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(Documentation Continued...)

Papers in the Social Sciences

American Psychological Association (APA) Style

     Following are guidelines for documenting material in the psychology or sociology areas using the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Other examples are available in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Where to Include Citations

Put a citation at an appropriate place in the sentence. Cite the source of a direct quotation immediately after the quotation. Punctuation will vary depending on where the quotation is:

     If the quotation is in mid-sentence, cite the source after the quotation marks and use no other punctuation.

     If the quotation is at the end of a sentence, cite the source after the quotation marks and end with a period or other end-mark.


Long Direct Quotations

For student papers, put direct quotations of more than forty words in a single-spaced block. Start the block on a new line, omit the quotation marks and indent the block five spaces from the left margin. Cite the source after the final punctuation mark.


What to Include in Citations

     For a direct quotation give the author, year of publication and page number (using "p." as an abbreviation for "page") in parentheses:

The report said, "This trend did not continue" (Smith, 1979, p. 234).

Smith (1979) maintained that "this trend did not continue" (p. 234).

     To cite a specific section or page in non-quoted material, give the author, year of publication and page, section or chapter number:

The exact numbers in that study (Johnson, 1980, p. 104)

For other references, give the author and year of publication:

The most recent work (Smith, 1990) indicates . . .

     If the author is identified in the text, then omit the author's last name in the citation:

Smith's most recent work (1990) indicates . . .

     If the author and year are both identified in the text, parenthetical reference is needed only to identify page number in the case of a direct quotation or reference to specific material:

In 1990, Smith reported that changes have been . . .

In 1990, Smith reported that, "progress has been incredibly slow" (p. 110).





One Work by One Author

     Include the author's last name and year of publication in parentheses:

In the earliest study (Smith, 1945)


Authors With the Same Last Names

     Include the author's initials in all text references, even if the year of publication differs:

A. B. Smith (1986) and B. S. Smith (1988) studied the . . .


One Work by Two or More Authors

     With the two authors, include both last names in each reference in the text:

Smith and Jones (1965) noted that . . .

     With more than two but fewer than six authors, include all author's names in the first reference and in subsequent citations, include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al." (an abbreviation that means "and others") and the year:

Smith, Jones, and Anderson (1989) found [first citation]

Smith, et al. (1989) demonstrated [subsequent citations]

     With six or more authors, include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al." and the year in all references:

Anderson et al. (1990) investigated . . .


Author of Article or Chapter in an Edited Book or Anthology:

     Include the name of the author of the article or chapter and the year:

Wilson (1987) suggested . . .


A Corporate Author

     The entire corporate name is usually spelled out in each text citation. Include the corporate name and the year of publication in first citations. If a corporation has a familiar abbreviation or if the corporate name is cumbersome, an abbreviation may be used in subsequent references with a year of publication:

The National Institute for Research in Sociological Trends (1990) is researching [first citation] other studies (NIRST, 1990) show . . .


Unknown Author

     If the author is unknown, include the first two or three words from the reference list entry, which will usually be the title, and the year of publication. Put quotation marks around titles or articles or chapters and underline titles of periodicals or books:

One report ("Toward a More," 1968)

A trend explained in an early book (Nineteenth Century, 1948)


Personal Communications

     For letters, memos, some electronic communication (E-mail, discussion groups, messages from electronic bulletin boards), telephone conversations, personal interviews, include the initials and the last name of the communicator and date of communication. Omit personal communications from the reference list, include in text only:

In an earlier comment, J. R. Smith (personal communication, May 12, 1975)


Legal Materials

     For court cases include the name of the case (underlined) and the year of the decision:

(Smith v. Jones, 1989)

     For statutes include the name of the act and the year:

Freedom of Information Act (1976)


Electronic Media --On-line, electronic data files, CD-ROM

     Text citations for materials from electronic sources should be listed in accordance with the formats noted above.





