Cleveland State University

The Writing Center

APA Resources

Where to start is the big question when it comes to APA.  The following headings offer various places depending on what you need. 

General Overview

If you have never used the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Sheet, try this 15-minute power point presentation from the University of Houston:

It covers formatting and citation.  If you are a visual learner, this power point demonstration will be great to look at before you turn to a manual.

Electronic Citations in the Reference Page

If all you need is to know how to cite an electronic journal article or a web page on the reference page, then try this page from the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

Electronic Citations in an In-Text Citation

If your electronic source has an author, then just give the name and date in parentheses just like you would any other source.
            Example:  (Gilmore, 2005).
If your electronic source does not have an author (a web site, for instance, might not have an author listed), then begin with the title of an article in quotation marks.  For a book or a journal, italicize the title.
            Example:  (“Trade Agreements”, 2007).
If you are using a web site that is large, offer the reader some help in finding the passage you are citing by numbering the paragraphs and referring to the section.  Use the abbreviation para. to refer to the word paragraph.
            Example:  (Gilmore, 2005, Conclusion section, para. 17).
If no date is given, then use (n.d.), which means no date.
More examples can be found at the Purdue Online Writing Lab site
You do not put the URL in the in-text citation. 

A Sample APA Paper Marked with Comments

Sometimes just seeing a model helps you with formatting.  Here is a link to a sample paper:

Books to Help You

The APA Manual is written for researchers, not students, so if your needs are basic, then consider one of the following resources:
            Concise Rules of APA Style (ISBN:  1-59147-252-0) available at the CSU Bookstore
            Well organized, lots of short examples; no sample paper though.

Handbooks such as The Writer’s Resource  by Elaine Maimon, et al, or The Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker—both available from the bookstore at about $65. 
Well organized, sample paper, but smaller print and more expensive.

APA Workbook
Only good if you need extremely close work with APA.  Interesting and
creative workbook. 

What Truly Drives Your Professors Crazy

APA requires attention to detail in ways that other style manuals do not (even though they require details too).  When you refer to a handbook, take care to notice the following details:
            *  the words Running Head occur on the first page and the title goes after a colon in all caps—at the left margin
            *  capitalization inside titles (varying capitalization depending on what kind of source)
            *  the ampersand (&) used in reference and in-text citations but not in the text for two or more authors
            *  the first initial is used—never the full name
            *  italicize journal titles and volume numbers
            *  double space within and between reference list entries
            *  no extra spaces in the text between paragraphs
            *  be careful where periods go (as opposed to where commas go)
            *  center your headings
            *  boldface major headings and subheadings

Return to WAC index

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