An Action Research on Social Workers Perceptions of Failed Foster Care Reunification
An Action Research on Social Workers Perceptions of Failed Foster Care Reunification
The Subject is Social Work on a Doctorate Level. I will send a Premise and detailed instructions. The literature review must contain at least 52 references to sources
no older than five years
APA Form and Style Checklist
This Form and Style Checklist is intended for use with all Walden University capstone documents: dissertations, doctoral studies, and project studies. Please use it as
a guide when preparing documents for committee review and the Form and Style Review.
The checklist covers the major areas of APA Style and scholarly writing standards the editors reference when conducting a Form and Style Review. When an editor returns
a review, the student will receive a revised version of this checklist, including only the areas where the student needs to focus attention to complete the final draft
of the document.
Although not a requirement, this checklist can also be used to track the changes made to the final document after the Form and Style Review. To use this form when
making revisions based on the editor’s feedback, place a check mark in the left column, indicating that a revision has been made in that area. The right column can
then be used for comments or explanations of the revisions, including the page numbers where revisions have been made.
0000000APA Form and Style Checklist
Margins and pagination
Margins for preliminary pages
Abstract. title pages, dedication, acknow- ledgments, and Table of Contents (TOC), including Lists of Tables and Figures
• Top = 1 inch
• Bottom = 1.3 inch
• Left = 1.5 inch
• Right = 1 inch
Make sure the page number is 1 in. from the bottom of the page: Set the footer at 1 in. Margins for main body of text
Page 1 to end of references and appendices
• Top = 1.3 inch
• Bottom = 1 inch
• Left = 1.5 inch
• Right = 1 inch
Make sure the page number is 1 in. from the top of the page: Set the header at 1 in.
Fit all text, tables, and figures within the margins.
Set all right margins in the narrative ragged rather than justified.
The Walden program templates contain information on the contents of each page. The order and pagination of the preliminary pages are as follows:
a. Abstract title page (no page number)
b. Abstract (no page number)
c. Title page (no page number)
d. Dedication (optional; no page number; use double-spacing and normal paragraphing)
e. Acknowledgments (optional; no page number; use double-spacing and normal paragraphing)
f. TOC (page i)
g. List of Tables (paginated consecutively after the TOC)
h. List of Figures (paginated consecutively after the List of Tables )
Starting with the first page of the TOC, set the page numbers in lowercase roman numerals, centered in the footer, 1 in. from bottom of the page.
a. The title should be a concise statement of the main topic; it should identify the variables or theoretical issues under investigation and the relationship
b. A title should be fully explanatory when standing alone.
c. The title is used as a statement of content for abstracting and referencing. Therefore, make sure to include terms that would help a fellow researcher locate
your study in electronic databases. For ideas, you might check the keywords or tags appended to articles in your reference list.
d. Titles should be no more than 12 words.
e. Titles should not include words or phrases such as method, results, study of, investigation of.
f. Avoid any words that could mislead the reader.
g. Avoid interrogative phrasing.
h. Do not use final punctuation.
i. Capitalize any word of four or more letters, and capitalize all parts of a verb (if it’s part of the infinitive, has, or the like).
j. Avoid colons.
a. Format the abstract title pages according to the sample title pages in the Walden templates (doctoral capstone study or project) or the Dissertation Guidebook.
b. The first page of the document is the abstract title page: “Abstract” is centered on the top line. The second page is the abstract itself. The third page is
the title page of the doctoral capstone study or project.
c. Fit the abstract on one page, double-spaced, no paragraph indent. For more on abstracts, go to the Center for Research Quality website and look for Abstract
d. Use figures for all numbers.
e. Do not use first person.
f. Do not use citations.
g. Abbreviate a term in the abstract only if the abbreviation is used more than once in the abstract.
In the TOC,
a. Set Level 0 headings flush left, upper- and lowercase.
b. Set Level 1 headings upper- and lowercase, indented 0.25 in. under Level 0 headings.
c. Set Level 2 upper- and lowercase, indented 0.25 in. under Level 1 headings.
d. List only Level 0, 1, and 2 headings in the TOC. All headings will be in plain typeface in the TOC.
e. Alternately, use the appropriate program template to generate the TOC.
