Knowing how to properly piece together any type of writing, regardless of what you do for a living or studying in school, you need to know how to properly format the document. Within the field of Psychology, there is a certain set of rules, or a set of guidelines, that you must follow that was implemented by the American Psychological Association (APA) so information could be shared and communicated in the same way by all author’s (Crawford, 2019, p.24). The APA has even published their writing style guidelines in the APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition, it is available to all and can be found online, in bookstores, in your school’s library, and in some public libraries.
APA Formatting Concepts
Personal Communication Formation
Personal communication citations within the text have their own set of rules that set them apart from all the other types of citations that might be included in your work. In your APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Ed. (American Psychological Association, 2020), you can find the proper way to format your in-text citation, in both the narrative and parenthetical citations formats. Before you can properly cite a source of personal communication, you first must understand what falls into the personal communication category. There are quite a few different forms of communication that fall into the category, taking the form of verbal and nonverbal communication. A few examples would be an email, a text message, letters, personal interviews, phone conversations, and unrecorded class lectures are just to make a few. You can locate the personal communication-specific rules in chapter 8, section 8.9, on pages 259-260. You will find the proper format for citing your in-text citations, showing you exactly how and what to include. A narrative citation would be listed as: L.-B. Hayes (personal communication, September 9th, 2021), and for parenthetical citations you would follow this form: (L.B. Hayes, personal communication, September 9th, 2021). Keep in mind that you never list the citation in the reference entry list because it is an unverifiable source of information that is unobtainable by most readers.
Formatting Your Headings
Headings are an essential portion of the writing process. It helps you build a foundation for the organization in your work, permitting you to be the foremost coherently sound source of communicating your information (American Psychological Association, 2020). To give your work that foundational organization, you need to break your information up into sections that are labeled with headings. Headings act as identifying marks for the major focal points of the piece you are putting into formation. Having five distinct levels of headings can be intimidating, but there is honestly nothing to it after reading the guidelines on heading levels in chapter two, page 48, and in table 2.3. It is helpful to remember this rule that is not mentioned within the contents of table 2.3, no matter how many levels are within a section, each time a new one begins, and so does the level recount.
Digital Object Identifiers
There are times you will come across a digital object identifier in an article during. the research process when gathering your information that will be used to accredit your work. Those digital object identifiers are referred to as the DOI (American Psychological Association, 2020). When going over an article, you can check to see if it includes a DOI by checking in the area that the copyright is mentioned on, typically it will be on the first page. What you will need to look for to verify the DOI is the site address, https://doi.org/, http://dx.doi.org, or just simply DOI. It will be followed by a set of numbers, beginning with the number ten, with a prefix and suffix in place to set it all into formation. For example, you would find https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000 as the DOI located within the findings of publications of the APA Publication Manual. You only include the DOI in the reference entry list when it is included in a document, placing it into the last section of the citation entry. If there is a both DOI and an URL, only include the DOI.
Jerry Falwell Library Online
The Jerry Falwell Online Library is more like the online student’s best research friend. The JFL (Jerry Falwell Library) is full of different resources and available at the students' full dispense. There is an amazing set of features that make the process of research a bit less stressful, like the many different online database systems that are available to students, the library book loaner program, and research guides are just to list a few (Jerry Falwell Online Library, 2021).
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
The Interlibrary Loan, also known as ILL, is one of the greatest resources that are available for the student’s use. The ILL offers the students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to have physical books, audiovisual materials, articles not owned by Liberty (Interlibrary, 2021). To put in a request, you want to locate the link on the Interlibrary Loan- Online Students, Faculty, and Staff Page. To make any requests, first, you will have to create an ILLiad account. Once created, you will need to log in and select the request form link. To make a book request, first be sure to check if the book is available in the e-book form because it will be immediately open for use, think about requesting parts of the book, like chapters or dissertations. Next, you will want to specify your preference of the format of the material being requested, make sure your address is up-to-date, and click send. You renew materials through the Jerry Falwell Library account or call 434-582-2442.
