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APA Writing, Citing, and Formatting

What Is the APA Manual and Why Is It Used?

The American Psychological Association publishes a manual that is widely used in academia to specify standards for academic writing. It prescribes formatting details like page margins, font types and sizes, and uniform heading structure. It also details how to cite sources of information.

The attribution of sources consists of narrative citations or parenthetical citations in the paper’s body and the listing of those sources cited in the paper on the references pages at the end of the paper. Sources of information must be acknowledged with citations to avoid plagiarism (explained elsewhere in the Writing Studio website) and to inform readers of student papers where information in the paper came from if they are interested in reviewing those sources.

Citations

A typical narrative citation would be like the following:

According to Smith and Jones (2019), the factors most affecting …

A typical parenthetical citation would be like the following:

… are most affected by those factors (Smith & Jones, 2019).

The citations of quoted material include a page or paragraph number:

… claimed “the factor that cannot be ignored is cost” (Smith & Jones, 2019, p. 43).

Quotations of 40 words or more are formatted somewhat differently. The differences are explained in the APA Manual Seventh Edition in section 8.27.

The specific form of a citation depends on the number of authors, whether there are authors associated with the written work, whether or not there is a year of publication, and whether there is more than one source listed on the References page with the same author(s) and year of publication. There is also a specific way to cite a primary source you found by reading a secondary source during your research. The details for formatting these different kinds of citations are in the APA Manual.

The References Page(s)

Once you have written the paper and cited specific sources in it, create a References section. The sources are listed in alphabetical order and formatted with a “Hanging” indent. The attached PDF contains examples of the basic formats.

Citations and References (Seventh Edition)

Tone

Assume that your audience knows something about your topic but may not know everything that you do. You should write in a way that grabs their interest. Avoid writing in an informal, conversational tone. Use a business-like tone, and try to be concise with your choice of words. In every instance, try to make your point by using as few words as possible.

 

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Jessica Kircher

Going to Keiser University was one of the greatest experiences in my life. All of my deans, professors, and staff made me feel that I was a part of something very special, and I am. I would recommend for anyone to get their education at Keiser University.

Belinda Haney

The instructors at Keiser University impacted my life. They believed in my ability to become a great graphic designer, regardless of how I felt about my skills. KU helped to prepare me for the real world and got me to where I am today.

Justin Pugh

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Ty Fitzgerald

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Keiser University’s MBA program has renewed my mind, changed the way I think, and given me a new sense of purpose.  The professors transformed my attitude and behavior, gave me the self-confidence I was lacking, and restored my energy.

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It has been great attending and graduating from Keiser University.  Because of the small class sizes, I was able to build good relationships with classmates and professors.  The PA professors care very much about the progress and success of the students and have been great advisors every step of the way through the program.

Annelise Merriner, PA-C

Attending Keiser University and getting my degree was the best decision I have ever made.  The small class sizes and personalized attention helped me get my degree quickly.  The hands-on experience and the education landed me a job at a neighboring law firm.

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After being denied for several promotions at my current employer, I decided that I needed to further my education.  Since graduating from Keiser with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I have been promoted and I am able to obtain positions that weren’t available to me before.

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