AMA Formatting Style for the Best Academic Writing

If you are engaged in writing medical papers or texts connected with the medicine, you have probably heard about AMA referencing. The name is deciphered as American Medical Association. This is one of the most widely used referencing styles used by scholars and students. The style of citations is aimed at helping the writers to show the borrowed information in their academic papers. Thanks to the AMA citation style, the author can show what other writer’s information has contributed to the work. Furthermore, this referencing style is also supposed to show where exactly the work of another person has supported the findings in the actual paper.  

AMA referencing style has been created by the American Medical Association, and at first, it appeared only in their publications. But then other scholars from different academic institutions have followed suit and borrowed the style to use in their work. Today, AMA referencing is used all over the world by many scholars, scientists, and students. It has become common and coined a number of variations. It has different options for almost every type of academic writing, be it in-text citations, books, journals, etc. So, let’s learn more about the AMA referencing style. 

Pre-writing AMA referencing guidelines

The first thing you should know is the framework of the AMA citation style. There are two basic parts which constitute the style. These are the citations and references. If you omit one of the parts, your formatting will be wrong. So, to use the AMA referencing correctly, you need to place the exact citations in the text, but the full reference should also be found in the reference list. This list is always placed at the end of the paper. Each component has the corresponding number. It is defined by order of its appearance in the paper. 

To start working with the AMA referencing, it is better to learn some basic guidelines. 

  • All the references used in the text should be listed at the end of the paper. This part is usually called a reference list or source list. Your task is to list the points in numerical order in the way the references appeared in the text. 
  • You should use Arabic superscript references. This is an appropriate method to work with periods, commas, and inside the colons and semicolons. 
  • When you indicate the last name of the author, you need to follow it with the initials. But remember that there should be no periods after initials. The names have to be separated with commas only. 
  • If there is a name of a book or article in the text, you need to capitalize only the first word. All the other words should follow a regular pattern. However, acronyms and proper nouns should also be capitalized. 
  • When using PowerPoint presentations, make sure to include a bibliography list in the project. 

Citing books and literature

To make the most appropriate formatting for the books and other types of literature, the writer should follow a set example. The general format consists of the name of the author, a chapter title, the city, the book title, the name of the publisher, and the copyright year. This is a general format that you can use when working with AMA referencing in books and other literature. If you have used an online version of a book, you need to follow the same pattern here, but add URL and accessed date in the end. If the book has six or fewer authors, you need to mention them. Otherwise, if there are more than six writers, you have to name three of them and then add “et al.” in the end. 

Electronic resources

When you need to refer to a website or any other electronic resource, you also need to follow a set pattern. In some cases, it may vary a bit, but in general, there is a single rule. First of all, you name the author and then add the title of the website. If there is an organization responsible for the data, you can give its title instead. Then you have to put the URL, published, updated, and accessed data. 

It often happens that there is no author, and you need to skip this element and move on straight away to the title. Furthermore, you may find it difficult to figure out published and updated data. Thus, it includes only the available data. 

Journal articles citing

When you work with journal articles in your research paper or any other type of paper, you have to stick to the National Library of Medicine standards. There are set abbreviations for all journal titles. The general format for the AMA referencing here would consist of the name of the author, the article title, the abbreviated journal-title, the year, and the page. 

If you have researched an online journal and now need to cite it, the format will differ a bit. You will need to mention the digital object identifier or URL. This information should be placed in the end. 

In-text citations

When you write a text and want to include an idea previously expressed by someone else, you have to cite the source or the author. The same thing is with the AMA referencing.

  • When you include the citations in the AMA style text, you need to make sure that everything is listed in the consecutive order, and the points are highlighted by means of superscript Arabic numerals. 
  • Don’t remember that you need to place the number after the quotation, phrase, or idea in the text. 
  • If you understand that it is necessary to introduce the same source for the second time, put a number of the original source. 
  • If you have multiple citation numbers in the text, these should be separated with commas. But when you cite consecutive citations numbers, you have to use the hyphens. 
  • Use only the author’s last name if you mention him or her in the text. In the case, if the citation has more than two originators, you have to introduce the first author’s surname and put “et al.” in the end. 
  • It often happens that the citations, ideas, or phrases are personal communications or found in the unpublished works. In this case, you still need to mention them but not in the reference list. You have to use the parenthesis within the text. 

Reference list

When you create a paper in the AMA style, you can’t avoid the reference list. But this should be the last thing to do with your paper. When you have managed to cite all the in-text citations, it is time to frame everything on a separate page in a list. This should be a list at the end of the document where all the citations are placed in the way they have been mentioned in the text. If you mess up with the order, it will harm your work, so be careful and attentive with the numbering. 

Why you need citing your papers

You may wonder whether it is possible to avoid citing the sources, authors, and the ideas in the text. The obvious answer is NO. When you write a research paper, you investigate the issue and learn the findings of other people. Therefore, your work can’t be 100% free from the citations. If you don’t pay attention to them and forget mentioning in the text, you risk creating a plagiarized paper. Furthermore, you show great disrespect to the scholars whose ideas use in the paper. 

When working with the AMA reference style, it is important to be precise with the information that you include in the text. If you are writing a paper on a medical topic, you need to include only relevant information that a reader can check. For this reason, it is mandatory to list data sources. It will protect your paper from plagiarism and let the reader know where you got the information or whose work contributes to the research. 

At first, working with the AMA citation style can be quite challenging. What you need to remember is that citing the sources is crucial to come up with a decent and high-quality text. If you treat your paper correctly, you will get a better result. Though AMA is a serious referencing, it is easy to work with if you know the peculiar features of the formatting, when you learn how to work with the sources and introduce them in the text, it will be easier for you to do everything automatically. The more you practice with different citation examples, the better you are at it. 

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