Online Research Databases
The Academic Writer is another great tool in conducting APA-style research. You will find multiple useful tools that are available to students to give them an overall better online learning experience, like quick guides and tutorials that are meant to help improve your writing skills (Academic Writer, 2021). The reference library feature allows students to build an online reference storage locker by using the tool to create new APA style references and it also allows students to import references you have already created. It also features a writing center that provides blank paper templates to help start the writing process. It also provides students with the best feature of all, which is the paper formatting and checking tool to help the student with ensuring their writing is free from APA Style mishaps.
Making Use of the APA Publication Manual
You can find everything you need to know about writing in APA style all within the pages of the APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition. The publication manual may contain an overwhelming amount of valuable information, but to locate the information you need to have patience and some diligence. With some persistent studying of the APA Publication Manual, you will be able to locate the proper format of all citations and references you may include in any piece of writing you will ever write.
Religious and Classical Works
Religious works, like the Holy Bible; classical works, like the ancient Greek and Roman works; and classical literature, like the pieces that were composed by Shakespeare are all sources of information that are all cited like books would be cited (American Psychological Association, 2020). There are a handful of different guidelines to follow within the APA Publication regarding all the diverse ways possible to format an in-text citation. Depending on what information is provided with the citations and the way they are formatted, all depends on things like the title is listed, the author and editor being listed, the date, and more.
Religion and Citations
Pieces that fall into the category of religion, like the Holy Bible, are mostly formatted without an author being listed (American Psychological Association, 2020). When the student is attempting to format an in-text citation, so it can be listed in the reference entry list, the guidelines could be located within the APA Publication Manual, in chapter nine, section 9.42, and on pages 302-325. It explains that there could be two different dates listed in the entry. One would be the original publication date, and then the republication date. For in-text citations, the proper way to cite the works would be as follows:
Narrative: Holy Bible NKJV (1982/2006)
Parenthetical: (Holy Bible NKJV, 1982/2006).
As for the reference list entry, it would be entered as:
Holy Bible NKJV. (2006). Thomas Nelson. (Original work published in 1982).
Classical Works and Citation
Most the time, classical pieces are often looked at as being works that has been republished, do the fact of the age that stands behind them (American Psychological Association, 2020). Remember that when the works are ancient, you will include the abbreviation,” B.C.E.,” which means, before the common era. Now if the date is more approximate, use the abbreviation “ca,” short for circa. To find the formation guidelines in the APA Publication Manual, you will look in chapter 10, and on page 325. The in-text citations would be as follows:
Narrative: Aristotle (ca. 350 B.C.E/1994)
Parenthetical: (Aristotle, ca. 350 B.C.E/1994)
For the reference list entry, you follow this format:
Aristotle. (1994). Poetics (S.H. Butcher, Trans.). The Internet Classics Archive.
Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight
If you are a Psychology student furthering your education, then more than likely you will be required to take PSYC 255, Introduction to Research. PSYC 255 covers all the basics that every Psychologist should know, regardless of the route you are planning to take for furthering your education and career. Going over all the basics, with a brief lesson in APA formatting a research paper to lessons on how to conduct hypothesis testing and how to read the results. If you happen to be a student at Liberty University, then you will be supplied with Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight by Ray Crawford, Ph.D. as one of your learning resources.
Using Your Textbook as a Resource
Since Introduction to Research requires the student to draft papers, one every week, it is important to learn the proper way to cite the content that you might have pulled from out of your textbook, Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight, in proper APA style. The best, and most convenient way to learn proper APA style would be to refer to your APA Publication Manual to show you the proper format. In chapter 10 on page 321, if you look in section 10.2 you will find the information telling you how to properly format in-text citations, both in the narrative and the parenthetical formats, as well as the proper way to list your citation in the reference entry list (American Psychological Association, 2020). For the in-text citations, you will follow the same basic format as the other works we have gone over previously above.
