APA Formatting - Quick Guide
- 1’’ margins
- Times New Roman, size 12 font
- Indent all new paragraphs
- Use active voice.
- Be specific and concise.
- Avoid poetic or figurative language; scientific writing is the most appropriate for APA.
- Use past or present perfect tense (researchers have shown) for a lit review and description. Use past tense when referring to results and experiments previously conducted (pp. 77-79).
- “Running head” and TITLE flush left, and page number flush right at top of page.
- Double-click the header, click ‘different first page,’ and then insert page number on the right side.
- Type ‘Running head:’ and your title (or shortened version of your title if the original is longer than 50 characters) in all caps (e.g. Running head: TITLE OR SHORTENED TITLE).
- On subsequent pages use just the title or shortened title in all caps.
- The following information will be centered in the upper-middle of the page (approx. 5-6 double-spaced lines down):
- Title of Paper (first, last, and all important words capitalized)
- Your name
- Name of institution
- The word “Abstract” should be centered on the first line.
- 150-250 words long
- Brief, comprehensive summary of the paper
- Do not indent the first line of the abstract.
- The abstract is not an introduction to the paper and will not contain any citations.
- See pp. 25-27 of the APA manual for what information to include in an abstract.
- If required, one line under the abstract, indent once, and insert and italicize Keywords followed by a colon. Then, separated by commas, insert 3-6 of your paper’s keywords.
- Before writing, center the Paper Title on the first line. Your introduction will begin on the next line, unless your professor asks for a heading to be included for the introduction. In that case, “Introduction” will be on the second line as a level 1 heading.
- APA papers must use headings to separate paper sections and establish a hierarchy of information.
- Always use headings in order, beginning with level 1.
- For each section, include at least two subsection headings or none at all. This follows the same principle as an outline: section one would be divided into sections A and B or more. A cannot stand alone. (see p. 62)
- First level: centered, boldface, uppercase and lowercase heading
- Second level: left-aligned, boldface, uppercase and lowercase heading
- Third level: indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period
- Fourth level: indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period
- Fifth level: indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period
- An in-text citation is used whenever another author’s work is directly quoted or paraphrased.
- Citations for paraphrases use an author/date format: (Author, Publication Year), e.g. (Smith, 2007)
- The citation for a direct quote should also include the page number: (Author, Year, p. #)
- You can move information from the in-text citations to other parts of the sentence that the quote is part of as long as all required elements are present: e.g. Smith (2007) says, “...” (p. 8).
- Any quotation longer than 39 words should be made into a freestanding block of text and have the quotation marks removed (see p. 171). Block quotes should be indented one-half inch from the left margin and end with the in-text citation outside of the period.
- If no author is given, use a shortened version of the title in the citation.
- If the publication date is unknown, use “n.d.” in its place.
- If you are using an electronic source that does not include page numbers, use paragraph numbers with the in-text citation including the author and date (Author, Year, para. #). (See pp.171-172.)
- For works with 3 or more authors, list up to 5 in the first citation: e.g. (Smith, Jones, & Brown, 2010). In subsequent citations, list the first author and “et al.”: e.g. (Smith et al., 2010).
- For citations that have 6 or more authors, cite the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” in text: e.g. (Smith et al., 2012).
- Center “References” in the middle of a new page to begin references page.
- If a work has more than 7 authors, list the first 6 followed by an ellipsis. Include the last author immediately after the ellipsis as the final author mentioned.
- There are only two types of sources that are cited only in-text and not mentioned on the references page: classical works and personal communications. The Bible is considered a classical work in APA. When citing the Bible in-text, include the reference and version used: e.g. (1 Cor. 13:1, Revised Standard Version). (See pp. 171-174.)
- Excluding abbreviations and proper nouns, capitalize only the first word of article titles.
- Evenly double-space references, use hanging indents, and alphabetize all entries.
Please see the APA Sample Paper for an example of a properly formatted reference page.
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
- Article in a periodical
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue
- Article from an online periodical
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number
(issue number if available). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from
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