APA Format for Clinical Case Reports

Ready for your 15 minutes of fame in the latest medical journal? Not so fast. You've done the work -- don't risk it being rejected for a simple formatting oversight. Knowing the correct APA Clinical Case guidelines can be a research topic in itself, but it is something that should never be overlooked.


Start by collecting the individual's personal information and family medical histories. Identify the symptoms as emotional, physical or sensory. Provide the diagnosis and appropriate code in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. Provide information on how you arrived at the diagnosis. Chart the development of the pathology with current treatments and their effects. Describe results under the three approaches: Psychoanalytic, Cognitive-Behavioral and Humanistic.


Start with the standard APA format of 8.5-by-11-inch size with 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Include a running header with the article's title on the left and page number on the right. The title page should include the title, author's name and institute associated with the study. APA recommends a title of no longer than 12 words; it should not extend more than two lines. The title should not contain abbreviations.


After the title page comes the meat of the report. It might include: an abstract, or brief summary of the keynotes of the research; the introduction, which clarifies the project and explains how it's interesting or necessary; the method, which identifies the process and how it was carried out; results, a description of what was yielded by the test; the discussion, or your explanation of the results and their impact; and the references, or credit given to the research. If necessary, attach additional pages for appendices or tables.


When quoting a reference within the text, give the author's name, year of publication and page number. The complete citation will be added to the reference section in accordance to the APA guidelines: Indent after first line and arrange alphabetically by author last names. Do not use italics, underline or quotes for article names, only for books or journals. The journal title should be used in full, italicized and maintain the punctuation and capitalization as it is presented in the journal. For example, Author, A.A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.

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