|Standard Documentation Formats - APA|
|Written by Margaret Procter, Writing Support|
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The social sciences, management studies, and many sciences emphasize the author and date as the most important information about a source. The American Psychological Association has developed the most commonly used system. The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the APA (2009) offers very detailed advice on style, format, and documentation practices.
This system uses only initials for authors' given names, no quotation marks or angle brackets, minimal capitalization for titles of books and articles, and italics for volume numbers as well as journal titles.The latest edition of the Publication Manual also asks for Digital Object Identifier numbers (DOI), when available, to identify journal articles and other recent publications. DOIs are now supplied as part of publication information by nearly all journals and some book publishers. See the APA Frequently-Asked Questions page for further advice on this and other APA requirements. U of T students may access APA's online Style Guide to Electronic Resources. Strict APA style, as shown below, gives in-text page numbers only for quotations, not for paraphrases or summaries. However, many instructors prefer a modified system that gives page numbers for all references. Ask your instructor when to include page numbers.
Students using the APA system are usually asked to format their papers as if they were manuscripts being prepared for publication; that's why the examples here and in the APA Publication Manual don't look exactly like what you see in journals or books. The example below follows strict APA manuscript format. (Note also that it uses past tense for summarizing sources, unlike the use of present tense in Humanities systems.)