American Psychological Association
Students of Grand Canyon University (GCU) are required to use the guidelines provided by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for preparing written assignments, except where otherwise noted. GCU has made APA templates and other resources available within the Student Success Center; therefore, students are not required to purchase the APA manual.
The curriculum materials (Syllabus, Lectures/Readings, Resources, etc.) created and provided by GCU in the online or Web-enhanced modalities are prepared using an editorial format that relies on APA as a framework but that modifies some formatting criteria to better suit the nature and purpose of instructional materials. Students and faculty are advised that GCU course materials do not adhere strictly to APA format and should not be used as examples of correct APA format when preparing written work for class.
APA Format and Style
Academic writing, which is independent thought supported by reliable and relevant research, depends on the ability to integrate and cite the sources that have been consulted. Use APA style for all references, in-text citations, formatting, etc.
Write in first- and second-person sparingly, if ever. This means, avoid using I, we, and you; instead, use he, she, and they. Do not use contractions.
The basic organization of an APA-style paper includes the title page, abstract, body, and reference section, though students are encouraged to follow any specific directions given in their Overview assignment.
The title page includes four elements that should be centered in the middle of the page: title, author byline, institutional affiliation followed by the course prefix and number (e.g., Grand Canyon University: PSY 351), and date of submission. Please note that even though APA does not require the date on a title page, it is a requirement for GCU papers.
Being the first page, the title page is where to set up your page header, which includes the running head and the page number. The running head—an abbreviated title that is a maximum of 50 characters—should appear flush left in all uppercase letters in the header on all pages. Page numbers should be in the header, flush right.
To format your running head and page numbers in Microsoft Word 2010, click InsertàHeader àBlank. In the header box that shows up, type Running head: Abbreviated Title Here. After the title, tab over till the cursor is at the right margin, highlight the space, and click InsertàPage Number and select Current PositionàPlain Number.
APA Format and Style
The abstract covers the main points of the paper and is not always required in a GCU writing assignment. Read the assignment instructions carefully to determine whether the assignment requires an abstract or not.
-Abstract is page 2 of the assignment.
-The word Abstract should be centered at the top of the page.
-As per GCU policy, the abstract should not exceed 120 words.
-Do not indent the abstract paragraph.
The body will contain all of the author's main points as well as detailed and documented support for those ideas.
-The body begins on its own page.
-The title of the paper should be centered at the top of the first page of the body, in initial caps.
-The introduction follows the title, but is not labeled.
-Use headings to separate sections of the paper, but none of the sections should start their own page.
The first level of heading is centered and bolded with each word of four letters or more capitalized (see template for an example). The second level of heading (subheading) is flush left and bolded, with each word of four letters or more capitalized. Note that not all papers will have headings or subheadings in them. APA dictates that you should avoid having only one subsection heading and subsection within a section. In other words, use at least two subheadings under a main heading, or do not use any at all.
-According to the American Psychological Association (APA), one space after terminal punctuation is considered correct for papers submitted for a grade.
-Use ellipses when omitting material within a quote.
-Place a comma after the penultimate word in a series. For example: Your books, ball, and bat are under the bed.
-If a compound word is not in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, use hyphens for clarity rather than omit them.
-Hyphenate compound adjectives that precede the noun they modify, ex
-Capitalize all words of four or more letters in titles (books, articles, etc.) used in text. This rule does not apply within the References section, except for the titles of periodicals.
-Capitalize proper nouns and names.
In-text citations are used in the body of a paper to show which sources a student used for particular material.
When you use material from a source, you need to document that source by using a citation and reference note. All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must be referenced. Using material from a source without citing that source is considered plagiarism; please reference GCU's policy on Plagiarism in the University Policy Handbook.
-In-text citations should note the author information, plus the publication year.
-For a work by one author, cite last name followed by year on every reference.
This citation can be placed at the end of the sentence, or it can be incorporated into the grammatical structure of the sentence.
cept when the first word of the compound is an adverb ending in -ly. For example: role-playing technique, two-way analysis, middle-class families, widely used method.
-Do not hyphenate a compound adjective if its meaning is established or it cannot be misread. For example: grade point average, health care management
-See page 98 of the APA Manual for further rules on hyphenation.