... geographical labels (Mexican Americans) "men and women" "gay men and lesbians" "people with depression"

Current use of the terms "gender" and "sex" The term "gender" refers to culture and should be used when referring to men and women as social groups, as in this example from the publication manual: "sexual orientation rather than gender accounted for most of the variance in the results; most gay men and lesbians were for it, most heterosexual men and women were against it." The term "sex" refers to biology and should be used when biological distinctions are emphasised, for example, "sex differences in hormone production." Avoid gender stereotypes. For example, the manual suggests replacing "An American boy's infatuation with football" with "An American child's infatuation with football." Sensitivity to labels

Be sensitive to labels. A person in a clinical study should be called a "patient," not a "case." Avoid equating people with their conditions, for example, do not say "schizophrenics," say "people diagnosed with schizophrenia." Use the term "sexual orientation," not "sexual preference." The phrase "gay men and lesbians" is currently preferred to the term "homosexuals." To refer to all people who are not heterosexual, the manual suggests "lesbians, gay men, and bisexual women and men." In racial references, the manual simply recommends that we respect current usage. Currently both the terms "Black" and "African American" are widely accepted, while "Negro" and "Afro-American" are not. These things change, so use common sense. Capitalise Black and White when the words are used as proper nouns to refer to social groups. Do not use colour words for other ethnic groups. The manual specifies that hyphens should not be used in multiword names such as Asian American or African American. Labels can be tricky, and the manual has a lot to say about them. For example, "American Indian" and "Native American" are both acceptable usages, but the manual notes that there are nearly 450 Native American groups, including Hawaiians and Samoans, so specific group names are far more informative. The terms Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano are preferred by different groups. The safest procedure is use geographical references. Just say "Cuban American" if referring to people from Cuba. The term Asian American is preferable to Oriental, and again the manual recommends being specific about country of origin, when this is known (for example, Chinese or Vietnamese). People from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland often (but not always!) prefer Inuk (singular) and Inuit (plural) to "Eskimo." But some Alaska natives are non-Inuit people who prefer to be called Eskimo. This type of difficulty is avoided by using geographical references. For example, in place of "Eskimo" or "Inuit" one could use "people from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland." In general, call people what they want to be called, and do not contrast one group of people with another group called "normal" people. Write "we compared people with autism to people without autism" not "we contrasted autistics to normals." Do not use pejorative terms like "stroke victim" or "stroke sufferers." Use a more neutral terminology such as "people who have had a stroke." Avoid the terms "challenged" and "special" unless the population referred to prefers this terminology (for example, Special Olympics). As a rule, use the phrase "people with _______" (for example, "people with AIDS," not "AIDS sufferers"). In referring to age, be specific about age ranges; avoid open-ended definitions like "under 16" or "over 65." Avoid the term "elderly." "Older person" is preferred. "Boy" and "Girl" are acceptable referring to high school and younger. For persons 18 and older use "men" and "women." Back to top

Capitalisation

Capitalise formal names of tests (Stroop Colour-Word Interference Test). Capitalise major words and all other words of four letters or more, in headings, titles, and subtitles outside reference lists, for example, "A Study of No-Win Strategies." Capitalise names of conditions, groups, effects, and variables only when definite. (Group A was the control group; an Age x Weight interaction showed lower weight with age.) Capitalise the first word after a comma or colon if, and only if, it begins a complete sentence. For example, "This is a complete sentence, so it is capitalised." As a counter example, "no capitalisation here." Capitalise specific course and department titles (GSU Department of Psychology, Psych 150). Do not capitalise generic names of tests (Stroop collar test). "Stroop" is a name, so it remains capitalised.

Capitalise nouns before numbers, but not before variables (Trial 2, trial x). Do not capitalise names of laws, theories, and hypotheses (the law of effect). Do not capitalise when referring to generalities (any department, any introductory course).

