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APA: mini-workshops, exercises, examples, and more!

Stepping Up!

From time to time, you may come across a portion of text that really captures the moment, and would add a little spice and clarity to your own work.  It's time for the Direct Quote!

Stated more formally, the American Psychological Association (2020) has this to say, "Use direct quotations rather than when reproducing an exact definition..., when the author has said something memorably or succinctly, or when you want to respond to exact wording (e.g., something someone said)." (p. 270)

Furthermore, the manual says very clearly that your professor may place limits on the number of direct quotes appearing in your written work! (p. 270)

With respect to the length of a directly quoted passage, there are two primary differences.  Short quotations and block quotations are discussed below.  This straightforward distinction adds clarity to your writing.

 

Short Quotations  (fewer than 40 words)

add the quoted material within the text

enclose it with double quotation marks

include a full citation within the same sentence as the quotation

 

Block Quotations (40 words or more)

start the block quotation on a new line, indenting the entire quotation 0.5 inches from the left margin

do not enclose the quotation within quotation marks

include a full citation for the block quotation

double-space the entire block quotation and do not add extra space before or after it

Examples

So as not to damage the creative element in writing, these examples illustrate the range of possibilities.

 

Short Quotations (fewer than 40 words)

Documenting the changes in cheating behavior are capped by the observation that “the students who do cheat are engaging in a wider variety of test cheating behaviors today and are also cheating more often" (McCabe & Trevino, 1996, p. 31).

“The dramatic upsurge in cheating heralded by the media was not found,” to the surprise of the researchers, and media outlets alike (McCabe & Trevino, 1996, p. 31).

According to Hollis (2018) “With all of these anxieties related to academic success and the subsequent financial burden, students often see cheating as a convenient valve to release the pressure" (p. 28).

“With all of these anxieties related to academic success and the subsequent financial burden, students often see cheating as a convenient valve to release the pressure," wrote Hollis (2018, p. 28) in her exploration of online college cheating.

The research study attempted to answer the following question, "Can student cheating on an exam be efficiently observed without students knowing hey are being watched?" (Fendler et al., 2018, p. 3).

In 1996, McCabe and Trevino discovered “The dramatic upsurge in cheating heralded by the media was not found” (p. 31).

 

Block Quotations (40 words or more)

Block quotation with parenthetical citation

The significance of the gender variable is described:

There is, however, a statistically significant difference in the means between the two samples with regards to gender (44.9% in Unassigned;

63.5% in Assigned). That is, female students comprise a much greater percentage of the population in Assigned. Prior research has provided

mixed results regarding the role of gender on cheating. For example, McCabe and Trevino (1997) find that men self-reported more cheating

than women, while Baird (1980) and Haines et al. (1986) report no statistically significant differences in cheating between men and women.

Thus, we do not believe this difference influences our results, but the role that gender plays in observed cheating is an interesting area for

future research. (Fendler et al., 2018, p. 5)

 

Block quotation with narrative citation

In her discussion of the rise of the "ghost-student" industry, Hollis (2018) reviews student scenarios that may prompt them to seek the services

offered by these shadowy "scholars". 

Often, students enroll in classes with the sincere effort to complete the work and pass the class. However, for those students who do not

effectively manage their time, or do not have a clear grasp of the work involved, may soon find themselves overwhelmed by the class. Further,

some students feel high-stakes pressure associated with passing with a certain grade, perhaps to maintain a certain GPA and/or to meet a

prerequisite requirement. For example, student-athletes striving to keep their eligibility might need to pass with a specific grade. Other

students may need the class in order to advance to the next level or to complete the degree before exhausting their financial aid. The

pressures of passing a class in tandem with competing interests and/or financial consequences can quickly motivate students to cheat. (p.27)

Class Exercises for Short Quotations

These two exercises have the following aim:

1.  Participants will practice and learn the different ways of quoting directly with short quotations.

 

Instructions for Exercise 1

1. Exercise Sheet 1 consists of text taken from the three different articles mentioned in the References box at the bottom of this page.

2. Using the text in Exercise Sheet 1, construct six direct quotes, making use of each of the forms for direct short quotes outlined above.

3. Construct short quotations from portions of the text, or all of the quoted text.

 

Exercise Sheet 1

"Although survey data can provide instructive insights into thought processes and behaviors, surveys about academic dishonestly must be viewed with caution."  This text is taken from page 2 of the Fendler article.

