apa format essay psychology
If your instructor has asked you to write an APA format essay, it might at first seem like a rather daunting task, especially if you are accustomed to using another style such as MLA or Chicago. Before you begin your essay, familiarize yourself with some of the basics.
In addition to ensuring that you cite your sources properly and present information according to the rules of APA style, there are a number of things you can do to make the writing process a little bit easier.
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21. References page
An APA format reference page is easier to create than you probably think. We go into detail on how to create this page on our APA Works Cited page. If you’re simply looking for a brief overview of the reference page, we’ve got you covered here.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to the references page in APA format:
- Only include information about an individual’s orientation or characteristic if it is important to the topic or study. Do not include information about individuals or labels if it is not necessary.
- If writing about an individual’s characteristic or orientation, for essay APA format, make sure to put the person first. Instead of saying, “Diabetic patients,” say, “Patients who are diabetic.”
- Instead of using narrow terms such as, “adolescents,” or “the elderly,” try to use broader terms such as, “participants,” and “subjects.”
- “They” or “their” are acceptable gender-neutral pronouns to use.
- Be mindful when using terms that end with “man” or “men” if they involve subjects who are female. For example, instead of using “Firemen,” use the term, “Firefighter.” In general, avoid ambiguity.
- When referring to someone’s racial or ethnic identity, use the census category terms and capitalize the first letter. Also, avoid using the word, “minority,” as it can be interpreted as meaning less than or deficient. Instead, say “people of color” or “underrepresented groups.”
- When describing subjects in APA format, use the words “girls” and “boys” for children who are under the age of 12. The terms, “young woman,” “young man,” “female adolescent,” and “male adolescent” are appropriate for subjects between 13-17 years old; “Men,” and “women,” for those older than 18. Use the term, “older adults.” for individuals who are older. “Elderly,” and “senior,” are not acceptable if used only as nouns. It is acceptable to use these terms if they’re used as adjectives.
Before a manuscript (i.e., a paper) is accepted (if the author is so fortunate!), it goes through a rigorous review process. The editor sends the paper out to a few experts on the topic of the paper. These experts read it, provide critical (often VERY critical) feedback, and then the editor takes this feedback into account and makes a determination as to whether the paper should be published as an article in the journal.*
APA style is the formal writing style that is endorsed by the APA (American Psychological Association). It’s got lots of rules (e.g., within a parenthetical citation, use an ampersand (&), but outside a parenthetical, use the word “and” in between the names of authors). And it bears on the entirety of a paper. From the title page to the final concluding sentence. And everything in between. And even a bunch of stuff after.
Empirical research is original research in which the student or author derives the data by means of direct observation or original experiment. This data is used to answer a research question or test a research hypothesis. The results are based upon actual evidence as opposed to theory or conjecture and, as such, it should be possible to replicate the results in follow-up studies or experiments. Empirical research is most often used in graduate courses at the Ph.D. level. However, some undergraduate assignments involve students conducting “mini-projects” in which they conduct observations.
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