Tips for Writing Papers

This handout contains some guidelines for composing papers in general and for composing research papers according to A.P.A. style.  The information is largely based upon A.P.A. standards and is not all-inclusive.  Students are advised to seek out more authoritative sources on writing and on A.P.A. standards need arises.  Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this handout represents the standards that will be used to grade papers assigned by Megan.

The Purpose of Research Papers:
  • Instructors commonly ask students to write a specific type of paper, a research paper.
  • Writing a research paper provides students with an opportunity to evolve past personal opinions and interpretations to become knowledgeable about what professional literature has to say about specific topics.
  • Having such awareness and being able to apply it appropriately forms the basis of competent professional practice; it is the foundation that distinguishes a professional from a nonprofessional in a field.
  • Research papers should be based on objective facts as reported from credible and properly credited expert sources of information.
  • Research papers are not student opinion/ impression papers.
  • Students are very commonly required to write their research papers following a certain professional writing style.
  • The professional format of writing that is used in the human services field is A.P.A. style.

 

A.P.A. Style:

A.P.A. style is the professional writing style established by the American Psychological Association. It differs from other types of professional writing formats such as M.L.A.. A.P.A. style provides the guidelines for how professional papers are formulated in the social sciences. It is the designated professional writing style of the social sciences, and, resultantly, is the designated professional writing style of the human services field. Several standards of A.P.A. style are provided in this handout. However, all A.P.A. standards are not, and students are expected to research A.P.A. style in more detail if the need arises. Students are ultimately expected to become knowledgeable about A.P.A. style through independent research.

The College library has resources on writing in A.P.A. style, including on its webpage which can be found through the College’s website atwww.abtech.edu.

Some college English textbooks present information on A.P.A. style.Similarly, the American Psychological Association (which establishes A.P.A. standards) publishes a purchasable manual that outlines A.P.A. standards. The textbooks used as a part of the Human Services curriculum very commonly follow A.P.A. standards.

  • i.e., Megan does not require an abstract or a running head (i.e., short title) for the papers she requests in A.P.A. style.

Students are encouraged to consult with their instructor about how much A.P.A. style is needed for the successful completion of their papers.

 

Academic Honesty:

The College’s policy on academic dishonesty reads as follows:

  • “You may not deceive any official of the College by cheating on any assignment, examination, or paper.  This includes plagiarism, which is the intentional theft or unacknowledged use of another’s words or ideas.  Plagiarism includes (but is not limited to) paraphrasing or summarizing another’s words or works without proper acknowledgement, or purchasing or suing a paper or presentation written or produced by another.  The faculty of A-B Tech may also consider presenting as original work a paper written for one class to satisfy a requirement in another class to be academic dishonesty.”

In order to widen their knowledge base, Megan requires student paper, presentations, and projects to be novel and new to students.

  • This means that the topic of a paper, presentation, or project cannot be one that the student has previously investigated, written about, or had direct experience with— whether academically, vocationally, or personally.

 

General Steps to Writing a Research Paper:
In general, writing a research paper requires you to:
  • Explore a topic in detail.
  • Find and choose data.
  • Analyze such data for implications and relationships.
  • Develop and follow insights.
  • Categorize.
  • Develop an outline.
  • Be precise and clear in thinking and in writing.
  • Revise.
Steps to writing a research paper include:

  1. Start early.
  2. Select a subject.
    1. Try to select a subject that interests you.
    2. Try to look at the paper as a way to further your interest in a subject.
    3. Be certain that the subject fits with the paper’s requirements.
    4. Try to select a subject that will render plenty of material.
  3. Decide on an approach to and a focus for your material.
    1. The information that you present in the paper should rotate around this focus.
    2. Make certain that you have this focus in mind before you start writing and keep it in mind as you write and proof your material.
  4. Narrow your subject according to your focus.
    1. Topics should not be too broad or too narrow given the instructor’s expectations for the paper.
  5. Find references and use these in developing a reference page.
  6. Make notes.
    1.  Try to do this in as orderly of a manner as possible.
    2. Be certain that you can tie your notes to their source.
      • This will help in creating references and with citations.
    3. Except when you choose to use the exact words of a source in the form of a quote in your paper, write notes in your own words.
      • Always clearly distinguish between your words and the source’s.
      • Avoid quoting too much and too often.
    4. Notes should be concise while providing enough detail for accurate understanding.
    5. If you write notes in shorthand, make certain you know the meaning of the abbreviations that you use.
    6. Look up any words or phrases that you do not know.
    7. Do not rely on material that you do not understand.
    8. If you make notes on any insights or opinions that you have, label these as our own so that you do not confuse them as fact or opinion from another source.
    9. Make certain that you do not overgeneralize material.
    10. Make certain that your notes reflect exactly what the source was trying to communicate.
  7. Categorize your notes.
    1. Labeling or organizing your notes by subtopic can help.
  8. Create a general outline, including an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
  9. Write a detailed outline.
    1. This helps you to think through your material.
    2. Make certain that everything in the outline can be linked relevantly to the paper’s purpose/ topic.
    3. Categorize material into logical and relevant subtopics.
    4. Be certain that the material that you elect to include will satisfy instructor requirements for the paper.
  10. Leave the material for a day.
  11. Return and review your outline to make any corrections.
  12. Write a first draft according to the outline.
  13. Make a clear copy.
  14. Leave the paper for a day.
  15. Return and edit your paper by going over it at least four times.
    1. Start this process by first repositioning paragraphs and sentences.
    2. Next add and delete material in a manner that furthers the objective of your paper.
    3. Add in transitional words and phrases.
    4. Know rules for using quotations and for crediting references in general.
    5. Know how to construct a reference page.
    6. Be certain that the paper complies with A.P.A. standards and any other expectations.
    7. Check grammar and spelling.
    8. Read the paper out loud.
  16. Make a copy.

 

Proofreading:
  • The author is responsible for proofreading his/ her paper and for correcting all errors prior to submission of his/ her paper.
  • The paper should be written in a manner that allows it to be fully understood by a lay person.
  • Reading a paper out loud helps to identify its problems and allows the author to hear how the paper sounds.
  • aving another person read the paper can be helpful as well, especially someone who is unfamiliar with the author’s writing style.

 

Choosing Sources of Information:  

It is the author’s responsibility to select appropriate sources of information through the critical evaluation of such sources.

Considerations for choosing sources of information include the following:

  • Is the source relevant?
  • Is the source credible?
  • Is the source authoritative?
  • Is the source current?
  • Is the source objective?
  • Is the source accurate?
  • Is the source professional?

 

Expression of Ideas:

Considerations for analyzing the author’s expression of ideas include the following:

  • Are thoughts expressed in an orderly fashion?
  • Is punctuation used to support meaning?
  • Is punctuation used according to proper grammar guidelines?
  • Are transition devices used logically and fluidly?
  • Is the paper written in a manner that allows it to be clear to a lay reader?
  • Is expression smooth and fluid?
  • Does the author use economy of expression?  Is the author succinct?  Is the author wordy?
  • Does the author use nonstandard English?
  • Are sentences overly-long?
  • Are sentences overly-abrupt?
  • Are sentences of varied length in an effort to hold the reader’s interest? 
  • Are paragraphs too long?  
  • Does the author’s use of paragraphs provide pause of the reader?
  • Do the paragraphs have unity, cohesiveness, and continuity?
  • Are paragraphs used in a logical fashion to organize like information?
  • Does each word used precisely mean what the author intended?
  • Are human functions attributed to nonhuman sources?
  • Are nonhuman functions attributed to humans?
  • Is the paper written in third person?
  • Is the paper written in a manner that does not show bias toward gender, culture, and disability?
  • Is fact clearly differentiated from opinion?
  • To what degree does the paper rely on factual substance that is obtained through objective research?
  • If present, are generalizations appropriate?
  • Is the paper’s content well-organized?
  • Is the paper’s format well-organized?
  • How much relevant factual substance is presented?
  • What is the degree of quality and relevance of the factual substance presented?

 

Grammar:

Incorrect grammar and careless sentence construction block communication.

Considerations for analyzing grammar include the following, among other things:

Is punctuation used correctly?

  1. Are commas used correctly?
    1. Are there comma splices?
  2. Are question marks used correctly?
  3. Are exclamation points used correctly?
  4. Are colons used correctly?
  5. Are semicolons used correctly?
  6. Are dashes used correctly?
  7. Are quotation marks used correctly?
  8. Are brackets used correctly?
  9. Are parentheses used correctly?
  10. Are apostrophes used appropriately to depict ownership?
  11. Is there correct use of spacing regarding punctuation?
    1. Is one space used after commas and semicolons?
    2. Are two spaces used after colons?
    3. Is one space used when a colon is used to connote a ratio?
    4. If a colon is used as part of a two-part title, does one space follow the colon?
    5. Is one space used after a colon following the publisher location on the reference list?
    6. Are two spaces used after the punctuation that ends a sentence and before the start of the next sentence?
    7. Are two spaces used after the period that separates parts of a reference citation?
    8. Is one space used after the period that is used for the initials of a person’s name?
    9. Are no spaces used after the periods of abbreviations?
    10. Are hyphens used without a space before or after the hyphen?
    11. Are dashes used without a space before or after the dashes?

Is neutrality used in the way of gender, culture, and disability?

Are prepositions used correctly?

  • E.g.: Correct: The class will resume tomorrow.
  • E.g.: Incorrect: The class will resume on tomorrow.

Are pronouns used correctly?

  1. Is the reference to a noun clear?
    • E.g.: Correct:  The girl mentioned that she had eaten lunch with her mother who mentioned that she liked the color of the girl’s newest outfit.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: The girl mentioned that she had eaten lunch with her mother who mentioned that she liked the color of her newest outfit.
  2. Do pronouns agree in number?
    • E.g.: Correct:  Each student should proofread his/ her paper and should make any necessary corrections to his/ her paper before submitting it.
    • E.g.: Incorrect:  Each student should proofread their paper and should make any necessary corrections to their paper before submitting it.
  3. Do pronouns agree in gender?
    • E.g.: Correct:  The girl flirted with the boy as he petted her miniature female poodle and made fun of the pink color of her fur.  
    • E.g.: Incorrect:  The girl flirted with the boy as he petted her miniature female poodle and made fun of the pink color of its hair.
  4. Are inanimate objects referred to as animate objects and are animate objects referred to as inanimate objects?
    • E.g.: Correct:  The agency’s policies reflected its values.
    • E.g.: Incorrect:  The agency’s policies reflected their values.

Is pluralism used correctly?

  • E.g.: Correct:  The students picked up their grades from their teachers.
  • E.g.: Incorrect:  The students picked up their grade from their teachers.

Are sentences composed correctly?

  1. Are there run-on sentences?
    • E.g.: Correct:  The social service students decided to form a study group.  The social service students studied hard.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: The social service students decided to form a study group studied hard.
  2. Are there sentence fragments?
    • E.g.: Correct: The dog bit the postman.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: The dog bit.
  3. Are there subjectless sentences?
    • E.g.: Correct: The author found that, the harder students study, the better they do.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: Found that, the harder students study, the better they do.

Is Standard English used?

Is spelling correct?

Is there subject/ verb disagreement?

  1. Subjects and their verbs must agree in terms of pluralism and singularism.
    • E.g.: Correct: The students are going out to celebrate passing their test.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: The students is going out to celebrate passing their test.

Is the correct tense used?

  1. Active voice should be used in general.
    • E.g.: It is the author’s opinion that psychoactive medications should be used as a last resort.
  2. Past tense should be used when discussing an action or a condition that occurred at a definite time in the past.
    • E.g.: On December 1, 2006, Jackson-Webber revised the program.

Are contractions used?

  1. Contractions should not be used in formal writing.
    • E.g.: Correct: The author could not understand the conclusions of the report.
    • E.g.: Incorrect: The author couldn’t understand the conclusions of the report.

