The M.P.A. Program prescribes the use of APA style for all papers. However, the faculty prefers and requires the following modifications to APA style:
- On your cover page, please identify the course number and the date ("May 3, 2004").
- APA style clearly requires that the citation for a direct quotation include a page number. However, it is problematically ambiguous on whether a page number is necessary for an indirect quotation or other summary of the source. Please use this rule: If you are reproducing information that appears on one or two pages, include the page number in the citation. If you are summarizing the argument of the entire book, article, or other work, you need not include a page number in the citation.
- Anything in the APA style manual or any other source notwithstanding, the faculty has a preference for the use of the active voice as opposed to the passive voice. You may use the first person ("I") and second person ("you") as long as you are describing something that actually involves "you" or "I." It is appropriate--and preferable--to say, "I interviewed the commissioner of motor vehicles," if, in fact, you interviewed the commissioner. It is still inappropriate to say, "If you are fired from a civil-service job, you have many avenues for appeal." Leave the reader out of your story unless the reader actually played a part in the events that you are describing.
- APA style states that entries in the bibliography should identify the author as "Public, J. Q." We override this rule. Please identify the author as "Public, John Q." or "Public, John Quincy," as the name appears on the title page of the book, article, or other work.
- Unless you have some reason to report somebody's U. S. Postal Service mailing address, do not otherwise use the USPS two-letter codes to abbreviate state names. For example, refer to "The Smith House in Dahlonega, Ga.," and not "The Smith House in Dahlonega, GA"; in the bibliography, write, "Dahlonega, Ga.: University Press of North Georgia."
A sample paper in APA style--as modified by the aforementioned adjustments. (It is also a good sample paper, specifically, for POLS 7320, "Public Policy Analysis.")
Students who are required to use full-blown APA style are advised to obtain a copy of the style manual. It is available, for example, at this web site: http://www.apastyle.org/pubmanual.html .
A really helpful resource is the accompanying software to the APA style manual. The software is available by direct download or by purchase of an actual CD-ROM. We strongly advise the purchase of the CD-ROM rather than the direct download. The software is available, for example, at this web site: http://www.apastyle.org/stylehelper/ .