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PSY 2012 Prof. Stoupas General Psychology: APA Style

Professor Stoupas Research Class

What is APA Style

APA (American Psychological Association) STYLE - A standard for citing sources and formatting research papers, primarily used in Psychology, Nursing, and various Science and Social Science classes at Palm Beach State College.

APA Style rules and guidelines are found in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Excerps from the Purdue University.Online Writing Lab Web page:

In-text citations...

“APA style requires authors to use the past tense or present perfect tense when using signal phrases to describe earlier research. E.g., Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found...”

“… the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, E.g., (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.”

”If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.” [ As reported by Smith (2009) “…….” (p.25).]

“If the author is not named in a signal phrase, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.” [“………” (Smith, 2009, p.25) .]

”If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to also provide the page number (although it is not required).”

 “A Work by Two Authors: Name both authors in the signal phrase or in the parentheses each time you cite the work. Use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ampersand in the parentheses.” [Smith and Jones, 2009 reported that] or ......(Smith & Jones, 2009)].

A Work by Three to Five Authors: List all the authors in the signal phrase or in parentheses the first time you cite the source. In subsequent citations, only use the first author's last name followed by "et al." in the signal phrase or in parentheses." [(Smith, Jones, Brown & Rice, 2009)]

"Six or More Authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. in the signal phrase or in parentheses." [Smith, 2009, et al.]

"Unknown Author: If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized or underlined; titles of articles and chapters are in quotation marks." ["Schizophrenia," 2010]

When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the symbol, or the abbreviation "para." followed by the paragraph number (Hall, 2001, ¶ 5) or (Hall, 2001, para. 5). If the paragraphs are not numbered and the document includes headings, provide the appropriate heading and specify the paragraph under that heading.

 References Examples:

Examples of APA citations taken from Diana Hacker’s Bedford Handbook page:

Article in a Journal paginated by Volume:

Morawski, J. (2000). Social psychology a century ago. American Psychologist, 55, 427–431.

Article in a Journal paginated by issue:

Smith, S. (2003). Government and nonprofits in the modern age. Society, 40(4), 36–45.

Article in a Magazine:

Raloff, J. (2001, May 12). Lead therapy won’t help most kids. Science News, 15, 292.

Article in a Newspaper:

Lohr, S. (2004, December 3). Health care technology is a promise unfinanced. The New York Times, p. C5.

Basic Format for a Book:

Highmore, B. (2001). Everyday life and cultural theory. New York: Routledge.

Book with an Editor:

Bronfen, E., & Kavka, M. (Eds.). (2001). Feminist consequences: Theory for a new century. New York: Columbia

    University Press.

Book with an Author and Editor:

Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals (K. V. Kukil, Ed.). New York:Anchor.

Edition Other than the First:

Helfer, M. E., Keme, R. S., & Drugman, R. D. (1997). The battered child (5th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago


Article or Chapter in an Edited Book:

Luban, D. (2000). The ethics of wrongful obedience. In D. L. Rhode (Ed.), Ethics in practice: Lawyers’ roles,

    responsibilities, and regulation (pp. 94-120). New York: Oxford University Press.

Article from a database:

(Include the publication information from the source. If the article has a DOI (digital object identifier), give that number at the end and do not include the database name.)

[With DOI]:

Holliday, R. E., & Hayes, B. K. (2000). Dissociating automatic and intentional processes in children’s eyewitness

    memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 75(1), 1-42. doi:10.1006/jecp.1999.2521

[Without DOI]:.

Howard, K. R. (2007). Childhood overweight: Parental perceptions and readiness for change.

   The Journal of School of Nursing, 23(2), 73-79.Retrieved from PsycINFO database.  

Document from a Web Site:

Cain, A., & Burris, M. (1999, April). Investigation of the use of mobile phones while driving. Retrieved January 15,

   2000, from

Archer, D. (n.d.). Exploring nonverbal communication. Retrieved July 18, 2001, from

If a source has no author, begin with the title and follow it with the date in parentheses.

If you retrieved the source from a university program’s Web site, name the program in your retrieval statement:

Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1997). Evolutionary psychology: A primer. Retrieved from the University of California,

   Santa Barbara,  Center for Evolutionary Psychology Web site:



Tutorial for APA Style

Links to APA Guides