Crash Course in APA Style


Welcome to the Writing Center’s crash course in APA!
Crash course videos are a great fit if you are new to APA or haven’t used APA in some time.
In this video, we’ll review the two types of APA rules, citing sources and style.
APA has many citing and style rules, and we’ll give you quick tips and introduce you to terms
in each of these areas, but we won’t be talking about them in-depth—remember, this
is a crash course!
Instead, get out a pen and paper.
If you’re not familiar with one of these areas of APA, a tip we give, or a term we
use (we’ll help you by displaying key terms in bold), write it down so you can look it up later!
At the end of the video we’ll show you where to find more information on our website.
Let’s get started!
APA is the citation style used in the social sciences, so as a primarily social science
university, Walden students use APA.
APA’s purpose is to help writers accurately cite sources and consistently present information.
APA uses a reference entry and citation method for crediting sources.
This means you will list all of the sources you cite in the body of your paper in a reference
list at the end of your paper.
Citations appear in each sentence that includes source information, and any source cited in
the body of the paper must appear in the reference list.
The reference list appears on its own page and individual reference entries are listed
alphabetically by the first author’s last name.
Each reference entry includes the source’s authors, publication year, title, and full
publication information.
The publication information changes the most depending on how the source was published.
Walden students primarily use books, journal articles, and webpages in their writing, so
we suggest you focus on these types of reference entries first.
Citations always consist of the source’s author and year, including the page number
when citing a quote.
You should include citations for both paraphrases and quotes and can do so either in-text or
parenthetically.
These are the basic citation rules and formats, so learn these first.
After that, you can learn the citation variations, including when to use et al., when to use
an ampersand, citation frequency, secondary sources, personal communication citations,
and citing yourself.
Finally, there are rules about consistently formatting and presenting information.
Paper formatting, including the title page and headings, are explained in the course
paper template.
APA also has rules about verb tenses, passive voice, anthropomorphism, serial commas, abbreviations,
capitalization, and numbers.
While these may seem like a lot of rules, we suggest you start with the course paper
template, then slowly incorporate the other style rules into your writing one at a time.
Now you’ve learned about APA’s citing and style rules!
Next, search our website for any of the APA rules, quick tips, or terms we discussed that
you wrote down.
Use the search box at the top-right corner, the Quick Answers box, or the main menus to
find more information and begin learning!

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