All posts by Diana

APA Refresher


Reference List:

  1. Double space the reference list, but do not add any additional space between entries
  2. Be sure to place a comma between the journal title and volume number, e.g., Psychology Today, 17
  3. Be sure to place a comma between the date of retrieval and “from” when listing a source Web site or an electronic database, e.g., “Retrieved October 4, 2008, from…”
  4. Do not capitalize all major words in book titles or article titles, only in journal titles, e.g., Social adaptive theory. Psychology Today, 17
  5. Do not add a space between the volume number and the parentheses containing the issue number, e.g., Psychology Today, 17(1)
  6. Put spaces between initials, e.g., Georgia, J. M.
  7. When using a month in the date, do not abbreviate, e.g., (2005, November)
  8. Always italicize the names of documents retrieved from the Internet unless they are newspaper/journal articles, e.g., Barclay, L. (2002). The paradox of “justice”

  9. formalization: When procedures erode perceptions of fairness. Retrieved December 9, 2005, from
  10. Always place commas between the author’s name and the ampersand, e.g., Michael, J. K., & Lorne, P. J. and Georgia, B. K., Mason, H. G., & Teakes, M. N.

In-Text Citations:

  1. (when using “et al.”) do not place a comma after the author’s name and be sure to place a period after “al,” e.g., Georgia et al.
  2. Place a comma between the author’s name and the year, e.g., (Terwilliger & Simpson, 2008)
  3. Use ampersands, e.g., (Terwilliger & Simpson, 2008, p. 3)
  4. Be sure to place a space between “p.” and the page number, e.g., (Georgia, 2003, p. 22)
  5. Use serial commas, e.g., (Mason, Georgia, & Lenny, 2008)


  1. When using a running head, be sure it is formatted as follows: Running head: INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN BIMODAL PROCESSES
  2. Do not label the introduction
  3. Repeat the title on the first page of the document text
  4. Do not use underlining or bold for headings

Capitalization, Abbreviations, and Percentages:

  1. Spell out United States when used as a noun
  2. Do not capitalize the names of theories, excepting, of course, proper names within them, e.g., social adaptive theory and Darwin’s theory of evolution
  3. In general, capitalize sparingly
  4. Percents are always given as numbers plus the percent sign, e.g., 25%

Dos and Don’ts List #1


Abbreviation: United States

  • The abbreviation requires periods except in scientific text
  • Abbreviate when using it as an adjective, e.g., U.S. currency or U.S. involvement in international politics
  • Spell out when used as a noun, e.g., the United States was established in 1776, but it was not recognized as such until 1783

Clauses of attribution (e.g., Smith states, “…”)

  • Capitalize the first word of a quotation following such a clause
  • Do not use “that” with such clauses, e.g., use Smith states, “…” rather than Smith states that “…”

Word Choice

  • YES homemaker NO housewife
  • Yes inexpensive/less expensive NO cheap/cheaper
  • YES state, exclaim, assert, share, declare, and maintain NO say


  • Only capitalize president and other titles when they precede a name, e.g., President Lincoln
  • (when referring to the western part of the world or the United States) YES the West and Western NO the west and western
  • YES Internet NO internet


  • (before a noun) YES middle-class (acting as a noun) YES middle class
  • YES user-friendly (always, not just before a noun)
  • YES hardworking NO hard-working
  • (before a noun) YES problem-solving (acting as a noun) YES problem solving

One word or two?

  • YES data set NO dataset
  • YES Web site NO website or Website


  • Separate e.g. and i.e. from any sentence they are in using commas on both sides, for example, singers, e.g., Mariah Carey and Madonna
  • or put them in parentheses and use a comma on the right, for example, singers (e.g., Mariah Carey and Madonna)

British English

  • Verbs and nouns spelled with a z in American English are replaced with an s in British English, e.g., analyze (analyse), recognize (recognise), and organization (organisation). I usually use the Word find function to search for zs when working with British English because the spellchecker misses quite a few.
  • Use towards in British English and toward in American English