Capitalization/Punctuation Headings Numbers Spacing Tenses
Musical Titles and Terms
In the field of Music Education, most journals use the APA style format
Follow the APA Style link and read "About APA Style"
Why use a particular style at all?
A standardized form . . .
. . . provides consistency in writing within a discipline.
. . . gives you credibility as a writer and shows professionalism.
. . . facilitates understanding and allows the reader to focus on content.
. . . codifies elements for clear communication.
. . . demonstrates that you have research skills.
. . . improves the quality of your writing.
. . . points to the original sources and gives due credit; avoids plagiarism by correct citation.
. . . avoids inconsistency among articles within a journal.
And finally, the Devil is in the details! Your attention to these details (now where does that comma go??) demonstrates that the details matter!
Otherwise, if your formatting is sloppy, why should I believe your research conclusions??
Or, why should you be trusted in larger matters if you overlook those
Have you ever
heard the story about Van Halen and brown M&Ms?
part of the contract from Van Halen's world tour in 1982, the
band specified that M&Ms were to be provided backstage, but
there should absolutely be no brown ones
thought that this was just an example of entitled rock stars
demanding unreasonable accommodations.
here is where the details come in.
were bringing to each event-site truckloads of equipment for a
huge production and had sent very detailed technical
specifications, weight limit requirements, door clearances, etc.
in their contracts.
technical specifications in the contract was not been followed
carefully, there would be problems, malfunctions, delays, and
even dangerous situations.
How would they know if the contract had
been carefully read and details followed to the letter??
First, they went backstage to see if there was a bowl of M&Ms
and then checked to see if there were
any brown ones.
If there were no M&Ms or if there were
brown ones in the bowl, they knew the contract had not been
Pretty clever for entitled rock stars
who know that details matter!!
OK, back to APA
Here are some resources to use in combination with your APA Style Manual:
Sample paper written in APA
7 format (Word doc)
Sample paper written
in APA 7 format with explanations (pdf)
Some general things to remember about APA Style:|
Use numerals for numbers 10 and above.
Use numerals for numbers preceding units of measurement (15 mg, 7 cm).
Do not begin a sentence with a numeral - spell it out
or revise your sentence.
|Use numerals for numbers representing mathematical or statistical functions, percentages, ratios, and percentiles (divided by 2, 11%, a ratio of 22:1, the 10th percentile).|
|Write out page numbers in full, such as
pp. 186-197 (NOT pp. 186-97)|
|Use commas to separate groups of three digits, except for page numbers.|
Use numerals for centuries (18th century, 21st century)|
Use numerals for time (3 months, 2 weeks) and age (7-year-old, aged 40
years); Grade 8 (but eighth grade)|
|Use words to express approximations of days, months, and years (I started working out about four years ago).|
|Do not use an apostrophe when adding an s to a number (1990s)|
|Use numbers to identify measures (ms. 12-15 or measures 12-15, but be consistent)|
| || |
Capitalization and punctuation|
Not all words are capitalized in the title of a reference. See p. 101 in your APA manual. Students miss this one a lot!
1 space after a period at the end of a sentence, and one space after colons (:) and semi-colons (;) in the body of a paper.|
|Use one space after a period in a reference.|
|Commas and periods go inside quotation marks.|
|No quotation marks on block quotes.|
|Use serial commas ( . . . trombones, trumpets, and euphoniums . . .) Yes, even the one before the and!|
Use a semicolon only in 3 ways: 1) as a "soft period"
connecting 2 closely related independent clauses, 2) in
a list to separate items that contain commas within the
items, and 3) with a transitional phrase (Ex: . . . ;
however, . . .)|
|No contractions unless contained in a direct quotation. [it's, don't, I'm]|
|Use quotation marks to introduce a word or phrase used as an ironic comment, as slang, or an invented or coined expression (only the first time used)
or when referring to a word as a word (Ex: The word
"love" is overused.)|
|Use past tense when referring to an occurrence at a specific, definite time in the past [Smith and Jones (2008) noted . . . ]|
|Use present perfect tense to refer to an occurrence that did not occur at a specific time or for an action beginning in the past and continuing to the present [Researchers (Smith, 2008; Jones, 2007) have drawn conclusions . . .]|
|When presenting results
(specific variables manipulated or outcomes measured), use past tense: [In three interviews, participants mentioned . . .]|
|When discussing results and presenting conclusions
with continuing applicability, use present tense [The results indicate an underlying theme . . .]|
| || |
Absolutely everything is double spaced (no extra space after paragraphs, no single spacing in block quotes; even the bibliography is double spaced).
