APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition
APA (American Psychological Association) style is used in many disciplines, particularly psychology, sociology, gender studies, and anthropology (among other social and behavioral sciences). Although it aligns very closely with MLA style, APA has several different conventions that set it apart from other writing styles. The exact guidelines of APA style are updated every few years to reflect the current state of research in these disciplines as well as accommodating any new technology that might impact the way research, citation, or writing is done. The 7th Edition is the most current edition, as it came out in October 2019.
Part of keeping your paper within APA style is to make sure you follow the page formatting guidelines. Here is a list of the requirements and how to achieve them:
A separate title page with the title and then your name, institution, course, instructor, and due date centered. See the spacing in the sample below.
An abstract page (if applicable)
1-inch margins on all sides
An accessible font like 12pt Times New Roman
Text is aligned at the left margin
0.5-inch indentions for every paragraph
Page numbers in the top right corner of every page (excluding the title page)
We recommend this APA Formatting Guide to help with your paper formatting needs.
It is very important to credit the sources you are working with and to signal to your reader(s) when you have gotten information from an outside source. APA requires that writers indicate their sources both within paragraphs as they include specific information, called in-text citations, and on a bibliographic page at the end of the essay, called a References page. For more information about how to actually put quoted, summarized, or paraphrased text into your piece, see our guide on Paraphrase and Summary.
In order to show in APA style that you are using outside information in your piece, you should use an In-text Citation. This very quick process tells your reader(s) that this part of your work is not your own idea and where in your References this idea is coming from. In-text citations are needed for all types of information, whether it is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.
All that is required in a standard APA in-text citation is the last name of the author of your source and the year the source was published, plus the page number when quoting. The author’s name can be in the sentence itself or in parenthesis at the end of the phrase or sentence with the information. Years and page numbers usually go in the parentheses, with years right after the author’s name but page numbers at the end of the sentence. For example:
“Citations are the bane of my existence” (Smith, 2003, p. 72).
Smith (2003) stated, “Citations are the bane of my existence” (p. 72).
Notice how the period ending the sentence comes after the parenthesis of the citation.
However, not all citations have one author and one page number! Some common in-text citation situations are listed below:
For works with two authors, list both of the authors’ last names with “&” in between them.
Ex: (Pratchett & Gaimen, 1998)
For works with three or more authors, list the first author’s last name and then “et al.” afterwards.
Ex: (Stein et al., 2021)
For works that do not have a publishing date, write n.d. in place of the date.
Ex: (Frieda, n.d.)
Multiple Page Numbers
For selections that span multiple pages of the original source, use pp. before the numbers and a dash in between the pages it covers.
Ex: (King, 2010, pp. 8-10)
No Page Number
If the source does not have page numbers, use paragraph numbers or another identifying aspect instead.
Ex: (Lee, 1986, paras. 10-11)
For works with an unknown author or no author listed, check what is listed first in the bibliographic reference because it will match. You usually use the organization or the title (or a shortened version of the title) in place of an author’s last name. Make sure to keep the formatting of the title from your full reference.
Ex: (Encyclopedia of Rare Birds, 1923)
See more examples of In-text Citations APA In-Text Citations (Purdue OWL)
Sample Reference Page Citations
Journal article with DOI (digital object identifier)
Tan, H. K., Jones, G. V., & Watson, D. G. (2009). Encouraging the perceptual underdog: Positive affective priming of nonpreferred local-global processes. Emotion, 9(2), 238-247. doi:10.1037/a0014713
Journal article without DOI
Kiely, R., & Askham, J. (2012). Furnished imagination: The impact of preservice teacher training on early career work in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 496-518.
Book (print) by a single author
Davies, D. (2010). Child development: A practitioner's guide (3rd ed.). The Guilford Press.
Book (print) by two or more authors
Babcock, R., Manning, K., Rogers, T., Goff, C., & Davies, A. (2012). A synthesis of qualitative studies of writing center tutoring, 1983-2006. Peter Lang.
Electronic version of print book
Newman, J. (2012). Best before: Videogames, supersession and obsolescence. [Ebook Library version]. http://www.ku.eblib.com
Stevens, K. (2008). The dreamer and the beast. http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=332
Edited book with an author or authors
Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals. K. V. Kukil (Ed.). Anchor.
Edited book with no author
Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. Russell Sage Foundation.
Article or chapter in edited book
Vàsquez, M. A. (2013). Grappling with the legacy of modernity: Implications for the sociology of religion. In C. Bender, W. Cadge, P. Levitt, & D. Smidle (Eds.), Religion on the edge: De-centering and re-centering the sociology of religion (pp. 23-42). Oxford University Press.
Chapter in a volume in a series
Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse studies: A multidisciplinary introduction: Vol. 2. Discourse as social interaction (pp. 258-284). Sage.
Article in a reference book
Tolchinsky, L. (2013). Childhood conceptions of literacy. In T. Nunes & P. Bryant (Eds.) Handbook of children's literacy (pp. 11-30). Kluwer.
An entry in an encyclopedia
Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The New Encyclopedia Britannica. (Vol. 26, pp. 501-508).: Encyclopedia Britannica.
National Institute of Mental Health. (1990). Clinical training in serious mental illness (DHHS Publication No. ADM 90-1679). U.S. Government Printing Office.
Verini, J. (2012, December). The tunnels of Gaza. National Geographic, 222(6), 673-674.
Hennigan, W. J. (2013, January 17). FAA grounds entire fleet of Boeing 787s; Flights are canceled as a range of electrical and power problems continue to plague the Dreamliner Jets. Los Angeles Times. https://www.cnn.com/2015/05/02/us/boeing-787-dreamliner-faa-directive/in....
Brigham, C., & Carter, C. (Producers), & Affleck, B. (Director). (2012). Argo [Motion picture]. United States: Time Warner.
[GEICO Insurance]. (2013, May 22). GEICO hump day camel commercial – happier than a camel on Wednesday [Video File]. http://youtu.be/kWBhP0EQ1lA
Episode from a TV series
Kemper, C. (Writer), & Flender, R. (Director). (2012). The whale [Television series episode]. In G. Daniels (Executive producer), The Office. National Broadcasting Company.
Caird, J., Natel, J., Nunn, T., Boubil, A., Kretzmer, & H., Schonberg, C. (2012). On my own. [Recorded by Semantha Parks]. On Les Misèrables [CD]. Universal Republic Records.
National Eating Disorders Association [n.d.]. Contributing factors and prevention. January 17, 2013 https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/contributing-factors-prevention
Germano, W. (2013, January 17). Jack Lew’s signature [Web log post]. http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/01/17/jack-lews-signature/
National Geographic [@NatGeo]. (2020, January 12). Scientists knew African grays are clever, but now they’ve been documented assisting other members of their species—even strangers [Tweet; thumbnail link to article]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/NatGeo/status/1216346352063537154
U.S. Department of the Interior. (2020, January 10). Like frosting on a cake, snow coats and clings to the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/USInterior/photos/a.155163054537384/2586475451406120/?type=3&theater
Interview or e-mail
Note: Do not include these in the References; instead, cite these in the text:
(Z. Ramirez, personal communication, February 1, 2013).
Z. Ramirez, a witness for the prosecution, told me that she had seen the defendant approaching the stop sign (personal communication, February 1, 2013).
You can find more information and examples at:
(Updated July 2022)