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Social Work

Resources for social work students.

Basic Formatting an APA Student Paper

Body/Font:

  • Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides.  
  • The APA does not require a specific font, but does suggest that you choose a font that is easily readable and widely accessible.  
  • While not required, APA does suggest 12pt Times New Roman (or another similar/common font)

Page Header/Running Header (Student Paper)

  • For a student paper, this only includes the page number.
  • To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. 
  • Start with "1" on the title page 

Page Header/Running Header (Professional Paper)

  • For a professional paper, the running header includes your title written in all capitols (flush left) and the page number (flush right). 
  • The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
  • Start with "1" on the title page 

Title Page (Student Paper)

  • The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation.
  • The title should be centered and written in boldface using sentence case.
  • A student paper should also include the course number and nameinstructor name, and assignment due date.
  • Running Header will be on title page:
    • Only include page number for student papers (flush right)

Title Page (Professional Paper)

  • The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation.
  • The title should be centered and written in boldface using sentence case.
  • A professional paper should also include the author note.
  • Running Header will be on title page:
    • Include shortened title of paper (flush left) and page number (flush right)

Abstract:

  • Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above).
  • On the first line of the abstract page, center and bold the word “Abstract” (no italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
  • Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.)
  • Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings.
  • Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should typically be no more than 250 words.

In-Text Citations Basics:

  • APA format uses an author/date format for in text citations. This means that you are required to include the author's name and the date of publication in your writing.
  • For each in text citation you include in your paper, you also include a full citation in the "Reference List" section of your paper.

Reference List:

  • Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page "References" in bold, centered at the top of the page (do NOT underline or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.
  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Italicize titles of longer works (e.g., books, edited collections, names of newspapers, and so on).
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as chapters in books or essays in edited collections.

Block Quote/Extracts:

  • When you use a quote that is more than 40 words you will use a block quote. 
  • Use indent/tab (1/2 inch) to indent each line of the block quote. 
  • A blocked quotation does not get enclosed in quotation marks. 
  • A blocked quotation must always begin a new line. 
  • Keep double spacing, and do not add an extra space/line before or after the quote.
  • Parenthetical Citation (Author, Date, p.) comes after the final punctuation of block quote.
  • Follow all other rules for in-text citations  
  • Usually introduced by a “signal phrase” which introduces author and their work  
    • As Jones (2022) notes: 
    • Jones (2022) offers a compelling narrative: 

Formatting Citations for a Reference List

Basic Format for Articles:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

 

  • Basic Format for Books:
    • Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI (if available)

  • Edited Book No Author:
    • Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher. DOI (if available)

  • Edited Book with Author(s):
    • Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (E. Editor, Ed.). Publisher. DOI (if available)

  • Edition other than First:
    • Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (# edition). Publisher. DOI (if available)

  • Multivolume Work:
    • Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (Vol. #)Publisher. DOI (if available)
  • Webpage or Piece of Online Content (individual):
    • Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

  • Webpage or Piece of Online Content (group/organization):
    • Group name. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

  • Webpage or Piece of Online Content (no author):
    • Title of page. (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL 

  • Webpage or Piece of Online Content (no date):
    • Author or Group name. (n.d.). Title of page. Site name (if applicable). URL
  • Online News Article with Associated Newspaper:
    • Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of article. Title of Publication. URL

  • Online News Article without Associated Newspaper:
    • Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of article. Name of publishing website. URL

Formatting In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations Basics:

  • APA format uses an author/date format for in text citations. This means that you are required to include the author's name and the date of publication in your writing.
  • For each in text citation you include in your paper, you also include a full citation in the "Reference List" section of your paper.

Summary and Paraphrase:

When summarizing or paraphrasing ideas, you must use the author's last name and the year of publication.  It is suggested that you also include the page number(s): 

  • Summary or paraphrase of idea (Jones, 2022).
  • Summary or paraphrase of idea from a single page (Jones, 2022, p.1).
  • Summary or paraphrase of idea from multiple pages (Jones, 2022, pp. 1-2).

If you use the author's name in your text, you just include a year in parenthesis.

  • According to Jones (2022), summary or paraphrase of idea.
  • According to Jones (2022), summary or paraphrase of idea from specific page (p. 1).
  • According to Jones (2022), summary or paraphrase of idea from specific pages (pp. 1-2).

Direct Quote:

When directly quoting another (less than 40 words), you include the author's last name, the year of publication and the page number (required).

  • "Direct quote" (Jones, 2022, p.1).
  • "Direct quote" (Jones, 2022. pp. 1-3).
  • According to Jones (2022), "direct quote" (p.1).

When Directly quoting for more than 40 words, use a block quote (see: Block Quotes/Extracts)

Two Authors:

If there are two authors for a single source you are citing, include both and use "and" between names within a text, and "&" between names in parenthesis

  • According to Jones and Smith
  • (Jones & Smith, 2022)

Follow all other rules for in-text citations when you paraphrase, summarize or quote directly. (See other tabs in this box.)

More Than Two Authors:

For a work with three or more authors, use the first author listed and "et al.

  • (Jones et al., 2022)
  • According to Jones et al., (2022)...

Multiple works in the same parenthesis:

  • (Jones, 2022; Smith, 2022)
    • Alphabetize by author and separate each entry with a semi-colon.

Follow all other rules for in-text citations when you paraphrase, summarize or quote directly. (See other tabs in this box.)