About APA Style
APA Style is a set of guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association for formatting academic manuscripts and citing work by other writers. It is most commonly used by scholars in the social sciences, including Psychology, Sociology, Women's Studies, Political Science, Education, Business, Communications, and others. Details of the current guidelines can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, (available at both MSJC Libraries) or at the APA Style Center online.
The guidelines dictate how an APA style paper should be formatted overall and the elements that should be included within it, but the primary focus is to show writers how to properly construct the two major components involved in citing your sources: the Reference List and in-text citations.
Formatting Your Paper
In general, your paper should include at least the following elements:
Your instructor may require additional elements consistent with APA style, including an abstract or introduction, sections detailing research method, results, and discussion, and appendices. Check with your instructor for details about these requirements.
Your reference list should begin on a new page following the text of your paper. Here you will include complete citations for the resources you've used in your writing.
Tips for formatting your reference list:
In addition to the Reference list, sources are also cited using the parenthetical (like this) author-date system in the body of your paper. In-text citations briefly reference the sources you used at the point they appear in your paper and direct your readers to the full citation in your Reference list.
Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or visit Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for help with the basics of in-text citations.
Check out the APA's online tutorial, "The Basics of APA Style," for detailed information about manuscript formatting, citations, and other APA Style guidelines.