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APA Guidelines

APA Guidelines

Basic APA Guidelines for RTC Projects


  • Note: Headings provide the outline of your LEP and/or teacher action research design.  They provide structure to provide ease of reading and understanding.  Every level three heading sets apart a section and should have text below it.  Every level four heading sets apart a sub-section of the previous level three heading and should have text below it. Whether you choose to use underlines or italics, be consistent throughout the paper.
  • Chapter 2
    (Level one heading, centered, uppercase and lowercase heading)
  • Literature Review
    (Level two heading, centered, italicized or underlined, uppercase and lowercase heading)
  • A Brief History of Reading Instruction  (Level three heading, flush left, italicized or underlined, uppercase and lowercase heading, no end punctuation, and it appears on a line alone)
  •      The impact of reading instruction on comprehension. Often writing instruction can focus so closely on decoding skills, that comprehension…  (Level four heading, indented the same as a paragraph indent, italicized or underlined, first word capitalized, ending with a period, and appears on the same line as the subsequent text)


  • "When quoting material, it must be copied exactly and is cited with the author, date, and page number. Remember to record the page number when copying quotes because you will need them when you quote the material in your paper" (Doe, 2003, p. 57). (Note the punctuation appears after the citation)
  • When you quote material that is more than 40 words, you will place it in a block quote. This type of quote is an indented block, with an unjustified right margin that is not indented. There are no quotation marks used; the block is double-spaced just like the rest of the paper; and the citation appears after the punctuation, contains the page number, and does not end with punctuation. (Doe, 2003, p.57)

CITATION OF SOURCES (Parenthetical References):

  • You can cite sources like this (Doe, 2003).
  • Doe (2003) has said you can cite like this.
  • Doe (2003) and Jones (2001) have said this will work.
  • Some researchers (Doe, 2003; Smith, 2001; Davis & Jones, 1999) have agreed.
  • Smith (as cited in Jones, 2003) has mentioned other options.
  • "I like this way" (Davis, 1998, p.5).
  • Smith, Davis, and Jones (2003) have stated their opinion.
  • Taylor, Davis, Smith, and Jones (2003) demonstrate that you list all authors the first time.
  • Taylor et al. (2003) demonstrates that you can use this form with all subsequent references to the same group.


  • This is one way to list items. When you do it this way remember the following: (a) The list is preceded by a colon, (b) the first word in the first item is capitalized, and (c) you will use lower case letters in parentheses.
  • Another way to list is to do the following:
    Use numbers.
  • Indent like you would a paragraph.
  • The numbers are followed by a period and are not enclosed in parenthesis.
  • Double-space between items and double-space between individual lines, like I have done here. You will also notice that the second and subsequent lines are lined up with the indent and do not return to the left margin.


