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APA Style Introduction

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These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

APA Overview and Workshop

This workshop provides an overview of APA (American Psychological Association) style and where to find help with different APA resources. It provides an annotated list of links to all of our APA materials and an APA overview. It is an excellent place to start to learn about APA format.

APA Formatting and Style Guide

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 7 th  edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , (7 th  ed.).

This poster summarizes APA style in a visual format. For more detailed information, please review the formatting and style guide linked above. 

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6 th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , (6 th ed., 2 nd printing).

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APA 7th Edition

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Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) provides instruction on how to use APA 7th. Below are a few topics covered by the OWL.

  • APA Style Introduction APA 7th
  • APA Overview and Workshop APA 7th
  • General Formatting APA 7th
  • In-Text Citation: Authors APA 7th
  • Foot Notes and Appendices APA 7th
  • Changes in the 7th Edition APA 7th
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Executive summaries and abstracts - graduate writing center.

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Executive Summaries and Abstracts

  • Punctuation
  • Style: Clarity and Concision
  • Writing Process
  • Writing a Thesis
  • Quick Clips & Tips
  • Presentations and Graphics

Executive summaries and abstracts both capture the essence of a project in a shorter form, but with differing levels of detail: an abstract is a highly condensed overview of the document, while an executive summary is a standalone version of the thesis in miniature.

See our handout on " What Goes in a Thesis Abstract? An Executive Summary? " for an overview of standard content and length—then, for more information and examples, read on!

For a more detailed explanation of abstracts, check out our infographics, tailored to your discipline:

  • Defense management
  • Social sciences

An abstract is a brief encapsulation of a document. Abstracts are quite limited in length (often about 200 words) and thus must be very concise, clear statements that convey a few key ideas:

  • The topic and significance of the research
  • The research question driving the inquiry
  • The methods used to answer the question
  • The findings and implications of the research

Understanding how an abstract is structured can also help you as a researcher. When conducting research , get in the habit of reading abstracts carefully to determine which documents closely fit your research needs.

Not all documents require an abstract, and most of your class papers won't. However, all NPS theses must have an abstract, and abstracts are often required for conference papers and articles submitted for publication .

Executive Summaries

Executive summaries are longer than abstracts, often running 2–5 pages. They summarize a larger document's purpose, methods, results, conclusions, and recommendations such that someone who reads  only the summary can glean a solid understanding of the research as a whole. Unlike abstracts, executive summaries can include citations and references .

Not all theses require an executive summary, so check with your advisor or department for guidance. The links below contain further information on the differences between abstracts and executive summaries.

In order to make your research easier to find by other researchers, it is a good idea to think about what searchable keywords are associated with your project. Make sure to include them in your abstract and executive summary!

Executive Summaries and Abstracts Links

  • " What Goes in a Thesis Abstract? An Executive Summary? , " GWC and TPO
  • " Abstracts ," University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center
  • " How to Write an Abstract ," Phil Koopman, Carnegie Mellon University
  • " Executive Summaries ," Colorado State University
  • Layering Reports: The Executive Summary 1 " (6:35), Zachery Koppleman, Purdue OWL
  • Layering Reports: The Executive Summary A Closer Look Part 1 " (5:53), Zachery Koppleman, Purdue OWL
  • Chapter from a book: " Technical Reports, Executive Summaries, and Abstracts , " Robert Shenk, The Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing

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Handouts and hyperlinks.

Sometimes, you just need a quick reference guide. The following documents and links serve that purpose—for a variety of topics. Save them, print them, share them—we’ve put them together to help you whenever and wherever you are.

If you’d like to recommend additional handout topics, please email us at [email protected] .

The following handouts should be used only as general guidelines; please use your professor or departmental guidelines when they conflict with those used on these references.