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Commas

Do not use commas to separate parts of measurement (9 lbs 5 oz). Use the metric system, as a rule. Use commas before "and" in lists, for example, height, width, and depth. Use commas between groups of three digits, for example, 1,453. Use commas to set off a reference in a parenthetical comment (Patrick, 1993). Use commas for seriation within a paragraph or sentence. For example, "three choices are (a) true, (b) false, and (c) don't know." Use semicolons for seriation if there are commas within the items. For example, (a) here, in the middle of the item, there are commas; (b) here there are not; (c) so we use semicolons throughout. Use commas in exact dates, for example, April 18, 1992 (but not in April 1992).

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Hyphenation

Do not hyphenate -ly and superlative words (widely used test, best informed students). Do not hyphenate common prefixes (posttest, prewar, multiphase, nonsignificant) unless needed for clarity (pre-existing). Do not hyphenate foreign, letter, numeral terms (a priori hypothesis, Type A behaviour) when the meaning is clear without it (least squares solution, heart rate scores). Do not hyphenate if a noun comes first (a therapy was client centred, results of t tests). Hyphenate adjectival phrases (role-playing technique, high-anxiety group, two-way analysis). Hyphenate compound adjectives preceding nouns (client-centred therapy, t-test scores) unless the compound adjective involves a superlative (best written paper). Hyphenate if the base is an abbreviation or compounded (pre-UCS, non-college bound). Hyphenate if the base word is capitalised or a number (pre-Freudian, post-1960). Hyphenate if the words could be misunderstood without a hyphen (re- pair, un-ionized, co-worker). If in doubt, consult a recently published dictionary. Standards change. For example, "data base" is now "database," and "life-style" is now "lifestyle."

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Italics (Underlining)

Do not underline common foreign abbreviations (vice versa, et al., a priori). Do not underline for mere emphasis. Underline for titles of books and articles, species names, introduction of new terms and labels (the first time only), words and phrases used as linguistic examples, letters used as statistical symbols, and volume numbers in reference lists.

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Miscellaneous: Colons, dashes, parentheses, numbering paragraphs,


Do not use "and/or." Write things out. For example, "Monday, Tuesday, or both" is preferable to "Monday and/or Tuesday." Do not use a colon or other punctuation after an introduction which is not a complete sentence such as this one, or any other sentence in the body of text which flows into an extended quote. The quote "picks up where the sentence leaves off" and provides the punctuation.

Use a dash (rendered on typewriters and some word processors as a double hyphen) when there is a sudden interruption like this one--zoiks!--in the flow of a sentence. Overuse "weakens the flow of the writing." Use parentheses to introduce an abbreviation, for example, the galvanic skin response (GSR). Use "appendixes" (appendices) as the plural of "appendex." Use datum as singular, data as plural. Use matrix as singular, matrices as plural. Use schema as singular, schemas (not schemata) as plural. When listing separate paragraphs in a series, use a number and a period, not parentheses. 1. The first paragraph goes here. 2. The second paragraph goes here.

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Numbers

Spell out common fractions and common expressions (one-half, Fourth of July). Spell out large numbers beginning sentences (Thirty days hath September...). Use numerals for numbers 10 and above, or lower numbers grouped with numbers 10 and above (for example, from 6 to 12 hours of sleep). Spell out numbers which are inexact, or below 10 and not grouped with numbers over 10 (one-tailed t test, eight items, nine pages, three- way interaction, five trials). To make plurals out of numbers, add s only, with no apostrophe (the 1950s). Treat ordinal numbers like cardinal numbers (the first item of the 75th trial...). Use combinations of written and Arabic numerals for back-to-back modifiers (five 4-point scales). Use combinations of numerals and written numbers for large sums (over 3 million people). Use numerals for exact statistical references, scores, sample sizes, and sums (multiplied by 3, or 5% of the sample). Here is another example: "We used 30 subjects, all two year olds, and they spent an average of 1 hr 20 min per day crying. Use metric abbreviations with figures (4 km) but not when written out (many meters distant). Use the percent symbol (%) only with figures (5%) not with written numbers (five percent).

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Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks for an odd or ironic usage the first time but not thereafter, for example, "This is the "good-outcome" variable, but as it turns out, the good-outcome variable predicts trouble later on... Use quotation marks for article and chapter titles cited in the text but not in the reference list. (In Smith's (1992) article, "APA Style and Personal Computers," computers were described as "here to stay" (p. 311).)

