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* Social Sciences: Overview
APA Style: The Social Sciences
In most social sciences classes, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and business, you will be asked to use the APA style of in-text citations and references. The guidelines in this section are consistent with the Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association, 4th ed. (Washington: APA, 1994) and Xia Li and Nancy Crane's October 1997 version of Electronic Sources: APA Style of Citation, <http://www.uvm.edu/~ncrane/estyles/
apa.html>. Although Li and Crane's most recent guidelines do not appear in the APA Publication Manual, APA has endorsed their system as set forth in Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information (Westport: Meckler, 1993).

APA in-text citations
The American Psychological Association recommends an author/date style of in-text citations. These citations refer readers to a list of references at the end of the paper.

APA in-text citations provide at least the author's last name and the date of publication. For direct quotations, a page number is given as well.

To cite a Web document, use the author's name, corporate author, or the first word or two in the title, just as you would for print documents. If you are referring to an entire Web site rather than to a specific document found on a site, simply give the address of the site (URL) in parentheses.
    Information on current legal challenges can be

    found at the American Civil Liberties Union Web

    site (http://www.aclu.org).
The site does not have to be listed in the references.

Directory to APA in-text citations (pick one to see its explanation)


1. Basic format for a quotation
Ordinarily, introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses. Put the page number (preceded by "p.") in parentheses at the end of the quotation.
    According to Hart (1996), some primatologists

    "wondered if apes had learned Language, with a

    capital L" (p. 109).
When the author's name does not appear in the signal phrase, place the author's name, the date, and the page number in parentheses at the end of the quotation. Use commas between items in the parentheses: (Hart, 1996, p. 109).

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2. Basic format for a summary or a paraphrase
For a summary or a paraphrase, include the author's last name and the date either in a signal phrase or in parentheses at the end.
    According to Hart (1996), researchers took

    Terrace's conclusions seriously, and funding for

    language experiments soon declined.

    Researchers took Terrace's conclusions seriously,

    and funding for language experiments soon declined

    (Hart, 1996).
Note: A page number is not required, but provide one if it would help your readers find a specific page in a long work.

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3. A work with two authors
Name both authors in the signal phrase or parentheses each time you cite the work. In the parentheses, use "&" between the authors' names; in the signal phrase, use "and."
    Patterson and Linden (1981) agreed that the go-

    rilla Koko acquired language more slowly than a

    normal speaking child.

    Koko acquired language more slowly than a normal

    speaking child (Patterson & Linden, 1981).

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4. A work with three to five authors
Identify all authors in the signal phrase or the parentheses the first time you cite the source.
    Researchers found a marked improvement in the

    computer skills of students who took part in the

    program (Levy, Bertrand, Muller, Vining, & Majors,

In subsequent citations, use the first author's name followed by "et al." in either the signal phrase or the parentheses.
    Though school board members were skeptical at

    first, the program has now won the board's full

    support (Levy et al., 1997).

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5. A work with six or more authors
Use only the first author's name followed by "et al." in the signal phrase or the parentheses.
    Better measurements of sophistication in computer

    use could be obtained through more thorough testing

    (Blili et al., 1996).

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6. Unknown Author
If the author is not given, use the first word or two of the title in the signal phrase or the parenthetical citation.
    Massachusetts state and municipal governments have

    initiated several programs to improve public

    safety, including community policing and

    afterschool activities ("Innovations," 1997).
If "Anonymous" is specified as the author, treat it as if it were a real name: (Anonymous, 1996). In the bibliographic references, also use the name Anonymous as author.

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7. Corporate Author
If the author is a government agency or other corporate organization with a long and cumbersome name, spell out the name the first time you use it in a citation followed by an abbreviation in brackets. In later citations, simply use the abbreviation.

First citation
    (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1997)
Later citations
    (NIMH, 1997)

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8. Two or more works in the same parentheses
When your parenthetical citation names two or more works, put them in the same order that they appear in the bibliography, separated by semicolons.
    Recently, researchers have investigated the degree

    to which gender affects the distribution of

    welfare (Gilbert, 1995; Leira, 1994).

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9. Authors with the same last name
To avoid confusion, use initials with the last names if your bibliography lists two or more authors with the same last name.
    Research by D. L. Kim (1996) revealed that . . .

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10. Personal communication
Conversations, memos, letters, e-mail, and similar unpublished person-to-person communications should be cited by initials, last name, and precise date.
    F. Moore (personal communication, January 4, 1997)

    has said that funding for the program will

    continue for at least another year.
It is not necessary to include personal communications in the bibliographic references at the end of your paper.

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APA in-text citations
APA references
APA manuscript
Sample paper: APA style


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