American Psychological Association Essay Assignment
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This Is Your Title: It Should Be Less Than Twelve Words
The abstract is on its own page. The first paragraph of the abstract should not be indented. It is typically 150 to 250 words and summarizes the main points of the paper. It should include your thesis and summarize your main points and results. Do not include quotations here. Define any abbreviations and acronyms you use in the paper here. You might want to write it after you’ve written the rest of your paper, so that it’s easy to summarize.
In academic publishing, writing a good abstract is important, because it is the first, and sometimes only, bit of information your readers get to help them decide whether they should read or buy your article. After this paragraph, there is a page break that forces the beginning of your paper onto its own page: You will want to keep it there.
This Is Your Title: It Should Be Less Than Twelve Words
This is your introduction and thesis paragraph. The introduction should be about five or six sentences and provide some background or context for your topic. Do not use I or you in academic writing. When appropriate, include recent events relating to the topic. For example, if you are writing about cyber warfare, you might mention Russia using cyber-attacks to influence the last US presidential election. Your thesis should be one sentence and outline the main points of the paper.
Literature Review or Background
Summarize and quote the important research on this topic that has gone before you. Define subject-specific vocabulary or related theory. Usually, you want to look at books for background. You might want to use your textbook or an encyclopedia to find the names of researchers or theories that are important to the topic, then, search for those names on the library website. Use keywords when research of your topic in databases (example: cyber warfare or cyber attack) to find related articles and books. Need help? Ask A Librarian.
Anytime you summarize what someone else has said, include the author’s last name and year either in the text or in parentheses at the end. If you quote someone else, include the author’s last name, year, and page number either in the text or in parentheses at the end. If an article has three to five authors, write their last names out the first time, then cite only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” If an article has six or more authors, include only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” If the source does not have an author, such as a website, put the name of the article or webpage in parentheses at the end.
The whole point of in-text citations is so your reader can find the correct source in your References, so make sure authors or titles match both in-text and in References. Find out more about in-text citation on the Hagan Memorial Library Citation Help page.
Business sources are not standard APA citations; See Purdue Owl for more information.
The discussion should be the largest part of your paper and include your argument, research, and experiences (for example, through Service-Learning). Each main point of your paper should start its own paragraph with a strong first sentence. Again, do not use I or you in academic writing.
Remember to introduce quotations with who said it and/or why it’s important. Make sure quotes fit seamlessly in your paper. Include short quotations (40 words or less) in-text with quotation marks. Use ellipsis (…) when omitting sections from a quote and use four periods (….) if omitting the end section of a quote.
This is a longer quote, which is 40 or more words. Indent the quote a half-inch from the left margin and double-space it with no quotation marks. To get the right format, just click on “Quote” in the Styles area on the Word frame above. In parentheses, include the author’s last name, year, and page number.
The conclusion restates the thesis and summarizes the main arguments or points of the article, so that your reader could just read the conclusion to generally understand the paper. What is important to learn from reading your paper? If you know of areas in this topic that need further study, mention them. After this paragraph, there is a page break that forces References onto its own page: You will want to keep it there.
American Psychological Association. (year). Article title. Name of Journal, volume, pages.
Author(s). (year). Book title. Where published: Publisher. Retrieved from URL of book
Author(s) of essay or chapter. (year). In Author (Ed.), Book title (pages of essay or chapter). Where published: Publisher. Retrieved from URL of chapter or essay
Freud, S. (year). Article title. Name of Journal, volume (issue), pages. Retrieved from journal URL
Jung, C., & Freud, S. (year). Article title. Name of Journal, volume (issue), pages. Retrieved from article URL if poor navigation on site
Neu, J, Lakoff, R., Kamin, J., Green, P. Lessig, L., Brody, E., … Prinzker, T. (year). Book title (edition if given). Where published: Publisher.
Pavlov, I., Jung, C., & Freud, S. (year of last update). Web page title. Retrieved from URL of Web page
Skinner, B. F. (year). Article title. Name of Journal, volume, pages. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx