Inside AU Events: How to APA

The Essentials of Formatting, Citing, and Paraphrasing

At times, it can be difficult to find a sense of community in AU’s digital sphere.  However, there are a great deal of events occurring on a consistent basis.  These range from style guide tips for assignments to research tips and tricks.

This Voice Magazine writer recently had a chance to attend an AU style guide-focused session.

How to APA: The Essentials of Formatting, Citing, and Paraphrasing, which was co-sponsored by AU’s Write Site and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, took place on January 30, 2024 from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm MT.

A total of ninety-two students joined this event, which was hosted by Sarah-Jean Watt, AU’s Write Site Coordinator, following a brief introduction by Krystal Zahara, AU’s Coordinator, Graduate Thesis & Academic Records.

Essentials of Formatting

The session began with an overview of formatting essentials required by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In particular, APA style is required by various disciplines, including Psychology, as well as many other Social Sciences.

It is known as a flexible style—the most recent version, APA 7, places an additional emphasis on readability and accessibility.  One example of this is the focus on Sans Serif fonts, such as Calibri or Arial, which are considered more readable.

Title Page and Headings

Next, the session focused on formatting a title page, as well as headings.  It is important to note that APA 7 no longer requires a running head, as opposed to previous versions.  However, it is still best to check with your instructor, because certain projects may still require it.

In addition, in APA 7, the page number remains in the upper right corner, while the title is centred and bolded.  The title case, namely capitalization, follows previous rules, with articles and prepositions lowercased.

The session continued with a discussion of abstracts at the beginning of research papers, as well as a focus on different levels of headings seen throughout papers, which are used to make organizations simple.

Citation Requirements

The discussion then moved on to in-text citations and formatting standards for different source types.  Particularly, in-text citations are used to direct a readers’ attention to the Reference section at the end of the document.  They are primarily used to provide readers with sources for further reading, as well as for adhering to standards of academic integrity.  Indeed, students must cite all outside ideas included in a paper, including paraphrases, quotes, data, tables, and figures.

Mid-way through the session, there were a bit of technical difficulties.  While participants waited for the session to restart, Tunde Tuze from AU’s Write Site continued answering student questions in the chat.  After a short pause, all technical difficulties were resolved and the discussion continued.  In particular, discussion centred on how to cite traditional knowledge and oral communications from Indigenous Peoples, including Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

Tips for References

Finally, the session ended with a discussion on references, which provide full information on cited in-text sources.  In particular, Sarah-Jean Watt provided information about stylistic requirements for the Reference page, including capitalization, italics, commas, and semi colons.

Future Events

For students who would like to attend future events, you can find what’s going on and dates in our AU-Thentic Events column, and updated information is available on AU’s The Hub