Are you a Psychology student? Then you will have to use the APA format in doing your term papers. Though it may take you a little longer to getting used to APA, learning how to write in APA is an essential skill that will help you whether you are psychology student or just taking your first science class.
Doctoral students also need to know the required APA dissertation format. By using the APA style, students writing on psychology ensure that they relay their experiments and ideas in a consistent format. A consistent style allows its audience to know what to look for as they read psychological articles.
Key APA Areas Covered:
Scientific subjects utilize the APA style of paper formatting. Scientists believe that “less is more,” you are, therefore, not required to write too much. Pass your points in a brief and precise manner. Students are expected to be professional, direct, and clear. Try not to add unnecessary details in your articles. Avoiding unnecessary details keeps the length more concise and short.
Headings organize your work making it simple.
While writing your research or essay, you will realize that some points are more important than others. It is, therefore, important that we assign such points different level headings indicating their significance. In a nutshell, a level heading is assigned depending on the importance of a point. Is the idea a point or a subpoint?
Main points relate to the central point, and they must be visible to the reader. Subpoints include examples and statistics that support the main idea. All topics of equal importance use a similar level heading throughout the article. For example, in a laboratory experiment report, the level headings for methods and results are the same. Avoid one subsection in a whole section. You should always have at least two or none.
Level 1 has the biggest heading size. It is the title of your article. However, it must in bold and centered at the middle of the page. Capitalize your sentences.
Level 2 is smaller than level 1 (which is the title). You must use bold letters, and the heading placed against the left margin.
Level 3 is a bit smaller than level 2. The level is indented in from the left side of the margin with bold letters. Start the heading with a capital letter.
Level 4 is smaller than the level 3 heading, and it is indented in from the left margin. Y. The uppercase letter is only placed in the first word of the heading.
The level 5 heading is the smallest level heading for an academic paper. The heading is indented and italicized. Start the heading with a capital letter.
The American Psychological Association APA objects bias towards sexual orientation, gender, ages of people, racial groups, and disabilities. If you are not sure if your work is biased, it is advisable that you have a few people go through it to determine if it is biased. Find below a few guidelines that APA suggests:
Instructions suggested by the American Psychological Association
Example: Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) barely concentrate in class. ADD, therefore, leads to poor performance in school.
Here is an example of how the title page should look like:
Most importantly, do not forget to place the running head at the top. The running head is a shortened version of the main title. Always ensure that the title is attractive. However, if it’s for a research paper, the title doesn’t have to be eye-catching. The title for a research paper must be clear and concise. The title must reflect the main argument, and avoid using words or abbreviations that serve no purpose.
The Abstract should not have any in-text citations. The abstract should not have more than 250 words. In the case of online publications, listing keywords in the abstract is useful for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Always include in-text citations in writing as an acknowledgment of referencing other people’s work.
APA citation in the middle of a sentence requires that you include the author’s last name and year of publication. Parenthetical citations typically appear at the end of a sentence, between the period and the last word.
New Zealand has one of the coldest climates in the world (Andrew, 2014.)
With the name of the Author in text
According to the New York Times, the USA is experiencing an economic recession (2019).
Processed food is the number one cause of cancer in the 21st century (Andrew & Perez, 2017).
Include only the first author, followed by “et al.” and the year of publication if it is the first citation of that paragraph.
Brexit has so many negative repercussions; things seem to change in the recent past (Alex, et al. 2019).
If a quote runs for more than 40 words:
Ramon (2016) states that
Racism is a hierarchy of superiority/inferiority along the line of the human. This hierarchy can be constructed and marked in diverse ways. Westernized elites of the Third World reproduce racist practices against ethnic/racial groups where, depending on the local/colonial history, those considered “inferior” below the line of the human can be defined or marked along religious, ethnic, cultural or color lines. In the colonial history of Ireland, the British constructed their racial superiority over the Irish, not through the marker of skin color, but rather through a religious marker. When the colonizer and the colonized share the same skin color, the marker of superiority/inferiority along the line of the human has to be constructed with a different marker beyond color racism. What appeared at first glance to be a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics was, in fact, a racial/colonial conflict. (p. 2)
The pattern below is followed when citing a poster or presentation that was done in a meeting:
Presenter, E.K. (year, month). Title of the poster or paper. Paper presented at the meeting of [the organization’s name], Location
The APA publication manual categorically states that it is not necessary to reference standard software.
Standard software includes:
However, it is important that you include the version number whenever you mention any software.
For example, you can say that “I used the SPSS software (Version 3.1; IBM) to complete my work”
When citing SPSS in APA, the name of the software must not be italicized but capitalized as it is a proper noun.
Whenever you get information for your dissertation from a newsletter, always include an in-text citation. The in-text citation contains the following:
(Elias, 2018. P. 3)
APA Reference List Citation for a Newsletter
The following format is used when citing a newsletter in your reference list
Elias, K. (2018). Effects of quality SEO on ROI. Kenji Annual, 3(1), 3-7
If no author is available, reference the organization that published the document instead.
The reference list notes down sources inside the text. The reference list is meant for allowing your audience to get your sources. The list gives credit to authors whom you have consulted. Other than the personal communications such as emails and conversations, all other references cited must appear in the reference list.
It is worth noting that a Bibliography is different from the reference list. A bibliography lists all sources used in particular research, not just the ones referred in writing.
|Title||The title is “References.” The title must be centered, starting with a capital letter, and avoid italics|
|Indent||The references should have a hanging indent|
|Space between the references||Double-space|
|Ampersand||For 2-6 authors. Always use & before the final author|
|URLs||Make the underscore (_) visible by removing the underlines from URLs|
|Same 1st Author, different 2nd author||Arrange alphabetically|
|Capital Letters||The book or article title such as magazine, newspaper, or journal must also be capitalized, i.e., Capitalize the first word of the title, the subtitle, and any other proper noun.|
|Place of Publication|| publishers from the USA, give the city in full, and the state should be abbreviated. For example, Springfield, MA
Those outside the USA, only give the name of the city and state in full. For example, London, England
|Page Range||Use the en dash, for example, 15-31. There should be no gaps between the numbers and en dash|
It is worth noting that numerous websites can assist students in APA referencing of your Ph.D. thesis. You only need to paste the information you have for the sources, and bam! You get your reference in order. Such websites include:
Further Reading on APA thesis proposal format
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