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Guide to Formatting Psychology Papers: APA Style


Terry Student (your name here)
Psychology Department (or your department)
Mansfield University


PSY 4430, Theories of Personality (class here)
Dr. Margaret Launius (professor here)
December 19, 2001 (date turned in here)


All research papers and many other written papers will begin with an abstract page that is numbered as page 2. The abstract is a brief summary of the paper or research project and should be about 100 to 120 words long. Like the rest of the paper, it should be double-spaced. Your professor will tell you if a course paper should include an abstract page. If you need to include an abstract in your paper, you would use the
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The participant’s three choices were (a) working alone, (b) working with a partner, or (c) working in a group of three.
Separate paragraphs When using a series of items as separate paragraphs, use the following format. Notice that parentheses are not used in this format.
The hypotheses tested in our study were: 1. Psychology majors will have better social skills than computer science majors. 2. Computer science majors will have higher scores on a test of mathematical ability than psychology majors. 3. Both psychology and computer science majors will have better problem solving skills than undeclared students.
“The general rule governing APA style on the use of numbers is to use figures to express numbers 10 and above and words to express numbers below 10” (APA, 2001, p. 122). Avoid beginning a sentence with a number.
Exceptions to the rule If you are combining numbers below and above 10, then use figures for both. Use figures when the number is a unit of measure, a statistical or mathematical function, a specific date or time, an amount of money, or number of participants in a study or group.
Most of your papers will contain information gathered from outside sources such as journal articles, books, newspapers, magazines, and web sites. All information obtained from outside sources must be referenced within the body of your paper and included in a reference page at the end of your paper. All
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