Common APA Style Issues

Common APA Style Issues

If you are new to social sciences or education, chances are, you are not very familiar with APA citation formatting. Here are some tips that will help you avoid typical errors most novice APA style users make.

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1) Always use in-text citations. Please see below for information about how to do this.

Basic In-Text Citation Styles

Type of citation Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
One author (Luna, 2020) Luna (2020)
Two authors (Salas & D’Agostino, 2020) Salas and D’Agostino (2020)
Three or more authors (Martin et al., 2020) Martin et al. (2020)

 

2) You should avoid direct quotes, unless there is no other way to say something. If you must use a direct quote, always include page or paragraph number(s). Page numbers are for books and journal articles (even if you retrieved it from the internet); paragraphs are for online magazines, newspapers, and informational websites. Additionally, you MUST use quotation marks (unless it is a long quote, and you are using the “block quote” format).

 

References

3) For books, a common mistake is capitalizing all words in the book title. Only the first word in the title and the first word in the subtitle are capitalized. The title is italicized. Include edition information and the name of the publisher.

 

4) For journals, the article title is sentence case and not italicized, and the journal title is title case and italicized. Include volume, issue, and page information. Volume number is italicized (but not the issue number). (For an explanation of “sentence case” and “title case,” see http://writeanswers.royalroads.ca/faq/199241.)

 

5) Don’t spell out the first names of the authors; use initials.

 

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