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APA Citation Style Tutorial: Materials for Quiz 1B

To be covered

  1. Verb tenses
  2. Subject and verb agreement
  3. Paraphrasing/In-text citations
  4. Run-on sentences
  5. Active vs passive voice
  6. Sentence Fragments

Content for Quiz 1B

Verb Tenses

Past Describes events that have already happened and are completely finished. Most verbs can be made past tense by adding -d or -ed at the end of a present-tense verb, as in liked and watched. However, many irregular verbs have unique past tense forms. For example, go becomes went, and think becomes thought.

discover > discovered

Is > was

Describes events happening now. It is also useful for describing a direct action that is not exclusive to the past or future.

Sentences in present tense often have the most straightforward structure because they use root verbs and to be verbs. A root verb is the basic form of a verb, such as watch or travelTo be verbs express states of being.

wanted > wants

went > go
Present perfect

The perfect tenses involve more complex time relationships. They build upon simple tenses by combining a verb with hashave, or had.

The present perfect tense describes a past event that’s still happening in the present.

Researchers have shown..

It has been found that...

Table 4.1 Recommended Verb Tenses in APA Style Papers

Paper Section Recommended Tense Example
Literature Review (or whenever
discussing other researchers' work)


Quinn (2020) presented
Present Perfect Since then, many investigators have used
Description of procedure
Past Participants completed a survey
Present Perfect Others have used similar approaches
Reporting of Results Past

Results were nonsignificant

Scores increased
Hypotheses were supported
Discussion of implications of results Present The results indicate
Presentation of conclusions, limitations, future directions, and so forth Present

We conclude

Limitations of the study are

*Remember, consistency in your verb tenses is key!*

Source: American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: the official guide to APA style (7th ed): American Psychological Association.

Definition: Run-on sentences, also known as fused sentences, occur when two complete sentences are squashed together without using a coordinating conjunction or proper punctuation, such as a period or a semicolon. Run-on sentences can be short or long. A long sentence is not necessarily a run-on sentence (Joki, 2015). 



Run-On Sentence Correction
The researchers analyzed the results they then wrote in the methods section The researchers analyzed the results, and they then wrote them into the methods section
The research was sound, produced good results The research was sound. It produced good results


Source: Joki, K. (2015). Run-on Sentences.

Fragments are incomplete sentences. Usually, fragments are pieces of sentences that have become disconnected from the main clause. One of the easiest ways to correct them is to remove the period between the fragment and the main clause. Other kinds of punctuation may be needed for the newly combined sentence. Some fragments are not clearly pieces of sentences that have been left unattached to the main clause; they are written as main clauses but lack a subject or main verb (Purdue Owl, n.d.).

Fragment Revision
The University of South Dakota has small class sizes. A student-teacher ratio of 16:1. The University of South Dakota has small class sizes with a student-teacher ratio of 16:1. 
The data is incomplete. Which is why researchers think this subject needs further study. Because the data is incomplete, researchers think the subject needs further study. 
A flawed questionnaire. The questionnaire used in the study was flawed. 



Source: Purdue Owl (n.d.) "Sentence Fragments"

4.13 Active and Passive Voice

Definition and Examples

Active Voice The subject of a sentence is presented first, followed by the verb and then the object of the verb

Students completed surveys


Passive Voice The object of the verb is presented first, followed by the verb (usually a form of "to be" + past participle + the word "by") and then the subject last. Sometimes the subject is omitted completely Surveys were completed by the students


Use and Examples

Active Voice Use as much as possible to create direct, clear, and concise sentences Write "the patients took the medication orally" instead of "the medication was taken orally by the patients"
Passive Voice This is acceptable in expository writing when focusing on the object or recipient of the action rather than on the actor For example, a description of the experimental setup in the method section will read "the speakers were attached to either side of the chair" which appropriately emphasizes the placement of the speakers, not who placed them


Source: American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: the official guide to APA style (7th ed): American Psychological Association.


A paraphrase restates another’s idea (or your own previously published idea) in your own words. Paraphrasing allows you to summarize and synthesize information from one or more sources, focus on significant information, and compare and contrast relevant details.

Published authors paraphrase their sources most of the time, rather than directly quoting the sources; student authors should emulate this practice by paraphrasing more than directly quoting.

When you paraphrase, cite the original work using either the narrative or parenthetical citation format.

Long Paraphrase

A paraphrase may continue for several sentences. In such cases, cite the work being paraphrased on first mention. Once the work has been cited, it is not necessary to repeat the citation as long as the context of the writing makes it clear that the same work continues to be paraphrased.

If the paraphrase continues into a new paragraph, reintroduce the citation. If the paraphrase incorporates multiple sources or switches among sources, repeat the citation so the source is clear. Read your sentences carefully to ensure you have cited sources appropriately.

Source: American Psychological Association (n.d.) Paraphrasing

8.10 Author-Date Citation System

  • In this system, each work used in a paper has two parts
    • 1. An in-text citation
      • This appears in the body and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication
      • Do not include suffixes, such as "Junior". If there is no author, use the source's title in its place
      • If there is no year, use "n.d." in its place. If it is accepted for publication but has not yet been published, write "in press"
    • 2. A corresponding reference list entry
      • This includes the author, date, title, and source of the work, enabling readers to identify and retrieve the work

8.11 Parenthetical and Narrative Citations

Parenthetical citation

  •  Both the author and the date, separated by a comma, appear in parenthesis for a parenthetical citation. It can appear within or at the end of a sentence. When it is at the end of the sentence, put the period or other end punctuation after the closing parenthesis 
    • Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public's perception of expert-consensus on an isue (Koehler, 2016).
  • If other text appears within the parenthetical citation, use commas around the years
    • (see Koehler, 2016, for more detail)
  • When the text and a citation appear together in parentheses, use a semicolon to separate the citation from the text; do not use parentheses within parentheses
    • (e.g., falsely balanced news coverage; Koehler, 2016)

Narrative Citation

  • The author appears in the running text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name for a narrative citation
    • Koehler (2016) noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage
  • In rare cases, the author and date might both appear in the narrative. In this case, do not use parentheses
    • In 2016, Koehler noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage


Source: American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: the official guide to APA style (7th ed): American Psychological Association.

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