Pagination of the narrative chapters/sections, references, and appendices
Set page numbers 1 in. from the upper right corner of the page—not in the margin.
There are no page headers in a doctoral capstone study or project.
Page 1 is the first page of Chapter/Section 1 (not the first page of the TOC). Page numbers appear in the upper right on all pages of the chapters, references,
Spacing: Line and word
• Use double line spacing between lines of text, between text and a block quotation, between paragraphs, and between a heading and subsequent text. Do
not add additional space above or below the lines of text. Do not triple- or quadruple-space between paragraphs. To achieve this spacing automatically (highly
recommended), follow these steps:
o Under the line spacing options, select your entire document.
o Under Spacing, set Before and After to zero. (Best to leave the line spacing itself alone.)
• Type one or two spaces between sentences. Just be consistent throughout.
Headings (APA §3.03) • Use Arabic numerals with the major chapter/section headings, e.g., Section 1; Chapter 1.
• No headings are prefixed with letters or numbers.
APA style allows five different heading levels. In a Walden doctoral capstone study or project, there is an additional Walden heading level, Level 0. In a
doctoral capstone study or project, there are typically three or four heading levels: L0, L1, L2, and, if needed, L3 and L4.
Centered, Uppercase and Lowercase Chapter Heading (L0)
Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading (L1)
Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading (L2)
Indented, bold, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (L3)
Indented, bold, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. (L4)
a. At the final proofreading stage, after all revisions have been made,
• Make sure that the headings in the TOC and text are identical.
• Avoid stranding a heading at the bottom of a page.
b. Page numbers in the text must match those in the TOC.
c. Include only L0, L1, and L2 headings in the TOC.
APA writing style (APA 3.05–3.23) Continuity in presentation of ideas (APA §3.05)
a. Transitional words help maintain the flow of thought, especially when the material is complex or abstract.
b. Transitional devices include pronouns (which connect to nouns in previous sentences), time links (then, next, after), cause–effect links (therefore,
consequently), addition links (in addition, moreover), and contrast links (but, conversely, however).
Smoothness of expression (APA §3.06)
a. Aim for clear and logical communication.
b. Use verb tenses consistently to help ensure smooth, logical expression.
• Past tense (researchers presented) or present perfect (researchers have presented) is appropriate for the literature review and the description of the
• Use the past tense to describe the results.
• Use the present tense to discuss implications and to present conclusions.
c. Avoid using several nouns, one after another, to modify a final noun. Such noun strings are often confusing.
Academic tone (APA §3.07)
a. Avoid informal or casual language, idiomatic expressions, jargon, and clichés.
b. Best to avoid adverbs. They may reflect a personal assessment or opinion. Sometimes, an adverb asks readers to simply accept a claim in an environment where
evidence is the norm.
c. Best to avoid hyperbole. Understatement is much easier to believe than overstatement.
Economy of expression (APA §3.08)
a. Avoid any unneeded words and unneeded repetition. Readers get confused and frustrated and can lose interest in the study.
b. Consider writing shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs. They are easier to write and easier to read.
Precision and clarity (APA §3.09)
a. Parallel ideas need to be presented in parallel form, that is, each part of a sentence uses the same grammatical structure.
b. Both Walden and APA prefer first person (I, me, my) rather than referring to yourself as “the researcher.”
c. Pronouns: To eliminate potential ambiguity, specify what the pronoun refers to.
d. In general, avoid using our, one, and we. However, if you’re using the editorial we, restrict its use to yourself and any coauthors.
e. Avoid anthropomorphism (APA § 3.09): Do not attribute human characteristics to inanimate sources. For example, a study cannot seek to find something; only a
f. Active voice (APA §3.18): Make sure that the subject is not hidden. For example: “I conducted the survey” rather than “the survey was conducted.”
g. Word choice and clauses (APA §3.22):
• Which vs. that: Which refers to a specific instance of something: The clocks, which were precisely on time, were more useful than the sundials, which offered
• who vs. that: Humans should be referred to as who or whom, while inanimate objects should be referred to as that. That takes a broad concept and makes it
particular: The clocks that ran on time were more useful than the ones that were not on time.
