Welcome to the exciting world of APA formatting. While most of us can assume that our essays will conform to the MLA style, some essays, especially those in the social sciences, will have to use the APA method. So, what exactly does this entail?
Formatting: Headers and Clearly marked sections.
The header is simply a space on the top of each page that states the title of your paper. You should also place the page number at the top of the page.
In an essay in the social sciences, each section in a paper should be clearly marked, for example, as: title page, abstract, main body, references, and in some cases, introduction and conclusion.
Citations: Direct and Indirect quotes
According to APA styling, if you are using a direct quote then you must site the source. If you are merely referring to a source or idea that you have already referenced in your paper, you do not need to include the full citation. All you have to do is reference the author and the year of publication of the text, for example, (Smith, 2002.) Remember, most of these papers will need to include a list of sources at the end, so you shouldn’t worry too much. For a direct quote, you should first reference the author and the year at the beginning of the quote, and then add the page number at the end. For example, According to Smith (2002), “Students who were familiar with MLA formatting often found it tedious to switch to APA formatting” (p. 29). If you are using a source with two different authors, then include both in the citation, for example (Smith and Johnson, 2002).
Citation: Articles, Books, and electronic sources
When you are compiling your references, it is important to cite them properly. To cite an article, the rule is:
Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.
If there is more than one author, list them all alphabetically at the beginning;
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.
If you are citing from a book, then this is the proper format;
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
And finally, if citing from an electronic source, you should use;
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
APA guidelines can be tricky, but there are plenty of resources out there for you to use. You do not usually need to worry about footnotes or endnotes. You merely want a neat and clearly explained paper. Good luck!