Belize/Study Skills/Research

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The University of Belize has libraries on its campuses in Belize City, Belmopan and Toledo Districts. There is also the online library service that is located at the University of Belize's Website

Apart from accomplishing tasks such as assignments, projects and presentations, students need to be knowledgeable about current information, historical facts, and other information that are accessible online or at the library. It is important that students visit the library to obtain expert assistance in obtaining information, make use of the convenient study area, locate articles and books to expand your knowledge or take advantage of the online serve that hosts the ebsco database.



A citation or bibliographic citation is a reference to a book, article, web page, or other published item with sufficient details to uniquely identify the item. Unpublished writings or speech, such as personal communications, are also sometimes cited. Citations are provided in scholarly works, bibliographies and indexes



APA style is widely used in the fields of psychology and education, and by others. In the early 1990s a study identified over a thousand journals using the style. The best explanation for this popularity is the quality of its documentation. If you are working on a serious project—a thesis, dissertation, or paper for publication—the APA Manual is an essential acquisition. The style is detailed, nuanced, and comprehensive, so don’t handicap your work by guessing if you must get it right.

APA Documentation

There are three basic styles of references: (a) author-date, (b) bibliography, and (c) note, as in endnotes or footnotes. APA style uses the author-date style, with text citations placed in parentheses (parenthetical citations) in author-date format. References and citations must correspond, that is, everything cited in the text must be referenced, and only the works cited are included in the reference list.

There are two practices to keep in mind when formatting APA references: 1. APA style documentation has a passion for parentheses. APA style calls for parentheses or brackets around a lot the material that goes into composing a reference. These do not necessarily serve a purpose, it’s just the way APA style wants it done.

2. APA style documentation uses standard punctuation throughout. APA style always uses standard punctuation in references and text citations. It puts a period after all abbreviations or initials, and commas between items in a series, like the names of several coauthors to a work. Character Spacing. APA style calls for following all punctuation, both in references and in the text, with just a single space when preparing a manuscript for publication (except after a period in an abbreviation or initials that are followed immediately by a comma). For final manuscripts follow conventional rules in the text (only)—double space after the end of a sentence—to improve readability.

References are composed of elements. These are: (a) author, (b) date, (c) title, (d) publication information, and (e) Internet access information. Each element is followed by a period. APA style follows these rules: 1. Author. The list of References is organized alphabetically by author. The lead author’s name goes last name first, as do all other coauthors to a work. Only first and middle initials are used. With two or more authors the last author’s name is preceded by an ampersand (&), an APA trademark. But other names, such as editors and translators not serving as the author in a reference, go in their normal order, again with just first and middle initials.

2. Date. The date is placed in parentheses after the list of authors. APA style formats full dates in American fashion (Month Day, Year); the year first for the publication date in references: (2006, October 31); in normal order for Internet retrieval dates (e.g., Retrieved October 31, 2006).

3. Title. All titles are formatted lowercase (sentence caps): only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns are capitalized. Titles of books and the names of journals (journal names are capitalized as proper nouns) are placed in italics. Titles of articles or chapters are not placed in quotes or italics.

4. Publication Information (Books). APA style, like other styles, introduces the publisher of a book by first giving the place of publication, then the name of the publisher: Baltimore, MD: Artless Press. Use standard two-character postal abbreviations for states.

Publication Information (Periodicals). By convention (shared with other styles) no publisher is given for journals and other periodicals, the title or name of the journal (in italics) is sufficient. This is followed by the publication information in the form: volume(issue), pages. The volume number is also placed in italics, an APA trademark. APA style does not drop digits in page number ranges: write 1212-1224 not 1212-24.

5. Internet access. APA style has adopted a sensible access statement for online sources in the form: Retrieved October 31, 2006, from <There is no period after the URL! Example. The basic elements are found in a reference to a chapter in an anthology.

Jung, C. G. (1971). The concept of the collective unconscious. In J. Campbell (Ed.), The portable Jung (pp. 59– 69). New York: Viking Penguin.

Example. An article in an online journal illustrates the elements in a reference to a periodical.

Barry, J. M. (2004, January). The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications [Commentary]. Journal of Translational Medicine 2(3), 1–4. Retrieved November 18, 2005, from

Block Formats

The block formats illustrate how these rules are applied to format references to the most common sources. The APA Crib Sheet has specific examples. Study the use of parentheses and punctuation, note the use of the abbreviation pp. with some page numbers, but not all (this is one of the nasty nuances that plague APA style).