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Special Education Research

Resources related to special education.

Write Papers Using APA format

The College of Education and Human Development uses the APA style to format papers and generate citations.

Basic APA Format
Your paper should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

For references: 

  • Only include the issue number if every issue starts on page 1
  • Only capitalize the first letter of the first word, proper nouns, or words following punctuation. Do not capitalize every word in the article title.
  • APA requires the the DOI or the words Retrieved from followed by the journal's url.

In-text Citations
Reference citations in text are covered on pages 169-179 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.

For specific examples  of how to create in-text citations use the Purdue Owl APA Citations: The Basics

APA Reference Examples

The tabs in this box give examples of the proper way to cite references in APA format. Examples were taken from the following resources:

  1. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th Ed). (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological  Association  - current version of the APA style manual
  2. APA Style Guide to Electronic References, (6th ed.). (2012).  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.     (May be purchased from APA).  This comprehensive guide offers up-to-date information on formatting electronic references in APA Style.
  3. APA Style Blog- Includes a table for line spacing in APA style.  Use search box on right to search the entire APA style blog.

If you need additional help try the following chart provided by APA: How to Write an APA Style Reference When Information Is Missing.  This handy table explains to cite a reference in APA format when parts of a reference are missing

If a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is provided, you must include it in your citation. If a DOI is not provided use the journal's url.  See examples below:

Cite article with DOI

Where can you find the doi?

  • Look at the top and the bottom of the first page of the article
  • In databases look for the DOI when you first find the article on the database landing page
  • In some databases, the DOI can be found on the page which contains the articles abstract after the journal's ISSN number
  • Go to Crossref.org's Guest Query to search for a missing article doi. This link let's you look up the bibliographic information about an articles and provides a DOI if one is available.  Under "Bibliographic metadata search"  fill in as many fields as possible, then click search. This form is a guest query interface to the Crossref system for individual DOI retrieval.

If a journal article does have a DOI, you must provide the journal's url.

Example of how to cite an article without a doi

To find the journal URL, do one of the following:

  • Look for the journal URL at the top of the bottom of the journal article pdf
  • Go to UlrichsWeb Global Serials Directory (find it under the letter U on the Articles & More tab on the Library's home page)  In the example above, you would enter Journal Plus Education in the search box in Ulrich's, then click on the journal title on the results page and scroll down to the word "Website"
  • In most EBSCO databases, click on the article title, then scroll down to the word source, click on the journal title.
  • Do NOT use sites like Questia, FindArticles, HighBeam,etc. They are vendors who index and sell articles; they are not journal publishers.

The examples below give examples of how to cite a book, book chapter, and an edited book in APA format.

Cite a book in APA format

Example of how to cite a book in APA format

NOTE:  If a book has a doi, you must include the DOI at the end of the reference.

Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

Example of how to cite a chapter in a book in APA format

 

The examples below give examples of how to government documents in APA format and some things to consider when citing:

  • Treat a government document as a book, report, or brochure.
  • If a person is named on the title page, use her or him as author.
  • If no person is named, use the government agency, department, or branch as a group author (Ex. 31, p.205).
  • Give the name of the group author exactly as it appears on the title page. If the branch or agency is not well known, include its higher department first.
  • If the group author is also the publisher, just use the word Author after the location (p. 203).
  • If there is a series or report number, include it after the title (p. 205).
  • The manual refers to the GPO (U.S. Gov. Printing Office).

 Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. OR Government Name. Name of

            Government Agency. (Year). Title: Subtitle (Report No. xxx [if available])Place of

            Publication: Publisher.  Retrieved from: URL

Government Document with Author

Example of how to cite a government document with an author

Government Document without Author

Example of how to cite a government document with no author

How to cite test reviews or entire tests from the Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print Database and in print.

Example of how to format test reviews from Mental measurements yearbook

 Edition  Year Editor(s)
The table below provides information needed to cite the MMY correctly:
Twentieth           2017  TJ.F. Carlson, K.F. Geisinger, & J.L. Jonson
Nineteenth 2014  TJ.F. Carlson, K.F. Geisinger, & J.L. Jonson
Eighteenth 2010  R.A. Spies, J.F. Carlson, and K. F. Geisinger
Seventeeth 2007  K. F. Geisinger, R. A. Spies, J. F. Carlson, & B. S. Plake   
Sixteenth 2005  B. Plake, J. C. Impara & R. Spies
Fifteenth 2003  B. Plake, J. C. Impara & R. Spies
Fourteenth 2001  B. Plake & J. C. Impara
Thirteenth 1998  J. C. Impara & B. Plake
Twelfth 1995  J. C. Conoley & J. C. Impara
Eleventh 1992  J. J. Kramer & J. C. Conoley
Tenth 1989  J. C. Conoley & J. J. Kramer
Ninth 1985  J. V. Mitchell

The basic format to use when citing a web page is listed below, by type of web page.

  • Remember to double-space and to indent the second and following lines.
  • When an Internet document is more than one Web page, provide a URL that links to the home page or entry page for the document.
  • If there isn't a date available for the page use (n.d.) for no date.

The basic format when citing a web page is:  Author, A. (date). Title of document [Format description]. Retrieved from http://URL

Examples of how to cite websites with and without an author in APA formatWhat is included in the [Format description] field?
[Blog post]
[Web file] for YouTube videos<
[Audio podcast]
[Online forum Comment] for Newsgroup, Online Forum, or Discussion Group

Need Additional Assistance - Try the following link or contact the Mason Writing Center.

Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information 

The examples below give the basic when citing a video/dvd in APA format. NOTE: List the primary contributors in the author position.  Primary contributors include the Director, Producer, etc.

Video

Primary contributor. (Date). Title [Format].  Available from url

Example of how to cite a video in APA format

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Citations Made Easy with Zotero

Zotero

Use Zotero to generate accurate citations and quick bibliographies. Get started with the printable guide, or try these video tutorials:

Do you need a specialized citation style beyond APA, Chicago, or MLA? Check out Zotero's Style Repository for specialized formats.

The Libraries provide workshops to get you started using Zotero. Check the workshop calendar for times and locations.

Not a fan of Zotero? Check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab for assistance with citing APA, MLA and Chicago.