What is APA style?
APA “Style” (also called APA format) is a set of uniform standards and formats for punctuation, spelling, capitalization, word division, use of terms, etc. These writing style guidelines are developed, recommended, revised and updated by the American Psychological Association (APA).
What are the benefits of using this style?
There are many benefits to using APA style. Of primary interest to you as a student is the most practical reason- you will be graded down if you do not follow the style guidelines. Aside from this, following the rules can improve your writing, by eliminating structural difficulties of formatting that can get in the way of the expression of your ideas. If you no longer have to think about how to format your paper (margins, line spacing, etc.) and you also don't have to decide for yourself how to reference the research material you find, then all of your creative energy can be devoted to developing the content of your work. Also, APA style is used in many professional disciplines, so you may find yourself using it as you further your career. In addition, while there are definite variations among the publication styles, it is certainly easier to go from one style to another than it is to go from a personal style (i.e. 'no' style) to one of the accepted styles, so once you have made the transition to APA, it will be easier to write professionally, whatever style you use.
What are the consequences for not following this style?
There are two primary consequences for violating APA style requirements. The first is that a portion of your grade for any written assignment is determined by your compliance with these style guidelines, and so you will lose points if your formatting and references are not up to par. The second is more serious: if your sources are not cited properly, and especially if the citations are incomplete or missing, you are in danger of violating the Baker College Academic Honor Code prohibitions against plagiarism, which can result in failure of the assignment in question, failure of the entire course, expulsion from the College, and even rescinding of a certificate of degree.
Do all the courses at Baker require writing papers in APA style?
Yes; APA style is required in all courses with a writing component.
Are there any other writing styles, similar to APA?
Yes, there are quite a few, applicable to specific disciplines/organizations, designed to convey the ideas better. Authors submitting manuscripts for publication through these organizations are expected to use the citation style specified in the submission guidelines.
- ACS(American Chemical Society): chemistry
- ACM (Association of Computing Machinery): Technology, computers
- AMA (American Medical Association): Medicine
- APSA (American Political Science Association): Political Science, and History
- ASA (American Sociological Association): Sociology
- ALWD(Association of Legal Writing Directors): Legal citation system
- CBE (Council of Biology Editors): Scientific papers and research
- Columbia Style: for citing Internet sources related to the Humanities and Sciences
- CMS (Chicago Manual of Style): Humanities
- IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): Computers, Technology, Engineering, Electronics
- MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association): Humanities (UK)
- MLA (Modern Language Association): English, comparative literature, literary criticism, and some Humanities areas.
- Turabian Style: History.
I use Business Writing style at work. Why not use the same style for my assignments at Baker?
Baker College mandates APA style to bring your writing style up to the Academic Publishing standards. Proficiency in this style will help you publish papers in the scholarly, professional and academic journals.
Why is crediting the source important?
Sources (References or References List) provide evidence of research to the reader. The quality of the sources used adds credibility to the work. Moreover, references allow researchers to locate the original source, and pursue research in the specified field.
Sources should be indicated within the text and listed at the end of the research paper, in the appropriate format.
How would using APA guidelines protect me from plagiarism?
In particular, it is the requirement to cite all sources with enough information to locate the original works that will help you avoid plagiarism. Perhaps the most common form of plagiarism for students is failing to cite a source, either in the reference list or in-text or both. If you get into the habit of keeping complete citations for all of your sources, and then integrating these citations into the writing of your paper, then this form of plagiarism is essentially eliminated.
Isn't knowing the quality of my work enough? Why do I have to show the sources?
The reference list is designed to give credit to the sources that helped come up with a quality work. Using someone else's ideas without giving them the due credit will be considered plagiarism.
What is the purpose of the in-text citations?
In-text citations are a direct link between the reference page, where the sources of the ideas you are using for your paper are listed, and the body of the paper, where these ideas are expressed and analyzed. In-text citations make it clear which ideas are yours and which come from other sources. Any paraphrased or quoted material will have an in-text citation linking the ideas expressed to the source, while any original material (your ideas) will not have a citation.
What are Bibliographic Management tools?
In the process of research you will find several sources for analysis. Bibliographic Management Tools help organize these sources efficiently for future use. In addition to serving as a storage space for the sources, these tools also have the mechanics to format them properly in your papers. RefWorks, EndNote, and Zotero are examples of these tools. Some have a fee attached, while there are a few that may be downloaded free of charge. Additional Bibliographic Management Tools shown here.
What is a sentence case?
In sentence case, only the first word of a title is capitalized, along with the first word of any subtitle, and any proper nouns. This is used for book and article titles.
Example: Asking good questions: A primer for students.
What is a title case?
In title case, all significant words are capitalized. This is used for journal and magazine titles.
Example: Journal of Library and Information Science.
What is the Baker approved format for showing the database name?
Use just the name of the database, followed by the word "database".Do not cite the vendor (eg. ProQuest, Gale) or give a URL.
Example: Retrieved from Academic OneFile database.
