Online resources: APA Style and formatting

All psychology students around the world have problems with the nooks and crannies of APA style. Most of us (hopefully) know the basics without consulting a manual or asking a colleague, but there are always those obscure rules nobody really uses regularly. How to cite a TV series? How are appendixes handled? How to cite an unpublished manuscript? All these questions and many more have an answer – but the problem is, where to find it? Online, of course. Here, I offer a list of useful APA style resources and their short descriptions. Maybe this will help you sometime in the future, when you’re wondering how to use et al at 4 AM.

  • The Basics of APA Style is a tutorial offered by APA for those who have no prior experience with APA style. If you are a freshman psychology student who just got intimidated by your first seminar, go through this tutorial first and see what’s it all about. For more experienced students, it is a bit too basic so read on for the next, more complex, websites.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab is a great comprehensive online resource on APA style based on the 6th edition publication manual. This is definitely a great place to start looking for answers to specific questions. It is very practical to search and has all the broader categories of APA formatting listed in the orange column to the left, especially well suited for quick referencing. Also, you can find a sample paper there, with full commentary of the main features of APA style.
  • Preparing your lab reports by Dr. Jan Kennedy gives info on writing lab reports and organizing them according to APA style. But what I found most interesting were Dr. Kennedy’s figures and tables checklists (you can find them at the bottom of the page). The checklist structure gives you a fast way to check if all your tables and figures are formatted according to APA.
  • Son of Citation Machine is an online tool for automatically creating references for the reference list. By entering an ISBN or the basic information on your resource, you get a reference ready for your manuscript. A similar tool (with a much better layout) is BibMe.

If I missed your favorite APA style and formatting resource, be sure to share it with us in the comments!

 

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Ivan Flis is a graduate student of psychology at the Center for Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) and the Chair of the Right to Research Coalition Coordinating Committee for Africa, Europe and Middle East.

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About the author

Ivan Flis Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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  • Ivan Flis

    PS

    If you have any specific questions about APA style and formatting that need quick answers, we have launched a helpline here at the JEPS Bulletin. Be sure to ask for help if you need it! http://jeps.efpsa.org/blog/?page_id=251

  • http://www.toptierediting.com Laila Keirstead

    It is a little concerning to me that you don’t really learn how to use the other writing styles. Luckily I haven’t had any papers what were needed to be written in APA format, but I know a few people that do. You almost have to get someone who knows that format to edit your papers. I think it would be more helpful if we all just knew the basics of all the writing styles so we could help edit papers.