Apa style Guide: a resource for Writing Research Papers Prepared for the students at Sagamore Middle School Holtsville, ny



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Hirsch, E.D., Jr. (2006). The knowledge deficit: Closing the shocking education gap for American children. Houghton Mifflin Company: New York, NY.

The Content and Organization of the Paper

Title Page

  • On the title page include the title of the paper, your name, the class you are in, the teacher’s name, and the date.

  • APA formatting places all information in the center of the page. Check with your teacher for other preferences.

  • Abbreviate your title in a header in the upper left corner (see p. 5).

  • Begin numbering pages on the title page. (see p. 7).

  • At the end of the title page, enter a page break so that the abstract or the body of the paper will start on a new page.

Abstract

  • This is not generally required until the end of 8th grade in some advanced classes, but it is important for 6th and 7th graders to know that the abstract is a short summary of the paper.

  • It is a separate page, after the title page.

  • The word “Abstract” is centered as the title at the top of the page.

  • Do not indent the abstract paragraph.

  • Summarize your paper in 150 – 250 words. Include your thesis statement in the abstract and summarize main points made in the paper.

  • At the end of the abstract, enter a page break so that the body of the paper will start on a new page.

Body of the Paper

The body of the paper is generally three to five pages long in middle school. Begin by introducing your topic and state your thesis. This is a statement about your topic that you will support with evidence from multiple sources. Your purpose is to persuade or inform your readers about one aspect of your topic.

The following paragraphs will support your thesis. They will include quotes, paraphrasing, facts, and ideas from other authors. All of these items will need parenthetical citations, and later will need to be included in the References page. A parenthetical citation tells the reader the author’s name and the year when the source was published. The reader then can find this reference on the References page and get more information, allowing the reader to find the source to verify/ gain new information.

Finally, the paper needs a conclusion to restate your thesis in a way that includes a summary of your main points made in the paper. When finished with the body of the paper, enter a page break so that the References page will start on a new page.



General formatting rules for the body of the paper.

  • On the first page of the body, repeat the full title, centered, one inch from the top, in a combination of upper/lower case letters.

  • Double space everything in a final draft. (To save paper, your teacher may ask for 1.5 spacing.)

  • The preferred font is size 12 Times New Roman. Other professional looking fonts may be used. Do not use a casual or decorative font.

  • Margins are set at 1-inch on all four sides (default setting).

  • Do not justify the right margin; justify only the left margin.

  • Do not break words at the end of a typed line (hyphenation).

  • When using quotations, ending punctuation belongs inside the quotation marks. Other punctuation (a question mark) is outside the quotation marks unless part of the quotation.

  • Indent paragraphs 5 to 7 spaces.

  • Include parenthetical citations to cite all of the sources you are using to support your thesis. To format parenthetical citations, see pages 8 - 10.

  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs. They should not be longer than 2/3 of the page.

  • Avoid biased or pejorative language. Remain objective and fair.

  • Use two spaces after all end punctuation. However, do not space after internal periods in abbreviations such as U.S.

Abbreviations.

  • Use abbreviations sparingly; APA style prefers no abbreviations unless they are acronyms.

  • If using acronyms, spell out the abbreviation in full the first time it is used.

  • To make plurals out of acronyms, add “s” only. Ex: many CDs

Numbering.

  • Use numerals with numbers 10 and above. Spell out numbers nine and below.

  • Spell out a number if it begins the sentence.

  • To make plurals out of numbers, add “s” only. Ex: early 1800s

Formatting for headings.

  • Use headings to organize your paper and to guide the reader. This should follow your outline or graphic organizer.

  • Do not label headings with numbers or letters.

  • Use at least two levels of headings. This guide uses three levels of headings. College-level papers will use five levels.



  • Follow the correct formatting for headings:

Level One Heading: Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lower Case

Start paragraph with a normal paragraph indent.



Level Two Heading: Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lower Case

Start paragraph with a normal paragraph indent.



Level three heading.: Indented, boldface, lowercase, ending with a period. Start sentence after the period.

Citations.

  • When you include quotations, facts, or paraphrased statements from another author, you need to cite the source. A parenthetical citation gives credit to the original author, allowing your reader to find this source him/herself.

  • It does not matter whether you quote directly or reword a concept into your own wording; both examples require an in-text citation.

  • Items that do not need to be cited include your own ideas, your personal experiences, and common knowledge.

