How to cite APA style

How to cite APA style

The American Psychological Association’s formal style is APA format, which is widely utilized in the disciplines of psychology, academics, and other social studies. The 7th version of the APA’s “Publication Guidelines” is the formal reference book for structuring the APA documents. It is the most recent version, released in 2020. And, if you have any additional questions about how to format your paper, consult with your faculty or teachers to see what they recommend.

APA Formatting requirements

There are a few standard APA formatting instructions that apply to all types of APA documents. These involve;

  • Normal document size (8.5" x 11") 
  • All corners should have a 1-inch margin
  • There should be a title page, a list of references, and a byline.
  • Employ a legible font, like Calibri or Arial.
  • The entire document must have a double-spacing
  • Adjust the content to the left.
  • In every passage, indent the initial line by 0.5 inches.

Title page

An APA headline page is divided into two parts: the student and the professional edition. The student edition must have the following items;

  • The title of the paper
  • Names of the document’s authors, the byline
  • Every writer’s affiliation, i.e., the college and department name
  • Program number and name
  • Name of the professor (confirm with the educator for their desired format)
  • The deadline for the assignment (i.e., March 15, 2022).
  • Page number

Add the following information in your professional APA document;

  • Names of the paper’s authors 
  • Writer’s affiliation
  • Author’s note
  • Running headline (an abbreviated edition of the paper title)
  • Page number
  • The paper title is in the first letter, bold, and centered for both student and formal documents. It must be three to four lines down from the page’s top margin.

Be succinct. Your title has to be a summary of what the viewer will discover in the paper. In most contexts, your title will highlight the key factors and their interrelationships. For instance, ‘Impact of Insomnia on Math Performance’ is a concise title that simply outlines the topic of the paper.

Put the author’s name after the paper title. Between the title and the author’s name, there must be one empty double-spaced line. Put the affiliation after the author’s name. The author’s note appears underneath the affiliation in formal papers. For students, the program name, educator name, and due date will all have their lines below the byline. An author’s note provides additional information about the article’s authors, study registration, content sharing, disclaimers regarding any conflicting interests, and a contact point. A writer’s note might also acknowledge any individuals or organizations who contributed funds to the studies.

Place a running headline in all capital letters at the top left of the page for formal papers. Make sure the page number is on the upper right side of both the student and formal editions of an APA document.


Consider an abstract to be an overview of your article. If you are a student, confirm with your professor to see if an abstract is required. Read the instructions when composing your abstract;

  • The abstract will be on its page, immediately following the title page.
  • ‘Abstract’ should be written in bold at the top of the document.
  • Briefly describe the primary points of the report in the following line.
  • Although the content can differ, an abstract usually contains research subject matter, research queries, participant and strategy information, data evaluation utilized, and main observations.
  • An abstract must be one passage, double-spaced and 250 words long.

According to the ‘Publication Guide,’ an excellent abstract is precise, consistent, and brief. Make sure to add the details from the paper in the abstract.


Tables are an effective way of presenting a considerable amount of data in a direct, and easily readable format. Tables are commonly utilized in APA format documents to define the outcomes of statistical analysis and other relevant numerical information. It is essential to acknowledge, although, that not all information must be displayed in a table. If you have a few numerical facts to display, they must be outlined in your document’s text. According to the ‘Publication Instructions,’ you should structure your table with the audience in consideration. Make an effort to convey data concisely.

Guidelines for tables

Adding a table in your document, consider the following factors;

  • Each table should have its title. In APA format, it must be in italics and capital letters.
  • Start every table on its document following the reference section.
  • All tables should be numbered like Table 1, Table 2
  • Tables in the document’s text should be cited

Note that the purpose of your table is to support instead of duplicating the content of your article. Do not feel obligated to go over every detail of your table in your message. Extraneous data can distract and overwhelm the viewer. Keep it simple by only communicating the most valuable information. After all, concentrate on maintaining your table as short as possible. Illustrate key points and inform the audience what to seek in the table.

Table headings

When creating table headings, consider the following suggestions;

  • Every heading’s initial letter should be capitalized.
  • Use an explanatory heading to recognize every column.
  • In the table, utilize acronyms for basic terms. Unusual concepts must be described in a note beneath the table.

Reference Pages 

The reference page must involve all sources quoted in your document. The  APA article’s reference page must be at the finish. This page allows the audience to take a quick look at the materials you referenced. Your citations could also start on a new page, with the headline ‘References’ in bold and centered at the top. The title should not be underlined, italicized, or surrounded by quotations.

Reference page guidelines 

Make sure to follow these instructions when creating your reference page;

Sort citations alphabetically by the last name of the initial writer of every source.

  • Capitalize all main phrases in a journal headline, such as The Journal of Social Work Education.
  • In report titles, capitalize just the first letter. If the title contains a colon, the initial letter after the colon must also be capital letters. The title need not be quoted, underlined, or in .italics
  • All citations should be double-spaced.
  • The headlines of books and journals should be italicized.
  • If the same writer is cited more than once, outline the citations in chronological order, beginning with the earliest and moving up to the latest.

Periodicals and journals

  • In your citation section, journal papers must be listed alphabetically. Capitalize the initial letter of the first term in the headline, subheading, and proper nouns, among other APA formatting tips.
  • Italicize the journal’s name and volume total.

The standard format of a journal paper reference is to record writers by their last names initially, accompanied by their first names' initial letters. The year of publication is then included in parentheses and preceded by a timeframe. The title of the document must then appear, with only the initial letter of the first text and the first letter of any appropriate nouns capitalized. After which, insert page numbers, with a hyphen in between if there is a series of pages. Then, add a duration. Lastly, if an URL with the DOI number is accessible, it must be added.


This format is appropriate for written materials. The following is the framework for quoting books;

  • Author’s name, including last name and first initial
  • In parentheses, the period of publication
  • Writing the book’s headline in italics.
  • If relevant, include the book’s version in brackets.
  • Name of the publishing company
  • DOI-enabled hyperlink
  • Remember to put a time frame after all of these components.

Online Sources

A digital reference’s standard format is very equivalent to that of any other citation. But even so, you must usually typically involve the article’s online location. A DOI is a distinctive alphanumeric string that starts with a 10 and includes a prefix, which is mainly a four-digit number allocated to organizations, and a suffix, which is normally a number attributed by the publishing company. The DOI is frequently included on the initial page of a computerized document by publishers.

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