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Decoding APA: APA Style in Action

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Sara Beam

on 12 June 2017

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Transcript of Decoding APA: APA Style in Action

Decoding APA:
APA Style in Action

Dr. Sara Beam
Notice that APA Style generally does not capitalize words in paper or book titles. Only the first word is capitalized here, for example.
The type of source determines how you will create the References entry.

This is an example of an article stored in an online database.
To the right are the text's authors.

The number of authors will affect the parenthetical citation and the way the References entry is presented. See page 177 in the APA Manual for a helpful chart to assist with parenthetical citations.

Pages 180-192 describe the elements of a Reference entry. Reference examples start on 198. For this article, we'd use #1 on that page, since this text is a journal article with a doi, or digital object identifier.
You'll notice that journal articles and student papers are structured similarly: Abstract (available for this article in the database), Introduction, Research Methods, Results, Discussion, and References.

That organization is explained in detail in the Manual on pages 25-37.
Above is the doi or Digital Object ID: doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.06.009

The date of publication is also here on the front page at the top: it's 2014.

This 2007 date down here appears to be a copyright date for something else under Elsevier Ltd. (perhaps the database software?).
To the right is the article's 1st parenthetical citation. Here, the author is a group/organization. The other element in this citation is the year. The 2 are separated by a comma.

See pages 174-179 for a break down of parenthetical citations based on type and number of author(s).

Note that this citation is provided to support statistical information that is paraphrased, not quoted. APA Style prefers paraphrases over quotations. The next four citations are there to back up paraphrased information, as you can see.
Notice the syntax (sentence structure), diction (word choice), and tone (attitude: objective, impartial) of this paragraph and the one after it. Stylistically, APA values objectivity/logos and brevity over ethos, pathos, and lengthy or figurative language.

See pages 65-77 in the APA Manual for advice and examples about how to improve smoothness of expression, economy of language, precision/clarity, etc. and how to reduce bias in language.
The citation above looks a bit different. That's because the authors are referring to multiple studies that back up their assertions.
General reminder: all information taken from other sources must be cited. See pages 170-173 for notes about when and how to paraphrase and quote other authors' texts.
Here is a citation for a text with 3 authors. Notice the use of the ampersand (&). An ampersand is used only in the citations in the body of the text, not on the References page.
The citation above has two dates in it because the paper is citing two works by the same author. See Manual pages 177-178 for how to cite multiple sources within one citation.

Also, notice the use of a numeral in the text. The general rule is actually "to use numerals to express numbers 1 through 10 and above and words to express numbers below 10," but there are exceptions based on what the number is used for (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 111-112). For example, the number 5 here refers to age, and that is one of the exceptions.
This paper uses headings to organize and separate different sections of the text. First-level headings here are in plain text, and second-level headings are in italics. In your papers, you'll be able to use headings, though there are requirements about where to place them. See Manual pages 62-63 for specifics.
This text labels its References page "Suggestions for Further Reading." You'll notice, the more research you read, that some journals require different formatting. That's normal. However, you should always follow APA style requirements from the Manual closely, only making changes where you were instructed to do so by your professor.

Pages 41-59 in the Manual contain visual aids that show you how to format your paper.
The 1st two lines are a reference entry for a work with one author. The text is an article in print. Notice that the article title is not in quotation marks and that only the first word is capitalized. The journal title is in italics and is followed by the volume number and the page range.

Punctuation and order of elements are VERY IMPORTANT. See pages 198-199 in the Manual for help citing journal articles in print and online. Journal titles are capitalized.

Note: this text does not appear to cite any journal articles shared online. However, because they include links (blue text) in most references, I think they may be using a slightly different version of APA. Remember that when you cite articles found on the web or in online databases, you'll need to include the URL or doi usually.
Below is a reference entry for a research report, "Child Welfare Information Gateway," authored by a group/organization and published by a governmental office. Manual pages 205-206.
The entry above appears to be a set of guidelines without a specific author published out of a public office, CO Dept. of Public Health & Environment.
Below is a document authored by the Dept. of Justice Information Bulletin. It is stored online, so the entry includes the words "Retrieved from:" and the URL. See Manual pages 205-206.
You may only list up to 7 authors. See Manual page 198 about what to do if there are more than 7.

Also, note that authors are not listed alphabetically. They are presented in the order listed on their actual article/book.
Above is an entry for a book with 3 authors.
To the right is an entry for a paper presented at a conference. See Manual pages 206-207.
Above is a journal article with both a volume and an ISSUE number.
Above is a piece of legislation. There is an entire section in the Manual about how to cite legal cases and legislation. See pages 216-224.
Above is a reference entry for a newspaper article. See 200-201.
Questions about APA citation?
In this presentation, I'll show you how to decode and understand APA format and citation style in the wild.

This is an article in a journal.It uses APA style, but you'll notice that it's
not exactly like what you might be being taught in your classes. I'm going to distinguish between what you see here that's done a little differently and what you will be asked to do by your professors, in many cases, based on what's in the APA Manual.

I will also point you to pages in the APA Manual to help you figure out how to cite sources exactly as instructed there in the Manual.
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