Extended quotations

Add emphasis in a quotation with underlining, immediately followed by the words [italics added] in brackets. Brackets are not necessary when changing the first letter of a quotation to upper case. For quotations over 40 words in length, indent and double space the whole block. (However, single-spacing is acceptable.) Indent five more spaces if there are paragraphs within the long quotation. Always provide author, year, and page citation. Use brackets if introducing or altering material. Reproduce a quote exactly. If there are errors, introduce the word sic underlined and bracketed, for example, [ sic ] immediately after the error. Use three dots (ellipsis points) when omitting material, four if the omitted material includes the end of a sentence. Do not use dots at the beginning or end of a quotation unless it is important to indicate the quotation begins or ends in midsentence.

When not to use quotes Do NOT use quotes to...


...cite a linguistic example; instead, underline the term (the verb gather ). ...hedge, cast doubt, or apologise (he was "cured"). Leave off the quotes. ...identify endpoints on a scale; underline instead ( poor to excellent ). ...introduce a key term (the neoquasipsychoanalytic theory).

REFERENCE FORMATS
References are citations of other works such as books, journal articles, or private communications. References in text are treated somewhat differently from references in the complete list at the end of a paper. Back to top

Abbreviating within a reference


Here are approved abbreviations for use in a reference list:

chap. for chapter ed. for edition rev. ed. for revised edition 2nd ed. for second edition Ed. for Edited by (Eds.) for multiple editors Trans. for Translated by p. for page number, with a space after the period pp. for page numbers in encyclopaedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books, but not in journal or magazine article citations, where numbers alone should be used (see examples of reference formats). Vol for Volume vols. for volumes No. for Number Pt. for Part Suppl. for Supplement,

Tech. Rep. for Technical Report

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Alphabetising within reference lists


Use prefixes in alphabetising names if commonly part of the surname (De Vries). Do not use "von" in alphabetising (Helmholtz, H. L. F. von). Treat Mc and Mac literally; Mac comes before Mc. Disregard apostrophes and capitals in alphabetising; D'Arcy comes after Daagwood. Single-author citations precede multiple-author citations (Zev, 1990 then Zev et al., 1990). Alphabetise corporate authors by first significant word. Do not use abbreviations in corporate names.

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In-text references

Use the author-date format to cite references in text. For example: as Smith (1990) points out, a recent study (Smith, 1990) shows... For two-author citations, spell out both authors on all occurrences. For multiple-author citations (up to five authors) name all authors the first time, then use et al., so the first time it is Smith, Jones, Pearson and Sherwin (1990), but the second time it is Smith et al., with a period after "al" but no underlining. The first time an "et al." reference is used in a paragraph, give the year, thereafter (if the citation is repeated in the paragraph) omit the year. For six or more authors, use et al. the first time and give the full citation in references. Include page reference after the year, outside quotes but inside the comma, for example: The author stated, "The effect disappeared within minutes" (Lopez, 1993, p. 311) , but she did not say which effect. Another example would be: Lopez found that "the effect disappeared within minutes" (p. 311). Notice also that the sentence is capitalised only if presented after a comma, as a complete sentence. If two or more multiple-author references which shorten to the same "et al." form, making it ambiguous, give as many author names as necessary to make them distinct, before et al. For example: (Smith, Jones, et al., 1991) to distinguish it from (Smith, Burke, et al., 1991). Join names in a multiple-author citation with and (in text) or an ampersand (&) in reference lists and parenthetical comments. For example: As Smith and Sarason (1990) point out, the same argument was made by in an earlier study (Smith & Sarason, 1990). If a group is readily identified by its initials, spell it out only the first time. For example, "As reported in a government study (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH}, 1991), blah blah..." and thereafter, "The previously cited study (NIMH, 1991) found that... If the author is unknown or unspecified, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title), for example: ("Study Finds," 1992). If citing multiple works by the same author at the same time, arrange dates in order. In general, use letters after years to distinguish multiple publications by the same author in the same year. For example: Several studies (Johnson, 1988, 1990a, 1990b, 1995 in press-a, 1995 in press-b) showed the same thing. For old works cite the translation or the original and modern copyright dates if both are known, for example: (Aristotle, trans. 1931) or (James, 1890/1983). Always give page numbers for quotations, for example: (Cheek & Buss, 1981, p. 332) or (Shimamura, 1989, chap. 3, p. 5). For e-mail and other "unrecoverable data" use personal communication, for example: (V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1993). These do not appear in the reference list.

