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3 posts from June 2012

June 28, 2012

Who Versus That




by Tyler Krupa

This week, we address another item on the list of APA Style points that writers find most challenging (on the basis of the article by Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010; also see their guest post to our blog): the use of who instead of that.

According to the sixth edition of the Publication Manual (p. 79), APA prefers for writers to use the term who as a pronoun when referring to human beings. The term that should be used for nonhuman animals and for things.

To help clear up any confusion regarding the proper use of these terms, let’s begin with looking at some examples of who being used correctly:

In the psychological therapies, using methods such as the simple ranking of outcomes may penalize a therapist who has not contributed sufficient data to make a reliable estimate of effectiveness.

The researchers who used a between-subjects design produced results virtually identical to our earlier experiments.

Note that in each example above, the term who is referring to human beings (i.e., a “therapist” and “researchers”). Therefore, per APA Style, inserting that in place of who would not be accurate. However, if you were instead referring to “therapy” or “research” (which are things), you would then use that:

The cognitive therapy that was used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder lasted 15–20 sessions.

The research that Smith and Jones (2011) reviewed was also used in our analyses.

Also, per APA Style, remember to use that when referring to nonhuman animals:

The rats that completed the task successfully were rewarded.

The cats that were used in pet therapy did not leave the site.

Consistent use of who and that will help make your writing clear and precise. If you still have questions regarding the proper use of these terms after reviewing the examples above, feel free to leave a comment.

June 14, 2012

How to Cite Multiple Works by the Same Author in a Compilation




by Tyler Krupa

This week, we address how to cite multiple works by the same author that appear in a compilation. As noted in a recent post to our blog, when constructing your reference list, you should cite the edition or volume that you read and are relying on for your information. Therefore, if you are writing a literature review and your source is an anthology, this is the source that you should include in the reference list and cite in the text (even if the works you are citing have been published previously or can be accessed online). For example, if you want to compare two different John Cheever stories from this anthology in your paper, then you need to include a separate reference for each one of them (even though they were obtained from the same source). The references would be formatted as follows:

Cheever, J. (1995a). The enormous radio. In R. V. Cassill (Ed.), The Norton anthology of short fiction (5th ed., pp. 182–191). New York, NY: Norton. (Original work published 1947)

Cheever, J. (1995b). The five-forty-eight. In R. V. Cassill (Ed.), The Norton anthology of short fiction (5th ed., pp. 191–202). New York, NY: Norton. (Original work published 1954)

Note that in both references, in addition to including the year that the anthology was published, you need to include the year that the original work was published in parentheses at the end of the reference. Also note that because you have two “Cheever, 1995” references, “a” and “b” are needed after the anthology’s publication date—the references are then ordered by alphabetizing the short story titles (“enormous” comes before “five,” so the first reference is “1995a” and the second one is “1995b”; for additional information, see p. 182 in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual).

When citing these references in the text, both years are needed, with the published date of the original work coming first (see pp. 203–204 in the Publication Manual). Examples of text citations are included below:

Cheever (1947/1995a) used foreshadowing to reveal . . .

The characters in Cheever’s (1954/1995b) story . . .

We hope that these examples help you understand how to properly cite multiple works from a compilation in APA Style. If you still have questions regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment.

June 08, 2012

Electronic References in APA Style at Your Fingertips


Have you ever searched in vain for an electronic reference example in the Publication Manual and on this blog, knowing that you've seen it somewhere?

We thought so.

Among the myriad APA Style questions we receive, the majority concern electronic references. As a result, we have expanded coverage of electronic referencing in the Publication Manual and have included even more examples in this blog, such as how to cite a website, app, YouTube video, Twitter and Facebook, to name a few. 

This week we released the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, adapted from the sixth edition of the Publication Manual, to help you find all of these examples in one place. For your convenience, the guide is available as a downloadable and searchable PDF that includes approximately 70 reference examples, including books, videos, websites, podcasts, blog posts, and social media. Also included are guidelines on how references are constructed and valuable information on locators such as URLs and digital object identifiers (DOIs). A Kindle edition of the guide is also available.

In our blog we will continue to address your questions about electronic referencing in depth and provide new reference examples as technology continues to evolve. We hope that you will find this guide a convenient and comprehensive tool to use when creating your reference list.

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