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An EasyGuide to APA Style

An EasyGuide to APA Style

Third Edition

328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Written by experienced psychology instructors who are active and respected members of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the updated Third Edition provides a reader-friendly guide for mastering APA style and covers all sections of an APA-style paper. Clear, conversational, and humorous, the book presents easy-to-understand explanations of how to write research papers, term papers, and lab reports, and cite references following APA style and format. The authors focus on the most essential elements of APA style and format, offering useful advice, tips, and visual representations. 
Section I: Overview
Chapter 1: Style Versus Format: Why It Matters to Your Audience and Why It Should Matter to You
What Is the Difference Between APA Style and APA Format?

Why APA Style Anyway? Wasn’t MLA Good Enough?

In the Long Run, Attention to Detail Matters (Including APA Style and Format)

Write for Your Specific Audience: Term Papers Versus Formal Research Papers

Chapter 2: Your Visual Table of Contents QuickFinder
The Sample Paper With Content and Page Numbers

Section II. Writing With (APA) Style: Big-Picture Items
Chapter 3: General Writing Tips Specific to APA Style: Bare-Bones Fundamentals
Clear and Succinct Writing: Using Your Scholarly Voice

Commonly Confused Words in Psychology and Beyond

Subject–Verb Agreement

Active Voice Versus Passive Voice in APA Style

Some (But Not Too Much) First-Person Usage

Avoiding Anthropomorphism

Chapter 4: A Quick Grammar Summary for APA-Style Writing
Parts of a Sentence

Parts of Speech

Common Grammar Mistakes to Avoid

Chapter 5: Plagiarism and How to Avoid It: Thou Shalt Not Steal (or Be Lazy)
But I Didn’t Know...

It Sounds Like a Bad Word

Quoting: More Than Just a Copy and Paste

Paraphrasing: In Your Own Words

An Author’s License (Yours): Modifying Source Material

But I Can Freely Use My Own Work, Right?

How About This for a Plagiarism Awareness Exercise?

Chapter 6: Avoiding Biased Language
The Fundamental Lesson: View People as Individuals First

Specific Recommendations for Reducing Bias: Nonsexist Language and Other Areas

Sexual Orientation

Racial and Ethnic Identity



Gender and Pronouns: With an Indefinite Recommendation

Section III. Writing With (APA) Style: Getting Down to Business
Chapter 7: Writing Your Introduction: Tying the Story all Together
What to Include in Your Introduction

Formatting Your Introduction

Getting Your Introduction Started

Using an Outline: Organizing Your Literature Review

Common Mistakes to Avoid in your Introduction

Outline for the Sample Introduction Section Included

Sample Paper

Chapter 8: Writing Your Discussion: It’s a Wrap
Formatting Your Discussion Section

What to Include in Your Discussion Section

Getting Your Discussion Section Started

Organizing Your Discussion Section

Common Mistakes to Avoid in your Discussion Section

Outline for the Sample Discussion Section Included

Sample Paper

Chapter 9: Citing Sources in Text: Whodunit (or Said It)?
A Good Rule of Thumb

Ready, Cite, GO

In-Text Citation Basics

Some Curveballs

Chapter 10: A Step-by-Step Playbook of Your Method: How, What, When, Who, and Where?
Where in the Flow of Pages Do You Place the Method Section?

Where in the Method Section Does This Information Go?


Materials and Apparatus


Formatting Your Method Section

Chapter 11: Writing About Statistics and Associated Fun: How Did It All Turn Out?
Let Us Talk Statistics

Basics and Beyond

Formatting Your Results Paragraph

Including Effect Size and Power

Chapter 12: Everybody Needs References
A Helpful Note

Creating Your References Section

Using Abbreviations

The Basics

Basic References Section Formatting Rules

Some Not-So-Basic Rules You Might Need

Section IV. Presenting Your Work in APA Format
Chapter 13: The Numbers Game: How to Write Numbers (and When the Rules Change)
When You Use Numerals

When You Use Words

Using Both Numerals and Words

How to Use Decimal Points

Additional Rules for Including Numbers in Your Paper


When Do You Use Abbreviations?

Chapter 14: Formatting: Organizing, Headings, and Making Your Work Look Good to Print
What Goes Where?

What Your Paper Should Look Like


Spelling Matters: Spelling and Capitalization Rules

Final Touches

Chapter 15: Table That Motion: The Special Challenges of Tables and Figures
What Is What

Getting the Look Down

A Note on “Notes”

Figuring It Out

Get Legendary (and Use Captions)

Where to Place Tables and Figures

But I Am Doing a Literature Review: Could I Use a Table or Figure?

