- Referencing styles
Format for in-text citation, in-text citation example.
…has already been calculated (Wittwer, 2020).
Wittwer (2020) confirms that the bushfires were…
Format for reference list
Elements, punctuation & capitalisation.
Working Paper with DOI
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C.C. (Year, Month). Title of work . (Working Paper No. #). https://doi.org/xxxxxxxxx
Working Paper without DOI
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C.C. (Year, Month). Title of work . (Working Paper No. #). URL
Reference list example
Givord, P. (2020, April). How a student’s month of birth is linked to performance at school: New evidence from PISA (OECD Education Working Papers No. 221). https://doi.org/10.1787/19939019
Wittwer, G. (2020, March). The 2019-20 Australian Economic Crisis Induced by Bushfires and COVID-19 from the Perspective of Grape and Wine Sectors (CoPS Working Paper No. G-299). https://www.copsmodels.com/ftp/workpapr/g-299.pdf
Huong, D., Donoghoe, M., Hughes, N., & Goesch, T. (2018, November). A micro-simulation model of irrigation farms in the southern Murray-Darling basin [Working paper]. Australian Bueau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/research-topics/working-papers/micro-simulation-model-irrigation-farms
Make sure to look at the style notes
Style notes for this reference type
- APA 7 Publication Manual , p. 330, examples 50 to 59
- Working papers are treated like issues briefs. If they have a number, this should be included in brackets after the title.
- If the working paper has no number, include the description of working paper in square brackets after the title.
- If the working paper will be taken down from the host site, state the retrieved from details before the URL
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Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)
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In this section
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- Knowledge Base
- APA Style 7th edition
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APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples
Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022.
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual provides guidelines for clear communication , citing sources , and formatting documents. This article focuses on paper formatting.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines:
- Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides.
- Double-space all text, including headings.
- Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches.
- Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).
- Include a page number on every page.
Let an expert format your paper
Our APA formatting experts can help you to format your paper according to APA guidelines. They can help you with:
- Margins, line spacing, and indentation
- Font and headings
- Running head and page numbering
Table of contents
How to set up apa format (with template), apa alphabetization guidelines, apa format template [free download], page header, headings and subheadings, reference page, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about apa format.
References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).
Why set up APA format from scratch if you can download Scribbr’s template for free?
Student papers and professional papers have slightly different guidelines regarding the title page, abstract, and running head. Our template is available in Word and Google Docs format for both versions.
- Student paper: Word | Google Docs
- Professional paper: Word | Google Docs
In an APA Style paper, every page has a page header. For student papers, the page header usually consists of just a page number in the page’s top-right corner. For professional papers intended for publication, it also includes a running head .
A running head is simply the paper’s title in all capital letters. It is left-aligned and can be up to 50 characters in length. Longer titles are abbreviated .
APA headings have five possible levels. Heading level 1 is used for main sections such as “ Methods ” or “ Results ”. Heading levels 2 to 5 are used for subheadings. Each heading level is formatted differently.
Want to know how many heading levels you should use, when to use which heading level, and how to set up heading styles in Word or Google Docs? Then check out our in-depth article on APA headings .
The title page is the first page of an APA Style paper. There are different guidelines for student and professional papers.
Both versions include the paper title and author’s name and affiliation. The student version includes the course number and name, instructor name, and due date of the assignment. The professional version includes an author note and running head .
For more information on writing a striking title, crediting multiple authors (with different affiliations), and writing the author note, check out our in-depth article on the APA title page .
The abstract is a 150–250 word summary of your paper. An abstract is usually required in professional papers, but it’s rare to include one in student papers (except for longer texts like theses and dissertations).
The abstract is placed on a separate page after the title page . At the top of the page, write the section label “Abstract” (bold and centered). The contents of the abstract appear directly under the label. Unlike regular paragraphs, the first line is not indented. Abstracts are usually written as a single paragraph without headings or blank lines.
Directly below the abstract, you may list three to five relevant keywords . On a new line, write the label “Keywords:” (italicized and indented), followed by the keywords in lowercase letters, separated by commas.
APA Style does not provide guidelines for formatting the table of contents . It’s also not a required paper element in either professional or student papers. If your instructor wants you to include a table of contents, it’s best to follow the general guidelines.
Place the table of contents on a separate page between the abstract and introduction. Write the section label “Contents” at the top (bold and centered), press “Enter” once, and list the important headings with corresponding page numbers.
