APA style

Topics: Citation, Psychology, American Psychological Association Pages: 8 (1645 words) Published: May 27, 2014
SFU Psychology Department

SFU Psychology Department:
American Psychological Association Style for Undergraduate Papers Joan Wolfe
Simon Fraser University

Student number, PSYC ###; section #.##, TA's name, instructor's name, due date.


SFU Psychology Department


SFU Psychology Department:
American Psychological Association Style for Undergraduate Papers The purpose of this document 1 is to help Simon Fraser University (SFU) Psychology Department undergraduate students format their papers for the psychology courses in which they are registered at SFU. The aim of a psychology research report is to clearly and succinctly communicate the method, results, and significance of a psychological study. Psychologists generally report their research findings in a format that is outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association [APA], 2001). The APA manual is available in the SFU library (3rd-floor reference desk) and bookstore, and students planning on attending graduate school are advised to purchase a copy. Undergraduate students are reminded to consult the manual regarding details that are not covered here, such as heading/subheading levels, series numbering/lettering, tables and figures, when to include the city’s state or country in references, and so forth. In general, psychology research reports consist of several sections. Students need to be aware that, in APA, all sections are double-spaced and the title page, abstract, introduction, references, and footnotes begin on new pages. Other sections (method, results, and discussion) begin directly below the preceding section. Though appendices may occasionally be included in a research report, they are not appropriate in a typical student paper. (Appendices include materials such as a mathematical proof or an unpublished test.) Along with these conventions, only one space is used after a period.

This document has been created to inform students of general APA style rules therefore, to accomplish this objective, formatting information has been included in the Method section. Method

SFU Psychology Department


Title Page
A title page includes the paper/study title, the author's name and affiliation, a short title and page number (located on the top-right; the first two to three words of the title, 5 spaces, and page number), statement of running head (placed on the top-left). The student number, course number, TA name, instructor name, and due date are added as if they were an author’s note. Abstract

An abstract is a 100- to 150-word summary of the report. Some courses require an abstract for student papers, so check your assignment instructions to know whether you need to include one—or not. An abstract appears on its own page immediately after the title page. The Text or Body: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion The beginning of a paper is referred to as the introduction. It starts with the title of the paper and explains the purpose of the study, summarizes the theoretical importance and previous research in the area, and includes a clear statement of the research hypotheses or goals. The method describes the study in enough detail to permit another investigator to replicate it. It is divided into three subsections: participants, apparatus (if necessary), and procedure. The results and discussion sections are discussed within their own sections later in this paper.

A direct quotation that is taken from another reference is used “to identify a[nother] person’s” writing (Bunn & Rush, 1980, p. 42), and entered as an example of a direct quotation. The APA manual (APA, 2001) states:

Direct quotations must be accurate. Except as noted in sections 3.37 and 3.38, the quotation must follow the wording, spelling, and interior punctuation of the

SFU Psychology Department


original sources, even if the source is...

Citations: of authors within a sentence take the form of "Freud (1928) contended that.…" Note
that, in this example, the year appears in parentheses
mentioned, include the entire citation in parentheses as follows: "...according to social learning
theory (Bandura & Walters, 1962)." Both of the previous examples are used when paraphrasing
(YEAR). Title of article. Title of Journal, Vol.#, ###-### (the latter are the page numbers, refer
to Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1971; Barlow, 1991)
Nonperiodical references. Nonperiodical references are book references. Refer to the
APA (2001) manual’s section regarding state, province, country, abbreviations, and punctuation,
province, country (see Shaffer, Wood, & Wolloughby, 2005) and, for other countries, the city
and country
that have not been discussed in this paper (see Southwell & Feldman, 1969; Bandura & Huston,
1967; Shaffer et al., 2005; Barash, 1977).
1999). For a non-periodical, the URL address to the specific document being referenced is
included (see Wolfe, 2007)
(2001) manual for more information.
Atkinson, R. C., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1971). The control of term memory. Scientific American,
225, 82-90.
Bandura, A., & Huston, A. C. (1967). Identification as a process of incidental learning. In G. R.
Barash, D. P. (1977). Sociobiology and behavior. New York: Elsevier.
Barlow, D. H. (Ed.). (1991). Diagnoses, dimensions, and DSM-IV: The science of classification
[Special issue]
Ogloff, J. R. P. (1999). Law and human behavior: Reflecting back and looking forward
[Electronic version]
Shaffer, D. R., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2005). Developmental psychology: Childhood and
adolescence (2nd ed.)
Southwell, E. A., & Feldman, H. (Eds.). (1969). Abnormal psychology: Readings in theory and
Wolfe, J. (Ed.). (2007). SFU psychology department: American Psychological Association style
for undergraduate papers
endnotes and be sure you change the numbering’s style. (This document was revised April 3,
2007 and printed/posted April 11, 2007; o:ugradsother handoutsapa-style.doc.)
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