Do Not Forget

Chapter 16: Make Microsoft Word 2013 Work for You: APA Formatting
Word 2013 Tabs and Drop-Down Menus

Setting the Margins

Line Spacing and Spacing Between Paragraphs

Page Headers (First Page and Subsequent Pages) and Page Numbering

Tabs, Centering, and the Ruler

References and the Hanging Indent

Preparing a Table (Rows, Columns, Lines, Centering)

Fonts and Font Variations (Italics, Bold, Superscript)

Page Breaks, Orphans, and Widows

Spell-Checker and Grammar Checker

Developing Good Habits: Autosaving, File Naming, File Storage, Frequent Backups

Section V. Some Nitty-Gritty Details
Chapter 17: Making a List, No Apps Required: Enumeration and Seriation
Why Bother?

Keeping Order at the Section Level

Order Within Paragraphs or Sentences

On a Related Note

Chapter 18: Abbreviations, Signs, Symbols, and Punctuation: The Devil Is in the Details
OMG: To Abbreviate or Not?

Blinding You With Science and Latin


Section VI. In Closing: Important Considerations
Chapter 19: Using Rubrics: Knowing What It Means to Write a Good Paper
Follow Rubrics When Provided

Example Rubric

Chapter 20: Proofreading the Entire Paper: Get It Right!
Sample Student Paper for Practicing Proofreading

Chapter 21: Complete Sample of an Experimental (Research) Paper: Samples, Anyone?
Sample Paper

Additional Resources on Writing

Chapter 22: How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes: All Together Now
APA Style and Format Checklist

Be Aware of Professors’ Pet Peeves


Easy to understand - yet profound enough to use it also for university-level research.

Mr Ferry Habasche
Management, FHWien University of Applied Sciences
February 3, 2020

A clear and well presented text. Students like the illustrations throughout the book that highlight the correct way and common mistakes in APA style referencing.

Dr Helen Nicholas
Institute of Health & Society, Worcester University
October 27, 2016

Very good "how to"-book.

Professor Ewald Mittelstaedt
Engineering and Business Managment, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences
May 1, 2016

This book is essential reading for students who are using the APA referencing style in their work. It offers a comprehensive range of sources and how to reference them.

Dr Helen Nicholas
Institute of Health & Society, Worcester University
March 13, 2017

Provides great detail to all the issues with writing with APA referencing for essays, reports, articles and theses. Really useful manual for students.

Dr Pauline Hyland
Psychology , Dublin Business School
September 28, 2016

The book is easy to read, offers insights into the purpose and utility of APA style. Price is reasonable for students we serve.

Dr Andrew Knapp
Social Science Dept, Finger Lakes Community College
March 10, 2016

It can be a daunting task to put a journal article into APA style when students use a different referencing style on their courses. I found this text was very user-friendly and had all the essential information in a more summarized way than the larger APA style textbooks.

Ms jackie fox
discipline of occupational therapy, National University of Ireland, Galway
June 8, 2016

An extremely detailed and readable guide to using the American Psychological Association (APA) style. The book covers everying from when to use italics, abbreviations; how to cite correctly, setting margings and reporting statistics. Humour and a conversational writing style make the guide accessible to even first year undergraduate students. Chapter 19 on using Rubrics will be of particular help to students, who often ignore or misunderstand marking instructions. There is much good general advice about how to write well, particularly on the use of unbiased language.

The authors assume that their audience are studying psychology. More examples from non-psychology disciplines would have made this book a better fit for our students.

Mrs Udeni Salmon
Salford Business School, Salford University
June 7, 2016

Provides a useful reference text for students that should hopefully reduce the number of formatting mistakes that students commit repeatedly. The sample papers seem useful and could be adapted for use in a classroom activity.

Dr Trevor James
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University
May 25, 2016

A comprehensive guide covering all aspects of research report writing. Expecting this to be dipped into frequently so the cover and binding could be more robust.

Nursing , Manchester College of Arts & Techn.
April 29, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 12

Beth M. Schwartz

Beth M. Schwartz is the Provost and Professor of Psychology at Endicott College. Previously she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, Ohio. Dr. Schwartz started her career on the faculty at Randolph College (founded as Randolph-Macon Woman's College) in Lynchburg, VA, where she served for 24 years. At Randolph she was the William E. and Catherine Ehrman Thoresen ‘23 Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean of the College. She received a BA at Colby College (Maine) and a PhD in cognitive psychology at the State University of New York at... More About Author

R. Eric Landrum

R. Eric Landrum is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychological Science at Boise State University, receiving his PhD in cognitive psychology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  He is a research generalist, broadly addressing the improvement of teaching and learning, including the long-term retention of introductory psychology content, skills assessment, improving help-seeking behavior, advising innovations, understanding student career paths, the psychology workforce, successful graduate school applications, and more.  Eric has 425+ presentations, 23 books/textbooks, and published 85 peer-reviewed journal... More About Author

Regan A. R. Gurung

REGAN A. R. GURUNG is Professor of Psychology and the Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Oregon State University.Born and raised in Bombay, India, Dr. Gurung received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Carleton College (Minnesota) and Master of Science (MS) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in social and personality psychology at the University of Washington (Washington State). He followed with 3 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research fellow.His early work focused on social support and close relationships; he studied how... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781483383231