Some general rules to follow forÂ writingÂ a paper in complianceÂ with the American Psychological Association style guide include double-spacing, using an easilyÂ readable font such as 12-point Times New Roman and leaving a 1-inch margin aroundÂ all sides of the page. The process of compilingÂ and formatting references is of particular importance. WritersÂ should keep a running record of sources, cite them within the paper and formally list them in theÂ References section at the end.
The following steps can help writers reference a paper properly, according to APA guidelines.
Step 1: Record
During research, keep a note of the descriptive elements of each source, that is, the information required for citing. For an entire book, the basic descriptive elements include the author's name as it appears on the source, the title, the edition (if not the first), the publisher, place of publication, publication year and the relevant page numbers.
Step 2: Store
Methodically store this information so that it can be retrieved easily, perhaps using filing cards or a computer program.
Step 3: In-text citations
When writing the paper, include a citation of the author's surname and year of publication within parentheses for any reference to a source. For direct quotations, this should also include a page number, as follows: (Surname, YYYY, p. XX).
Step 4: Compile the references
Each unique in-text citation, along with any other sources consulted, should be matched by a full and detailed citation at the end of the paper. Titles of books and journals should be italicized.