     On a separate page at the end of the article provide a reference list. The purpose of this list is to allow a reader to find the sources used in writing a paper, thus include only the sources cited in the text; do not include sources used for background. The APA style manual allows the format of the reference list in student papers (not for publication) to vary slightly from the format of the reference list in papers intended for publication. The instructions and examples below, including the APA format in the Norton Textra program, are in the format acceptable for student papers.

With Norton Textra:

     Norton Textra will automatically provide the pagination, heading, margins, and alphabetizing. Since Works Cited will originally be in MLA format, follow the Textra prompts to change to APA format acceptable for student papers.

Using APA format:

List only those works cited.

List entries by the authors' last names. Where there is no author's name, list by the first major word in the title.

Without Norton Textra:

     Title the page "References" and double-space all entries. Type the first line of each entry flush left and indent the second and succeeding lines.

     Alphabetize entries by the last name of the author. Two or more works by the same author appear in chronological order by date of publication with the earliest first.

     In punctuating your reference entries, use two spaces after each final period and one space after other punctuation marks.






Author's last name, initials. (Year). Article title with only first and proper names capitalized. Journal Title. Vol. number as a single Arabic numeral underlined, inclusive page numbers omitting p. or pp.

Smith J. R. (1988). Understanding the twentieth century. Journal of Social Psychology, 12,



Magazine and Newspaper:

Author's last name, initials, (year, month and day). Article title with only first and proper names capitalized. Magazine/newspaper Name, p. number.

Smith, J. R. (1989, October 1). Meeting the demands of today. Newsweek, p. 25.



Author's last name, initials. (Date of publication). Book Title with only first and proper names capitalized (edition). City of publication: Publisher Name omitting "Publishers," "Co." or "Inc."

Smith, J. R. (1990). Understanding psychology (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.


Edited Book:

Anderson, T. & Wilson, J. (Eds.). (1979). Diagnosing problems in teaching. New York:

Magnum Press.


Article or Chapter in an Edited Book or Anthology:

Wilson, J. S. (1987). Contemporary approaches to child-rearing. In W. S. Anderson (Ed.)

Teaching in the 1980's (pp. 245-265). Washington, DC: National Education



Nonprint Media:

Johnson, R. (Producer) & Burns, T. (Director). (1990). Understanding yourself [Film].

Urbana, IL: University of Illinois.


Two or More Authors for a Book or Periodical:

Smith, J. R. & Anderson, R.

Smith, J. R., Anderson, R., & Wilson, T.


Brochures and Pamphlets

Format as with books but identify in brackets as brochure.

Illinois Valley Community College. (1996). Mass communications [Brochure]. Oglesby, IL.


Note: This brochure was authored and published by Illinois Valley Community College.


On-Line Sources

     As with other sources, the information provided about electronic sources should provide sufficient information to allow a reader to find the material referenced. Formats for author , date and title should follow instructions above. Date should indicate most recent revision or if date cannot be determined, date of writer's search. Instead of publisher, provide an availability statement, including path information needed to retrieve information, including, directory and file name. For material available in both print and electronic versions, reference should be to the print form if both are identical.

Smith, J. (1996). New World Images [On-line]. Available: FTP: 130/115.171.1 Directory:

soc/backned File: socpsy84.5.37.diagnosis.23.gentry


CD-ROM Abstract

Jones, T. (1996). Careers for the next decade [CD-ROM]. Journal of Psychology, 19, 256-

275. Abstract from: PsyAbs File: PsyTechs Item: 99421027.


Court Cases

Smith v. Jones, 543 F. Supp. 932 (N.D. Ill. 1993).

Note: The above example is to a decision by the federal court of the Northern District of Illinois in 1993. The decision appears in volume 543 on page 932 of the Federal Supplement.



Safe Highway Act of 1989, 32 U.S.C. 93201 (1991)

Note: This reference is to a statute adapted in 1989 and found in volume 32, section 93201, of the United States Code published in 1991.