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APA Referencing Style

By HWA | Publish On: March 23, 2010 | Posted In:

APA Referencing

APA stands for American Psychological Association. APA referencing is used to address reading comprehension in the fields of social and behavioral sciences. It was developed to standardize scientific writing. These are a set of rules designed to address the concerns of clarity of communication.

Basically, an idea must be precise without any ambiguity so that everyone can understand as to what is going on. If there is any amount of ambiguity or confusion as to what is the subject dealing with or what is the basic idea behind something, the very purpose of the idea goes futile.

APA Style

So, the American Psychological Association (APA) contains the rules for writing, especially, in the field of social sciences. Rules regarding determination of authorship, avoiding plagiarism and writing accurate referencing citations are laid down by the APA.

The APA Style was established in 1929 as a seven-page document with a set of procedures to increase the ease of reading comprehension. Created under the sponsorship of United States National Research Council, its originators included Psychologists, Anthropologists and publishing professionals.

It was first revised in 1952 and it turned out to be a 55-page supplement in Psychological Bulletin. It was revised once in 1957 and again in 1967. Where the first edition covered about the word choice, grammar, punctuation, formatting and journal publication policies, in the later editions of 1974, 1983, 1994 and 2001 the stress was more on reducing bias in language. This requires that the writing shall not contain anything biased or offensive in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability status.

APA lays down the rules regarding how the research reports, term papers, empirical studies, literature reviews, theoretical articles and case studies should be written. Mechanical details like typeface, margins, line spacing and page headers should be taken into consideration. The pages should be numbered consecutively.
An average APA research report is divided into sections.

The main sections are
1. Title Page
2. Abstract
3. Introduction
4. Method
5. Results
6. Discussion
7. References
8. Appendices

Reference citations must be done using parenthetical referencing. Mostly, this means that the title of the publication followed by the last name of the author and the date of publication must be enclosed within parentheses.
Ex: A recent study found a possible genetic cause of alcoholism (Pauling, 2005).

Pauling (2005) discovered a possible genetic cause for alcoholism.

Reference list
The APA style guide prescribes that the Reference section, bibliographies and other lists of names should be accumulated by Last Name first and mandates the inclusion of surname prefixes. Ex: Sheril, R.D. (1956). The terrifying future: Contemplating color Television. San Diego: Halstead.

Electronic Sources
For Electronic references, websites and articles, APA Style asserts some basic rules, including to: Direct readers specifically to the same material using URLs which work, include the access date and include all other relevant APA style details for the source.
Ex: Internet article based on a print source (with exact formatting of original).Marlowe, P., Spade, S & Chan, C.(2001). Detective work and the benefits of color versus
Black and white. [Electronic version]. Journal of Pointless Research,11, 123-124

If you want a detailed information about APA style referencing then you can visit these websites cited below.


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