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Running head: APA STYLE PAPER1APA STYLE PAPER12How to Write an APA Style PaperDrew MikitaColorado Mountain CollegeAbstractThis section is a very brief (less than 100 words) it is a summary of your entire paper. The abstract gets its own page. You do not indent this section of the paper. Write the entire paper, then come back and write the abstract. Writing the abstract first is very difficult. It should be 3-6 sentences giving the reader an overview of what the topic and some key points. Try turning each heading into a summary sentence. The word abstract is centered, capitalized, not in bold or italics. You do not put an extra space after the word abstract. When starting, the best approach is to write the word Abstract and then leave it until the end, come back and summarize the key parts of your paper. Below is a sample abstract for this paper. Writing a research paper in American Psychological Association (APA) style is often a requirement for college students, regardless of discipline. Knowing the structure, citations, and other elements of APA writing is essential. Using available resources will help ensure that the writer is providing quality, well-sited, accurate research.How to Write an APA Style PaperIt is important to get your paper setup properly. Notice the title is reprinted on this page; it is centered, not in bold, no extra spaces, just centered. Get everything set up just right and this will be much easier, use this document as a template. Margins need to be set at one inch all the way around, generally the MS default, and how this template is set up (under the page layout tab). Now, go to paragraph (middle top of tool bar) and click the little arrow. In APA, everything is double spaced; this can be done under the paragraph tab under the home screen. Select Double under spacing, make sure you put a check mark in the box that says, Dont add space between paragraphs of the same style. This is necessary to prevent your paper from having additional spacing. The font needs to be set at Times New Roman size 12 for everything. Including the cover page, title, abstract, and body, no other fonts or sizes should be used. Your cover page should look just like mine. Except your name is not Drew, silly! The college name is wherever the work is being completed for. Instructors can ask students for variations on APA, always ask.When inserting a running head, do this at the beginning of the paper and then you will be able to forget about it. Double click in the top margin of the paper, just above the writing. Make sure you have selected times new roman 12 font before you start typing (word does not always default to this). Then, there is a box that says Different first page at the top, make sure this box is checked or you will be really frustrated. Check that box. Now, you will begin writing your running head. A running head is a summary of your title. It should be a few words. No more than 6 words is a good rule. On the first page, you will actually write the words Running head: You will have an uppercase R and lower case unning head followed by a colon. Now, in all capital letters you will write your actual running head. Tab over to the right, (usually twice) in the upper left hand corner it says, page number select current position, it will then insert the page number at that spot. The next page (abstract page) you will go into the header, and you do not need the words running head, however you do need to put the exact same words (in caps) that you had in your running head, and insert the page number. Now, you are done with the running head, make sure it is Times New Roman, 12 point font! Leave it alone for the rest of the paper. Do not just write the page number in, you need to do the above direction to insert a page number. The first one to three paragraphs should be the introduction, depending on the length of paper it can vary from one paragraph on a three page paper, to possibly dozens of pages for a dissertation or research study. The introduction is setting up the topic, letting the reader know about the subject, background information, do not go into great detail about anything in this section, just introduce the entire paper. The last sentence of your introduction, before switching sections, should be your thesis statement. This is a road map to the rest of your paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. For this paper, it is about how to write an APA style paper, so the thesis would be something like this; The American Psychological Association (APA) requirements differ from that of other styles in set up, format, citation, structure, and requirements, it is paramount to understand exactly how to set up an APA paper.HeadingsWhen the introduction is completed, a heading is inserted, centered in bold, 12 point, Time New Roman font. The headings are dependent on your topic, and will vary. Insert a new heading each time there is a shift in topics. Generally, each section will have multiple paragraphs. There can also be subsections, meaning it is not totally a new section but still pertaining to the primary heading. For example, if you are writing a paper about schizophrenia you would probably have three to four sections, possibly with a few subsections (primary headings of diagnosis, causes, and treatment, with sub-headings of medicinal and non-medicinal treatments, conclusion). This paper has sections of Headings (with a sub-heading of Sub-Heading), How to Cite in APA (In-Text Citations and References sub-headings), Credible Sources, Resources and Conclusion. When changing topics completely, put a new heading, this alerts the reader to the topic change. All of the headings should have to do with the overall topic and will vary drastically based on what the specific topic and sections are about. If you are writing a paper where you have actually done a research study, and not just a research paper