Are introductory words used correctly?

Are transitionary devices used correctly?

  • E.g.: Correct:   The recipe calls for sugar, flour, and butter.  These ingredients should be mixed together with a low speed mixer until well blended.  Although the mixture is kneaded on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, care should be taken not to over-knead it.  Similarly, care should be taken not to under-knead it.  Finally, this mixture is spread onto a cookie sheet and baked for 45 minutes.
  • E.g.: Incorrect:  The recipe calls for sugar, flour, and butter.  These ingredients should be mixed together with a low speed mixer until well blended.  The mixture is kneaded on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.  Care should be taken not to over-knead it.  Care should be taken not to under-knead it.  The mixture is spread onto a cookie sheet and baked for 45 minutes.

Are conjunctions used correctly?

  • E.g.: Correct:  If it’s Smuckers, it has to be good.
  • E.g.: Incorrect:  If it’s Smuckers, it’s got to be good.

Is nonsexist language used?

  • E.g.: Correct: A domestic violence victim should be given all necessary information needed for him/ her to make appropriate safety choices.
  • E.g.: Incorrect:  A domestic violence victim should be given all necessary information needed for her to make appropriate safety choices.

Is language used that contains an ethnic bias?

  • E.g.: Correct: Workers should consider wishing their clients “Happy Holidays” during the winter holidays.
  • E.g.: Incorrect: Workers should consider wishing their clients “Merry Christmas” during the Winter holidays.

Is nondisablist language used?

  • E.g.: Correct:  The client with mental retardation obtained an apartment.
  • E.g.: Incorrect: The mentally retarded client obtained an apartment.

Students are encouraged to continually improve their grammar. They are also encouraged consult expert grammar guides when composing any form of professional paper, presentation, or project.

  • E.g.: The Harbrace Handbook.

 

Ink & Font:

The entire paper should be written in black ink.  The font selected for use should be a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.

 

Spacing:

The paper is to have double-spacing between all lines of the manuscript.

 

Margins:
  • Margins should be 1.5 inches on all sides of each page.
  • Fully justified margins should be used for the paper’s text.

 

Length:

The course syllabus is a good place to check the required length of a paper.  The paper should not be too long or too short.  All information in the paper should be relevant.  The information in the paper should not be overly redundant.

 

Numbering:
  • The title page is numbered as page 1.
  • The text, in cases where there is no abstract, starts page 2 of the document.
  • The reference page represents the last page of the text that is numbered unless there are appendixes.
  • Commas are not used as a part of page numbering.
  • Page numbers should appear in the upper right-hand corner of each page of the paper.

 

Abstract:

Papers created for Megan do not require an abstract. If needed, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details on how to properly construct an abstract.

 

Paragraphs:

The first line of every paragraph is indented 5 spaces. Full left justification of the remainder of the lines of the paragraph is used thereafter.

 

Headings:
  • Headings are used to efficiently organize categories of information for the reader- all as related to the paper’s subject.
  • The title of the heading should capture the type of information presented in its paragraphs which, in turn, should be directly related to the topic of the paper.
  • Headings work to organize the paper and to establish the importance of specific topics.
  • Topics of equal importance should use the same level of heading throughout the paper.
  • The title of a heading should be concise.
  • The heading should start one double-space below the last line of the text in the paragraph proceeding the heading.
  • After the heading is created, the sentences that contain the information to be covered under the heading start one double-space below the heading.
  • There are various kinds of headings that are used in A.P.A. style.
  • Papers created for Megan generally do not require more than the use of a single style of heading to organize requested data.
  • When using a single style of heading in a paper, the heading should be centered on the page.
  • The heading can either be underlined or can be left without underlining.
  • The first letter of each major word in the heading is capitalized.
  • If using more than one kind of heading, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details.

 

Title Page:
  1. The title page should list the paper’s title. The title should be typed in uppercase and lowercase letters. The title should be centered on the title page. If the title is two or more lines, double-spacing should occur between the lines.The title that is selected for the paper should summarize the main idea of the paper in a concise fashion and should do so with style. The title should be a concise statement of the main topic of the paper. The title should indicate the theoretical issues presented in the paper and the relationship between them. The title should, by itself, be able to provide a full explanation of what the paper is about.
  2. Usually, it should indicate the author’s affiliation as well.
    • However, Megan’s papers do not require listing of the author’s affiliation.
  3. The title page should indicate the institution where the paper’s research was conducted.
    • For Megan’s papers, this should be Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
  4. Normally, the title page contains a running head.
    • However, Megan’s papers do not require the use of a running head.
  5. The name of the author should be typed in uppercase and in lowercase letters and should be centered on the page one double-spaced line below the title. The author’s institutional affiliation should be centered under the author’s name, appearing one double-spaced line below the author’s name,

 

Introduction, Body, & Conclusion:

All papers should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

  • The body of the paper should include the introduction and the conclusion.
  • The body should begin at the top of the next page after the paper’s page.
  • The title of the paper should appear at the top of the first page of the paper’s body, and it should be double-spaced and centered on the page.
  • If an abstract is not used/ required, the first page of the body of the paper should be numbered as page 2.
  • The sections of the text that make-up the body of the paper should follow each other without a break.

 

Appendixes:

Because the requested number of pages is relatively small, Megan’s papers do not usually lend themselves to the use of appendixes according to A.P.A. style. If an appendix is relevant, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details on how to construct one.

 

Footnotes:

Except in special circumstances, footnotes are not generally used as a standard part of A.P.A. style.  If relevant/ required, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details on the use of footnotes.

 

Capitalization:
  • The first word of a sentence should be capitalized.
  • The first word after a colon should be capitalized.
  • The major words in titles and headings should be capitalized.
  • Proper nouns and trade names should be capitalized.
  • Titles of tests or scales should be capitalized.
  • The names of books, articles, journals, and magazines should be capitalized.
  • Most elements on the title page are capitalized.
  • The running head, when used, is not capitalized beyond the first letter of its first word.
  • Page identifiers are capitalized when used.
  • Table titles are capitalized when used.
  • The titles of figures are capitalized when used.
  • Headings are capitalized.
  • Some elements of the reference list are capitalized.

