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4 posts from November 2012

November 29, 2012

The Finer Points of APA Style: When Authors Have the Same Surname

Anneby Anne Breitenbach

There really is a certain satisfaction one gets from knowing how to use a tool correctly and well. That’s as true of an editorial style as it is of a lathe or a chisel. Like a well-made tool, APA Style has been crafted and honed for a specific purpose, in this case, “to advance scholarship by setting sound and rigorous standards for scientific communication” (p. xiii). Part of that communication for authors is to be sure to be as clear as possible about who their sources are. Thus, we’ve developed rules for distinguishing between sources if there is any risk that they might be confused. And using those rules correctly pleases me.

The reason behind them is clear, but the need to apply them is rare enough that using them is a skill. Let’s make sure you know how to use them too.

The Publication Manual says this: “If the reference list includes different authors with the same surname and the first initial, the authors’ full first names may be given in brackets” (p. 184).

Thus, if you cited Danny Thomas’s biography Make Room for Danny and Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, your reference list entries would look like this:

Thomas, D. [Danny], & Davidson, B. (1991). Make room for Danny. New York, NY: Putnam. 
Thomas, D. [Dylan]. (1954). A child’s Christmas in Wales. Norfolk, CT: New Directions.

You would also want to distinguish between the two references in your in-text citation by using both first and last names. Your format would be (Danny Thomas, 1991) and (Dylan Thomas, 1954).

For further information on how to order references by authors with the same last name in the reference list, see our posts on Citing the Recurring Author With Crystal Clarity and Order in the Reference List!

Wood shaving

November 22, 2012

A Word of Thanks

Jeffby Jeff Hume-Pratuch

This is the time of year when people throughout the world pause from their work to look back on the year and give thanks for an abundant harvest. Vintage-thanksgiving-cards-turkey-in-kitchen1Many of our readers are celebrating Thanksgiving today with turkey and cranberries in the United States; others celebrated it with pumpkins and football last month (you wacky Canadians!). Or maybe you’ve just finished celebrating Diwali or Eid ul-Adha. But whether you’re partial to corn dollies or hand turkeys, we at the APA Style blog want you to know how thankful we are for you, our readers. Without you, there would be no reason to blog – and often, nothing to blog about!
So thank you to the nursing students and librarians, the staff of myriad writing centers, the frazzled and desperate grad students, the composition instructors and dissertation editors who keep the questions coming. We hope that we have helped in some way to make your labor fruitful in the past year, and we’ll do our best to continue in the year ahead.
Thanksgiving_hand_turkeyWe thought you might enjoy reading some blog posts from the past year that were prompted by questions from readers. If you recognize yourself in any of them, give yourself a big turkey hand!





November 15, 2012

How to Cite a Class in APA Style

Timothy.mcadooby Timothy McAdoo

Have you ever learned so much in a class that you wanted to cite the whole thing? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, because a class is not a retrievable source, when you try to put together a reference, you won’t have a "where" there. There, there: Don’t worry, you do have other options!

Citing a Course Pack or Custom Textbookback to school

Sometimes people who ask about citing a course are really trying to cite the textbook, course pack, custom textbook, or other published materials used in the class. Our recent post on that topic provides a number of options.

Citing the Teacher’s PowerPoint File or Other Materials

In some cases, you might want to cite materials presented by the instructor that were not included in a course pack or a custom textbook (e.g., the instructor’s lecture itself or a PowerPoint presentation designed by the instructor). 

If the instructor has posted the materials somewhere online, you can cite them directly. But, it’s more likely that he or she is the only source for the materials. In that case, cite as a personal communication (see the Provide a Reliable Path to the Source section of our post on what belongs in a reference list).

Citing Your Own Class Notes 

In other cases, you might want to cite your own notes from the class. Again, because these notes will not be a retrievable source for most readers, cite them as a personal communication (see the Provide a Reliable Path to the Source section of our post on what belongs in a reference list).

Citing the Course Itself 

Your experience of attending the class simply cannot be replicated or retrieved. But, although the course itself is not retrievable, you may be able to find a description of the course on your school’s website. If you can find it online, you can cite it!

November 08, 2012

Manual de Publicação da APA, 6ª Edição

Mls-squarepicBy Mary Lynn Skutley20120723043109_APA_Manual_Publicacao_APA_M
It is not a surprise to us that Portuguese audiences have a strong affinity for psychology books.  With 18,000 registered psychologists in Portugal, and over 47 graduate programs in Brazil, psychologists in both countries work in a variety of areas, including health, education, and justice.  One of the first publishers to translate the Publication Manual, Artmed Editora (an imprint of Grupo A) published a Portuguese version of the fourth edition of the manual in 2001. Now, 11 years later, Artmed  has completed translation of the sixth edition.  Visit this distinguished publisher on Facebook, and you’ll find a range of definitive titles in the biosciences, hard social and applied sciences, and human sciences.  And while you’re there, take a peek at Artmed’s translation of the APA Dictionary of Psychology, our landmark reference work on the language of the field.

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