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PSY 101: APA Style

Guide for Psychology 101 Students

Need More APA Help?

Check out one of these websites for more tips & tricks:

Helpful Books

Common Formats

Scholarly Article

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article.Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. 



Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Website (Best to stick to the .edus and the .govs)

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address

Writing Issues to be mindful of!

  • Agreement: Make sure that you use singular pronouns and verbs when using singular nouns. Consider this example: “A person should examine their values before judging obese people.” This is incorrect, because the singular noun (person) does not match the plural pronoun (their). The correct sentence is, “A person should examine his or her values before judging obese people.”
  • Avoid using contractions in formal papers. You should also avoid using colloquial language or slang, except in quotations.
  • Avoid using quotations. Use of quotations shows me that you did not understand the paper well enough to put it in your own words. Paraphrase instead. Quotations are appropriate in very few and select instances. For example, beginning your paper off with a well-known proverb or quotation from literature is appropriate. I will take points off your paper if I see quotations inappropriately used. When in doubt, do not use them.
  •  Avoid using the word “you” in scientific papers. For example, do not say “When your relationship produces anxiety, you will feel….” Instead say something like, “When a relationship produces anxiety, it also produces feelings of…” or “When a person’s relationship produces anxiety, they feel…”
  • Active vs. Passive Voice. Try to write in active rather than passive voice. For example, “The class collected data from 70 participants” is better than “Data from 70 participants was collected.” You MAY use first person in your paper (“I collected data from…”) but try not to over-use it. This is a scientific paper not a story of your life.