  • Citations appear at the end of a quote or paraphrased statement and include the author’s last name, a comma, and the year the source was published, in parentheses, with the ending period outside (Gennosa, 2012).

  • If there is no author available, shorten the title and include the year published (APA Guide, 2012)

  • Short quotations of fewer than 40 words should be incorporated into the text and enclosed by quotation marks.

  • Long quotations of 40 or more words do not use quotation marks. Do not single space them. Indent 5 to 7 spaces from the left margin for the entire quotation. If longer than one paragraph, indent the first line of each additional paragraph 5 to 7 spaces more.

  • Type ellipsis points (used to indicate omissions within a sentence) by using three periods with spaces before and after the periods. If indicating omissions between two sentences, use four periods.

Examples of including a citation.

  • If the author is mentioned within the paragraph, just include the year in parenthesis after the author’s last name:

Daniels and Zemelman (2004) recommend that readers should read a wide range of genres.

Teachers should include music, art, movie clips, and the internet to “invite adolescents into the text and to help them consider important issues and questions” (Wold & Elish-Piper, 2009, p.88).

Daniels and Zemelman (2004) state that “students do need to know, consciously, that smart readers use a variety of different cognitive lenses to spot the meaning in tough texts” (p. 32).



In-text and parenthetical citation formatting quick guide.

  • One author:

    • Jones (2010) notes . . .

    • (Jones, 2010).

  • Two authors:

    • Smith and Jones, (2009) acknowledge . . .

    • (Smith & Jones, 2009)

  • Three to five authors

    • Smith, Jones, and Brown (2011) maintain . . . The next time that source is used it would be Smith et al. (2011) agree that . . .

    • (Smith, Jones, & Brown, 2011), for the first time the source is cited. Thereafter, for that source, use (Smith et al., 2011).

  • Six or more authors

    • Smith et al. (2012) propose . . . (The first time the source is used, just note the first author with et al.)

  • No author

    • Use the first few words of the title, since the title has now moved to the first position in the References entry.

    • For short works use quotation marks: (“Fun Learning APA,” 2010).

    • For books and major works, italicize: (The Publication Manual, 2009).

  • Author is quoted in another text

    • Occasionally you will use a quote that someone else has quoted in an article/book that you are reading. This needs to be documented as a secondary source.

Franklin stated, “A penny saved is a penny earned” (as cited in Burchell, 2000, p. 45).

    • The References entry would be for the book by Burchell. Franklin is not cited in the References list: Burchell, B. (2000). The life of Ben Franklin. Philadelphia: Freedom Press.

Transitioning quotes into your paragraph.

Signal words are good introductions for text that you are quoting or paraphrasing. In the examples shown, the signal words “state” and “recommend” are used. Here are some other suggested signal words:



acknowledge

believe that

emphasize

propose

add

claim

explain

report

admit

reveal

agree

conclude

argue

observe

speculate

ask

suggest

assert

describe

write

References Page

  • Start the reference list on a new page. Inserting a page break at the end of the body of your paper will always keep your References at the top of a new page.

  • Type the word “References” in upper and lowercase letters, centered at the top of the page.

  • Any source listed on the References page must be cited in the body of the paper.

  • List references in alphabetical order.

  • Double-space all entries.

  • Beginning entries should not be indented. Second or subsequent lines are indented.

  • Only one space is needed after periods in a reference entry.

  • To format the references page, see page 5 of this guide.

Examples of formatting of references.

  • Book with One Author:

Author’s last name, First initial. (Year of Publication). Title of book in italics with only first word capitalized unless a proper noun or first word following a colon. City where published, Postal code abbreviation of state: Publishing company.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gallas, K. (1994). The languages of learning: How children talk, write, dance, draw, and sing their understanding of the world. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.


  • More than one author, use “&”:

Freire, P. & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word and the world. Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey.

Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994). Mood management across affective states: The hedonic contingency hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 1034-1048.



  • Book with an editor, use “(Ed.)” or “(Eds.)”:

Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S. & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1998) Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

  • Edited book with an author:

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

  • Article in a periodical (magazine, newspaper, etc.):

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. For a newspaper, include the date of issue.

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55(5), 893-896.

Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.


  • Electronic Resources:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from
http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A list apart: For people who make websites, 149. Retrieved from http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving



  • For more examples of resource entries, visit Purdue OWL or EasyBib.





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