• while vs. although: APA prefers the use of while for linking events that happen at the same time; temporal meaning (i.e., to link events occurring
simultaneously). Otherwise, although, and, whereas, or but should be used instead. To help clarify, the following APA examples show while in its correct form:
o One woman abused by her father sobbed while describing why she had not pressed charges against him.
o The participant stared at the computer monitor while he listened to the audiotapes.
o The patient took deep breaths while the doctor listened with a stethoscope.
• (iv) since vs. because: Because is the more common of the two and emphasizes a reason. Since (like as) is more formal and emphasizes a result. However, to
avoid any confusion when using since (which can also mean after), APA says it prefers the use of because (p. 84). APA offers four sentences by way of explanation:
o Since Smith’s (2000) research was conducted, many additional researchers have achieved similar results.
o The participants were excluded from the experiment because they did not meet the inclusion criteria.
o Because the data were not complete, the results were excluded from the study.
o No additional testing has been performed since the last experiment.
• See the Writing Center page on other commonly confused words.
Citations and quotations (APA Chapter 6) The basics of in-text web citations are the same as the author/date format described in the APA Publication Manual, pp.
168–174. Check APA §6.11-6.19 for rules on page and paragraph numbers.
Place in-text citations carefully or you might convey unintended meaning. Distinguish between (a) the evidence you gleaned from a source and (b) your analysis
and/or conclusions. For example, if the placement of a parenthetical citation might imply that Creswell were personally supporting your work, then just add the word
“see” in front of the Creswell citation, like this: (see Creswell, 2016).
For in-paragraph quotations, set the final punctuation mark(s) after the citation: “as a result of overharvesting in the tuna industry” (Fishmore, 2016, p.
a. Set quotations of 40 or more words in block form, double spaced.
b. In block quotations, set the final punctuation at the end of the quotation, before the citation (APA 6.03): …as a result of overharvesting in the tuna
industry. (Fishmore, 2016, p. 45)
For multiple sources cited parenthetically in a group, list by first author’s surname in alphabetical order (the order in which the sources appear in the
reference list): (Brown, McIndoo, & Pezalla, 2012; Johnson & Ball, 2012; King, 2011) (APA§ 6.16)
Authors 1st citation All other citations
2 Use both authors’ surnames + year Repeat
3–5 Use all authors’ surnames + year Use surname of 1st author only + “et al.” + year
=6 Use only the surname of 1st author + “et al.” + year Repeat
Note. Study your APA sources for examples.
• Spell “et al.” as two words with a period after “al.” (There’s no period after “et.”)
• If the citation is parenthetical, add a comma before the year and after “al.” (APA §6.12): King et al. (2014) noted the fish were blue, but others disagreed
(Brown et al., 2015).
a. Use three ellipsis points, with spaces between them, to indicate where text was omitted from a sentence . . . as shown in this example.
Use four ellipsis points to indicate that text was omitted between two sentences . . . . (A new sentence would start here.)
b. In APA publication style, ellipsis points are typically not used at the beginning or end of a quotation. (APA §6.08)
With two authors in a parenthetical citation, use “&”; with more than two, use a comma plus “&” before the last author. In the running text, use “and.”
Other authors (Cook & Wold, 2012; Marshall, Timmerman, & Walsh, 2015) agreed, but Patterson and Zuckerman (2015) found otherwise. (APA §6.12)
Primary sources are preferred (APA §6.17). Use secondary sources sparingly (e.g., when the original work is out of print, when it’s unavailable through usual
sources, or not available in English). If citing a secondary source, list the source in the References section; in the text, name the original work and cite the
secondary source (Sands, as cited in King, 2011).
When to include the year of publication
• Include the year of publication with any parenthetical citation of a source. Include the year after the first citation in a paragraph when the author is part
of the sentence, that is, not within parentheses: Ball (2013) claimed . . . .
• When using the same source in the same paragraph, repeat the date if the source is referred to in parentheses: (Ball, 2013); do not repeat the year when the
author is cited again in that paragraph as part of the sentence: Ball (2013) claimed . . . Ball found that…. (APA §6.11-6.12)
Reference list (APA Chapter 7) Any source in the narrative must appear in the reference list; any source in the reference list must appear in the narrative.