Narrative: Crawford (2020)
Parenthetical: (Crawford, 2020)
For the reference list entry, you will be listing it as a scholarly book and will format the entry as follows:
Crawford Ph.D., R. (2020). Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight (2nd ed.). Kendall Hunt Publishing Co.
Graduate’s Unpublished Manuscripts
While conducting your research for any scholarly works, while using your school's online library to find articles to support your work, you may come across a graduate student’s unpublished manuscript. What that means is, it is a student’s work that is either still in the works or it has not been published yet (American Psychological Association, 2020). Just make sure that you are using the most recent, up-to-date form of the student’s manuscript.
Formatting Unpublished Manuscripts
As with the other sources we have discussed, unpublished manuscripts have their specific guidelines that should be respectively followed as well. As mentioned above, always make sure to be using the most recent piece when citing the manuscript. You also want to make sure you remember to include in the reference entry list that it is an unpublished manuscript, and it should be placed within a set of brackets that is followed by the student’s department of study, and institution. In chapter 10, in your Publishers Manual, on page 333 you will find the guidelines for formatting the manuscript in section 10.8. Format the in-text citation as follows:
Narrative: Doe (2021)
Parenthetical: (Doe, 2021)
As for the entry for the reference list, be mindful of the differences in this certain reference entry, as the format is slightly different than the others we have already went over. Proper formation should be as follows:
Doe, J., (2021). How to Properly Cite an Unpublished Manuscript [Unpublished
Manuscript]. Department of Behavioral Sciences, Liberty University
APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition
It is vital for psychologists in training to know how to properly cite the industries go-to manual for guidelines on anything concerning the written work published. The APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition should be a part of your library collection, as it is an especially important book within the industry. It was originally developed in the year 1929, by a group of scientists looking to supply a universal guide for writing and publishing in social and behavioral sciences (All About the American Psychologist Association, 2021).
Properly Formatting APA
You must learn to cite the works used in your writings in anything you write, so that the original author(s) will be given the proper credit that is rightfully due. That would even include the APA Publication Manual. To do so, it is done in the same fashion as the rest, but in this case, you will have a DOI to include with your reference list entry. To cite the in-text citation follow as done before:
Narrative: American Psychological Association (2020)
Parenthetical: (American Psychological Association, 2020)
This is where things are going to change up a little bit. When making your entry to the reference list, be sure to include all the elements of your source, in this case it is the APA Publication Manual. The only difference in this entry is that it includes the DOI at the end of the entry. To find the proper way to format it in your Publication Manual, turn to page iv in the front of the book. You will find there how they require the book to be formatted.
American Psychological Association, (2020). Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association (7th ed.) https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
With the help of this article and studying of the Publication Manual you will, in time, be a pro at APA Style 7 formatting. As with everything in life, practice makes for perfect results everytime. Proper writing style takes time to perfect, so do not expect to see improvements over night. Everytime, you write, no matter what the subject matter, always implement APA Style 7 formatting techniques to ensure it is properly formatted, in a clear and concise manner. For your pieces to be acceptable in the world of Psychology, APA formation must be implemented everytime.
AcademicWriter. (2021). http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=https://search.ebsconhost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip.ui
All About the American Psychologist Association . (2021). exploringyourmind.com/all-about-american=psychological-association-apa/
APA Publishers Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020). (7th ed.)https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Aristotle. (1994). Poetics
Crawford Ph.D., R. (2020). Introduction to Research: Less Fright, More Insight (3rd ed.). Kendall Hunt Publishing Co.
InterLibrary Loan. (2021). https://liberty.edu/library/interlibrary-loan
Jerry Falwell Online Library. (2021). https://liberty.edu/library/
Thomas Nelson, T. (2006). NKJV, Open Bible. Thomas Nelson Incorporated.