Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.)

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1 Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) All the recommended formatting in this guide was created with Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows and Word 2011 for Mac. If you are going to use another version of Microsoft Word (or another word processing software program) to set the formatting of your document, the steps may vary compared to this guide. Please see the resource list at the end of this guide for helpful online tools and more information about the APA writing style. Objectives Learn what APA style is and why it is used. Understand general document guidelines. Create a title page. Learn about the abstract and how it is formatted. Set the body of the paper and the headings. Learn how to format various text citations Format quotations within the document. Learn how to create a references section. Find valuable resources about the APA writing style. What does APA stand for? The American Psychological Association (APA) created a publication manual that provides a comprehensive reference guide to writing using the APA style. The latest publication is called The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6 th ed., 2010). While this handout guide offers the basics, please refererence The Publication Manual for in-depth, comprehensive instruction. What is the purpose of using the APA style? "APA Style was developed by social and behavioral scientists to standardize scientific writing." - Basics of APA Style Tutorial Many professors, editors, and managers like the APA format because it provides writers with specific guidelines to follow in order to keep the formatting of the manuscript consistent. If the author of the publication decided to choose any editorial style and format, then inconsistencies Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 1

2 would continuously come up through out the manuscript and it is very difficult for readers to follow. Without guidelines for a style and formatting of a manuscript, there could be several different ways a person could write a word, format a page, or format a paragraph. Document Margins In APA, the document s margins need to be set at 1 inch on all sides of the document (top, bottom, left, and right). - Word 2010 (PC): To set the margins, select the Page Layout tab. In the Page Setup group, click on the Margins down arrow and select Normal (1 inch on all sides). - Word 2011 (Mac): Select the Layout tab. In the Margins group, click on the Margins down arrow and select Normal (1 inch on all sides). Font Type and Size "Use a serif typeface, such as Times New Roman, for the text of your manuscript. Use a sans serif typeface, such as Arial, for figure labels." - Basics of APA Style Tutorial 1. Set the font size of the document to 12-pt. font. In order to change the font size, go to the Home tab. In the Font group, use the arrow next to the font size to select the 12-pt. font. 2. Set the font type of the document to Times New Roman. Use the arrow next to the font type in the font group to select the appropriate font. If you have already written your manuscript in another font, be sure to select all the text in your document (Ctrl/Command + A) then change the font type and size. Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 2

3 Double-spacing Double-space the entire manuscript, including the title page, abstract, body of the document, references, appendixes, footnotes, tables, and figures. To set the spacing of the document, go to the Home tab. In the Paragraph group, click on the line spacing icon (circled in previous screenshot) and then change the spacing to double (2.0). Keyboard Shortcut: select the whole document by selecting the keyboard commands Ctrl+A, to select all the text, and then Ctrl+1 for single space or Ctrl+2 for double space. Spacing after Punctuation: Space once after commas, colons, and semicolons within sentences. Insert two spaces after punctuation ending sentences. Manuscript Format From the Basics of APA Style Tutorial: When you submit your manuscript, number the pages consecutively starting with page 1. Put the pages in the following order: Page 1 :Title Page Page 2: Abstract Page 3: Beginning of Text References: Begin on new page after last page of text. Each Table begins on a new page after the References. Each Figure begins on a new page after the Tables. Include the figure caption on the same page as the figure. Each appendix begins on a new page. Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 3

4 Page Numbers and Running Head The first page of your paper (the title page) should have a header with the "Running head:" text and the paper's title in all capital letters flush left and the page number to the right. If your paper's title is too long, make up a shortened version. Windows PC Instructions Double-click in the Header section at the top of the paper. In the Header & Footer group, click the Page Number button. Hover over "Top of Page," then select "Plain Number 1". Type your Running head in front of the number. The running head is a short title that appears on every page of a paper or published article. The running head is typed flush left (all uppercase) following "Running head:" at the top of all pages (including the title page). The running head should not exceed 50 characters, including punctuation and spacing. If the paper title exceeds this limit, only put the first part of the title or come up with a shortened version. (Change the font and size of the text and number if they are not Times New Roman, point size 12.) Put the cursor before the number, then press the Tab key once or twice to move the page number to the right margin. (You may need to adjust the tab in the ruler to move the number to the edge of the right margin.) Mac Instructions Formatting the title page header: Double-click in the Header section at the top of the paper. Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 4

5 Type in "Running head:" then the name of your paper in all capital letters. Click the "Page #" button. Place your cursor in front of the number and press the Tab key to right-align the number. Highlight the Running head and the number. In the Home tab, change the font and size to Times New Roman, 12 pt. Formatting the Title Page The title page is always the first page of the paper. 1. On the first page of the document, go to the Home tab and click the Center align button in the Paragraph group. Press the Enter/Return key 8 times to bring the cursor to the center of the page. 2. Enter the following title page information on the first page, each on a new line. Title of Document - (the title should be no longer than 12 words with no abbreviations). A long title may take up two lines if necessary. Author Institutional Affiliation - (likely, "St. Edward's University") (Putting the Date (Month Day, Year) and/or Course is optional - ask your instructor if they want this information added.) 3. Inserting a Page Break: After entering in the title page information, insert a page break to begin your paper on the next page. Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 5

6 PC: Go to the Insert tab. In the Pages group, select the Page Break button (or use the keyboard shortuct: Ctrl + Enter) Mac: Go the the Layout tab. In the Page Setup group, select the Break button and choose "Page". Alternately, go to the Insert menu, then choose Break, then Page Break. Formatting the Abstract The abstract is a paragraph that is a summary of the most important elements of the paper. The abstract is on a new page usually page 2 in the document. The heading for the abstract is centered on the first line and the abstract begins after the heading, without a first line indentation. The abstract should be between 150 and 250 words. Formatting the Body of the Paper The body of the paper begins on a new page usually page 3 of the document and the title of the paper (in uppercase and lowercase letters) is centered on the first line below the running head. Then, the introduction to the paper is following the title aligned to the left of the document and has Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 6

7 a first line indent set to.5 inches. Paragraph Alignment All the paragraphs in the document should be left aligned and have a first line indent set to.5 inches on the ruler. If the ruler is not displayed, go to the View tab and check the box for "Ruler" in the Show group. On a Mac, go to the View menu and select Ruler. Indent paragraphs one by one: When writing a new paragraph, press the Tab key and begin to type the first sentence. The Tab key will indent the first line for you. Indent all paragraphs: If you typed your paper without indenting as you wrote, you may highlight all the paragraphs then drag the first line indent marker halfway to the "1" mark in your top ruler. This will give a first line indent to all selected paragraphs. Headings Headings are used to organize the document and introduce new subjects within the paper. Headings are a way to separate the paper into sections to make it easier for the reader to follow the paper. Uses heading levels consecutively. Screenshot source: Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 7

8 Text Citations and Quotations The information in the paper was retrieved from various sources and it must be documented in the body of the paper by citing the author(s), dates(s), and page or paragraph number of the sources. It is important to understand that information such as ideas and words taken from others must be acknowledged. A quotation that has less than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks. Use single quotation marks within double quotation marks to set off material that in the original source was enclosed in double quotation marks. Block quotations: If the quotation is more than 40 words, it should be separated from the surrounding text and have a.5 indent set from the left margin. Screenshot source: Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 8

9 Reference Page All the references should be included in the reference section of the paper which is located on the next page after the body of the paper. The references should be in there own separate section with a title labeled References centered at the top of the new page. All the references need to be in alphabetical order and should be formatted with a hanging indent. 1. On the first line of the new page after the end of your paper (you may insert a page break), type References on the first line, and center align the word. 2. Type or copy/paste in all reference citations on the Reference page. 3. To set the references in alphabetical order, select all the references using the mouse and then go to the click on the Home tab and in the Paragraph group click on the Sort icon. 4. Next, in order to create a hanging indent for all the references make sure to highlight all the references and then move the hanging indent on the ruler to.5 inches. Resources Official Site: Free Tutorials: - Online tutorials for beginners and those that just want to see what changed in Sixth Edition. This page also links to specific APA topics for easy access. St. Edward's University Writing Resources: School of Management and Business: Online Writing Lab: (For New College and Graduate Students) APA Flash Seminars: (They do include formatting info but focus on the writing and the reasoning behind APA rules.) APA Checklist: Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 9

10 The Writing Center: (All Students, Undergraduate, New College, Graduate) Academic Success Center Writing Resources for Students: Remember to select the Show Paragraph button to see where to enter your text. SEU IT Training YouTube Channel: Adding a running head and page numbers in an APA document Library Tools: SEU Library Citation Resources: Contact Information St. Edward's University Instructional Technology Training Office Joana Trimble, Computer Competencies and Training Manager Moody Hall Computer Help Desk Moody Hall Creating APA Style Research Papers (6th Ed.) - 10

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