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Citing and Formatting

About APA Style

APA style (American Psychological Association) is used is fields such as psychology, social work, business, and education. There is a new edition every few years, so be sure to check back. 

Note: While APA style is currently on the 7th edition, instructors may choose to utilize an older edition. Always check to see what edition your instructor wants you to use! For help with the 6th edition of APA, view the guide from Purdue OWL for templates and examples.

Formatting a Word Document in APA Style

Student papers in APA style consist of three main parts: a title page, the body text, and the reference page. The first page of your paper will be your title page. Watch this quick video for a demonstration of formatting the title page. The title page is double-spaced and includes the following elements:

  • Title of paper
  • Author (your name)
  • Affiliations (university and department)
  • course (include both course code and title)
  • Instructor's name
  • Date
  • Page number
  • *Running head (if required)

*In the new 7th edition, running heads are not required in student papers. If your instructor requires a running head, view this video for a quick demonstration. 


The main body of an APA paper is double-spaced with the first line of each paragraph indented by one tab key. You may use headings as needed the separate different sections of your paper. 

  • double-spaced
  • uses an easily readable font
  • 1 inch margins
  • indent new paragraphs with one tab key press


The last page of the paper will be the References page. Here you will list every source referenced in the body text of your paper. 

  • double-spaced
  • hanging indent
  • alphabetical order (by the element listed first)
  • limited capital letters (first word of title and subtitle)


In-text Citations

The in-text citation is a brief reference that leads the reader to the full citation of the source on the References page. In-text citations generally contain the first element listed on the References page followed by the year of publication. APA encourages paraphrasing more than direct quotes, but if you do quote something directly from the source you must also include the page number in the citation if available (example: Bean, 2020, p. 123).

The first element is typically the author's last name, but when no author is present, you would use the work's title instead (use a shortened form if it's a long title). 

Author Type Template /Example
One author                                            (Bean, 2020)
Two authors (Bean & March, 2020)                                       
Three or more authors (Bean et al., 2020)
No author  ("Title of Work", 2020) 

Note: Always put your punctuation after the closed parentheses. 

References Page Citations

The References page will be the last page(s) in your paper. This is where the full citations of the sources you consulted will be listed. APA citations are made up of these Core Elements:

  • Author
  • Date of Publication
  • Title of Source
  • Title of Container
  • Publisher
  • DOI

For a thorough breakdown of each element, please refer to the APA Handbook shown on the left.

Templates & Examples


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title: Capital letter for subtitle also. Publisher.

Montemayor, C., & Haladjian, H. H. (2015). Consciousness, attention, and conscious attention. The MIT Press. 

Journal Articles

Author, A. A., B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of Article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.

Hardman, J. G., & Aitkenhead, A. R. (2014). Personal and medicolegal implications of awareness. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 113(4), 533-534. doi:10.1093/bja/aeu347


Author, A. A., & Author, B.B. (Date of publication). Title of Webpage. Name of Website. Retrieved Month, (Date Year) from URL