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Reference list formats


The APA publication manual contains 77 examples of different reference types (pp. 195-221). Here are a few examples of the most commonly used formats. Anonymous or unknown author (common in newspapers): _____ Caffeine linked to mental illness. (1991, July 13). New York Times, pp. B13, B15. Books: _____ Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan. _____ American Psychiatric Association. (1990). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author. (note: "Author" is used as above when author and publisher are identical.) _____ Freud, S. (1961). The ego and the id. In J. Strachey (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 19, pp. 3-66). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923) In text this would be cited as (Freud, 1923/1961). Book Chapter: _____ Shapiro, K. L., & Raymond, J. E. (1994). Temporal allocation of visual attention: Inhibition or interference? In D. Dagenbach & T. H. Carr (Eds.), Inhibitory mechanisms in attention, memory, and language. New York: Academic Press. Group or institutional authors _____ University of Pittsburgh. (1993) The title goes here. Journal of Something, 8, 5-9. Journal article _____ Spitch, M. L., Verzy, H. N., & Wilkie, D. M. (1993). Subjective shortening: A model of pigeons' memory for event duration. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 9, 14-30. Letter to the editor _____ O'Neill, G. W. (1992, January). In support of DSM-III [Letter to the editor]. APA Monitor, p. 4-5. Magazine article _____ Gardner, H. (1991, December). Do babies sing a universal song? Psychology Today, pp. 70-76. Newsletter article _____ Brown, L.S. (1993, Spring). My research with orangs. The Psychology Department Newsletter, 3, 2.

The date is given as it appears on the publication. For anonymous newspaper articles, see the previous section titled "Anonymous or unknown authors." Pamphlet _____ Just Say No Foundation. (1992). Saving our youth. (9th ed.) [Brochure]. Washington, DC: Author. Back to top Electronic media The manual specifies (for example) that an FTP retrievable file be referenced like this: Bixley, T. S. (1995) Sentient microfilaments: A tempest in a tubule. [On-line]. Available FTP: 128.112.128.1 Directory: pub/harnad File: psyc.95.3.26.consciousness.11.bixley. Increasingly, internet addresses are specified using a URL (uniform resource locator). The words "on-line" and "available" are redundant if you use a URL, because the whole purpose of a URL is to give "on-line availability" of a document. The URL indicates the type of resource (FTP, gopher, WWW) followed by two forward slashes followed by an exact location (machine, site, directory, and file). The URL permits anybody reading the document to copy the address into a WWW browser and retrieve the document. APA format with a URL address would look something like this: FTP : _____ Bixley, T. S. (1995) Sentient microfilaments: A tempest in a tubule. [On-line]. Available: ftp://blahblah.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/psyc.95.3.26/consciousness/11/bixley. Gopher : _____ Bixley, T. S. (1995) Sentient microfilaments: A tempest in a tubule. [On-line]. Available: gopher://somecomputer.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/psyc.95.3.26/consciousness/11/bixley. World Wide Web page : _____ Bixley, T. S. (1995) Sentient microfilaments Home Page. [On-line]. Available: http://www.microfilaments.com/consciousness/synchronicity/quantumtube.html. Note that use of URLs is not specified in the APA style manual. However, the URL is increasingly recognised as the standard way of specifying addresses for retrievable documents on the internet. In general, give information which permits retrieval of the document. If it is on a CD-ROM, give the publisher; if it is from an on-line database, give the sponsoring organisation or publisher. Top of this file Acknowledgements [This page, http://www.gasou.edu/psychweb/tipsheet/apacrib.htm, is a summary of rules from the APA Publication Manual. The version you are reading was revised 8/5/96. I have made every effort to keep this document accurate, but readers have occasionally pointed out errors and inconsistencies which required correction. I am grateful to them and invite additional feedback. This document may be reproduced freely, providing that the present paragraph is included. --Russ Dewey, rdewey@gasou.edu