Academic Writing

Use these guides to build up your writing:

  • Analyzing Your Assignment
  • Analysis vs. Synthesis
  • Annotating a Text
  • Audience Analysis
  • Evaluating Sources: The CRAAP Test
  • Guide to Writing In-Class Essay Exams
  • Guidelines for an Annotated Bibliography
  • How to Organize an Academic Paper
  • How to Write an Analysis
  • How to Write a Literature Review
  • How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis
  • How to Write a Summary
  • How to Write a Synthesis
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement
  • Key Strategies for Effective Revision
  • Tips for Writing College Papers

Grammar and Usage

Grammar can be confusing; use these handouts as a guide:

  • Colons, Semicolons, and Dashes
  • Combining Clauses
  • Formatting Microsoft Word Documents
  • Signal Verbs and Phrases
  • Transitions

Helpful Links

These additional links can help with other writing and style questions you may have:

  • The Draft, the PFW Writing Center Blog
  • Ask a Librarian and Schedule an Appointment with a PFW Librarian
  • Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab)
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
  • APA Style.org
  • International Writing Centers Association
  • East Central Writing Centers Association
  • Judging Sources: Is Your Journal Scholarly?
  • Judging Sources: Is Your Book Scholarly?

Sources and Citations

The Writing Center recommends using the Purdue Online Writing Lab or the style organization's website for the most up-to-date information on citations and formatting. If you need assistance with Purdue OWL, please visit the Writing Center during our business hours. Please note, though we are a Purdue University campus, we have no control or impact on the content of the Purdue OWL. It’s run entirely through the Purdue West Lafayette campus, with a separate staff.

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COMMENTS

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  2. Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

    Welcome to the Purdue OWL. This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. ... Summary: This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts ...

  3. Purdue OWL®

    Online Writing Lab. The online writing lab offers global support through online reference materials and services for creating citations, cover letters, major-specific writing help, and general writing advice. The physical writing lab serves the on-campus Purdue community of students and faculty. Schedule an in-person, online, or e-tutoring ...

  4. The Report Abstract and Executive Summary

    Summary: This resource is an updated version of Muriel Harris's handbook Report Formats: a Self-instruction Module on Writing Skills for Engineers, written in 1981.The primary resources for the editing process were Paul Anderson's Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach (6th ed.) and the existing OWL PowerPoint presentation, HATS: A Design Procedure for Routine Business Documents.

  5. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition) In-Text Citations: The Basics. In-Text Citations: Author/Authors. APA Headings and Seriation. APA Sample Paper. APA Classroom Poster. Changes in the 7th Edition. General APA FAQs. Purdue OWL.

  6. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

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  7. APA Style Introduction

    These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

  8. Paraphrasing, Summarizing and Quoting

    This resource provides a sample essay with a summary, paraphrase and a quotation drawn from the sample essay. Also from the OWL at Purdue, this resource walks students through the steps of writing effective paraphrases. Examples of student paraphrases compared against the original text are also included. From the Williams College Library, this ...

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  10. APA Formatting and Style Guide

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  11. Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

    Contributors: Purdue OWL, Last Edited: 2010-04-21 07:48:34 Directions: On a separate piece of paper, write a paraphrase of each of the following passages. Try not to look back at the original passage. "The Antarctic is the vast source of cold on our planet, just as the sun is the source of our heat, and it exerts tremendous control on our ...

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  14. Purdue University Online Writing Lab: "Sample Essay for Summarizing

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  15. Summarizing

    Summarizing is easier if you follow these tips: 1:41. Highlight or underline the thesis, topic sentences, and key supporting details as you read. 1:48. Construct an outline or concept map to help you identify the main ideas. 1:54. Start by writing the main idea. 1:57. Review the major supporting ideas.

  16. Purdue OWL: Layering Reports

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  17. Executive Summaries and Abstracts

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  18. PDF 1 SUMMARIZING & PARAPHRASING: AVOIDING PLAGIARISM

    Paraphrasing and Summarizing: Express ideas in a quicker, more straightforward way. Avoid unnecessary details. Condense large ideas into compact, easily understood chunks that can add to your writing. Quotations: Restate someone else's ideas in a respectable, cited manner. Clarify that a passage or phrase is not your own.

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  21. Writing Resources

    The Writing Center recommends using the Purdue Online Writing Lab or the style organization's website for the most up-to-date information on citations and formatting. If you need assistance with Purdue OWL, please visit the Writing Center during our business hours. Please note, though we are a Purdue University campus, we have no control or ...

  22. PDF Welcome to the Purdue OWL

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