Set your Word page formatting to double space everything with no extra spaces.
Google the instructions to set this global default in Word or your word
|Not specific to APA formatting, but some help with musical titles and terms|
Generic titles are capitalized, but not italicized. Sonata in E Minor, op. 90
Other titles are capitalized and italicized
(if it is a title given by the composer, not assigned later). Moonlight Sonata
the Eroica Symphony by Beethoven
Schumann's Scenes from Childhood
Sections of larger works,
titles of songs, and other short compositions are in quotation marks. "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" from Messiah
|Terms for genres are not capitalized unless part of a specific title. sonata, concerto, symphony|
examples: Andante from Mozart's Symphony
in G Minor
Kyrie from Beethoven's Missa Solemnis
"On a Rainy Night" from Beckwith's Lyrics of the
"Contentedness" from Schumann's Scenes from
"Air with Variations" (The Harmonious
Blacksmith) from Handel's Suite no. 5 in E Major
| || |
Use hyphens for adjectives, not nouns: twentieth century (twentieth-century music); quarter note (quarter-note passage); eighth note (eighth-note triplet), etc.
Italicize foreign terms, unless they are commonly used in English: tempi, celli, opera comique (tempo, cello, symphony)
Instruments are not capitalized: trumpet,
styles are not capitalized; baroque,
eras should be capitalized: Baroque era,
Swing era, Classical style
C, E, G-natural, A-flat, F-sharp
keys of F# minor and Eb major
Format for Five Levels of Heading in APA Format
|Level of heading||Format|
Title Case Heading
Text begins as a new paragraph.
|2||Flush Left, Boldface,
Title Case Heading|
begins as a new paragraph.
Flush Left, Boldface Italic, Title Case Heading|
Text begins as a new
Indented, Boldface Title Case Heading Ending with a
Period. Paragraph text continues on the same
line as the same paragraph.|
Indented, Boldface Italic, Title Case Heading Ending
with a Period. Paragraph text continues on the
same line as the same paragraph.|
Sample Heading Levels
Heading Levels Normally Used in a Thesis or Paper [Level 1]
Begin the first chapter with one to three paragraphs that set up the thesis and explains what it is about. Subsequent chapters should begin with a paragraph or two that explains the main focus of that chapter and sets up the major sections in it. The introductory section of a paper does not require a heading. Note there is no extra space between headings or paragraphs.
Major Section Headings [Level 1]
A section consists of paragraphs and possibly subsections. Usually an introductory paragraph is used to set up the main themes in the section before the first subsection heading. If short, there may be no subsection headings. Generally avoid stacking two headings without intervening text.
Subsection Headings [Level 2]
Subsections typically contain much of the basic data in a paper. Occasionally they also contain secondary order subsections.
Secondary Order Subsection Headings. [Level 3]
Secondary subsections contain sub themes within a subsection.
Don't forget the Running head!
The running head should look like this on
every page of your paper:
SHORTENED TITLE OF YOUR
PAPER [of course a shortened version of YOUR title :-); notice
that this shortened title is in all caps] and the page number should always be on the same line as the running head
Note: Your shortened title should be the most important words
of your title so that a reader can still recognize the content from the
running head. Don't make it so short that your reader has to search
for the full title to get the gist of it.
Be sure your running head is the same font as the rest of your paper.
Although APA guidelines allow several different fonts, in your courses with
me, please use Times New Roman throughout.
Note: The 7th edition of the APA manual says that student papers do
not require a running head. Please ignore that and use one! You are a
Sample In-text Citation
According to Jones (1998), "Students
often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their
first time" (p. 199).
Sample Article Reference
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., &
Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical,
volume number(issue number), pages.
Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of
listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.
Sample Book Reference
Author, A. A. (Year of publication).
Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location:
Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R.
(1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal
publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson