In reporting or attributing research for academic writing, college-level students must document their research findings. Among several styles of documentation, the most common are APA and MLA.
If required to use APA style, acquire or consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, which can be found in public libraries, university libraries, university writing centers, many bookstores, and book services. The 6th edition, published summer 2009, makes several changes from the 5th edition.
This handout briefly describes some basic APA documentation procedures. It is not intended to be inclusive, nor is it intended to replace the style manual.
For WRIT 3037 spring 2014 UHCL-Ramsey, you may use either MLA or APA documentation. Your instructor is more familiar with MLA style, which prevails in Literature and Humanities courses, but can make sense of APA style, so use the style that best suits your interests.
Both APA and MLA styles constantly evolve so that documentation can operate as unobtrusively and efficiently as possible in achieving its goals. These changes can be frustrating because the documentation forms you learned one year may change while you aren't looking.
Electronic publishing has driven much recent change in documentation. Students often welcome the quickness and ease of electronic research, but electronic research often lacks the editing and verification expected for printed publications.
What are the major differences between MLA and APA?
The APA serves rapidly-evolving fields like Psychology and other Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, etc.), and therefore emphasizes the date of the source, with newer sources being more important than older.
Since MLA serves Humanities disciplines like Literature, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Art History, etc., sources may not lose validity with age. Therefore, the emphasis is on quality of the source, not its up-to-dateness.
How to create citations within the text:
Author's name in text: Put the year in parentheses following the author's name.
Example: Johnson (2007) argues for the continuation of . . .
Author's name in reference: Put the author and date (separated by a comma) in parentheses at the end of the cited segment.
Example: In a recent study of chemical reactions, . . . (Johnson, 2007)
Quoted material in text: Enclose quotations of fewer than 40
words in double quotation marks (do not indent or block off). In parentheses,
include the page number of the quoted text preceded by "p.".
Works with no identified author:
Quoted material from an Internet source without pagination:
b) If neither page nor paragraph number is provided,
but headings are used, cite the appropriate heading and the number of the
paragraph following it. You will need to count the paragraphs yourself.
c) If neither page nor paragraph is provided and
headings are too long to be cited in full, use a shortened heading with
quotation marks. Again, you will need to count the paragraphs yourself.
Guidelines for writing the References section: (In APA, "References" replaces the MLA's "Works Cited" or earlier styles' "Bibliography.)
Listed below are two important changes made to the References section in the 6th edition:
1) Previous editions required a retrieval date for online sources (Retrieved
on Date from URL). The 6th edition no longer requires a
2) The 6th edition discusses a new way of locating online material--the digital object identifier, or DOI. The DOI, not used by 2600 publishers, is a unique series of numbers assigned to online books and journal articles. The series of numbers, usually found on the first page of an electronic document, should be used to replace the URL in an entry in the References section. See the examples below.(For more information on the DOI, se pp. 188 and 198 of the APA manual.)
Examples of how to list selected materials in References:
BooksBook with one author:
Clark, I.L. (2008). The biological basis of personality. London, England: Taylor & Francis.
Book with two authors:
Citations of They Say / I Say
Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2010). They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. NY: Norton.
Electronic version of a print book:
Article in a reference book:
Article or chapter in a book:
Articles fromThe Norton Reader
Bronowski, J. (1953). The Nature of Scientific Reasoning. L. H. Peterson, J. C. Brereton, & J. E. Hartman (Eds.). The Norton Reader 9th ed. (pp. 1011-1015). NY: Norton.
PeriodicalsJournal article with DOI:
Herst-Damm, K. L. (2005) Volunteer support...and terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi: 10.1037/0278-6126.96.36.199
Journal article with continuous pagination and without DOI:
Journal article without DOI and paginated by issue:
Online newspaper article:
Online magazine article:
Special citations for our course
(see also above)
(These are somewhat improvised but continue to operate under the principle of providing as much information as possible or helpful. Even if your reader might never have access to the "instructor's responses to your essays," you can make a convincing case that you're not making these up, that they really exist.)
White, C. (2012). Check-Sheet for Essay Organization. Instructional Materials for Craig White's Literature Courses. http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/HSH/Whitec/INST/ThesTopSS.htm
(For the example above, you don't really need to write out the web URL address beginning with http unless you're so inclined. For convenience in our situation only, write something like White Coursesite.)
Instructor's responses to essays:
White, C. (2012) "Essay 1 Rewrite." Personal note. 8 November 2012.
Much of this information was taken from the following edition of the APA manual:
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.