I have used the database article URL in my citation. Why am I not able to go to the article directly?
Baker uses what is known as a proxy server to provide access to database articles. In nontechnical terms, a Baker computer temporarily gives your computer permission to view articles. In order for this to happen, you need to log in to the databases with your library barcode number. When you end a session in a database, this temporary permission is revoked; any URL you may have saved which pointed to the article was based on this temporary permission, and so will become invalid.
For direct quotes from a Web source, what do I use instead of page numbers as a location reference?
If paragraph numbers are given, use those. Use the abbreviation "para."
If no paragraph numbers are given, but there are section headings, cite the heading (eg. "Conclusion section") followed by the number of the paragraph where the quote is found.
You may omit the location reference, but only if no page numbers, paragraph numbers, or headings are present. Often, your instructor/readers may be able to locate the quote by simply searching the document in the Web browser.
Is it all right to include the document number in the citation entry?
Generally, no; at best, the document number is unnecessary, since you should have provided enough information, including the article information and database name, so that your instructor can locate your sources. You should avoid including unnecessary information in your citations.
I am using information that the author quotes from another work. How would I cite it?
Your reference page citation should refer to the work you have in hand (this is called a secondary source), as opposed to the original work in which the information is found. In-text, you should name the original work, and give a citation for the secondary source. Note: If you are directly quoting, and if the quoted material contains a citation already, you should include this citation in the quote; you should also make your own in-text citation to the work where you found the quote.
Example: In-text: Jones and Smith's study (as cited in Miller, Thompson, and Howe, 1993)... Reference list: Miller, A., Thompson, B., & Howe, C. (1993)...
Are database citation tools safe to use?
In general, they are more trouble than they are worth. The database vendors do not stick to a strict interpretation of the APA rules, whereas your instructors probably do. Since you would need to double-check the citations provided by the databases against your APA manual and/or the My eLibrary site, and you would almost certainly have to make changes to the given citations, you are probably better off generating the citations yourself.
Is it safe to use the citation generating tools?
Generally, you must be careful when allowing a computer to generate citations for you, including those citation generators found in the databases; no citation generator is perfect, so you should always check any machine-generated citations against the official guidelines for compliance.
I am using information that the author quotes from another work. How would I cite it?
SCENARIO: Kit Kat’s article from 1993. cites information from Almond Joy’s research conducted in 1975. Reference list would show Kit Kat’s work. In the text, while talking about Joy’s work, add this notation: (as cited in Kat, 1993). With this you are indicating that you heard about Joy’s work through Kit Kat’s work, and that you did not read the original work written by Almond joy.
Paraphrase: Joy's study of 1975………….. (as cited in Kat, 1993).
Direct Quote: Joy affirms that “………” (as cited in Kat, 1993, p. 55).
- References: Kat, K. (1993).
How do I show in-text for a source where author is not identified: i.e. a title entry?
What, specifically, are these guidelines?
APA recommendations involve manuscript formatting guidelines as well as documentation style of the sources.
- Formatting Guidelines: Relates to the physical appearance of the paper: layout of the pages, margins, fonts, page numbers, indentations, headers, etc. Basically this incorporates all aspects of the writing and publishing process including: organizing, writing, formatting, keying, and submitting a manuscript for publication. It also provides detailed direction on editorial style as well as on the standards for publishing research in conformity with ethical principles of publishing.
- Citation Guidelines: Provides a standard format for giving credit to the sources/resources used in the manuscript. The sources should be indicated within the text, in an abbreviated way. This is called the “in-text” or “parenthetical” reference. And at the end of the paper, complete information about the sources used should be listed. This list goes by the title
- References, and is usually placed at the end of the text of the manuscript. This purpose of the list is not only to support the research paper, but also to help readers track the original source for verification or further research.
What is the purpose of references page?
References or References List provide evidence of student's research to the instructor. The quality of the sources used show the credibility of the work. These entries also help the reader to track the source and verify or use it for further research.
Can we use double spaces after a period?
Use two spaces after a period or other punctuation at the end of a sentence. Use only a single space when the period separates parts of a reference entry, or after initials in personal names (e.g. "J. Smith"). No spaces are required after periods that are part of abbreviations (e.g. "U.S.", "p.m.").
How would I cite information from another source, found in the article I am using?
Let us say you are using Jones’ article that quotes Obama. You in-text citation will be: Obama agrees ……. (as cited in Jones, yyyy). Your References will include ONLY Jones’ work. Obama will not appear in your References, since you did not read his speech in full.
If Obama’s views interest you and you track it down to read the whole speech, then this will become your direct source and need to be shown in References.
Basically, the source you read will be in the References. External sources you find in them will be shown only in-text, and not in References.
I am using only one source in my paper. Should I still use the heading References?
Not necessary. Just use Reference. This will be grammatically correct and Baker College approved format.
Citation shows page number as 265+. How would I show the page number in my references?
Check page numbers in PDF format if available. Otherwise, use the format the citation shows, since that is all the information you have. In this case, 265+ should be acceptable.