Style Guide - APA


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DOCUMENTATION GUIDE: APA What: The APA (American Psychological Association) style is used for research reports in the social and health sciences (whereas in most other areas the MLA style is required). If you are in doubt about what style to use, consult your teacher, or, if writing a report for the workplace, ask your colleagues. Why: If you keep in mind the reasons for documenting reports (honesty, reliability, utility), you will realize the primary function of documentation is to enable your readers to find, consult, and evaluate your sources for themselves if they wish to do so , and the most important thing about your documentation is that it should make this possible. This is the reason for standardization. Before attempting to put these instructions into practice, you should understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. See the Student Survival Guide: avoiding plagiarism . How: The standard format is given in simplified form here : it covers most situations. In the interest of teaching you the principles rather than the endless details, and in order to make your college experience with documentation as painless as possible, we are simplifying very complex requirements. When your source doesn’t fit this model, or when you need to use APA outside the College, we suggest you consult . The APA style is designed to ensure consistent formatting for the submission of articles to journals, and acknowledges that “reasonable exceptions to APA style . .. often make sense and are encouraged if communication is better served” ( Publication Manual , pp. 334 335). You should therefore ask what exceptions your teacher or employer accepts. As you are researching: Make the process easier on yourself : You should record the publishing information for each source you consult as soon as you consult it. You don’t want to waste time searching for the 1
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information later, when you put the report together, as this will more than double your work. We also recommend you print Web pages and e-mails, and photocopy printed sources for later reference, noting the publishing details at the top. Documenting each source as you obtain it means you don’t have a rush at the end when you put your report together, and enables you to become acquainted with the APA system a little at a time. Writing the report: Readers expect information in two places : 1. at the end of the report , in a list called References , in which you must give complete publishing details of every source so that the reader will be able to find the source. 2. within the report to identify the source of ideas or information you have borrowed or words you have quoted (actual quotations also need quotation marks). Here, brief citations in parentheses supply just enough information to allow the reader to consult your list at the end, recognize to which item you are referring, and assess whether your sources are up-to-date. 1. At the end of the report: References
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This note was uploaded on 08/22/2009 for the course ENGL 1133 taught by Professor Bruceharper during the Fall '05 term at Niagara College.

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