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Writing Styles: Basic APA

Basic APA, Chicago Style and MLA documentation.

APA: In-text citations

Information needed:  

  • The last name of each author
  • The year the source was published
  • The page number, if citing a direct quote
Sources with 3 or more authors:
 
If a source has between three and five authors, list each author the first time the source is cited; after that, list only the name of the first author followed by et al. Ex: (Smith et al., 2011).
 
If a source has six or more authors, list only the name of the first author every time the source is cited, followed by et al. Ex: (Smith et al., 2011).

APA: References

  • References are listed alphabetically on the references page according to the last name of the first author listed on the source.
  • For sources with multiple authors, authors' names are not alphabetized; instead they are listed in the order in which they appear on the source.
  • Titles of books and articles are treated like sentences in that only the first letter of the first word, any proper names and the first word following a colon in a title are capitalized.
  • For more information on formatting the references page, please refer to the Formatting for APA in Microsoft Word booklet available in the Academic Support Center.

Paraphrases and Quotes

Paraphrase:

It is difficult to define feminist writing because the practice is poorly understood, but that does not mean that the practice does not exist (Kemp & Squires, 1997).

Paraphrase & author(s) introduced in-text: 

Kemp and Squires (1997) suggest that it is difficult to define feminist writing because the practice is poorly understood, but that does not mean that the practice does not exist.

Quote:

"Engagement isn't a focus on entertainment; it's about brain activity. Is each student's brain fully engaged" (Scherer, 2011, p. 16)?

Quote & author(s) introduced in-text:

Scherer (2011) explains, "Engagement isn't a focus on entertainment; it's about brain activity. Is each student's brain fully engaged" (p. 16)?

Abbreviations and Numbers

Standard abbreviations, for example, AIDS, HIV, are allowed.

When using other abbreviations, use the full name first and then in parenthesis, the abbreviation. Thereafter use just the abbreviation.

For more descriptive explanation see OWL Purdue .


Numbers that begin sentences must be written out, but APA asks you to AVOID beginning sentences with numbers.

For more explanations on using numbers in APA writing see OWL Purdue .