APA Tutorial

Ohio Christian University
“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1, NIV)
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What is APA?
 APA stands for American
Psychological Association. It is
a writing format, developed by
that association, for organizing
information in a term paper,
thesis, or essay.
 APA guidelines show how to
cite (give credit to) or document
information within the body of a
paper that was directly quoted,
summarized, or paraphrased
from a source. It is also used
for citing facts, statistics, and
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APA Papers
 OCU requires APA format for
all written assignments.
This is common with many
colleges and universities
across the country.
 APA is discussed in detail on
pages 457-501 of Diana
Hacker’s (2010) A Writer’s
Reference with Exercises
(6th Edition).
 The contents of this tutorial
are based primarily on that
book, the required grammar
guide for Ohio Christian
University students.
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Developing the Paper
Title Page
Let’s start with the title page.
Turn to page 493 in the Hacker (2010)
text for an example of a title page.
However, Ohio Christian University
has a standard title page for all
students to use with papers. If you do not
have this, contact your facilitator or the
Student Services Coordinator (Michelle
Blanton [email protected]) to obtain
Office Online
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Turn to page 494 in the Hacker (2010)
text for an example of an abstract.
An abstract is basically an overview or
summary of your term paper/essay. It
appears directly after the title page. It
should be around100-120 words in
length with no indentation.
Most of OCU’s courses do not require
students to include an abstract in
their assignments because they are
undergraduate courses. However, it is
important to know what an abstract
is because it is usually found in
professional writings such as
journal/periodical articles, master’s
theses, and doctoral dissertations.
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APA Paper Elements
All the elements of an APA paper include:
 The title page (see previous)
 The body of a paper, which includes:
an introduction, section headings, and
a conclusion.
 References
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Note: Sources quoted from or referred to in the body of the
paper must be cited according to APA guidelines.
See pages 493-501 in the Hacker (2010) for an example of an
APA paper. You may also go to
Click on Model Papers, scroll to APA Papers, and download:
Mirano’s “Can Medication Cure Obesity in Children? A Review of the
Literature” (alternative undergraduate formatting)
Formatting the Paper
• Double-space between lines, including block quotes and
• There should only be one space after each punctuation mark.
• Use one inch margins around your paper.
• The left margin should be even.
• The right margin should be ragged or uneven.
• Words are not to be divided between lines.
See pages 489-492 in the Hacker text (2010) for formatting
details and more expectations.
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Section Headings
See pages 498-499 in the
Hacker (2010) text for an
example of section headings
Page 490 in the Hacker text
(2010) tells us that the first
heading level is typically
enough in undergraduate
Utilizing section headings helps
organize your written
assignments. It also enables
your instructor to move through
your paper more easily and
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Long (Block) Quotes
See the top of page 465 for an example and page 490 for expectations in the
Hacker (2010) text.
Block quotes:
Are often used when a writer feels that a lengthy quote adds to his or her paper.
However, like any quote, be careful to use them sparingly.
Consists of 40 words or more.
Are introduced with a signal phrase and are started on a new line.
Are indented ½ inch from the left margin of your paper.
Are double-spaced.
Quotation marks are not used around this type of quote, but double quotation marks
are used for any quote within a block quote.
The citation appears after the block quote. It is not included within the last sentence
of a quote as with shorter quotes.
Including Visuals in APA Papers
See page 497 in the Hacker (2010)
Text for an example of a Table 1.
Occasionally there will be a need to
include a visual in your APA paper.
These include:
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Guidelines for Including Visuals
Page 490 in the Hacker (2010) text gives some general guidelines for
• Visuals should be simple (condense information).
• Each visual should be labeled with an arabic numeral (i.e., Figure 1,
Figure 2, Figure 3).
• Include a title for each visual.
• Indicate the source below the visual.
• Discuss or give an overview of the visual within the text/body of your
Citations (in-text)
Citations vs. References
These two terms are often confused. So what’s the difference?
“An in-text citation gives the author of the source (often a signal
phrase), the date of publication, and at times a page number in
parentheses. At the end of the paper, a list of references provides
publication information about the source” (Hacker, 2010, p. 469).
In-text citation example (used only in the body of the paper):
As researchers Yanovski and Yanovski (2002) have explained, obesity was
once considered “either a moral failing or evidence of underlying
psychopathology” (p. 592).
Reference example (used only in a reference list at the end of a paper):
Yanovski, S.Z., & Yanovski, J.A. (2002). Durg therapy: Obesity. The New
England Journal of Medicine, 346, 591-602.
APA utilizes in-text citations for documenting (giving credit to) authors
for their works. The Hacker (2010) text gives examples of citations for
different types of sources. These appear on pages 470-473.
Citations consist of:
A signal phrase. Includes the author’s last name and publication date
in parentheses.
The page number appears (also in parentheses) at the end of a quote.
Page numbers are not needed when summarizing or paraphrasing
information, but are often used.
Citation Example
According to Johnson and Johnson (2006), “A group
may be defined as a number of individuals who join
together to achieve a goal” (p. 5).
The period goes after the citation at the end of a sentence
unless you have used a block quote.
Note: Use “pp.” when more than one page is listed in a
citation. Use “n.d.” when a publication date is not given.
