Psychology papers must be referenced using American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style. Footnotes are not used: rather, reference citations that identify the author(s) and year of publication are used to document the source of an idea, a paraphrase, or a direct quote. Reference citations are incorporated within the text and enable the reader to locate the source of the information in an alphabetical list of References at the end of the paper. This reference list replaces a traditional bibliography.

The list of references must include only the sources cited in the paper. All references cited in the text of the paper must appear in the reference list; and all entries in the reference list must be cited in the paper. List the sources you used under the title 'References' at the end of your paper. Start the reference list on the a new page. Type the word References (Reference, in the case of only one) in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered, at the top of the page. Double space all reference entries unless directed otherwise by your instructor. Indent the first line of each entry five to seven spaces, the same as a paragraph in text. Put the references in alphabetical order by the author's or editor's last name or first significant word in the title if there is no author or editor.

Detailed information regarding APA style can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The manual is available in the Writing Centre, the Library, and the Psychology Resource Room.  As there are variations in APA requirements  depending on whether you are the author of a thesis, a journal  article, or a student paper, it is important that you check with your instructor regarding the appropriate style for your work.

The manual includes guidelines for preparation of a typical student paper. These papers are the 'final copy'; consequently, exceptions to APA style which improve the appearance of the paper or which serve to enhance communication are "not only permissible but also desirable" (APA, 1994, p. 332). Common exceptions include use of a hanging indent, single spacing for references (within the reference only; double spacing is required between references) and for long quotations. Again, you must check with your instructor regarding the style s/he prefers.

There are several handouts available on the use of APA style. The Writing Centre and the Library provide handouts for use of APA in a wide variety of academic areas at UFV. They also have the handout prepared by a member of the psychology department.  This handout  includes general guidelines and a sample reference page, and is also available in the psychology department from Dr. R. Snow. 

Please be aware that APA style has changed numerous times since it was first introduced in 1952. If you are not using a recent guide to writing, or if you are following the format used in a textbook reference section, or in a article written several years ago, you will not be using currently accepted APA style.

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