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8 APA Traps You Often Forget About

You may think you know everything about the APA formatting style, and you can use it freely even without consulting Purdue Own website or other similar sources. Surely, you remember the major rules, but we would hardly believe that there is even a single student capable of recalling all the rules and requirements, with all those parenthesis, commas, capital letters, italic fonts, etc. We have gathered some mostly forgotten rules which might become rather helpful for you to refresh your formatting memory. Some of them might seem obvious to you, but we are sure some will come in handy. We have divided our guide into 2 sections with for traps for in-text citation and 4 for a reference list.

In-Text Citation

Trap #1. Proper Capitalization

If within the paper you have to refer or quote a particular title of the book or the articles you have to capitalize the words in the title. Verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives and nouns are always capitalized no matter how many letters they have. For other structural pieces of the sentence, the rule is different: you have to capitalize only those words which are 4 or more letters long. Don’t forget that when placing the same entry in the reference list you have to capitalize only the first letter, and the first letter after the colon when it comes to the complex titles. For example: Sports for Active Kids Under Five.

Trap #2. Several Works By the Same Author Within One Year

It happens not that often, but you can stumble upon such situation. To make a distinction among the works you should use the lower-case letters (a, b, c, etc.). The lower-case letters are used in a row, starting from the first work mentioned in the paper, not from the earliest work. Make sure the in-text citations match the reference list later. For example: Research conducted by Twerskyi (1984a)

Trap #3. Personal Communication

Previously personal communication wasn’t widely accepted as a source, but now, as students can take interviews using Skype and other online means of communication, it finds its way into the academic papers. Note! You don’t have to include it in the reference list, but it is obligatory as an in-text citation. For example: (A. Davidson, personal communication, August, 14 2017).

Trap #4. Citing Indirect Sources

This one is also rather tricky. First of all, we recommend you to avoid citing indirect sources in case you can find a direct source, and you use. However, when it is impossible, you can’t just cite the quoted piece the same as you would cite the article it is quoted it. After you use the quoted information make a cited marked as “as cited in.” For example: Edwards suggested that… (as cited in Peterson, 2016, p. 16).

Reference List

Trap #5. Translation

You often have to use the translations when it comes to some old but essential texts. State the names of translators and the date of the originally published work. For example: Min, A. (2012). A sin of choice. (N. D. James, Trans.) New York, NY: Rochester.

Trap #6. Graphic Data/Illustrations

This is one of the trickiest things to put in the references as well as to cite. State the name of the organization, or author, or web source presenting the particular graphic data. Give a short explanation of the type of the visual data used in your paper, state its form. Give a brief project name and state from where the graphic data had been retrieved. For example: Experiment on the Game Theory. (2002). [Graph illustration …]. Access to the Patterns of Thinking. Retrieved from: [link]

Trap #7. A Television Series

Previously, it was incomprehensible to use a television series as a reference in the academic paper. However, as the industry related to series grows and is worth billions of dollars already, such references become more and more often. For example: Name of the producer. (Year of publication, moth and day). The name in italics. The city: the broadcasting system.

Add this page to the bookmarks in your browser or save as link somewhere. You can always consult it without digging into the extended guides. The major rule you should remember about is that there are no minor mistakes when it comes to the formatting of your paper. APA formatting style is mostly used for serious, graduate papers, which means the stakes are exceptionally high and you wouldn’t to risk it. There are much more details in the extended guides, and we suggest you pay attention to them every time you feel hesitant. We hope it was helpful. Good luck with your paper!