APA research paper learning tips

Useful Tips on How to Learn APA Formatting Online

You have to identify all the sources you quoted from in your research paper, that is why you need a style of documentation. Styles of documentation are established by professional societies and journals to regularize the citing of sources in each field. The format of presenting information on the sources you use for research may vary, depending on the discipline in which you are doing research. Because academic disciplines vary in the precise forms they require for documentation, you must follow carefully the specific format that your instructor requests.

One of the two most popular formats is the APA Research Paper Format. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) provides guidelines for writers of research papers in the social sciences. The APA Research Paper Format recommends short references documented within the text (internal (parenthetical) citation) and a complete list of sources (references) at the end of the paper. APA manuscripts submitted for publication require an abstract, which is a short, comprehensive summary of the paper. Yet many undergraduate papers will use an outline instead. In this case it is advisable to consult your instructor.

APA Format Technical Milestones

Here are some learning tips on how to deal with the APA Format properly:

  • How to cite:

    If you use a book or an article with one author, a citation in the text includes the author’s last name and the publication date separated by a comma. In case you use the author’s name or the date in a sentence, do not put them in parentheses. Place your references as close to the information you are identifying as possible.

  • How to list:
    • a book. There are four main divisions in the entry, separated by periods: the author’s last name, comma, initials; year of publication in the parenthesis; the underlined title; the publishing data (city of publication, colon, name of publisher).
    • an article. There are four main divisions in the entry, separated by periods: the author’s last name, comma, initials; year and month of publication in the parenthesis separated by a comma; the title of the article; the underlined title of the periodical, comma, page.
  • How to create References List:
  • References List is an alphabetical list of all the used sources arranged by the authors’ last names. This list is done on a separate page at the end of the paper. Do not number your sources and do not separate books from periodicals. The first line of each entry starts at the left margin. Within each entry all the other lines are indented tree spaces. Within entries and between them you are to double-space.

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