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PSY 101 Fall 2021

Guide for Psychology 101 Students


First, be sure that you are using the most current APA style guide—APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which was released in October 2019.

Your best online source is the Purdue OWL APA Guide which is regularly updated.


In-text Basics

APA uses the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the last name of the author(s) and the year the source was published are listed in parenthesis following the quote/paraphrase.

Unless you are referencing an idea or an entire work, include the page number where you found the quote/information you are using.

Like this: She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

If you are citing multiple sources in one sentence, list all of the author-date citations together, at the end of the sentence. Put semicolons between each citation and list them in the order that they would appear in your reference list: (Lambert, 2011; Smith, 1998; Zello, 2004)


In-text Citations with Multiple Authors:

If a work has two authors, list both in the order they are listed on the source. Use an & between authors:(Higgledy & Biggledy, 1942)

If a work has three or more authors, list the first author's name and then "et al": (Primo et al., 2007)


Bibliography Citations:

The Purdue OWL APA Guide provides detailed instructions, by source type, for formatting your citations. Be sure to consult either this online guide or a copy of the APA Publication Manual to ensure you are using the correct format for your specific source type 

The basic formats include:

Book: Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI (if available)

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

Webpage: Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

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.