When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA style," they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.
Editorial style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as
The American Psychological Association has established a style that it uses in all of the books and journals that it publishes. Many others working in the social and behavioral sciences have adopted this style as their standard as well.
APA's style rules and guidelines are set out in a reference book called The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Please note that when researchers talk about APA style, they may be referring to APA's system of citations in text and reference format. If you are unsure, you should clarify with your instructor or editor how they define "APA style."
© 2008 American Psychological Association
Endnote is a widely used bibliographic reference software program that can help you organize your citations. It is free to Georgia State faculty, staff and students. Please contact Joel Glogowski with questions about Endnote.
Zotero is a free FireFox plug-in that provides an alternative for collecting, managing, and citing research sources.
DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are used to identify digital materials uniquely and persistently. APA is now recommending that these numbers, when available, be included in citations to electronically retrieved articles. Many articles indexed in PsycINFO and other databases now include DOI numbers. Here is an example of the use of a DOI number in a citation:
Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Carlo, G. (2007). Personal values as a mediator between parent and peer expectations and adolescent behaviors. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3) 538-541. doi:10.1037/0893-3188.8.131.528