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In academics or a career, if you use someone else’s work or information in a research paper or essay, you need to cite it using a bibliography format or works cited page. There are a few different citation styles that can be used. These include MLA Style, APA Style, Chicago Style, and Turabian. MLA (Modern Language Association) is the most common format, and it is typically used to cite everything from books and websites to magazines.
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. APA format is commonly used when a paper is written on a scientific topic. Many behavioral and social sciences use APA format. The behavioral and social sciences include: psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, archaeology, and linguistics.
Proper citation using quotation marks, in-text citations, and an annotated bibliography is important in order to avoid unintentionally plagiarizing someone else’s work. Citations should include the title of the work, the author names, the publication date, and the publisher. Other details may be necessary for magazines, e-books, websites, and other media.
Ahhh, formatting. The bane of any non-persnickety student. If you're like most of us, you've had to write papers in both APA and MLA format. These styles have a number of conflicting rules, and remembering which rules apply to which style can be difficult and maddening. Luckily, we're here to help you out. The guide below provides you with a basic APA bibliography entry template. Use it when writing your next paper - it should render the arduous task of writing your APA bibliography free of stress.
Your APA bibliography forms the final component of your paper. It should begin on a fresh page at the end of your piece. Never start your reference list at the bottom of your concluding page.
The header should be centered on the page and read "References" or "Bibliography." No punctuation, italicization or underlining should be used.
List of Sources
Below the header, you'll list your sources in alphabetical order. Each entry on this list should feature a hanging indent, meaning all but the first line of each entry is indented. Write the author's last names followed by their first and middle (if applicable) initials. APA guidelines specify that only initials should be used, as it eliminates gender bias. Separate the last names and initials with a comma and follow each initial with a period.
Your list should be double-spaced. You should alphabetize the list by the authors' last names. If any of your sources does not name an author, you should use the editor's last name. When listing an editor, be sure to specify it is an editor by placing "(Ed.)" after the name. If no editor is named, you should use the first word in the title that isn't "an," "a," or "the."
Dates of Publication
Follow each author's name with the date the source was published. For example, "Michaels, J. A. (5 Feb. 2005)." All months, with the exception of May, June and July, should be abbreviated. Below is a list of appropriate abbreviations:
January - Jan.
February - Feb.
March - Mar.
April - Apr.
August - Aug.
September - Sep.
October - Oct.
November - Nov.
December - Dec.
You can list dates however you see fit (for example, "5 Feb. 2005" and "Feb. 5, 2005" are both perfectly acceptable), but be sure that whatever form you use is consistent.
Titles of Sources
After each date, list the title of each article you are sourcing. Only the first letter needs to be capitalized (unless of course any of the subsequent words are proper nouns). Follow each title with a period.
After each article title, list the title of the journal or book where you found the article. This should be italicized and followed with a period. Journal names should have each word (except interim articles) capitalized - for example, "The Social Media Review." Book titles need only have the first letter capitalized.
Follow each title with the volume number and issue (in the case of a journal), edition (in the case of a book) and page numbers where the article is found.
Follow each source title with the place of publication (city and abbreviated state), a colon and the name of the publisher. For example - New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
When citing electronic or online sources such as web pages:
Do not place a period at the end of the URL
For journal articles, include the DOI (digital object identifier) if it is available. Format it as: http://dx.doi.org/xxxx