 

Abbreviations:

Abbreviations are used sparingly in A.P.A. style.  These must be clarified appropriately for the reader before their use.  Abbreviations used must be typical of Standard English.  Latin abbreviations are only allowed in nonparenthetical material.  Units of measurement and statistical information are used only when they accompany numerical values.

Periods are used with abbreviations when:

  • The initials of names are used.
  • Geographical names are used except in the case of state names.
  • Latin abbreviations are used.
  • Abbreviations are used for references.

Acceptable abbreviations for use on the reference page include the following:

  • Chapter = chap.
  • Edition = ed.
  • Revised edition = rev. ed.
  • Second edition = 2nd ed.
  • Editor (Editors) = Ed. (Eds.)
  • Translators = Trans.
  • Page (pages) = p. (pp.)
  • Volume = Vol.
  • Volumes = vols.
  • Number = No.
  • Part = Pt.
  • Technical Report = Tech. Rep.
  • Supplement = Suppl.
  • The two letter U.S. Postal Service abbreviations for states can be used without periods.

Standard abbreviations for metric units and the International System Equivalents can be used to denote types of measurement.

 

Tables:

In A.P.A. style, tables are not used for decoration.  When used in A.P.A. style, tables are normally used to present qualitative comparisons.  The information provided in the table should not duplicate but should supplement information in the text.  The table’s information must be relevant.  If a table represents borrowed information, the source must be properly credited.  There are several other rules that apply to composing tables in A.P.A. style.  If needed, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details on creating tables. Because the requested number of pages is relatively small, Megan’s papers do not usually lend themselves to the use of tables according to A.P.A. style.

 

Figures:

In A.P.A. style, a figure is any illustration other than a table-- including images, graphs, photographs, drawings, or other depictions.  The use of a figure should be carefully considered.  In A.P.A. style, figures are not used for decoration.  Only figures that assume a direct relationship to the material covered in the paper should be considered for use, and these should be used only if the figure can convey the qualitative aspects of the data more efficiently than a table or text.  A figure should be necessary when used and should not to duplicate information provided in the text.  A figure should be the most efficient way to present information.  Figures should be selected carefully based upon how they suit a purpose.  If a figure represents borrowed information, the source must be properly credited. 

There are several other rules that apply to composing figures in A.P.A. style.

  • If needed, please consult an A.P.A. source for more details on using figures.

Because the requested number of pages is relatively small, Megan’s papers do not usually lend themselves to the use of figures according to A.P.A. style.

 

Seriation & Bullets:

Seriation, including the use of bullets, should not be employed simply for the writer’s convenience.  Elements listed in a series should be used to prevent misreading or to clarify the sequence of or the relationship between elements, particularly when these are lengthy or are complex.

When using seriation within a paragraph or a sentence, lowercase letters are used which are captured in parentheses and commas are used to separate three or more elements that do not have internal commas.

  • E.g.: Individuals who are passive-aggressive commonly struggle with (a) anger, (b) assertion, (c) taking pot shots at people, (d) procrastination, (e) sarcasm, and (f) resistance.

 

Numbers & Mathematical Symbols:
  • In general, words are used to express numbers below 10 whereas numerals are used to express numbers 10 and above.
  • Words are used to express numbers below 10 when these numbers do not represent precise measurements and are not grouped for comparison with numbers 10 and above.
  • Numbers that are listed as part of pages of a citation are listed in numerals.
  • Commas are used between groups of numbers that have three digits in most figures of 1,000 or more.
  • The plurals of numerals are created by adding an “s” or “es” alone, without an apostrophe.
  • Standardized math symbols should be used according to A.P.A. guidelines.
  • Standard abbreviations for metric units and the International System Equivalents can be used to denote types of measurement.
  • When using a statistical term in a narrative, the term and not the symbol should be used.
  • Use the symbol for percent only when it is preceded by a numeral, and use the word percentage when a number is not given.
  • Units of measurement and statistics are used only when they accompany numerical values.

 

Citations:

There are various types of citation materials that can be used to support papers, this guide provides information on how to incorporate only a few of these into the body of a paper.

  • Please consult an A.P.A. source if more specifics are needed on citing the various types of materials that are not covered in this guide.

All citations should be done according to A.P.A. standards.  Proper credit must be given to the sources of the information used in the paper.  You must document the source of the information that you use when you quote or use another person’s work as a basis for your paper.  Every statement in the text of your paper that is based on information from some other source than the author and that is not considered to be public knowledge must be properly credited.  Proper credit must be given when the author borrows information from a source, regardless of whether the information is directly quoted or not.  If proper credit is not given to the original source, this constitutes plagiarism.  If someone else’s original ideas are reworded, these must be properly cited.  If someone else’s words are borrowed directly, as is, these must be properly quoted and cited.

Citations allow:

  • You to give credit to others for their ideas.
  • You to show the extent of your research.
  • Others to trace the sources that contributed to your paper.

Although it may be convenient for the writer, it is improper to simply place citation credit at the end of a paragraph that contains the information from the citation source. All relevant citation information should be indicated every time a reference occurs in the text.

