APA Format: A How-To Style Guide With Examples

APA Format: A How-To Style Guide With Examples

APA format is one of three citation that is main you’re prone to encounter sooner or later throughout your education.

Specifically in psychology, education, together with sciences, APA format may be the preferred citation guide over other popular style guides, like MLA format, that will be widely used when you look at the humanities.

APA format definition

APA format is an academic style guide created by the American Psychological Association. It really is most often employed for scientific papers, especially research-based content.

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

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

General guidelines that are formatting APA

  • Your document ought to be typed in double-space, 12 pt. font. The font that is standard Times New Roman, many scholars prefer Arial.
  • Your document’s margins must be one inch on all sides.
  • You ought to include a cover page (aka title page) unless otherwise specified.
  • You have to include a running head (in other words. a web page header) that sits towards the top of every page of the document.
  • To generate the head that is running utilize the “Insert Header” function on your word processor.
  • Each page ought to be numbered on the right hand side of the page inside the auto-created Header. You’ll also insert the title left that is flush all caps.
  • The title must be in title case; every word really should not be capitalized.
  • Your first and subsequent paragraphs should be indented one half inch through the left for the document. The TAB should be used by you button function to indent instead of the space bar.
  • There should only be one space all things considered 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 may never be utilized for other citation types. To produce the head that is running ensure it turns up on every page of the document, use the “Insert Header” function on your own word processor and then type the title of your paper flush left using all capital letters.

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

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

Your cover page ought to include the information that is following title regarding the paper, author’s name, and institutional affiliation (in other words. the university, college, or academic/professional institution for which you are writing your paper). You need to also include a head that is running left because of the pagination flush right at the very top of the document.

Note: On the cover page, your head that is running will distinct from it does 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 citations that are in-text not influenced by container (e.g. book, article). Citations should be in parentheses and placed at the conclusion of a sentence ahead of the period, whether paraphrasing or citing a quote that is direct.

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

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

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

General citation that is in-text:

  • Titles of source material must be capitalized (which will be not the case in the References page); all words four letters or longer must also be capitalized (exceptions for pronouns, adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.)
  • Hyphenated compound words in a title are both capitalized, not just the word that is first
  • The first word directly after a colon or dash is capitalized
  • All longer container titles (e.g. books, films, TV series, music albums) must certanly 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 name that is last the sentence preceding the parenthetical citation or include the author’s last name within the parentheses directly.

Long quotations

Long, direct quotations (40 words or higher) should really be printed in block format without quotation marks. The quotation must start on a new line indented another half inch inward (where a brand new paragraph would naturally begin. All lines that are subsequent be indented as such. Long quotes should be double-spaced like the rest of the document, as well as the parenthetical citation begins following the final punctuation mark regarding the quotation.

General format for very long quotations:

King (1986) noted:

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

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

For each container given below, you will find a formula that is general 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 reference ought to be indented)
  • Author names should always be in Last name format that is first initialfor up to six authors of one given work)
  • All reference entries must certanly be in alphabetical order
  • Any books or materials published by exactly the same s that are author( ought to be listen in chronological order from oldest to many recent
  • Use whatever capitalization and punctuation is employed by an original container, regardless of if not ‘standard’

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