Use a hanging indent for the reference list. Double-space the entire list.
• Use the first and middle (if any) initials—with a space between them—of all authors; do not write out the first name. With two or more authors, use “&” rather
than “and” before the last author.
• Separate authors’ names with a comma:
Schatzlein, E. R., & Shepard, M. P. (APA §6.25)
List up to seven authors. If a work has eight or more authors, list the first six, [comma] three ellipsis points [. . .] [space], and the last author (APA
§7.01, Example 2) .
Abe, A., Bal, B., Cal, C., Dal, D., El, E., Fal, F. . . . Zed, Z.
With studies by the same author(s), include the author name(s) in all listings, in chronological order (earliest to latest). “Blanks” are not used (APA §6.25).
Set book titles in italics, capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle, any proper nouns, and any word following a colon (APA §7.02):
Writing from A-to-Z: The easy-to-use handbook
Set journal articles in plain type, no italics, capitalizing only the first word of the title and subtitle, any proper nouns, and any word following a colon
In search of mediocrity: The downfall of American Motors
Italicize the titles of journals, use Title Case. Do not include The before a journal title (APA §7.01):
Strategic Management, Counseling Psychology
Do not use the abbreviations “Vol.” and “No.” Set the volume number in italics; set the issue number (if any) in parentheses, followed by a comma and the page
numbers: American Political Science Review, 37(3), 117-132[.] End this part of the reference with a period. Use no punctuation after a URL or doi number. Page numbers
of journal articles are not preceded by “p.” or “pp.” (APA §7.01).
States and countries
• Use the standard two-letter abbreviation for all states (APA §6.30): Cambridge, MA; San Diego, CA
• If the publisher is outside the United States, spell out the name of the country (APA §6.30): Montreal, Canada: Publisher; London, England: Publisher.
Remove all html formatting and all hyperlinks. In a reference, include the link/address (http://www…), but unlink the automatic hyperlink feature. URLs should
appear in plain, black type, and should not link out from the document.
For journal sources retrieved electronically, use CrossRef.org to retrieve them and then provide a DOI number if there is one.
a. If there is no DOI number, provide the URL of the journal’s home page.
b. If there is no home page, provide the name of the database where you accessed the article.
c. Retrieval dates are not used.
d. Here’s an example:
Swann, W. B., Jr., Sellers, J. G., & McClarty, K. L. (2006). Tempting today, troubling tomorrow: The roots of the precarious couple effect. Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, 32(1), 93-103. doi:10.1177/0146167205279584
For more information on electronic sources, check the examples in (a) Chapter 7 of the APA manual, (b) the APA website (http://www.apastyle.org), or (c) the Writing
Center website (Electronic Source References)
Check the full reference list to ensure that the order is correct (see §APA 6.25).
As with any name in the author position, follow the name of an organization with a period (e.g., “U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Title of document…”).
Note that there is no space between the colon after doi (lowercase in a reference list entry) and the number; also note that there is no period at the end of a
DOI number (or a URL) in the reference list.
Lists (Seriation, APA §3.04) For listed items within a paragraph, (a) use letters, not numbers, set within parentheses; (b) separate each item with a comma unless a
comma is used within one of the items, then separate items in the series with a semicolon.
a. When listing items in a series where chronology or priority is not warranted, use a vertical list with bullets.
b. When listing items vertically, or breaking them out of the paragraph, use 1., 2., 3., and so forth, if ordinal position is important.
c. Use MS Word’s automatic numbered (or bulleted) list format; set the number indent the same as for a paragraph (usually 0.5 in.); if sentences run over one
line, they are also indented, as in this example:
• Begin the sentence here and keep typing; if the sentence goes over one line, as this one does, the text will look like this.
• The next item will begin here.
Double-space list items.
Hyphenation and spelling (APA §4.12) • Many prefixes do not require hyphens, including anti, non, inter, intra, pre, re, semi, mini, pseudo, and under (See
APA Tables 4.1 and 4.2, pp. 98–99).
• Do not hyphenate compound adjectives when they cannot be misread or when their meaning is established: health care reform, third grade students.
