Writing Well

APA Documentation

American Psychological Association (APA) documentation is used in social sciences, including anthropology, education, home economics, linguistics, political science, sociology, and, of course, psychology.

Like MLA documentation, APA documentation uses internal references (Smith 1999) in place of footnotes and endnotes. However, the alphabetical list of sources at the end of the paper is called “References” rather than “Works Cited.” There are also significant difference between the two formats.

Citing Books

The typical APA reference for a book includes the author's last name, followed by initials rather than the first and middle names. The date is placed in parentheses, followed by the title of the book, underlined, and a period. Then comes the place of publication, colon, publisher, and a period. The second and all subsequent lines are indented, as with the MLA citations. For example:

Rozakis, L. (1999). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare. New York: Alpha.

Citing Periodicals

APA periodical references look like this:

Mallory, J. (1999, May). Sing your way to happiness. American Educator, pp. 49-50.

Notice how the name, date format, title, and page numbers differ in APA and MLA formats.

Citing Electronic Sources and CD-ROMs

Give the author's name (if available), the posting date (year, month, day), title of the work, information about the form of the information (On line, CD-ROM, Computer software, in brackets), electronic address.

Note: On line is spelled as two words in APA format, one word in MLA format.

Cardillo, L. (1999, January). Holes in Space. Space Science Institute [Web site]. Retrieved 10 January 1999 from the World Wide Web http://oposite.stcsi.edu/ pubinfo/RP/35/.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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