The APA reference page is placed after the main body of your paper but before any appendices . Here you list all sources that you’ve cited in your paper (through APA in-text citations ). APA provides guidelines for formatting the references as well as the page itself.
Creating APA Style references
Play around with the Scribbr Citation Example Generator below to learn about the APA reference format of the most common source types or generate APA citations for free with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator .
Formatting the reference page
Write the section label “References” at the top of a new page (bold and centered). Place the reference entries directly under the label in alphabetical order.
Finally, apply a hanging indent , meaning the first line of each reference is left-aligned, and all subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches.
Tables and figures are presented in a similar format. They’re preceded by a number and title and followed by explanatory notes (if necessary).
Use bold styling for the word “Table” or “Figure” and the number, and place the title on a separate line directly below it (in italics and title case). Try to keep tables clean; don’t use any vertical lines, use as few horizontal lines as possible, and keep row and column labels concise.
Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Include labels and a legend if needed, and only use color when necessary (not to make it look more appealing).
Check out our in-depth article about table and figure notes to learn when to use notes and how to format them.
The easiest way to set up APA format in Word is to download Scribbr’s free APA format template for student papers or professional papers.
Alternatively, you can watch Scribbr’s 5-minute step-by-step tutorial or check out our APA format guide with examples.
APA Style papers should be written in a font that is legible and widely accessible. For example:
- Times New Roman (12pt.)
- Arial (11pt.)
- Calibri (11pt.)
- Georgia (11pt.)
The same font and font size is used throughout the document, including the running head , page numbers, headings , and the reference page . Text in footnotes and figure images may be smaller and use single line spacing.
You need an APA in-text citation and reference entry . Each source type has its own format; for example, a webpage citation is different from a book citation .
Use Scribbr’s free APA Citation Generator to generate flawless citations in seconds or take a look at our APA citation examples .
Yes, page numbers are included on all pages, including the title page , table of contents , and reference page . Page numbers should be right-aligned in the page header.
To insert page numbers in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Page number’.
APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.
Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.
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Streefkerk, R. (2022, August 23). APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/format/
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A comprehensive guide to apa citations and format, overview of this guide:.
This page provides you with an overview of APA format, 7th edition. Included is information about referencing, various citation formats with examples for each source type, and other helpful information.
If you’re looking for MLA format , check out the Citation Machine MLA Guide. Also, visit the Citation Machine homepage to use the APA formatter, which is an APA citation generator, and to see more styles .
Being responsible while researching
When you’re writing a research paper or creating a research project, you will probably use another individual’s work to help develop your own assignment. A good researcher or scholar uses another individual’s work in a responsible way. This involves indicating that the work of other individuals is included in your project (i.e., citing), which is one way to prevent plagiarism.
Plagiarism? What is it?
The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin word, plagiare , which means “to kidnap.” The term has evolved over the years to now mean the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as your own, without acknowledging the original author (American Psychological Association, 2020 p. 21). Plagiarism can be illegal and there can be serious ramifications for plagiarizing someone else’s work. Thankfully, plagiarism can be prevented. One way it can be prevented is by including citations and references in your research project. Want to make them quickly and easily? Try the Citation Machine citation generator, which is found on our homepage.
All about citations & references
Citations and references should be included anytime you use another individual’s work in your own assignment. When including a quote, paraphrased information, images, or any other piece of information from another’s work, you need to show where you found it by including a citation and a reference. This guide explains how to make them.
APA style citations are added in the body of a research paper or project and references are added to the last page.
Citations , which are called in-text citations, are included when you’re adding information from another individual’s work into your own project. When you add text word-for-word from another source into your project, or take information from another source and place it in your own words and writing style (known as paraphrasing), you create an in-text citation. These citations are short in length and are placed in the main part of your project, directly after the borrowed information.
References are found at the end of your research project, usually on the last page. Included on this reference list page is the full information for any in-text citations found in the body of the project. These references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name(s) of the author(s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.
Why is it important to include citations & references
Including APA citations and references in your research projects is a very important component of the research process. When you include citations, you’re being a responsible researcher. You’re showing readers that you were able to find valuable, high-quality information from other sources, place them into your project where appropriate, all while acknowledging the original authors and their work.
