APA Format: A How-To Style Guide With Examples


APA format is regarded as three main citation styles you’re very likely to encounter at some time during your education.

Specifically in psychology, education, in addition to sciences, APA format is the preferred citation guide over other popular style guides, like MLA format, which can be commonly used when you look at the humanities.

APA format definition

APA format is an academic style guide produced by the American Psychological Association. It is most commonly utilized for scientific papers, especially research-based content.

APA format is recommended among many disciplines due to its emphasis and clarity on highlighting newer source material (in other words. date-focused citations with a preference for ‘recent’ source content). Here are instructions and examples for formatting general aspects of an APA formatted paper, including how to write a cover page, running head (header), an in-text citation, and a Reference section.

Note: you can find aspects of this style guide that overlap with MLA format. Thus, you will probably find that part of these details is restated through the MLA guide; however, there are lots of components unique to APA alone and neither guide can sufficiently substitute the other.

General guidelines that are formatting APA

  • Your document should be typed in double-space, 12 pt. font. The font that is standard Times New Roman, but some scholars prefer Arial.
  • Your document’s margins must certanly be one inch on all sides.
  • A cover should be included by you page (aka title page) unless otherwise specified.
  • You must include a running head (i.e. a full page header) that sits at the top of every page of the document.
  • To produce the running head, use the “Insert Header” function on the word processor.
  • Every page must certanly be numbered in the right hand side of the page inside the auto-created Header. You will also insert the title left that is flush all caps.
  • The title must certanly be in title case; every expressed word really should not be capitalized.
  • Very first and paragraphs that are subsequent be indented one half inch through the left associated with the document. You should utilize the TAB button function to indent in place of the space bar.
  • There should only be one space after all marks of punctuation. Because word processing software already makes up the area after a punctuation mark, adding two spaces is inaccurate and antiquated.

Running head formatting is specific to APA and really should never be employed for other citation types. To create the head that is running ensure it shows up on every page of one’s document, make use of the “Insert Header” function on your own word processor and then type the title of the paper flush left using all capital letters.

The running head is a shortened form of your full paper title, which means that the running head should not exceed a lot more than 50 characters including punctuation marks and character spacing.

The above example is 49 characters long, including spaces and marks of punctuation (when it comes to title).

Your cover page ought to include the following information: title associated with the paper, author’s name, and institutional affiliation (i.e. the university, college, or academic/professional institution that you are writing your paper). You need to also include a head that is running left utilizing the pagination flush right at the very top of your document.

Note: On the cover page, your head that is running will distinct from it will on all subsequent pages.

That it is the paper’s running head; on all other pages, you need not include these words in addition to your title as you can see, you must include the words “Running head” on your title page to indicate.

APA in-text citations are not dependent on container (e.g. book, article). Citations should always be in parentheses and placed at the conclusion of a sentence before the period, whether paraphrasing or citing a direct quote.

APA format follows the style that is author-date (Last Name, Year) and uses a comma amongst the two elements. If referencing a spot that is specific the writing, you will be encouraged to use exact page numbers using a lowercase p. + the page number into the parentheses after the year.

All citations, regardless of container, are formatted the same for in-text citations in APA. There isn’t any variance predicated on container as is true for MLA style.

Note: you will find different requirements that are formatting short vs. long quotations in APA.

General citation that is in-text:

  • Titles of source material should be capitalized (which can be not the case on the References page); all words four letters or longer should also be capitalized (exceptions for pronouns, adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.)
  • Hyphenated compound words in a title are both capitalized, not merely the first word
  • The first word directly after a colon or dash is capitalized
  • All longer container titles (e.g. books, films, TV series, music albums) must be italicized

Short quotations

Direct quotes (non-paraphrasing) require the name that is author’s year of publication, and page number in (p. #) format. You may either utilize the author’s last name in the sentence preceding the parenthetical citation or are the author’s last name into the parentheses directly.

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Long quotations

Long, direct quotations (40 words or even more) must certanly be printed in block format without quotation marks. The quotation has to start on a new line indented another half inch inward (where a unique paragraph would naturally begin. All subsequent lines should be indented as such. Long quotes should always be double-spaced like the rest of your document, while the citation that is parenthetical following the final punctuation mark of this quotation.

General format for very long quotations:

King (1986) noted:

A small boy in a yellow slicker and red galoshes ran cheerfully along beside the newspaper boat. The rain had not stopped, but it was finally slackening. It tapped in the yellow hood associated with boy’s slicker, sounding to his ears like the rain regarding the roof that is shed. (p. 3)

Your APA-formatted Reference page is when the extended, detailed versions of all of the references used during your research or essay paper are.

For every single container down the page, you will discover a general formula for citing the origin in your Reference page along side an illustration.

General Reference page rules:

  • Use hanging indentations for each line that follows the first line (second and subsequent lines in one single reference must certanly be indented)
  • Author names should really be in Last name format that is first initialfor up to six authors of one given work)
  • All reference entries should always be in alphabetical order
  • Any books or materials authored by exactly the same author(s) should always be listen in chronological order from oldest to most recent
  • Use whatever capitalization and punctuation can be used by an container that is original whether or not not ‘standard’
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