The American Psychological Association's (APA) Style is the official formatting and citation style of the VCSU Graduate Program (as indicated on page 9 of the VCSU Graduate Student and Faculty Handbook). As such, it is the expected editorial style for the graduate Action Research Paper and most other course-related assignments.
It is important that graduate students understand their professors' expectations as they go about their graduate-level work, particularly with regard to citations and formatting papers. Library staff are available for formatting assistance and citation questions, but course instructors are the ultimate authority on what is acceptable work in their courses.
Use the guidelines below to learn the basics of the APA Style. Refer to the bottom of the page for additional resources which may prove valuable as you cite and format your papers using APA.
There are two areas in your papers that need to be present in order to correctly document a source. The following provides an overview of the areas and examples of how the citations would be referenced.
1) In-Text Citations
Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source by either using a) parenthetical citations, or b) block quotes. (See Purdue Owl's APA Basics for more examples.)
A) Parenthetical documentation (bibliographic information within parentheses), are included directly in the line of text containing your quote or paraphrase. Parenthetical citations follow a simple formula listed below:
Formula: Text of quote or paraphrase (author, year of publication, page number[s]).
Example: Kenneth Burke describes human beings as "symbol-using animals" (Hauser, 2002, p. 204).
Please note that it is common to incorporate the name of the author into the quotation or paraphrase. When this is the case, the date follows in paranthases after the author's name, while the page number or numbers are listed at the end of the sentence. Thus, the same example sentence above may be written this way:
Example: Gerard Hauser (2002) writes that Kenneth Burke conceived of human beings as "symbol-using animals" (p. 204).
B) Block Quotes are used for quotations that are 40 or more words long:
Eat This, Not That (2009) authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding explain the following fact about FDA's additive policy:
In an effort to produce cheaper, tastier, long-lasting foods, marketers are adding new types of preservatives, fats, sugars, and other foodlike substances to our daily meals. There are more than 3,000 substances on the FDA’s list of “safe” food additives, and any one (or 20) could be in your next meal. (p. xi)
General rules for APA block quotes:
2) References (Works Cited = "References" in APA)
Most style manuals require you to assemble a list of the works that you have cited in your paper. This list, included at the end of your paper, is typically called "References" in the APA style. Your References page allows you to give credit to all of the sources and scholars you consulted to write your paper. This is an opportunity to build the credibility of your paper, as well as to avoid any issues related to un-credited sources.
Print book formula: Author's Last Name, Author's First Initial., Author's Second Initial. (Year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.
Example: Hauser, G. A. (2002). Introduction to rhetorical theory. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Example: Zinczenko, D., & Goulding, M. (2009) Eat this not that: The best [& worst] foods in america. New York: Rodale.
Some basic rules for APA References lists are:
To cite articles from the Library's databases, use the following formula:
Database article formula: Author's Last Name, Author's First Initial. Author's Second Initial. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume Number(Issue Number), pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxx.
Example: Guixé, E., Richards, M. P., & Subirà, M. (2006). Palaeodiets of humans and fauna at the Spanish mesolithic site of El Collado. Current Anthropology, 47(3), 549. Retrieved from https://library.vcsu.edu:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sch&AN=21557550&site=ehost-live
For items found in full text online, access information in APA requires one of the following (in order of preference):
1. Use DOI if available (no period at end of citation)
2. If no DOI, and from database, use print format. No database information is needed.
3. If no DOI and from an authoritative web site use complete URL (no period at end of citation)
4. If no DOI and from a personal web site or Wiki, use access date and complete URL (no period at end of citation)
There are essential pieces of information that a writer must provide about the articles, texts and other sources they have drawn on. Some or all of them are necessary to uniquely identify and locate the original source, or to find similar materials.
Guides: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (R 808 P96 2009 in our Library) is the official APA style guide. This is the definitive text for APA formatting and citation. Additionally, Purdue University offers a free Web-based guide, the Purdue Owl. Faculty overwhelmingly refer their students to Purdue Owl as a catch-all citation and formatting aide.
Time and Planning: First and foremost, give yourself time for your assignment. Keep careful track of what you read, and if there are ideas or quotes you think you will use, find a system to label them with the information you will need to reference them later.
EasyBib: VCSU provides you with free access to a very helpful tool called EasyBib. EasyBib is a web-based bibliographic management tool (citation manager) that allows you to create a database of citations or references to resources (books, journal articles, web sites, etc.). It facilitates the insertion of citations within a research paper as in-text references, footnotes, or endnotes, and the creation of a formatted bibliography using a citation style of choice. Most major citation styles are supported (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).
Citation Help: For citation assistance, you can always contact the Allen Memorial Library. Professional librarians are available to assist you with citation help, research assistance, and training on EasyBib and library databases. Librarians are available in person, over the phone, and online (by email, Sype, and IM chat).