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Using APA Style

American Psychological Association Formatting for Academic Papers. Derived from Alexia Giroux's APA Format Prezi (http://prezi.com/ka0kkua3sbkk/apa-format/).

Ashley Rosener

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Using APA Style

American Psychological Association (APA) Style
6th Edition

APA style is commonly used within the social sciences. The four main parts of an APA paper are the Title Page, Abstract, Body, and References.
When formatting your paper, the first thing you will need to focus on is the Title Page.
Title Page
The basic Title Page should include (in order):
author's name
(If your instructor provides you with different instructions, follow those).
The body of an APA paper contains the bulk of the information.
The title of the Body should be centered and in 12 point font like the Abstract. It is also important to use the same font throughout to maintain the image of a professional paper.

This is the area of the paper where you will include in-text citations as support for your arguments.
In-text citations
There are a few ways you can include these key pieces of information in your paraphrased text:

) found that humans... (
para. 3

' study of human behavior found... (
para. 3

The way humans behave while in social situations is a direct result of the pressure exerted from society (
para. 3
For paraphrasing, you must include the
author's last name
and the
date of publication
when citing within the text. It is also recommended the
page or paragraph number
is included when paraphrasing.
If you use a direct quote, (taking the author's direct words and pasting them in your paper) the
author's last name
and the
publication date
must appear beside each other. You must include the
page number or specific location
(paragraph number in a website) where you found the quote.
There are a few ways you can include these key pieces of information to cite your quoted text:

predicted, "The scarcity of oil in 2030 will allow the auto industry to explore other means of fuel" (

It is also important to realize "the significance of the elections and how your vote will contribute to the future of this country" (
Young, 2003, para.3
introductory paragraph
presents the problem the paper will address.
This paragraph needs to include the:
main topic
areas to be examined
Each paragraph within the body of the paper presents a different issue that is a branch of the main topic.

For example, an essay with the topic of the effects of global warming could examine the issues of its effect on the
, and
summarizes the points you have used to prove your thesis throughout the paper. This paragraph needs to include:
summary of main points used to prove your thesis
a stronger and more powerful version of your thesis
your final comment on the subject and/or implications of further research to be done on the topic
In-text citations are used within a paper to identify to the reader that you have used the thoughts or words of another person. To give that source proper credit, you have to cite references within the text, not only on the Reference page.
Citations are a crucial aspect of an APA paper. It is important to properly cite your sources in order to avoid plagiarism.
The Reference page has the centered title "References."
It is the last page of the paper.
The text should be double-spaced like the rest of the essay.
References are listed in alphabetical order.
All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
The Reference list encompasses all of the citations used within the paper. It is important to write references to prove to the reader that your sources are valid.
References and Resources:

Purdue OWL: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/1/

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC:
American Psychological Association, 2010. (located in the Steelcase Library Reading Room!)

Times New Roman 12 pt. is the recommended font for APA papers (unless otherwise specified by your instructor).

Be sure that the font of the header matches the font of the paper.
Direct Quotes
The Reference page is the final page(s) of the APA paper.
An example APA Title Page
A paraphrase is:

your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form.
one legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to borrow from a source.
a more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on a single main idea.
Original passage:

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

A legitimate paraphrase:

In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).

An acceptable summary:

Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).

A plagiarized version:

Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

Source: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/
Citation Activity
Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words, sentences, or ideas and passing them off as your own without giving proper credit to the original source. Cutting and pasting is so easy that many people plagiarize without meaning to.

You might be plagiarizing if you:

Submit someone's work as your own.
Copy sentences, phrases, paragraphs, or even ideas from someone else's work, published or unpublished, without giving the original author credit.
Replace select words from a passage without giving the original author credit.
Copy any type of multimedia (graphics, audio, video, Internet streams), computer programs, music compositions, graphs, or charts from someone else's work without giving the original creator credit.
Cut and paste together phrases, ideas, and sentences from a variety of sources to write an essay.
Build on someone else's idea or phrase to write your paper without giving the original author credit.
Submit your own paper in more than one course without permission of the teachers.

You can avoid plaigiarism by correctly paraphrasing and citing work.


Original Passage:

Frodo is no Arthur, and that, in a way, is Tolkien's point. He is a little man, not a national hero. The glorious days of epic and romance are long past, and the actions of hobbits, of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances have superseded the larger-than-life heroes, their deeds, their chivalry and courtly valor. Nevertheless, the same poignance and sense of loss pervade both stories.


The character of Frodo is not much like King Arthur, because Tolkien is making that a point. As a hobbit Frodo is an ordinary person who lives long after the days of romantic, epic heroes. Although he lives through amazing events, Frodo is still ordinary, not larger-than-life. Nonetheless, both Tolkien’s writings and the stories of Arthur share a sense of loss.

Is this plagiarism?

BSW Orientation Fall 2013
Ashley Rosener
Liaison Librarian for the School of Social Work

Activity from: http://tutorials.sjlibrary.org/tutorial/plagiarism/tutorial/12example3.htm
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