APA Documentation Overview

In this course, we will use the APA style of documentation.  Technical writers usually write in the APA style of documentation. See the following APA rules for reporting research:

APA Style of Documentation Guidelines

  1. You must document all information that you use from any source regardless of how you report the information.
  2. By documenting sources of information, you respect the recorded ideas, or intellectual property, of others.
  3. Research writers use a specific format to indicate from where they obtained their information. These formats are called styles of documentation.
  4. Two types of documentation styles are MLA, which is the Modern Language Association, and APA, which is the American Psychological Association.
  5. Technical writers use the APA style of documentation.
  6. The APA style of documentation requires that the entire paper is doubled spaced.
  7. The APA style of documentation requires that the page with references is titled as “References,” not “Works Cited.”

Referencing in-text citations

  1. Parenthetical documentation for APA requires the author and the date for all information cited. Every sentence in the research section needs a reference to its source, followed by it date of publication.
  2. If a direct quotation is cited, APA in-text citation/parenthetical documentation requires the author, the date, and page number or paragraph number must be cited. Paragraph numbers are cited for internet sources. The exception to this rule is citing pdf documents. Page numbers are referenced for sources published as pdf files.
  3. When referencing a page number, the number must be identified as a page, for one page (p. 24) or as pp. for multiple pages. (pp. 24–30).
  4. When referencing a paragraph number, the number must be identified as a paragraph, for one paragraph (¶ 4) or as (¶ 4–7), for multiple paragraphs.
  5. When citing articles with a considerable number of paragraphs, preface the paragraph with the heading of the sub section of the article (Various Models of Reports, ¶ 12).

Citing Sources on the Reference Page

  1. APA Does not use quotation marks around titles of articles.
  2. APA only capitalizes the initial letter of the first word of a title of an article or book and the initial letter of the first word after a colon in a title of an article or book. And of course, the initial letters of all proper nouns in titles of articles or books are capitalized.
  3. APA cites the date (year) after the author’s name.
  4. The entries in an APA Reference can be list alphabetically or by location in the paper.