Nonquoted citations:

  1. When information is not quoted and the name(s) of a source are used in the body of the sentence, the year that the source was published is listed immediately after the source name(s) in parentheses, after which the sentence continues.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, Hernandez, Partridge, and Savage (2006) believe that dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise.
  2. When information is not quoted and the name(s) of the source and its publication date(s) are incorporated into the body of the sentence, no additional source citation information is needed.
    • E.g.: In 2006, Getty-Odom, Hernandez, Partridge, and Savage stated their belief that human service expertise is tied to dedication.
  3. When information is not quoted and the name(s) of the source and its year of publication are not used in the body of the sentence, both of these are listed at the end of the sentence in parentheses, separated by a comma, before the sentence’s final punctuation.
    • E.g.: Human service expertise is tied to dedication (Getty-Odom, Hernandez, Partridge, and Savage, 2006).
  4. One work by a single author who is not quoted:
    1. The author date method is used.
    2. The surname of the author and the year of publication are inserted in the text at the relevant point.
    3. If the name of the author(s) appears as part of the text, the year(s) of the publication follows in parentheses.
    4. If not, both the name(s) and the date(s) are placed in parentheses at the end of the sentence as separated by a comma and before the sentence’s final punctuation.
      • E.g.:  Dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise (Getty-Odom, 2006).
    5. If the year and the name appear as a relevant part of the text, no further citation information is need.
      • E.g.: In 2006, Getty-Odom stated her belief that human service expertise is tied to dedication.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom (2006) believes that dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise.
  5. One work by two or more authors:
    1. Both names are cited every time the reference occurs.
    2. When a work has two authors, the authors’ surnames are joined by the word “and”.
      • E.g.: Getty-Odom and Jackson-Webber (2005) identified characteristics of effective human service students.
    3. When a work has more than two authors and less than six, all authors are cited the first time the reference occurs.
      • In later citations only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year occurs.
      • E.g.: (The first time the source is cited.) Getty-Odom, Hernandez, Jackson-Webber, Partridge, and Savage (1999) found that human service students tend to prefer learning skills over theory.
      • E.g.: (The second time and all additional times the source is cited.) Getty-Odom et al. (1999) found that human service students who tend to prefer learning skills over theory often do less well on tests.
    4. When a work has six or more authors, only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year occurs.
      • E.g.: (The author’s names are: Getty-Odom, Hernandez, J. M., Hernandez, N., Hillman, Jackson-Webber, Partridge, and Savage.) Getty-Odom et al. (1999) found that those students who prefer skills training over learning theory enjoyed interacting with clients more than those students who preferred learning theory over skills training.
  6. Corporate authors:
    1. Are usually spelled out each time they appear in the text citation.
      • E.g.: One advantage of earning a two-year degree in Human Services is that students can move into professional skills training more quickly and can receive more intensive professional skills training than if they were to pursue a baccalaureate degree in a social sciences discipline (The American Human Services Association, 1996).
  7. Works with no author or with an anonymous author:
    1. Works with no author:
      • The first two or three words of the reference list entry are cited and the year of publication. 
      • Double quotation marks occur around the title of an article or chapter.
        1. E.g.: (This information comes from an article that has no author and that is titled “So What Do Human Service Majors Have That Other Majors Don’t Have?”.) Human service students tend to be more social than many other types of college majors (“So What Do…”, 2006).
      • The titles of periodicals or books are underlined.
        1. E.g.: Human services majors who depict healthy optimism can positively impact their clients (Human Services Today, 2005).
    2. When the work is designated as anonymous, the word “Anonymous” is written followed by a comma and its publishing date.
      • E.g.: Human services practice is thought to have emerged from Judeo-Christian philosophy (Anonymous, 2006).
      • In the reference list, an anonymous work is alphabetized by the word Anonymous.
  8. Authors with the same surname:
    1. In such a case the authors’ initials are included in all text citations to avoid confusion, regardless of if the year of publication differs.
      • E.g.: The baggage of human service professionals inevitably interferes with their practice, especially if a professional denies or minimizes such baggage (Hernandez, J. M., 2000, and Hernandez, N., 2007).
  9. Two or more works within the same parentheses:
    1. Such works should be ordered within the same parentheses in the same order in which they appear in the reference list.
      • E.g.: The skills learned in human services practice can be helpful in a worker’s personal life provided that these are not misused (Getty-Odom and Jackson-Webber, 2007, Hernandez and Savage, 2006, and Partridge and Hillman, 2002).
    2. Two or more works by the same authors should be listed by year of publication.
      • E.g.: If human service students ignore the importance of learning objective facts about the profession, they will be poorly prepared to deliver competent practice (Hernandez, 2003, and Hernandez, 2004).
    3. Two or more works by different authors who are referenced within the same parentheses in order to provide them with citation credit should be listed in alphabetical order by surname and with each followed by the relevant publication date. 
      • Such authors should be separated by semicolon.
      • E.g.: The skills learned in human services practice can be helpful in a worker’s personal life provided that these are not misused (Getty-Odom and Jackson-Webber, 2007, Hernandez and Savage, 2006, and Partridge and Hillman, 2002).
  10. Personal communications:
    1. Personal communications include letters, memos, telephone conversations, in-person conversations, and etc.
    2. These are not included on the reference list.
    3. These are cited only in the paper.
    4. The initials as well as the surname of the person the communication took place with and the exact date of the communication are provided. 
      • E.g.: The degree of professionalism shown in class depicts readiness for internship (J. Jackson-Webber, personal communication, November 30, 2006).
  11. Legal Materials:
    1. Legal materials include court cases, statutes, and other legislative materials.
    2. Court cases are referenced by providing the name of the case which is underlined in a text citation (but not on the reference list entry) and the year of the decision.
      • If more than one year is given, the most recent decision’s year is given.
        1. E.g.: Jackson v. Webber (1972) or (Jackson v. Webber, 1972) = text citation.
        2. E.g.: The court decision set precedence for the right of professors to sue students who slander their good name (Jackson v. Webber, 1972).
    3. For statutes, the name of the statute or act and the year of the statute or act are provided.
      • The year of the statute’s or act’s introduction and not codification is used.
      • E.g.: Rights for Americans with disabilities have been underserved (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).
    4. Please refer to an A.P.A. source for more standards on citing legal sources.
  12. Citations that appear in parenthetical text:
    1. Commas are used to off-set the date.
    2. E.g.:  Student success rates are tied to their out-of-class study habits and their dedication to becoming an exceptional human services professional (see Table 6 of Jackson-Webber, 1976, for complete information).

