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How to Write an Essay in APA Format

When we speak about the APA format, we mean the way of formatting papers created by the American Psychological Association and generally used in social studies. It is similar to MLA (Modern Language Association) in some respects, but has many peculiar features. The most striking difference of the APA from the majority of other styles is the manner of alluding to the sources of printed works.

In APA we use parenthetical quotations within sentences, but mention author's name and publication date instead of author's name and number of the page, which is indicated only if the quotation is represented by a direct citation. When the name of the author appears in the phrase, the publication date follows it directly. If it is not mentioned, then the name is supposed to be at the end of the source material along with the date. Let us illustrate it by an example:

Jameston (1992) states that the manuscript is very likely to be written by Dickens. Nevertheless, a number of other specialists still consider it to be a hoax (Williams, 1996). The linguistic analysis performed by Jameston is called "inadequate and extremely selective" (Williams, 1996, p.342).

When quoting a source with more than one author, you should follow an additional set of rules. If there are two authors, only their surnames connected by an ampersand should me mentioned. If there are three to five authors, mention all of them only for the first time. In all the other references write only the first one and "et al". With more than five authors use "et al" from the beginning.

Besides, there are certain peculiarities considering the References page. In the APA format you organize reference material in the following order: author's name (the first name is substituted by the initial), date of publication in parentheses, article title (without quotation marks) and city and name of publication.

Thus, if you keep to the aforementioned rules, you are sure to write an essay in the perfect APA style.

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