• Typically, hyphenate compound adjectives that end in “ed” only when modifying a noun and not hyphenated alone: her client-centered style but her style is
• When two or more compound modifiers have a common base, the base is sometimes omitted in all but the last modified, but the hyphens are retained: long- and
Capitalization (APA §4.14-4.20) Do not capitalize job titles unless they immediately precede a person’s name:
The vice president of the United States but Vice President Joe Biden
Except for personal names, do not capitalize the names of laws, theories, or hypotheses, or diseases, disorders, or therapies (theory of learned behavior, multiple
sclerosis, Maslow’s hierarchy, Asperger’s syndrome).
Capitalize nouns followed by letters or numbers (e.g., Table 1, Figure 1, Grade 6, Appendix A, Participant A, Research Question 1, Chapter 1, Section 1 but
page 1, row 3 [common parts of books or tables use lower case]).
Capitalize the first word after a colon if it begins a complete sentence (APA §4.05, §4.14).
a. Exceptions: Capitalize the first word after the colon in the Definition of Terms section of Chapter/Section 1.
b. Capitalize the first word after a colon in a heading or title.
Abbreviations (APA §4.22) • Abbreviate a term in the narrative chapters or sections only if the term is used more than three times in the narrative (see
APA 4.22–4.29). Once the abbreviation has been identified, use the it exclusively thereafter, except for the Table of Contents and reference list.
• Typically, only the abbreviation or acronym uses capitals, not the phrase being abbreviated.
• Spelled out terms that are abbreviated follow usual rules of capitalization, even though the abbreviation is all capital letters: The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) but cognitive-behavioral model (CBM). .
Tables and figures (APA §5.01-5.30) Formatting a table
• Set the word Table and its number above the table, flush left, in plain type.
• Set the table’s title below the table number, flush left, double-spaced, in Title Case and italics. (If the title is more than one line long, use single-
• Note that figures use the reverse style.
For all cells, use sentence case.
An informative table supplements—rather than duplicates—the text. In the text, refer to every table and tell the reader what to look for. Discuss only the
table’s highlights; if you discuss every item of the table, the table becomes unnecessary.
According to APA, when a table involves only one or two columns or rows, the data are easier to understand when presented as text.
Explain copyright, probability, and the symbols or abbreviations used in a table in a “Note.” section (note the italics and the period). In a table, the note
is given below the table; in a figure, the note is given as part of a figure caption.
Fit all tables and figures within the margins.
Use no vertical lines in tables.
Bold type may be used for emphasis of some table data (but not for headings or notes; see Table 5.3 on pp. 131-132).
Formatting a figure
• Set the word Figure and its number flush left under the figure, in italics.
• Set the caption after the number, in plain type, using sentence case. End the caption with a period. Note that tables use the reverse style.
Make table titles and figure captions concise, clear, and expressive (APA §5.12 & §5.23).
Do not split a table unless it is too large to fit on one entire page. If a table must run over to a second page, type the following parenthetical phrase under
the table, flush right, and in italics, like this:
At the top of the new page, repeat only the column headings and not the table title.
Set no text on a page if a table or figure is 75% or more of the page.
a. If needed, use a different point size or font for the table or figure than used for the narrative text, but do not use smaller than 8-point or larger than 12-
point type. If a different font is used (e.g., Segoe UI or Arial), then use it for all tables.
b. Because colors and greyscales photocopy poorly, use shading, cross-hatching, and broken lines in figures to ensure the data can be deciphered correctly. Avoid
the use of color except in rare instances where it enhances the presentation of ideas (APA §5.25).
Provide permission from the copyright holder(s) to use tables and figures not in the public domain. (APA §5.06)
Landscape pages may be inserted to accommodate larger tables and figures. See instructions for paginating landscape pages.
Appendices (APA §2.13)
Delete any consent form(s) you may have included at the proposal or IRB review stages.
Paginate the appendices continuously in the upper-right corner of all pages.
Use the same margins as the narrative and preliminary pages. Any tables, figures, or scanned material must fit within the margins.
• Include letters of permission in an appendix. Any published material not in the public domain requires permission from the copyright holder.
• Note that permission to use a published survey instrument or other test instrument is a separate permission and must be included in your manuscript. See the
ProQuest information on copyright and permissions in graduate research.
