Typing Tips & APA Style
- Leave margins of 1 inch at the top, bottom, right, and left of every
- Double Spacing
- Double-space between all lines of the manuscript. This includes all
quotations and the Reference section. Set your word processor on double-space
and leave it there. Never use single spacing unless your professor instructs
you to do so.
- Indent five spaces for the first line of every paragraph in the text of
- Begin each of the following parts of your manuscript on a new page and
arrange the pages in the following order: (1) Cover page with the title of your
paper, your name, name of the college, the course's name, the instructor's
name, the date on which you are completing this paper, and running head; (2)
body of the report (e.g., introduction, methods section, results and
discussion); (3) references; and (4) appendices (if any). Number the pages
consecutively beginning with the cover page. Place the page numbers in the
upper right-hand corner using Arabic (for example, 1, 2, 3), not Roman (for
example, I, II, III), numerals.
APA Editorial Style
- It is best to use two levels of headings--a centered main heading and a
left-justified heading. Main headings are centered, with the initial letter of
main words typed in upper case. Side headings are left-justified and also have
the initial letters of main words in upper case. Main headings are not
underlined whereas side headings are underlined. In neither case are headings
numbered or lettered. A heading is never used for the introduction.
- Running Head
- The running head is an abbreviated title that appears on the top pages of a
published article to identify it for the readers. It is no more than 50
characters, which includes not only letters and numbers, but also punctuation
and spaces. The running head is typed on the title page, left justified, below
the manuscript page header in all uppercase letters. IN ADDITION TO the running
head, the first two or three words of the title are printed on the top,
right-hand corner of every page either above or five spaces to the left of the
page number. For example, the complete title of an article is "Self-concept and
body image: A gender analysis." The format for the running head on the title
page is: Running head: SELF-CONCEPT AND BODY IMAGE. On the top of each page of
the manuscript (including the title page), "Self-concept" appears five spaces
before the page number. See the APA Manual for additional information.
- Use abbreviations sparingly except for the reference list (see below). An
abbreviation is appropriate when it is a word entry in a dictionary (e.g.,
Webster's Collegiate). Examples include IQ, REM, HIV, and ESP. In other
instances, when introducing an abbreviation, the full term is given initially
with the abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation alone then may be used
in subsequent sentences. For example: "The California Achievement Test (CAT)
was administered to the subject. The subject's score on the CAT was 89". Do
this even when the term is a commonly used in psychology such as the MMPI. Do
not use "S" or "E" for "subject" or "experimenter". Do not use contractions
such as "don't," "didn't," "they're," and so on.
The following are the most common abbreviations used in the reference
The following are abbreviations that are acceptable for Statistical Symbols
(see APA manual for additional ones).
|Degrees of freedom
|Number of subjects in entire sample
|Number of subjects in portion of sample
|Analysis of Variance
|Pearson product-moment correlation
|Sum of squares
- Use periods with abbreviations with initials of names (D. Dodson), Latin
abbreviations (i.e.) or reference abbreviations (Vol. 1). Note that the
abbreviations for "that is" (i.e.) and "for example" (e.g.) are used only in
parentheses. The abbreviation for "for example" is NOT "ex". Do not use periods
with abbreviations of states (NY), acronyms (APA), measurements (ft, lb, except
for in.), and routes of administration (im, iv). To form the plural of an
abbreviation, add s (IQs, Eds.).
- Generally, use numerals to express numbers which are 10 or greater and any
numbers that are units of measurement or time, ages, times and dates,
percentages, ratios, fractional or decimal quantities, exact sums of money,
scores and points on a scale, page numbers, and series of four or more. Use
numbers for comparisons with other numbers above 10 (e.g., 4 of the 11 stimulus
words, 6 of the 12 groups). Use words (one, two) to express numbers zero
through nine and any other number that begins a sentence. This aspect of the
APA style is one of the most confusing, since there are so many exceptions to
the general rule. It would be wise to check the APA Manual whenever you need to
- APA requires that a comma be used to separate items in a list of three of
more items ( "the day, month, and year of" ). Do not hyphenate words at the end
of a line. Generally, "et cetera" or "etc." should not be used in professional
writing. Be specific and state exactly what you want the reader to know. If you
would need to use a closed parenthesis followed by an open parenthesis, use a
semicolon to separate the contents of the two phrases, so that you only have
one set of parentheses. for example, do not write (...he did not mind) (Smith,
1987). Instead write (...he did not mind; Smith, 1987).
- Citations in Text
- First, it is important that you identify the source of your information
whether or not it is directly quoted. You must identify the source or sources
when you rephrase something so that you clearly give credit to the person(s)
from whom you gained the ideas. Failure to do so is plagiarism and subject to
procedures regarding academic dishonesty. By identifying your sources, you also
make it clear to the reader that any ideas not so identified are yours. In
addition, by including citations, you provide the reader with a potentially
valuable source of information. The author(s) and date of publication are
written as a part of the sentence and not as a footnote.
- Use quotations sparingly. Only use quotations when you believe that some
meaning will be lost if you rephrase a passage from the original. Whenever you
use direct quotations, you must include the page number from which the
information was taken. Quotations of fewer than 40 words are incorporated in
the text and enclosed with double quotation marks ("). If you are using a
quotation longer than 40 words, set off the quotation in a block without
quotation marks, indent five spaces from your margin on the left only. Do not
indent the beginning of the actual quote. See the APA Manual for further
examples, especially regarding insertion of the page number of the
Fewer than 40 words
(a) "Professors should be better paid" (James, 1987, p. 421).