using all secondary sources (like this one), sections will be different. Depending on the research design the sections will likely include literature review, methods, participants, results, discussion, and/or conclusion. When doing a research paper, where the writer is asked to just find out as much by reviewing existing research and literature, then write up sections on the topic the headings will relate to your topic and have great variability.If the writer creates an outline, essentially each major bullet point would translate into a primary heading. With the major supporting points for the primary heading becoming sub-headings. This helps the reader know when subjects change in the paper. Sub-HeadingsA sub-heading has to do with the section you are currently in, but is big enough to be its own area. A subsection is not centered, it is left justified, bold, 12 point, Time New Roman font. This generally will be a 1 to 3 paragraphs, depending on topic and requirements. There can be multiple sub-headings under one heading, if they all relate to the primary heading, but this is not required. When done with all of the sub-headings in a section, you will then put another primary header (centered, bold, 12 point Times New Roman font) letting the reader know that topics are shifting. The use of sub-headings is not always necessary, but they are nice for the reader, it is up to the writer how you want to set the paper up, use your best judgment.How to Cite in APA StyleThis entire section and subsections would have to do with the ways that you cite your references in an APA style paper. You do not need a subsection, but you could have one. Citation in APA is very different from MLA, Chicago, and other writing styles and it is important to pay attention to detail. The most important part about citation is to avoid plagiarism, small citation errors are not a huge deal, but big citation errors are plagiarism which can have academic consequences, like failing the class or getting kicked out of school. Even more extreme consequences can be legal ramifications. There are two areas of citations in-text and the reference page, both let the reader know whose work you are referencing. It is essential to cite everything in a research paper, or any paper for that matter.Using a reference manager like Easy Bib or Ref Works can be helpful, however the easiest way to manage your references, is in Microsoft Word. At the top, there is a References tab. Writers can keep track of all citations in their very easily and highly organized. Best of all, it will also insert the in-text citations and auto-generate your References page at the end of the paper. It is on you to enter the information correctly, make sure you have selected APA on the style drop down box, and selected the correct type of source. Failure to do so will result with incorrect citations and a loss of points. Each type of source (journal article, website, book, etc.) will have different questions for the writer about the resource, fill out as many of the sections as are available, this includes things like, author (Last name, First initial. For this paper it would be entered into the references as Mikita, D. if there are multiple authors it is entered as Mikita, D.; Smith, S.; Barchers, J.). Putting the semi-colon between the authors is essential or formatting will be in bad shape. Other sections that may be required, depending on the source, date, title, website, publisher, publishing city and more. Fill out all the information that you have for that source and MS Word will take care of the rest. In Text CitationsIf citing a book about writing an APA style paper, you must cite it. When preparing this paper the APA handbook was consulted, so it needs to be cited (American Psychological Association, 2010). If material is just summarized and not a direct quote, just put the authors last name comma then the year of the publication (Mikita, 2016). The easiest way to in-text cite is to use the references tab at the top of the page. Select Manage Sources and this will ask you to fill in information about the source you are using, fill in all the information that you have about the source. Make sure you select APA when entering the data, also make sure you have the right type source selected (book, article, website, etc.). Then, after using a source, hit Insert Citation, select the source on the drop down, this will put an appropriate citation, then put punctuation after the parenthesis. For a summary or synopsis (not a direct quote) you will have author and date in parenthesis, followed by punctuation (Mikita, 2016).If using a direct quote, It is essential to make sure that a direct quote is followed by the right citation (Mikita, 2016, p. 21). If using a direct quote the last name, year, and page number are included. Hit insert citation, then click on the citation, edit citation and put in the page number, or do any other modifying of the citation. Notice, the punctuation comes after the parentheses. Lets say you use this writing style, Mikita said, The prognosis for students grades who do not use this template is not good (2016, p. 21). No need to put the authors last name in the parentheses because credit has already been given to him/her in the sentence. Just make sure to give people their credit! Remember, direct quotes need to look like this (Last name(s), year, page), cite after every direct quote. If using a summary of a thought, idea, or article, (Last name(s), year). If there are two or three sentences, or even an entire paragraph, all from the same source cite after that group of sentences. Just make sure the reader knows which idea goes with which citation. If article A is referenced, then article B is discussed, then back to A, you need to cite article A, then write the sentence about B, cite B, sentence from A, then cite A. The reader needs to know who said what. Always better to over-site, then under-site, which is plagiarism!Reference