Delete personal contact information or other sorts of identifying information from any materials in an appendix. This will protect your privacy and that of any
other researchers, mentors, or participants.
Tables and figures in an appendix
• Add a prefix and a number to any tables or figures that appear in an appendix. Use the prefix of the appendix: e.g., Table A1, Table A2, Table A3; Figure B1,
Figure B2, Figure B3. Add them to the TOC, in the List of Tables or List of Figures, following the last table or figure from the narrative chapters.
• Sometimes, a table or figure is the only item in an appendix. If so, title the page “Appendix” (no letter is used). Then add a colon and the title or caption
of the table or figure, respectively. Since the table or figure is fully identified, neither a title above the table, nor a caption below the figure, nor a listing in
the List of Tables or List of Figures is needed.
Be sure to delete any consent form(s). Consent forms are no longer published.
For information on writing tips for protecting participants, refer to the FAQ About IRB, Anonymity, and Confidentiality in Doctoral Capstone Studies.
Be sure to check your Dedication and Acknowledgments sections and appendices for any mention of names of people or places that could compromise the identity of
participants or violate a signed confidentiality agreement, if there is one. When writing about a study site or community partner, follow any agreements you made with
the study site or community partner.
Also, be sure to double check that the study site is not named in the document, appendices, or citations or references.
a. Do not include citations or references that contain a pseudonym.
b. Instead of including a citation with a pseudonym, indicate the source of the information in the sentence itself.
c. Because citations or references cannot contain a pseudonym (e.g., “XYZ Company, 2016”), describe the source in the sentence: “According to a 2016 XYZ Company
report…” and do not include a reference in the References.
a. Use double quotation marks for quotations.
b. Use single quotation marks only for quotations within quotations.
Italicize a keyword or term the first time it is given in the text and when the keyword or term is defined or described as a term (APA§ 4.07-4.08, §4.21).
a. The subject and verb must agree in number (i.e., singular or plural).
b. Data and media are plural nouns: The data are. . . . (APA §2.07b).
c. Pronouns must agree in number and gender with the nouns they replace (APA §3.19).
Formatting statistical abbreviations
• Statistical abbreviations are italicized: n, t, SD, p.
• N = total sample; n = subsample.
• When used as a noun, don’t hyphenate “t test,” just italicize the t. When used as an adjective, a hyphen is required, as in “t-test results” (APA §4.33-4.45).
Do not use contractions.
a. Add an apostrophe + s to form the possessive of a name: Wilks’s lambda, Jones’s study (APA §4.12).
b. Do not use an apostrophe when forming the plural of a number: 1990s, 40s .
In the study, use the term subjects or participants or else describe their characteristics (APA §2.06).
When referring to the number of participants in a study, follow the rules for numbers in APA §4.31.
Institutional review board (IRB) number: The Walden IRB approval number must appear in the methodology section or in an appendix. Give the number only once. If
an appendix is used, do not include the entire IRB approval e-mail from the Walden IRB office, just the approval number.
Use a comma in numbers like 2,398. Use numerals in numbers like 2 million (APA §4.37-4.38).
• URLs should appear in plain, black text, and should not link out of the document. Remove all html formatting and all hyperlinks.
• For citing a website in the text or reference list, keep the link/address, but remove the automatic hyperlink feature.
Spell out Latin abbreviations such as e.g., etc., i.e., cf. unless in parentheses. Follow abbreviations in parentheses with a comma (APA §4.26).
Use a comma between items in a series of three or more nouns or noun phrases, including before and and or (APA §4.03).
Use gender-neutral language (APA §3.12-3.17).
In general, spell out numbers under 10 and use Arabic numerals for numbers 10 and above, with these exceptions: a series of numbers, numbers preceding exact
elements of time or measurement, or a number beginning a sentence (APA §4.31, §4.33-4.34).
Use the % symbol when preceded by a number unless at the start of a sentence (APA §4.32a).
When referring to a specific chapter, section, table, or figure, use its number (e.g., Chapter 3, Table 5) rather than above or below.
Resources: APA Style website, the Walden Writing Center website, and the Walden Form and Style website.