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American Psychological Association, APA style

formatting, social sciences,

APA style is a short hand description for the formatting of papers and references described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It is the preferred format for papers in the social sciences being prepared for publication. It is also the required format for Masters and Doctoral theses in psychology, sociology, anthropology and most of the social sciences. APA style covers the content and organization of a manuscript as well as rules for the clear expression of ideas and detailed suggestions for reducing bias in language. An expert in the rules of APA style can guide authors of scientific publications in the preparation of their manuscripts from the elements of title page, running head, abstract, discussion and references. References constitute almost a science in themselves with very strict requirements to ensure that the consistent formatting will make it easier for readers to find and verify all sources specified in the document. There are now at least a thousand journals in the behavioral sciences, nursing and personnel administration that use the APA Publication Manual as their style guide. For theses, many institutions deviate slightly from strict APA style and it is worthwhile to determine ahead of time whether they want a running head, if the abstract must be limited to 120 words and if every sentence, including references, must be double spaced. The placement and formatting of tables and figures is also subject to variations depending on that collegeís or universityís requirements. It is important, therefore, to choose an editor who is not only thoroughly familiar with the APA rules but one who is willing to work with the author until all of the institutional exceptions have been recognized and dealt with.

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