Most U.S. nursing schools require students to write course assignment papers, theses, and dissertations in the writing style specified by the American Psychological Association. The core reference for APA Style is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (PMAPA).

PMAPA is available in two versions: a first printing, which contains numerous errors, and a second, corrected printing (all versions printed after October 2009). All PMAPA printings beginning in October 2009 are of the corrected version. ( now sells only the corrected version of this book. Amazon’s current price for this book, new copy, is $21.34)

Note: The book prices listed in this Resource Materials list are for new copies; in most cases these books can also be purchased as used copies for a substantial cost saving. 

Useful Websites

APA Style  — Official American Psychological Association site; includes FAQs about APA Style

Citation Machine — Provides an interactive tool to help create reference citations (but it’s not perfect).

APA Formatting and Style Guide  (OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab)

APA Style: The Social Sciences (Diana Hacker, Research and Documentation Online)

CSU Sacramento Guide: APA Style Guide, 6th ed. 

Citation Software


Student’s note: In earlier versions of Endnote, sometimes Endpoint created incorrectly formatted references and/or citations. This problem appears to have been rectified with the newest version of Endnote.

Reference Point

Reference Point Software’s templates make it easy to format your papers in APA style. With just a few clicks of the mouse, your document will have the proper margins, with the header and page numbers in exactly the right places.

Student’s note: Reference Point is a helpful tool, except for the fact that references are not transferable to other papers.


StyleEase works within Microsoft Word to automate your paper and citation formatting, and includes a powerful and editable reference entry database, so you never need to enter the same reference information twice. 

Dr. Paper

Dr. Paper makes it easy to format documents and references in APA Style (5th or 6th edition). Recommended by teachers, librarians, and fellow students to help you focus on the content of your paper. 

Microsoft Office APA

Microsoft Office APA style format for college level type research papers


PERRLA is a software program that works within Microsoft Word to correctly format your entire paper in either APA (6th Edition and 5th Edition) or MLA style including:


REFERENCE LISTS ONLY: WriteCite automatically formats APA style reference lists for student assignments as you type citation information.

Typing Software – Free Downloads 

Note: I (Bruce Smith) have not tried to use the typing software listed below. If you download and use any of these programs, I’d appreciate hearing your feedback on your experience.

KeyBlaze Typing Tutor 

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 17 Deluxe

From The multimedia-rich Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 17 Deluxe can turn even the most recalcitrant hunt-and-peck artist into a skillful touch typist. But first you’ll have to download the behemoth 400MB installer and suffer through the sluggish setup process. Persevere. Once you get it running, Mavis Bacon is memory-intensive but quite fast. The unusual interface depicts a classroom; you click on various objects to select tasks (for instance, a computer to enter the Lesson Area). Mavis Bacon provides not only lessons and drills, but also videos and text advice on proper typing posture. It also allows you to build custom lessons, play special typing games, and check the ergonomics at your workplace. All in all, it’s a feature-rich typing tutor with a good-looking interface and lots of useful extras.

Read more: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 17 Deluxe – Free software downloads and software reviews – CNET

Rapid Typing Zone

Online Touch Typing Software Applications

APA Style References

Other Academic Writing Reference Books

Dissertation Reference Books

The following dissertation composition references are recommended by staff at the American Psychological Association.

  • Dissertations and Theses From Start to Finish: Psychology and Related Fields (2nd ed., 2006), by John D. Cone and Sharon L. Foster. The authors guide you on how to define your topics, select a faculty adviser, schedule time to accommodate the project, and conduct, analyze, write, present, and publish research. You’ll find answers to questions you may never have considered before, even after taking academic research courses.
  • Finish Your Dissertation Once and for All! How to Overcome Psychological Barriers, Get Results, and Move on With Your Life (2008), by Alison B. Miller. Combining psychological support with a project management approach that breaks tasks into small, manageable chunks, Miller shows you how to overcome negativity and Get. It. Done.
  • How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (2007), by Paul J. Silvia, puts readers firmly on course by deconstructing and flogging the behaviors that keep readers from achieving that goal. Silvia also shares detailed advice on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles, how to improve writing quality, and how to write and publish academic work.

You can order all of these dissertation-related publications directly from the APA website ( or the usual retailers (, Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc.).

Usage References

General Purpose Writing Reference Books

You may find the following useful for general writing purposes:

For more information with regard to writing references or to forward your comments and recommendations for this Academic Writing Bibliography, contact Bruce Smith at (415) 215-7535 or