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APA Style

The sciences tend to refer primarily to published papers, and these are indicated by the last name of the author and the date of the publication. Thus, for the APA style, created by the American Psychological Association, the citation in the text in parentheses will have the author's name, paper date, and page numbers with the p.'s; an example is ( Smith, 1998, pp. 3-7). The citation will vary depending on the source(s): two authors ( Smith and Jones, 1998, p. 2); three or more authors ( Smith et al., 1998, p. 3); more than one reference ( Smith, 1998; Jones, 1998; Magillicutty, 1923). If the author has already been named in the text, then the date alone is needed. Page numbers are needed only for direct quotations or specific facts. General references to a study need only the name and year. If a writer has more than one article in a given year, then each gets a different subset letter ( Smith, 1998a) as opposed to ( Smith, 1998b). As with the MLA style, if there are more than two Smiths who have published articles that you are referring to, use ( Smith, P., 1998) to distinguish the citation from ( Smith, Q., 1998). In case of a reference within a reference, both go in the parentheses ( Smith, 1998, cited by Jones, 1999).

On the "Works Cited" page, the information is the same as with the MLA system, but it is presented differently. The authors are listed in alphabetical order by last name, but the first names are indicated only by initials, followed by the publication date, which is followed by the tide. Nor are there underlinings, italics, or quotations marks to distinguish the titles of articles or books. Books get only publication places and publishers. Articles get simply the title of the article followed by the name of the magazine or journal, follMillions of variants exist, of course. And to list them all would be impossible if not maddening. For your specific problem, check out one of the tedious writing handbooks hyped in every college bookstore. You can make notes on a piece of paper and return the book to the shelf without paying a cent. Other than that, remember to include the information needed to guide the reader to the specific text or article you got your information from. If an additional bit of data seems helpful, do not be afraid to add it. Not even scientists are so anal that they will mark you down for a misplaced comma in a citation.

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