MBA Style Guide: Most Important Chapters

Most Masters of Business Administration programs require all writing assignments to be written utilizing the APA (American Psychological Association) style guide. In order to excel in your MBA program, it's vital that you understand and use this guide consistently throughout your coursework. Some of the most important elements include the general guidelines, the major paper sections, in text citations, and the reference list.

General Guidelines for APA Papers

You'll need to type your papers, of course, and they should be printed on regular letter-sized white paper. Your margins should be one inch on all four sides. Additionally, if the assignment doesn't specify allowed fonts, it's always best to use Times New Roman. In any case, you should stick to 12 point font to avoid any difficulties with your instructor.

Major Paper Sections

Every section may not be necessary for every assignment. When in doubt, ask the instructor who assigned it. However, most lengthy papers will have the same section requirements. These include a title page which includes your name, the name of your class, the title of the paper, and often other information like the instructor's name, and the specific class ID number. Next, you'll want to include your abstract. This should be one to two paragraphs, maximum, and should be a brief summary of the paper's main points, including the results of your research. You may wish to include several keywords at the bottom of the abstract. Following this is the body of the paper, and then the reference list.

In Text Citations

In text citations are a must in order to avoid accusations of plagiarism, and they're also important in terms of supporting your thesis adequately. Typically you will include the last name of the source's author as well as the date of publication in parentheses. If you choose to use either the date or the author's name as part of the sentence, you need only include the other element in parentheses. If you must use a quote that exceeds thirty nine words, you'll need to place it in a freestanding block. That means you don't use quotation marks, and the quote appears in its own paragraph. It should also be more deeply indented.

Reference List

Reference list entries should not be indented on the first line of the entry, but should be indented on every subsequent line of the entry. Last names of authors are given before their first names, and entries should be alphabetized by last name.