PageThe second component of citations is the reference page. This is the last page of the paper, it has a page to itself, or multiple depending on how long the paper is. This helps connect the in-text citation to the actual reference. The easiest way to do this is by using the Reference tab, select the Bibliography drop down and it will insert all the references that you have used, again, make sure that you have selected APA style (references). Make sure that the word References is centered, in 12 point, Times New Roman fonts, sometimes the default of it is not in that style, so make sure to change it if necessary. Remember to do this at very end so all of your sources are listed.Credible SourcesIt is essential to only use credible sources, this is somewhat subjective and vague. The writer must determine what is credible and what is not. Using online library options, like Ebscohost, Proquest, or other academic search engines subscriptions your college may have will almost guarantees a source to be viable. If using google, use only Google Scholar, as general google searches will yield many not credible sources. Stick with academic search engines, journal articles are the best as they are peer reviewed. If it does not feel credible it probably is not worth using! Not having an author is not the end of the world, you can either site the web-site or name of the article in text instead of an author. When using academic search engines, like Ebscohost, users can access the citation. Depending on the search engine how to do this will vary. On Ebscohost, next to the article there are multiple useful options, like save, cite, email, and more. Select cite, this will give the writer all the information about the article. Copy and paste the APA citation (there will be multiple styles, so pay attention) into the manage sources under the references tab, put all data in appropriate locations. Then insert the citation whenever it is used, and it will also be in the References page.No, Wikipedia is not a credible source. However, Wikipedia can be a useful tool. The online encyclopedia has gotten much better about listing their sources. If unsure of a topic, read about it on Wikipedia, then find the sources listed at the bottom, if they are credible those can generally be used. Do not cite Wikipedia and make sure the sources they used are valid and credible. Not a bad place to get an idea or an understandable overview of a topic. ResourcesThere are resources available for writing an APA paper. There are both print and internet sources accessible to students. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (American Psychological Association, 2010) outlines all requirements and is a must for all Psychology majors. It also goes into much better detail about the requirements, as the paper just scratches the surface. On the internet, The Purdue Owl (Purdue University, 2016) is a great resource and can answer many questions that writers may have about formatting in APA. Check with your institution for more services that may be offered including tutoring, writing centers, and other online and in-person resources. Ask your instructor for other options, including how he or she would be willing to help, looking for other classmates to collaborate with is good practice as well. ConclusionMost papers will have the same last section, conclusion. It is important to note, in a research paper during the body your opinion does not matter, just give the research and information that you find from credible experts. In the conclusion state your findings and opinions matter more (but still not as much as the research) because they have been researched and shaped by experts knowledge, research, and literature. Really summarize all of your research here with some great closing statements. A few other tips, avoid using contractions, such as dont, wont cant, just use both words. Eliminate using the word I, restructure your sentence so it does not need the word I. Form clear ideas, and think like a scientist. Be skeptical, but open-minded. Remember, you are not trying to necessarily prove a point, but rather to understand a concept or phenomenon, this will help to minimize bias, which is essential in research (Adams & Lawrence, 2014). Choose a topic you are passionate about it, dont be scared to interview experts who are credible and use a variety of sources to help illustrate your point. Numbers below ten are spelled out (three, five, nine), numbers over ten are written numerically (12, 42, 1,000). A double space after a period if acceptable. Generally, your cover page, abstract, and reference page(s) do not count towards a page title (so a four page paper would actually have seven pieces of paper (cover page, abstract, four body pages, and references).The conclusion should be one to three paragraphs, but can be much longer. Do not introduce new information, summarize the paper and any conclusions made. Make sure all fonts (headers, sections, title, body, references) are in size 12, black, times new roman, headings and sub headings are bold (American Psychological Association, 2010). Remember, the same principles apply to writing in APA that do any other writing style. Be clear, concise, and organized. Avoid typos, grammatical errors, and other bad writing mistakes. PROOF READ YOUR PAPER! After you proof read it, have someone else proof read it, then proof read it again! Scroll down to see the reference page.ReferencesAdams, K., & Lawrence, E. (2014). Research methods, statistics, and applications. New York, NY.: Sage Publications.American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.Mikita, D. (2016, 11 4). How to Write an APA Paper. Retrieved from Free Psychology Help: http://www.freepsychologyhelp.com/?page_id=245Purdue University. (2016). Purdue Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/See page 8 for creating a reference page.
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