Students of Grand Canyon University (GCU) are required to use the guidelines provided by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for preparing written assignments, except where otherwise noted. GCU has made APA templates and other resources available within the Student Success Center; therefore, students are not required to purchase the APA manual.
The curriculum materials (Syllabus, Lectures/Readings, Resources, etc.) created and provided by GCU in the online or Web-enhanced modalities are prepared using an editorial format that relies on APA as a framework but that modifies some formatting criteria to better suit the nature and purpose of instructional materials. Students and faculty are advised that GCU course materials do not adhere strictly to APA format and should not be used as examples of correct APA format when preparing written work for class.
Academic writing, which is independent thought supported by reliable and relevant research, depends on the ability to integrate and cite the sources that have been consulted. Use APA style for all references, in-text citations, formatting, etc.
Write in first- and second-person sparingly, if ever. This means, avoid using I, we, and you; instead, use he, she, and they. Do not use contractions.
1) Use standard-sized paper of 8.5″ x 11″.
2) Margins should be 1″ all around (top, bottom, left, right).
3) Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
4) For emphasis, use italics (not quotation marks, bold, etc.).
6) Align the text flush left.
The basic organization of an APA-style paper includes the title page, abstract, body, and reference section, though students are encouraged to follow any specific directions given in their Overview assignment.
The title page includes four elements that should be centered in the middle of the page: title, author byline, institutional affiliation followed by the course prefix and number (e.g., Grand Canyon University: PSY 351), and date of submission. Please note that even though APA does not require the date on a title page, it is a requirement for GCU papers.
Being the first page, the title page is where to set up your page header, which includes the running head and the page number. The running head—an abbreviated title that is a maximum of 50 characters—should appear flush left in all uppercase letters in the header on all pages. Page numbers should be in the header, flush right.
To format your running head and page numbers in Microsoft Word 2010, click InsertàHeader àBlank. In the header box that shows up, type Running head: ABBREVIATED TITLE HERE. After the title, tab over till the cursor is at the right margin, highlight the space, and click InsertàPage Number and select Current PositionàPlain Number.
The abstract covers the main points of the paper and is not always required in a GCU writing assignment. Read the assignment instructions carefully to determine whether the assignment requires an abstract or not.