Quotations as citations:

  1. For Megan’s papers, the paper’s body should contain no more than ¼ of quoted material.
  2. Quotations should occur when all or a part of the exact words of a source are used.
  3. Direct quotes must be accurate. The fact that a quote is used means that the quote is taken verbatim from a source.
  4. The source of the quote should be properly credited after the quote and on the reference page.
  5. For quotes less than 40 words, quotation marks are required.  For quotes over 40 words, no quotation marks are required, and the quote is blocked.
  6. When citations represent quoted material, the source(s)’s name(s), the publication dates, and the page number(s) in the source on which the quoted material can be found are always included as a part of source identification.
    1. A single page number is indicated by “p.”.
      • E.g.: “The best human service students are diligent about learning theory and skills and putting these into practice” (Partridge, 2006, p. 2001).
    2. Multiple page numbers are indicated by “pp.”.
      • E.g.: “Becoming a successful human service practitioner involves more than learning theory, skills, and ethics.  It is about putting these in action at all times.” (Savage and Hernandez, 2007, pp. 45-46).
  7. The quote’s source(s) is normally identified at the end of the quote in parentheses.
    1. This includes information about the source from which the quote was taken, the year that the source was published, and the page(s) on which the quote occurs in the source.
      • E.g.: “Being invitational sometimes means inviting the student to try harder” (Getty-Odom, 2006, p. 56).
  8. For quotes that occur midsentence, the source is cited in parentheses immediately after the quotations marks end and then the sentence is continued.
    • E.g.: It is “important to distinguish between professional self and personal self” (Getty-Odom, 2006, p. 95), if one wants to develop into a human services expert.
  9. For quotes that occur at the end of a sentence, the quoted passage should be closed with quotation marks and the source should be cited in parentheses immediately after the quotation marks at the end of the quote while the period or other relevant punctuation is placed outside of the final parentheses.
    • E.g.: One author wondered, “is being multilingual is an exceptional advantage” (Savage, 2006, p. 5001)?
  10. Quotes of 40 words or less should be incorporated into the body of the paper and should be enclosed by double quotation marks.
  11. Brackets are used (and not parentheses) to enclose material inserted in a quotation by some person other than the quotes original author.
    • E.g.: The client said “I saw [my mother] right before her death in a dream.” (Anonymous, 2005, pp. 76-77).
  12. Ellipsis points should be used to indicate omitted material.
    1. I.e., 3 periods with a space before and after each period are used to indicate any omissions within a sentence.
    2. I.e., 4 periods with a space before and after each period are used to indicate omissions between sentences.
      • E.g.: The author said that “what a student gets out of a class is heavily tied to the student’s level of motivation … and effort” (Getty-Odom, 1975, p. 55).
  13. When a period or a comma occurs within closing quotation marks, the period or comma should occur before rather than after the quotation marks.
    • E.g.: Although “it is [Hernandez’s] assessment that underneath all persistent substance abuse lies a personality disorder,” Hernandez does not believe that underneath all personality disorders lies a persistent substance abuse problem (Hernandez, 1995, p. 89).
    • E.g.: Although the client exclaimed “I can’t do it!”, the helper reminded him that he could (Getty-Odom, personal communication, January 1, 2007).

When information is quoted and the name(s) of a source is used in the body of the sentence, the year(s) that the source was published is listed immediately after the source name(s) in parentheses, after which the sentence continues and is eventually ended with the page number(s) that the quote can be found on in the source which are listed in parentheses.

  • E.g.: Getty-Odom (2006) believes that “dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise” (pp. 56-57).

When information is quoted and the name(s) of a source and the year that the source was published are used in the body of the sentence, the sentence is ended with the page number(s) that the quote can be found on in the source which are listed in parentheses.

  • E.g.: In 2006, Getty-Odom indicated her belief that “dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise” (pp. 56-57).

When information is quoted and the name(s) of the source, its publishing date(s), and the page number(s) that the quote can be found on in the source are incorporated into the body of the sentence, then no additional citation information is needed.

  • E.g.: In 2006 on pages 56 and 57 of an article entitled “Academic Success”, Getty-Odom stated that “dedication pays off in the way of developing human services expertise”.

Quotations of more than 40 words are called block quotes.

  1. These do not require quotation marks.
  2. These should be double-spaced.
  3. They are written indented 5 spaces in from the left margin with the whole quote written as justified on the newly indented left margin.
  4. If the quote is more than one paragraph, the first line of the second and any additional paragraphs is indented 5 spaces from the new margin.
  5. Once the quote is complete, the indentation is removed which indicates to the reader that the quote has ended and the rest of the paper’s text will resume.
  6. The source(s) is cited in parentheses after the final punctuation mark of a block quote as is the publication date(s) and the page number(s) in the source that the quoted material can be found on.
    • E.g.:  (This example is intended to represent a segment of a paper that includes the use of a block quote.)

The author investigated a psychotherapeutic approach to helping.  The type of approach that was  

 

investigated is Cognitive-Behavior Therapy.  Cognitive-Behavior Therapy is one of the easiest    

 

types of therapy to grasp (Getty-Odom, 2006). 

 

     Because of this, it is often preferred by entry level professionals.  However, as the professional 

 

     gains in sophistication, he/ she often realizes that Cognitive-Behavior Therapy does not hold all

 

     of the answers to all client problems.  At this point, the professional often starts to consider the

 

     offerings of other therapeutic methodologies and begins to try these out.  Once these

 

     methodologies begin to materialize gains for clients, such professionals become

 

                 believers in such theories and tend to move toward eclecticism or integrationism. (Hernandez et

 

                 al., 2002, pp. 999-1000).

 

Reference Page:
  1. There are various types of citation materials that can be used to support papers, this guide provides information on how to incorporate only a few of these on a reference page.
    • Please consult an A.P.A. source if more specifics are needed on referencing the various types of materials that are not covered in this guide.
  2. Regardless, references should be chosen carefully.
  3. Selected references should be relevant, credible, authoritative, current, objective, accurate, and professional. 
  4. A.P.A. style requires only a reference list and not a bibliography.
    • A bibliography refers the reader to additional materials that relate to the paper’s topic.
    • These materials may or may not appear in the body of the paper as citations.
  5. The reference list should be started on a new page, after the body of the paper is concluded.
  6. The page is titled “References” which appears at the top of the page in uppercase and lowercase letters and is centered on the page.
  7. All reference entries should be double-spaced.
  8. The first line of each entry is started flush with the left margin.
    • Each additional line of the entry is indented 3 spaces.
  9. The reference page documents the information necessary to identify and retrieve each source cited in the paper, regardless of whether the source was quoted or not.
  10. Each entry on the reference list must be cited in the body of the paper.
  11. Each source used as a citation in the body of the paper must match its listing on the reference page and vice versa.
  12. The reference list enables readers to find and to use the sources cited in the text.
  13. The material listed on the reference page must be accurate and complete.
  14. The information contained on the reference page should include only the sources that were used for citations in the paper.
  15. Reference page source materials are listed alphabetically.
  16. Underlining or italicizing the name of periodicals, journals, books, and newspapers is acceptable, depending upon the A.P.A. source that is consulted.
  17. Personal communications are not included on the reference page when these are used in the body of the paper.

Entries normally contain the following information:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Title
  • Publishing date
  • And any other data that is needed for unique identification of the source and for conducting a search to find the material.

Acceptable abbreviations that can be used on the reference page include:

  • Chapter = chap.
  • Edition = ed.
  • Revised edition = rev. ed.
  • Second edition = 2nd ed.
  • Editor (Editors) = Ed. (Eds.)
  • Translators = Trans.
  • Page (pages) = p. (pp.)
  • Volume = Vol.
  • Volumes = vols.
  • Number = No.
  • Part = Pt.
  • Technical Report = Tech. Rep.
  • Supplement = Suppl.
  • The two letter U.S. Postal Service abbreviations for states can be used without periods.

A.P.A. style uses Arabic numerals for all numbers that are included on a reference page unless a Roman numeral is part of the title.

  • E.g.: Roman numerals include “I”, “III”, “V”, “X”, and etc..
  • E.g.: Arabic numerals include “1”, “3”, “5”, “10”, and etc..

Ordering the reference list:

  1. Authors with the same name are alphabetized according to initials.
  2. Names are alphabetized by the surname of the first author followed by his/ her initials which are separated by periods.
  3. If multiple works of an author or the same authors are used, the author(s)’s name(s) must be listed out for each source. 
    1. If there are no other authors, then alphabetization occurs according to the year of publication with the earliest listed first.
      • If there is no difference in the publication years, then the alphabetization occurs according to the titles of the sources.
  4. Works that are signed as “anonymous” should be alphabetized as if this were the last name of the author.
  5. If no author exists, the title is used for alphabetization in place of the author’s name with alphabetization occurring according to the first significant word of the title.

Legal materials are included in the reference list and require special consideration.

  • Legal references are most helpful to the reader if they include the information normally contained in legal citations (which differ from A.P.A. citations).
    1. E.g.: Jackson v. Webber, 349 F. Supp. 108 (E. D. Wisc. 1972) = reference list entry.
  • If needed, please consult an A.P.A. source for more specific information on how to include legal references into an A.P.A. paper, including the reference page.

Periodicals:

  1.  
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., Hernandez, J. M., Jackson-Webber, J., Lasher, B., Lyons, A., & Partridge, S. L. (2001).  Treatment of sex offenders on inpatient settings.  The Inpatient Digest, 44, 200-213.
  2. The article’s authors’ names are inverted to provide the surname of each first.
  3. Each surname is followed initials of the author’s surname.
  4. Commas are used to separate the authors and to separate surnames and initials.
  5. With two or more authors, an ampersand (“&”) is used before the last author.
    1. The full entry is finished with a period.
    2. The date of publication is enclosed in parentheses.
    3. Only the first world of the article title is capitalized.
    4. Any subtitles are not capitalized.
    5. Titles and subtitles are not underlined or placed in quotation marks.
    6. The issue number is provided in parentheses immediately after the volume number.
    7. Commas are used to separate the parts of each reference entry’s elements. 
    8. Arabic numbers are used in two-part titles unless the Roman numeral is part of the published title.
    9. Nonroutine information that is important for identification and retrieval is included in brackets immediately after the article title which is used to indicate a description of form, not title.
    10. Each complete entry element is finished with a period.
    11. Journal titles are provided in full and are underlined.
    12. The volume number is provided and underlined.
    • “Vol.” is not used before the number.
  6. For magazines and newspapers, the year is given followed by the month and day.  (Please refer to the examples below.)
  7. Inclusive page numbers are designated with the use of “pp.” before page numbers for references that are newspapers and magazines but not references that are journal articles.  (Please refer to the examples below.)

Works of corporate authors should be alphabetized according to the first significant word of the corporate name.

  1. Full official names should be used.
  2. Corporate author names are spelled out in full.
  3. A period follows the name of corporate author(s).
  4. The parent body is listed before a subdivision.
    • E.g.: The American Human Services Association: Professional Development Division. (2006). How to have fun and still remain professional: a guide for human services workers.  The Human Services Association Newsletter, 44, 200-213.
    • If the work has no author, the title is moved into the author position (before the publication date), is treated like a book title, and alphabetization occurs accordingly.
  5. A period follows the title.
    • E.g.:  Effective human services work: how to make this possible in a managed care setting.  (2002).  The Human Services Association Newsletter,41, 199.
  6. Journal article, single author:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M.A. (2006).  Student motivation as linked to academic success.  Journal of Social Work, 7, 88-100.
  7. Journal article, two authors, journal’s issue available.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., & Jackson-Webber, J. (2006).  The keys to human service work competence.  Journal of Academic Research, 44 (3), 6-20.
  8. Journal article, more than two authors:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., Jackson-Webber, J., Lasher, B., & Lyons, A. (2005).  How to ace your exams: a guide for students.  Human Services Digest, 32, 109-111.
  9. Journal article, six or more authors:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., Hernandez, J. M., Jackson-Webber, J., Lasher, B., Lyons, A., & Partridge, S. L. (2001).  Treatment of sex offenders on inpatient settings.  The Inpatient Digest, 44, 200-213.
  10. Magazine article:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., & Jackson-Webber, J. (1985, October 10). How to gain competence in human service practice.  Newsweek, pp. 99-101.
  11. Newsletter article, corporate author:
    • E.g.: National Institute of Mental Health.  (1989, December).  Can schizophrenia be stopped? Psychology Tomorrow, p. 19.
  12. Newspaper article, no author:
  13. Alphabetization should occur by the first significant word in the title.
    • E.g.: Is an “A” the new “C” in academics?  (2006, August).  A.P.A. Alert, pp. 49-50.

Books:

  1. Reference to the entire book:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A. (2001). The exceptional human services student (Vol. 1).  Asheville, NC: AB-Tech Press.
  2. Chapter in a book:
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A. (2001). Optimism as a learned experience.  In L. Partridge & S. Savage (Eds.), the exceptional human services student(Vol. 1) (pp. 98-200).  Asheville, NC: AB-Tech Press.
  3. If no author exists but there are editors listed instead, the editors’ names are placed in the author position followed by the abbreviation of “Ed.” Or “Eds.” in parentheses after the last editor.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., & Jackson-Webber, J. (Eds.) (2005).  Building competence in human service helping skills (rev. ed.).  Asheville, NC: AB- Tech Press.
  4. Only the first word of the title and of the subtitle, if present, and any proper names are capitalized.
  5. The title is underlined.
  6. Additional information necessary for identification and retrieval is included in parentheses immediately after the title with no period used between the title and the parenthetical information.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A. (Ed.) (2003).  The keys to client engagement in human services practice (3rd ed.).  Asheville, NC: AB- Tech Press.
    • E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., & Jackson-Webber, J. (2000).  How to gage student success in a human services curriculum (Vol. 2).  Asheville, NC: AB- Tech Press.
  7. The title and any additional information that is needed for identification and retrieval of the source are ended with a period-- just like the author or editor information and the year of publication.
  8. The city of publication is provided.
    1. If the city of publication is not a well-known for publishing or could be confused with another location, the state or country where the publisher is located is given.
    2. U.S. Postal Service abbreviations are used for states.
    3. A colon is used after the location.
    4. If two or more publisher locations are provided, the location listed first is used or the location of the publisher’s home office, when available.
    5. Publisher information is finished with a period.
  9. Volume numbers are provided as is information on revised editions and any other key identifying information about the book.
    1. Volume numbers are listed after the title, are not underlined, are enclosed in parentheses, and are abbreviated using “Vol.” for a single volume and “Vols.” for multiple volumes.
      • E.g.: National Association of Human Service Workers. (2004).  The  condensed encyclopedia of human services (Vol. 3).  Washington, DC: National Association of Human Service Workers Press.
      • E.g.: National Association of Human Service Workers. (2004).  The encyclopedia of human services (Vols. 1-8).  Washington, DC: National Association of Human Service Workers Press.
    2. Revised editions are listed after the title, are not underlined, are enclosed in parentheses, and are abbreviated using “rev. ed.” which is written in lowercase letters.
      • E.g.: Hernandez, J. M. (2001).  The origins of personality disorders (rev. ed.).  New York: American Psychological Press.
  10. Corporate author:
    1. Corporate authors are alphabetized by the first significant word of the name.
      • E.g.: American Human Services Organization. (2006).  How to be successful in field placement (2nd ed.).  Washington, DC: American Human Services Organization Press.
  11. Book without an author or editor:
    1. Are alphabetized by the first significant word in the title.
      • E.g.: How to become an independent learner.  (1882).  Asheville, NC: AB- Tech Press.

Technical and research reports:

E.g.: Getty-Odom, M. A., & Jackson-Webber, J. (1999).  Early predicators of student academic success in human services curriculums.  (Report No. 99-1782).  Washington, DC:  American Human Services Organization.

  • The title of the report is underlined.
  • If the report has been assigned an official number, this is given in parentheses immediately after the title.
  • No period occurs between the report title and the parenthetical information.
  • It is listed by author.

Information that comes from an online source is listed on the reference page in generally the same way as non-internet sources with a few exceptions.

  1. Citing online information in the reference list that is not an internet site:
    1. E.g.:  Getty-Odom, M.A. (1999).  Students at their best.  Journal of Psychiatric Human Services Practice [Online], 86, 4.  Available: Lexis-Nexis/Academic Universe/Human Services News [2000, April 15].
    2. Such sources are generally ordered on the reference page by the author’s last name and initials.
    3. These generally include the date that the material was published.
    4. Listed next is the title of the published material which is followed by any article or journal information which, in turn, is followed by a space and then the word “Online” enclosed in brackets.
    5. If the online material is a book, the book’s title is underlined as are the names of periodicals.
    6. After all of the source information is listed, the capitalized word “Available” is typed, followed by a colon which is followed by a single space and then the supplier or vendor name, the identifier or number if available, and the item or accession number which is followed by the date of access in brackets.
      • The supplier or vendor name, the identifier or number if available, and the item or accession number should be separated by a slash with no spaces preceding or following the slashes.
      • The date of access should be enclosed in brackets.
  2. Citing online information in the reference list that comes from an internet site that is not a homepage:
  3. Citing online information in the reference list that comes from an internet site’s homepage:
    • E.g.: American Institute of Human Services Education (Eds.).  (1999, August 18- last update).  Human Services Information NetSite [Homepage of the American Institute of Human Services Education], [Online].  Available: http://www.americaninstitutehseducation.com [2000, August 18].
    • Or, e.g.: American Institute of Human Services Education (Eds.).  (1999, August 18- last update).  Human Services Information NetSite [Homepage of the American Institute of Human Services Education], [Online].  Retrieved August 18, 2007, fromhttp://www.americaninstitutehseducation.com.

 

 

Citing information from an online article in a periodical:
Citing information from an online book:

For further information about online-based references, please consult an A.P.A. source.

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