(b) James (1987) stated that, "Professors should be better paid" (p.
Block quotations (40 words or more)
(c) With all the problems that are associated with the subject at hand,
Smith (1990) asserted:
As soon as the semester is over, I'm going to have a nervous
breakdown. I worked for it; I owe it to myself; and nobody is going to deprive
me of it. My only regret in life is that I did not do this sooner (p.
If you paraphrase:
(d) there should be better pay for all professors (James, 1987).
If you have more than one source saying the same thing
(e) Teachers really should be accountable to the school board (Barnes, 1980;
Note: the ordering within the parentheses is determined by the
alphabetical order of the authors.
If you have two references by the author from the same year but different
(f) Smith (1971a) wrote that teachers should be better paid. He also stated
that these salaries should be higher than that of the governor of the state
If a reference is cited or summarized in a secondary source
(g) Norton (cited in Linders, 1953) completed a study of teacher salaries
which showed little variation between male and female teachers.
(h) "there is little variation between male and female salaries" (Norton,
cited in Linders, 1953, p. 61).
Note: In references, the secondary source (Linders) would be given, not the
primary source (Norton). This means that you have read Linders' work, not
Norton's. Keep the use of secondary sources to a minimum. In general, you
should avoid secondary sources whenever possible (with the use of Inter-Library
Loans, it should not be a problem to acquire the original article).
When there are less than six authors, list all of the authors the first time
you cite the article (or book or chapter). After the first time, when there are
two authors, continue to use both names. When there are three to five authors,
use the format, James et al. (1987). If the reference has six or more authors,
use the "et al." notation from the first time you cite the article.
If you cite two authors contained in parentheses, use an ampersand (&)
to express "and."
An example would be (James & Lewiston, 1988). If the names are not in
parentheses, use the word "and," for example, James and Lewiston (1988).
- When referring to an appendix, use the format: (see Appendix A), placing a
capital letter in the space immediately prior to the closing parentheses.
Always start your appendices with A, continuing alphabetically.
- The references section is very important. It must be in alphabetical order
by authors, as noted on the original publication, with complete information.
References are listed without any subheadings as to the type of reference. If
there is more than one article by a particular author or identical set of
authors, the articles are arranged in chronological order with the oldest
first. For example, Smith, A. A. (1981) comes first, followed by Smith, A. A.
(1984). Articles or books by the same author(s), published in the same year are
to be labeled (a), (b), (c). An example would look like the following: Jones,
E. L. (1989a); Jones, E. L. (1989b; Your citations in the text should match
Note that only the first word of a book or article is capitalized, except
for proper nouns. However, the first word after a colon also is capitalized. In
the reference section only, use one space after all periods and colons. When
noting the publisher, you need only the city when its location is recognizable
(e.g., New York, Boston, Chicago). You need the city and state of the city when
not as recognizable (e.g., Bloomington, IN).
In most journals, the pages run consecutively from the beginning of the
year so that all issues for a given volume (year) do not begin with page 1. If
the journal is of this type, you only need to use the volume number, not the
issue number. A contrast is provided in the first two examples.
In the reference list, always use an ampersand (&) to separate multiple
authors. The following examples should help you to properly complete the
Reference Section Format According to APA Style
Journal Article, one author
Brown, G.I. (1960). Which pupil to which classroom climate? The
Elementary School Journal, 5, 265-269.
Tutin, J. (1987). A multivariate analysis of dropout status by length of
stay in a rural community mental health center. Community Mental Health
Journal, 23, 40-52.
Journal article, two authors, journal paginated by issue
Becker, L. J., & Seligman, C. (1981). Welcome to the energy crisis.
Journal of Social Issues, 37(2), 1-7.
Journal article, more than two authors
Horowitz, L. M., Post, D. L., French, R. S., Wallis, K. O., & Seligman,
E. Y. (1981). The prototype as a construct in abnormal psychology: Clarifying
disagreement in psychiatric judgments. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,
Unpublished manuscript not submitted for publication
Cullari, S. (1994). A manual to conduct therapeutic relationships with
individuals who have persistent mental disorders. Unpublished manuscript.
Albor, H. (1980). The structure of education in Cuba. Chicago:
Bugental, J.F.T. (1978). Psychotherapy and process. Reading, MA:
Book published by a corporate author.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical
manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Chapter in Edited Book
Broudy, H. O. (1960). Historic exemplars of teaching method. In N. L. Gage
(Ed.), Handbook on research in teaching. (pp. 41-78). Chicago: Rand
[make sure you include page numbers for chapters in edited books]
McGoldrick, M., Pearce, J.K. & Giordano, J. (Eds.). (1982).
Ethnicity and family therapy. New York: Guilford Press.
Multiple Authors of Book
Strunk, W., & White, E. B. (1979). Secondary social studies (3rd
ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Freud, S. (1961). The ego and the id. In J. Strachey (Ed. and
Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund
Freud (Vol. 19, pp. 3-66). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published
1923). [NOTE: In text, cite "Freud, 1923/1961"].
ERIC (Education Resources Information Center).
Watson, S. D. (1983). Education of exceptional leaders in American schools.
Rockford, IL: University of Illinois. (ERIC Documentation Reproduction Service
No. ED 011 621).
For additional clarifications and examples, see APA Manual (Fourth Edition),