APA References

Ideas and written words are the “products” of academia, and as such are protected in the same way that products are in stores. Taking someone’s ideas or words is illegal in a manner similar to stealing someone’s car or camera. Citing your sources is the equivalent of asking permission to borrow someone’s camera.  APA stands for the American Psychological Association. Its rules for writing have been adopted by many of the sciences and social sciences, so for this class you’ll need to learn how to properly format references and cite in APA style.

JOURNAL ARTICLES: Here is a quick example for a peer-reviewed journal article:

Bloom, L., Lightbown, P., & Hood, L. (1975). Structure and variation in child language. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 40, 1-19.

•    author last names (no degrees, e.g., PhD, MD)
•    author first initial (no full first names)
•    print year (no month nor seasonal information, e.g., Fall)
•    article title
•    journal title
•    volume number (this can be followed by the issue number in parentheses)
•    first and last page numbers in full digits (e.g., 212-215)
•    attend to italics (Journal title and volume number)
•    attend to punctuation and spacing

There are a number of tools available to help you learn this style. The easiest and most accessible tool is your textbook. If you look at the reference section of your text, you’ll see a whole set of sources cited in proper APA format. You should be able to recognize a particular reference as a journal article by using the example above. If you are unsure, please ask me. Note the spacing, capitalization, punctuation and content. For additional details about how to format references according to APA rules, go to: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

Ultimately, you need to know the rules of APA format. However, if you want to the computer to do more of the work, there are a couple of free online services:

Citation Machine: http://citationmachine.net
Knight Cite:  http://www.calvin.edu/library/knightcite/

You can also use the Reference feature of the current version of MS-Word, or the reference tools within the library’s databases or even within ScholarGoogle.com. With any of these computer tools, however, you must be vigilant. If you enter incorrect information, the computer won’t correct you. You must know what to type in what field. You should always proof your work to make sure there aren’t any goofy computer errors. Your group members can also serve as proof-readers. The more accurate you are, the more points you earn.

APPS: For PSYC& 100 students, you may want to use 3D Brain, an app, for information to use in your presentation on part of the brain. Here is a website that shows how to cite apps: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/03/how-to-cite-a-mobile-app.html

WEBSITES: This site: http://www.citationmachine.net/  is the best one I have found for helping you with citations for websites. Be sure to select APA at the outset. Choose Webiste.  You can paste your URL into the box and the site will let you know what information is missing. You can then go back to the site to see if you can find the information and can plug it in. Then click Make A Citation and it will give you a citation that you can copy and paste into your reference list.

Here’s an example that I tried.

  • I found a fun website: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html
  • I opened up a new tab and went to http://www.citationmachine.net/
  • (My reference document is also open in another window)
  • I clicked on APA
  • Then on Website
  • Then pasted the URL (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html) into the box
  • Clicked Search Websites and it pulled up the site I wanted
  • I clicked SELECT
  • It brought up what information it could find and what was missing (publisher/sponsor, and publication date)
  • I went back to the website and looked at the bottom of the page. It listed copyright information: Serendip is the publisher/sponsor and the last modification date was 05 September 2012
  • Back on Citation Machine site, I clicked on Continue To Final Step
  • I entered the missing information
  • Clicked Make Citation
  • Under the empty box, the reference/citation appears.
  • Copied and pasted it into my reference document.

Don’t forget to alphabetize your references before you submit them.

Also, be sure to make your entire reference document appear in the same font before you turn it in.