APA Citation Style

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APA Citation Style

APA the acronym of American Psychological style is one of the most commonly used style of document. APA is mostly followed in Social Sciences. In APA style, sources used directly or indirectly must be accredited in text as well as in reference page.

General Guidelines

An APA essay should include a page header at the top right of every single page. The page header comprises of 2-3 words relating to the subject of the paper, after which a page number should be placed. Paper should use double spacing on a Standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) having margin of 1” on each sides. The paper should have a “Title Page” and follow the standard essay format of Introduction, Body and Conclusion in APA style format.

In-Text Citation

An in-text citation must be placed when paraphrasing and summarizing the idea. The format of Last name of author, year of publication (in brackets) must be used when citing in-text. When quoting from a book, the writer may provide page number of the books but this is not necessary when paraphrasing. When citing a secondary source, write “cited in” in the in-text citation, then author and date of the work where the material was found.

A quotation of 40 or more words must be set apart in a block, called the block quotation. It should be indented ½” from the left margin and must be typed double spaced like the rest of the typed material without using any quotation mark. Just a final quotation mark is required at the end.


In APA format, separate references’ page is required with in-text citation. Given below are the formats used for the “References” section. All entries should use a hanging indent of 1/2’’ from the set margins, after the first line of each entry.

Books by a single author

Books written by a single author will be cited as the following format

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title (in italics). Location: Publisher.

Books by two or more authors

For two or more authors’ book, following format is required

Last name, First initial. Middle initial, Last name, First initial. Middle initial., & Last name, First Initial,. Middle Initial. (Year). Book title (in italics). Location: Publisher.

It is necessary to put “&” in place of “and” between the name of two authors..

Articles in a journal

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of article (in italics). Journal Title, Volume, pages.

Article in a magazine

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title (in italics). Magazine Title, Volume, pages.

Article in a newspaper

Articles from a newspaper are cited as

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Newspaper Title (in italics), pages.

Article retrieved from an electronic database

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Article title. Journal Title (in italics), Volume (in italics), pages. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from Database title database.

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Difference Between an Essay and a Term Paper

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A student may be exposed to various kinds of writing while studying different arts and humanities subjects. These could include project reports, case studies or diaries. However, essay remains the most common form of writing in arts and humanities. A Term Paper is a piece of writing, which requires demonstration of a more abstract, critical and thoughtful level of inquiry. Students are expected to write Term Papers usually at the college or university level, to judge their writing and analytical skills.

The word essay originally meant to attempt, but now it is commonly referred to as a short piece of writing on a particular subject. The piece of writing should be able to stand-alone and make sense by addressing certain issues, which could range from literary criticism to political manifestos and observations of daily life. Essays are usually shorter in length but they should be well organized and put together an argument that leads the reader to a conclusion. An essay typically composes of more than three paragraphs. The first paragraph gives a brief introduction of the topic, which is then followed by two or three paragraphs, which try to prove an argument. A concluding paragraph at the end summarizes the findings of the essay.

In order to write a Term Paper, a writer must familiarize himself with the works of experts and other well-published authors in the respective field. These published works can be accessed on the Internet, libraries, and scholarly journals or through personal interviews. This will help in building on a person’s knowledge about the subject and serve as a baseline for comparing his ideas with these published sources (Term Papers_ What is a Term Paper).

Writing essays is an important part of studying because it depends the learning of a subject being studied. A person will learn to put forth new ideas and argue a case. Essays can also help in refining an individual’s thinking and writing skill. Preparing a good essay requires skills that highlight the analytical and critical thinking abilities of a writer. A good essay should be sharp in focus and answer the question or main topic. All relevant parts of the course need to be grasped so that a logical, fair and coherent argument is presented to the reader. The essay should be written in an objective and analytical way, with appropriate use of illustration and evidence to substantiate the claims.

A Term Paper needs to provide relevant information, facts and figures supported by the works of these expert figures. A writer must also incorporate his own critical thinking, insights and ideas into the paper; these are often backed by the findings of some research conducted earlier.

There are many different types of essays. Academic essays challenge the intellectual capabilities of students and their ability to organize thoughts. They may include a literature review, which summarizes the research conducted earlier. All academic essays need to be supported by substantial facts and citations of the references, to help in the evaluation of arguments. A writer puts his thoughts on a paper in an essay. The writer needs to consider the subject and determine the purpose of writing. Thought should also be given to the audience before deciding on specific examples. The essay should be a well-organized and coherent piece of writing supported by appropriate facts and examples.

A descriptive essay should provide greater sensory details to touch the emotional, physical and intellectual senses of a reader (English Works!_ Essays). The writer must make use of tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language, metaphor, and simile to create a strong impact. In a philosophical essay, the writer makes a thesis statement and present arguments and counterarguments to reach an open-minded conclusion. Other type of essays gaining popularity relate to visual arts, music and films.

A Term Paper may also assume certain kinds. An analytical paper requires a comprehensive understanding of a topic by researching it thoroughly. All existing information needs to be critically analyzed and evaluated. After this analysis, a writer must be able to restructure and present the topic from his own perspective. It is important not to reach any conclusions when doing the research. An argumentative or persuasive type of paper requires the person to take a stand on a particular topic, and support it with appropriate examples and evidence. The attempt is to convince the reader of writer’s point of view. The person is not trying to explore a research question but presenting his point of view. A person may present his insights, critical evaluations and other beliefs at the end of the paper to draw conclusions

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