More on Signal Phrases
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“APA requires that the use of the past tense or the present perfect tense
in signal phrases introducing cited material” (Hacker, 2010, p. 469).
Example: In his study on adult learning Adams (2008) indicated …
Note: Use all quotes sparingly. Summarize or write in your own words as
much information as possible in your papers.
Citations for Internet Sources
Note: Internet citations
are done a little
differently from
citations from hard copy
sources. They usually
include the section
name and paragraph
number. (The symbol ¶
or the abbreviation “para”
is used in those citations.)
Example of an Internet
(Jones, 2007, Overseas
Ministry section, para. 4)
(Jones, 2007, Overseas
Ministry section, ¶ 4)
Brackets within Quotations
“Brackets (square parentheses) allow you to insert your own
words into quoted material to explain a confusing reference
or to keep a sentence grammatical in your context” (Hacker,
2010, p. 464). [ ]
Brackets are also used to indicate an error within a quotation
from a source. The letters sic (in italics) enclosed in brackets are
placed next to that error. [sic]
Example: The hymn was writtin [sic] well over two hundred years
The Ellipsis Mark
From time to time you will come across a quote you want to
use, but feel it is much longer than you need for your
paper. “To condense a quoted passage, you can use the
ellipsis mark (three periods, with spaces between) to
indicate that you have omitted words. What remains must
be grammatically complete” (Hacker, 2010, p. 464).
Personal Communications
See page 472 in the Hacker (2010) text.
Personal communication citations are
used for:
Interviews (Face-to-face or via telephone)
Note: Personal communications are not
included on the reference page.
Example of an In-Text Personal
Communication Citation:
(P. Hanson, personal communication, December
5, 2008)
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Indirect Sources
Sometimes you will use information in your paper that
comes from a secondary source. In other words, one
author quoted or summarized the works of another author
and included that information in his or her work.
In that case, the citation is done a little differently.
• The original source should appear in the signal phrase.
• The citation will include the secondary source. The
secondary source should appear on your reference page
(Hacker, 2010, p. 473)
Example Citation for Indirect Sources
Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1977) developed
the theory of Situational Leadership. They concluded
from their study at Ohio State University “that most
leadership activities can be classified into two distinct
behavioral dimensions: initiation of structure (task
actions) and consideration of group members
(relationship of maintenance actions)” (as cited in
Johnson & Johnson, 2006, p. 197).
However, you would need to find the reference information
for Hersey and Blanchard and include it in your Reference
Page. This is surprisingly easy using Amazon and Google
(Reference Page)
Any time information is cited within a
body of a paper, a reference must be
listed for that source on the reference
page (s). See pages 475-481 in the
Hacker (2010) text for examples of
physical references.
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Review pages 475-481 to properly
Journal/Periodical Articles
Popular Magazine Articles
Government Documents
Example of an APA Reference
Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the
greatest leadership role model of all time. Nashville, TN: Thomas
Nelson, Inc.
 Initials are used for the first and middle names of the authors.
 The publication date goes next to the author’s/authors’ name(s).
 The book title is in italics. Only the first word and all proper nouns are
capitalized in a title or subtitle.
 Use a hanging indent with your references.
 Alphabetize references according to the authors.
 Double-space individual references.
 Include the city and state where a resource was published.
References for Electronic Sources
See pages 481-485 in the Hacker (2010) text for examples of Internet
Internet or electronic references are a little different from other
references. The date of retrieval and the Uniform Resource Locator
(URL) are often included in them. The URL will the lead reader to the
exact location where the information was found on the internet.
Note: While the web is a great place to find information for a paper,
the disadvantage of using an electronic source is that web sites often
change their information and some sources are only available for a
certain period of time.
Example of an Electronic Reference
Alimo-Metcalfe, B., & Ablan-Metcalfe, J. (2005).
Leadership: Time for a new direction?
Leadership Research & Development Ltd, 1, 5171. Retrieved May 2005, from
Writing Academically
Writing Mechanics
The Hacker (2010) provides a nutshell for all the
essential aspects required of an excellently prepared
academic paper. Please observe the breakdown of the
book below and utilize often as you write.
Composition and Style: pages 3-174
Correctness: pages 177-355
Academic Research: pages 359-394
APA Formatting: pages 457-501
Overview of Basic Grammar: pages 533-556
Other Resources
 Amato, C. J. (2002). The world’s easiest guide to using the APA: A
friendly Manual for formatting research papers according to the
American Psychological Association style guide (3rd ed.).
Corona, CA: Stargazer Publishing Company.
 American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of
the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington,
DC: Author.
 Purdue University APA Format Information
 American Psychological Association
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
If you have questions on
any of the APA
Guidelines or writing
mechanics, please don’t
hesitate to ask your
instructor. We are here to
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For “we are God’s fellow
workers…” (1 Corinthians
3: 9, NIV).
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the
American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the
greatest leadership role model of all time. Nashville, TN: Thomas
Nelson, Inc.
Hacker, D. (2010). A writer’s reference with exercises (6th ed.). Boston, MA:
Bedford/St. Martins.
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. P. (2006). Joining together: Group theory and
group skills. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
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