Presenting Evidence in APA Format

When writing in the APA format, research is usually involved, and presenting evidence in an easy-to-understand manner is important for conveying information to your readers. How you present each piece of information directly affects how well it is understood and evaluated. The different ways to present evidence are overviewed in the following section.

Methods for presenting evidence in APA format

Direct quotes—Direct quotes are used to provide information word-for-word from a source. These are best used when the meaning is lost when an indirect quote is used or the specific wording of evidence is important.

Indirect quotes
—Indirect quotes are used to share information that is paraphrased or summarized from an original source.

Block quotes—Block quotes are longer direct quotes and are used only when necessary to maintain the context of evidence.

Direct, indirect and block quotes all have specific guidelines in how they are presented and cited in the APA format using in-text citations.

Footnotes or endnotes—Footnotes or endnotes are used to provide background information when presenting evidence requires it. Usually this information does not fit within the main text of your paper, but it is necessary to provide context. The APA format has guidelines for using endnotes and footnotes.

Tables, charts or graphs—Sometimes the supporting evidence you provide is more extensive. In these cases, and especially with numerical or statistical data, the supporting evidence is best presented in a table, chart or graph. These allow a cleaner and easier-to-follow presentation of information. The APA format has specific guidelines for presenting evidence with tables, charts and graphs.

Bulleted or numbered lists—Numbered and bulleted lists can help organize information when you are presenting evidence. Make sure all lists follow the same formatting within an individual list and that parallel structure is maintained. Use numbered lists when the sequence of information matters; otherwise, use bulleted lists.

Using numbers for presenting evidence in the APA format

The APA format is often used in the scientific fields, and because of this, there are certain rules that apply to numbers. When presenting evidence that includes numerical data, follow these guidelines:

  • For numbers below 10, spell out the words (one, two, three).
  • For numbers 10 and above, use figures (10, 32, 333).
  • For numbers below 10 that are grouped with a number above 10, use figures for both numbers (2 to 15).
  • For specific percentages, use the figure and the “%” sign (73%). If the word percentage is used without a figure, use the word, however (percentage of participants…).
  • For monetary amounts, ages and dates, use figures ($10, 4-year old, 6 weeks).
  • For regularly used fractions, spell out the words (one half, one fifth, one third, etc.).

If you must start a sentence with a number, write the number out regardless of what the normal APA format guidelines says to do in that situation. The APA format, however, suggests you avoid starting any sentence with a number whenever possible.

These guidelines for presenting evidence in APA format help you keep your paper on track and can influence your overall grade when writing a research paper for a grade. Knowing and understanding the different ways of presenting evidence improves the overall quality of your paper. For a more in-depth look at the ways of presenting evidence outlined above, visit the section devoted to each particular method. The APA format includes many guidelines—from how to format abbreviations to word choice or point of view—so make sure you know, understand and use them to write a stronger paper.