  • Single-space within entries and double-space between entries. (This is a variation from the APA style, which calls for all entries to be double-spaced. Your instructor may request adherence to the APA style.)
  • Use hanging indent paragraph style (align the first line with the left margin, and indent all subsequent lines three spaces from the left margin).
  • Type all authors' names with the last name first separated by a comma. Use only initials for the first and middle names, and an ampersand (&) rather than "and" before the last author's name. When a work has between two and six authors, cite all authors. When a work has more than six authors, list the first six, and use "et al." to signify the remaining authors.
  • When listing two or more works by the same author, the work with the earlier publication date should come first. If both articles have the same year list one as "a" and the next as "b" such as (2003a) and (2003b).
  • Use this designation when citing the source in the text of your paper.
  • In titles of books and articles, begin only the first word of each title, subtitle, and proper name with a capital letter. In the titles of journals, begin all significant words with a capital letter.
  • Use italics or underline for the titles of books and periodicals.
  • Do not underline or use quotation marks around the titles of periodical articles.
  • When referencing a non-periodical (book, audiovisual, etc.), you should always list the city of publication. You should also include the state if the city is unfamiliar or if the city could be confused with one in another state.
  • Give the full names of publishers, excluding "Co.," "Inc.," and the like.
  • Use the abbreviation "p." or "pp." before page numbers of a chapter in an edited book, an article from a newspaper, and an article in a magazine that does not list a volume number.
  • Separate each portion of each bibliography entry with a period and one space.
  • When referencing material obtained by searching an internet aggregated database, follow the format appropriate to the work retrieved and add a retrieval statement that gives the date of retrieval, the proper name of the database, and the item number if applicable.
  • A book with one author:
  • Josephson, M. (1959). Edison: A biography. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • A book with two or more authors:
  • Cole, B. & Gealt, A. (1989). Art of the western world: From ancient Greece to post-modernism. New York: Summit Books.
  • A particular edition of a book:
  • Brockett, O. (1987). History of the theatre (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • A work published by a corporation or institution:
  • University of Minnesota. (1985). Social psychology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • A book with no author or editor identified:
  • Experimental psychology. (1938). New York: Holt.
  • Note: Alphabetize these kinds of entries by the first significant word in the title.
  • A work in more than one volume:
  • Magill, F.N. (Ed.). (1961). Masterpieces of world philosophy in summary form (Vols. 1-2). New York: Salem Press.
  • An article in an edited book:
  • Rubenstein, J.P. (1967). The effect of television violence on small children. In B.F. Kane (Ed.), Television and Juvenile Psychological Development (pp. 112-134).  New York: American Psychological Society.
  • A signed article in a journal:
  • McCartney, K. (1984). The effect of a quality day care environment upon children's language development. Development Psychology, 20, 244-60.
  • A signed article in a monthly magazine:
  • Beardsley, T. (1995, January). For whom the bell curve really tolls.  Scientific American, 272 (1), 14-17.
  • A signed article in a daily newspaper:
  • Moore, M. (1994, December 27). Speculation irks Flores. Journal American, Section D, p. 1.
  • An unsigned article:
  • What Vietnam did to us. (1981, December 14). Newsweek, pp. 46-97.
  • A film or videotape:
  • Hand, D. (Supervising director) & Disney, D. (Producer). (1937). Snow White and the seven dwarfs [Videotape]. Burbank, CA: Walt Disney.
  • Internet article based on a print source:
  • VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection of resources by psychology undergraduates [Electronic version]. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5, 117-123.
  • Internet article based on a print source that you have reason to believe has been changed:
  • VandenBos, G., Knapp, S., & Doe, J. (2001). Role of reference elements in the selection of resources by psychology undergraduates [Electronic version]. Journal of Bibliographic Research, 5, 117-123. Retrieved October 13, 2001, from
  • Internet article in a magazine, no author identified:
  • From "character" to "personality": The lack of a generally accepted, unifying theory hasn't curbed research into the study of personality.  (1999, December). APA Monitor, 30. Retrieved August 22, 2000, from
  • Article in an Internet-only journal:
  • Fredrickson, B.L. (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 0001a. Retrieved November 20, 2000 from http://journals.apa .org/prevention/pre0030001a.html
  • Whenever possible the URL should link directly to the article. Break a URL that goes to another line after a slash or before a period. Do not insert (or allow your word-processing program to insert) a hyphen at the break.
  • Article retrieved from online database:
  • Bowls, M. D. (1998). The organization man goes to college: AT&T's experiment in humanistic education, 1953-1960. The Historian, 61, 15+. Retrieved January 27, 1999, from DIALOG online database (#88, IAC Business A.R.T.S., Item 04993186)
  • Note: The basic retrieval statement for online databases is as follows:  Retrieved [month day, year,] from [source] online database ([name of database], [item no.-if applicable])
  • Article retrieved from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC):
  • Borman, W.C. (1993). Role of early supervisory experience in supervisor performance. Retrieved October 23, 2003 from ERIC Database (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 123456)
  • Note: If the Service No. begins with an "EJ" it refers to a journal article. Secure the article from the original journal and cite as you would any journal article.


  • (an excellent resource regarding APA style).
  • The book: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed). Washington DC: Author.
  • For more detailed information: and
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