In the Fendler article, the authors posed this research question: "Does unannounced assigned seating for an exam reduce social cheating?" This quoted piece can be found on page 3.

"In turn, community college students are more likely to balance commuting, work responsibilities, child care, and elder care. To manage their time, some community college students engage in the convenience of online education and as a result are exploring new avenues in online cheating, beyond cheating on a single exam or paper. The emergence of the student-for-hire, or so-called ghost-student, who is paid to take an entire class for another student, is one somewhat new to the education world and is particularly dangerous to community colleges."  This section is found in Hollis, on page 25.

"The current educational market with the proliferation of online education and increased reliance on adjunct faculty has created a perfect storm in which the ghost-student can operate." This text is taken from Hollis, page 26.

"Large numbers of students have cheated since time immemorial, and they continue to do so. Although there are new forms of cheating (such as storing crib notes in the memory of a calculator), the overall level of cheating has increased only modestly. However, there have been significant increases in test cheating among women and in unpermitted collaboration among all students on written work. In addition, students report engaging in a greater variety of test cheating behaviors today and there seem to be significant increases in the most explicit forms of test and examination cheating.  Although there are doubtless many factors that explain these trends, changes in the institutional character of many schools have certainly contributed to changing student attitudes about cheating and their resulting behavior. Many college campuses are now larger, with fewer students living on campus, and higher education has become more of a business, with schools aggressively competing with each other for the same students. Not only have these factors combined to make the college experience less personal for many students, there is evidence that this development has made students more cynical about cheating."  This segment is drawn from the McCabe study and appears on page 32-33. (The part highlighted in bold type occurs on page 33.)

Example for Exercise Sheet 1

While survey data has its place, it has been noted that, "surveys about academic dishonestly must be viewed with caution" (Fendler, Yates, & Godbey, 2018, p. 2).

 

 

Instructions for Exercise 2

1. For each direct quote sample, use point form to identify the problem(s), if there are problem(s)

 

Exercise Sheet 2

"When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience."  This text appears in a book by Garr Reynolds, and appears on page 84.  (The complete citation for this book appears in the References at the bottom of this page.)

Below are samples of short direct quotations that may or may not need adjustments.

In working with slides, when you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience. (p. 84)

During a slide presentation, “When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience” (p. 82).

With slides as your backdrop, ensure that “When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience” (Reynolds, p. 84).

During a demo with slides, “When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience.” (Naked Presenter, p. 84)

 In a typical presentation “When you point at the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing the audience.” (Reynolds, p. 84)

In working with slides, the author advises that “When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience” (Reynolds, 2011, p. 84).

During a slide presentation, Reynolds (2011) recommends that as “you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience” (p. 84).

 

Example for Exercise Sheet 2

During a slide presentation, “When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience” (p. 82).

In this sample, the following adjustments are needed:

- corrected page number

- full in-text citation, including Author and Date information

Class Exercise for Block Quotations

This exercise has the following aim:

1. Students with gain practice and confidence in the construction of block quotations.

 

Instructions for Exercise 1

1. Choose a suitable segment from the excerpt in Exercise Sheet 1 and construct a correctly formatted block quotation with the narrative citation and a correctly formatted block quotation using the parenthetical citation.

 

Exercise Sheet 1

The passage below can be found in The Naked Presenter, on page 84.  (The complete citation is listed in the references section at the bottom of this page.)

"Even if visuals are projected behind you, there is no need to turn your head to look back except for the very briefest of moments. When you gesture toward the screen, stand so that your shoulders are facing in the direction of the audience. If you keep your shoulders pointed toward the front, you will naturally turn your head back toward the audience after glancing at the screen. Turning slightly and briefly toward the screen to point out a detail is acceptable. However, continually looking at the screen behind you or across the stage from you—simply to remind you what is up on the screen—is distracting and unnecessary behavior. Except in rare incidents, when you use a computer to project visuals you can place the computer down low in front of you so there is little reason to have to turn around."

References

Fendler, R. J., Yates, M. C., & Godbey, J. M. (2018). Observing and deterring social cheating on college exams. International Journal for the

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(1), 1-9.

Hollis, L. P. (2018). Ghost-students and the new wave of online cheating for community college students. New Directions for Community

Colleges, 183, 25-34.

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1996). What we know about cheating in college: Longitudinal trends and recent developments. Change

28(1), 28-33.

Reynolds, G. (2011). The naked presenter: Delivering powerful presentations with or without slides. New Riders.

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