APA Format

Psychologists write in the style dictated by the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual. When you write papers in psychology courses, you will be expected to write in this style. The following resources will help you to learn and use APA. Of course, follow all directions given by your professor for your specific assignment.
There are two basic types of psychology papers: literature reviews (aka term papers) and research reports. If you have conducted an empirical study in which you have collected and analyzed data, you should follow the instructions for writing a research report. Otherwise, look at the instructions for writing a literature review.

General APA Style Resources

Instructions about all aspects of APA style https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/
Video demonstrating how to format an APA style paper in Word https://youtu.be/9pbUoNa5tyY
Comparison of literature reviews and research reports https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/13/
Annotated example of a research report http://www.apastyle.org/manual/related/sample-experiment-paper-1.pdf

Resources for Formatting Citations and References

References: Articles https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/07/
References: Multiple Authors https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/06/
Reference Section: APA versus MLA http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/05/comparing-mla-and-apa-the-reference-list.html
In-text Citations http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/01/writing-in-text-citations-in-apa-style.html
In-text Citations: APA versus MLA http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/05/comparing-mla-and-apa-citing-resources.html

Guidelines for Writing Papers in Psychology

These resources talk about what sort of content to include in literature reviews and research reports.

Writing a Literature Review

Writing a Research Report

Finding Sources

PsycINFO Basic Tutorial: https://youtu.be/1KvBE4gSZbw

PsycINFO Advanced Tutorial: https://youtu.be/S6ABSB0sU5E

Keep track of Sources with RefWorks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtKbhOPs0LdaZbSkUjEhmAuE6FdTIlBYX

APA Checklist for Literature Reviews

Title Page

_____  The title page is centered horizontally and vertically.

_____  A 12-point standard font, such as Times Roman, Courier, or Arial is used.

_____  The title page includes a title, the student’s name, and Simpson College.

_____  A header with the title and page number is included on the title page and all pages of the paper. It is left justified.         


_____  The title is centered at the top of page 2.

_____  Margins are 1 inch on all sides, and double spacing is used throughout.

_____  Paragraphs are left-justified, with the first line indented .5 inches.

_____  Quotations of fewer than 40 words are enclosed in quotation marks.

_____  Quotations of 40 words or longer begin on a new line and are indented .5 inches from the left margin.

In-text citations

_____  All quotations, statistics, and ideas of others (even if paraphrased) are cited within the paper.

_____  Citations follow the following format: (Author’s last name, year published). Use n.d. (no date), if year published is unknown. Use the first few words of the article/book title if the author is unknown.

_____  Page numbers are included only when material is quoted word-for-word, for example (Brown, 2010, p. 10).

Reference Page

_____  Begins on a new page and is titled References.

_____  Only the sources used in the paper are included in the reference list.

_____  Personal communications, such as interviews and e-mails, are cited in the text but not included in the reference list. The in-text citation follows this format (B. Ramos, personal communication, September, 7 2012).

_____  References are alphabetized with hanging indents.

_____  Reference list entries include enough information to locate the source. Electronic sources include the DOI or full URL.

_____  Titles of books and articles only capitalize the first word and the first word after the colon. Titles of books are italicized. Titles of journals are italicized, with first, last and important words capitalized.

(adapted from a checklist at http://word-crafter.net/APA/APAchecklist.doc)