APA Style at Oxy
The American Psychological Association (APA) provides guidelines for writing and formatting scholarly papers in psychology. This APA Style benefits both writers and readers by standardizing and simplifying the way in which information is presented in texts, particularly research journals.
APA Style includes guidelines for both general aspects of writing (e.g., tone, primary use of 3rd person perspective, order of paper subsections) and for formatting specific components within a paper (e.g., italicizing a book's title or a journal's title and volume number). Due to the large number of guidelines and principles espoused by APA, our psychology majors learn just a portion of them in classes.
In particular, Oxy psychology majors are expected to format the following components accurately:
- the title page (for "manuscript" format): be mindful of the spacing and location of title, affiliation, & running head
- citations within the text: direct quotations, use of "and" versus "&", alphabetical ordering for multiple citations in parentheses, use of "et al."
- citations within the "Reference" page: hanging indentation, spacing, format for different types of sources
- statistical results
- sections and headings of an empirical paper: Methods, Results, etc.
Official APA publications explaining APA Style are commercially available through bookstores, online vendors, and the APA website (www.apa.org):
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition)
- Concise Rules of APA Style (6th Edition)
Materials highlighting aspects of APA Style emphasized in Occidental psychology courses:
- PowerPoint Slides for reviewing APA Style after completing PSYC 200
- Handout to complement PowerPoint slides
- Sample paper - Contains errors for you to identify (self-test)
- Sample paper - Corrected version
Linked below are free Internet resources with guides about APA Style and sample papers. Because we cannot guarantee that online resources are up-to-date, however, students should always refer to an official publication when uncertain.
The OWL at Purdue - Web-based guide covering many elements of the APA Publication Manual
- Sample Paper from OWL
Video tutorial for formatting (may load slowly)