Common ways students and scholars accidentally plagiarize
Believe it or not, there are instances when you could attempt to include in-text and full references in the appropriate places, but still accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common mistakes to be aware of:
Mistake #1 - Misquoting sources: If you plan to use a direct quote, make sure you copy it exactly as is. Sure, you can use part of the full quote or sentence, but if you decide to put quotation marks around any words, those words should match exactly what was found in the original source. Here’s a line from The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
Here’s an acceptable option:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Here’s a misquote:
“Grown-ups barely ever understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Notice the slight change in the words. The incorrect phrasing is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Mistake #2 - Problems with paraphrasing: When we paraphrase, we restate information using our own words and writing style. It’s not acceptable to substitute words from the original source with synonyms.
Let’s use the same sentence from The Little Prince .
A correct paraphrase could be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything. It’s too bad adults are unable to comprehend anything on their own (p. 3).
An incorrect paraphrase would be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares that adults never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for kids to be always and forever clarifying things to them (p.3).
Notice how close the incorrect paraphrase is from the original. This is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Make sure you quote and paraphrase properly in order to prevent accidental plagiarism.
If you’re having a difficult time paraphrasing properly, it is acceptable to paraphrase part of the text AND use a direct quote. Here’s an example:
de Saint-Exupery (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything, and “it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (p. 3).
Information About APA
Who created it.
The American Psychological Association is an organization created for individuals in the psychology field. With close to 121,000 members, they provide educational opportunities, funding, guidance, and research information for everything psychology-related. They also have numerous high-quality databases, peer-reviewed journals, and books that revolve around mental health.
The American Psychological Association is also credited with creating their own specific citation and reference style. Today, this format is used by individuals not only in the psychology field, but many other subject areas as well. Education, economics, business, and social sciences also use APA style quite frequently. Click here for more information . This guide covers general information about the style, but is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association.
Why was this style created?
This format was first developed in 1929 to form a standardized way for researchers in science fields to document their sources. Prior to the inception of these standards and guidelines, individuals were recognizing the work of other authors by including bits and pieces of information in random order. There wasn’t a set way to format citations and references. You can probably imagine how difficult it was to understand the sources that were used for research projects!
Having a standard format for citing sources allows readers to glance at a citation or APA reference and easily locate the title, author, year published, and other critical pieces of information needed to understand a source.
The evolution of this style
The guide below is based on APA style 7th edition, which was released in 2020. In previous versions of APA format, researchers and scholars were required to include the publisher location for books and the date that an electronic resource was accessed. Both are no longer required to be included.
Details on the differences between the 6th and 7th editions is addressed later in this guide.
Citations & References
The appearance of citations & references.
The format for references varies, but most use this general format:
%%Author’s Last name, First initial. (Date published). Title . URL
Researchers and scholars must look up the proper format for the source that they’re attempting to cite. Books have a certain format, websites have a different format, periodicals have a different format, and so on. Scroll down to find the proper format for the source you’re citing or referencing.
If you would like help citing your sources, CitationMachine.com has a citation generator that will help make the APA citation process much easier for you. To start, simply click on the source type you're citing:
- Journal articles
An APA in-text citation is included in research projects in three instances: When using a direct quote, paraphrasing information, or simply referring to a piece of information from another source.
Quite often, researchers and scholars use a small amount of text, word for word, from another source and include it in their own research projects. This is done for many reasons. Sometimes, another author’s words are so eloquently written that there isn’t a better way to rephrase it yourself. Other times, the author’s words can help prove a point or establish an understanding for something in your research project. When using another author’s exact words in your research project, include an APA in-text citation directly following it.
In addition to using the exact words from another source and placing them into your project, these citations are also added anytime you paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is when you take information from another source and rephrase it, in your own words.
When simply referring to another piece of information from another source, also include a citation directly following it.
Citations in the text are found near a direct quote, paraphrased information, or next to a mention of another source. To see examples of some narrative/ parenthetical citations in action, look at the image above, under “All About Citations & References.”
Note: *Only include the page or paragraph number when using a direct quote or paraphrase. Page numbers have a p. before the number, pp. before the page range, and para. before the paragraph number. This information is included to help the reader locate the exact portion of text themselves. It is unnecessary to include this information when you’re simply referring to another source.
Examples of APA in-text citations:
“Well, you’re about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I don’t know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone” (Tóibín, 2009, p. 52).
Student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers (Kent & Giles, 2017, p. 12).
If including the author’s name in the sentence, place the year in the parentheses directly next to his or her name. Add the page number at the end, unless it’s a source without any pages or paragraph numbers (See Section 8.10 of the Publication manual for more details).
In-text citation APA example:
According to a study done by Kent and Giles (2017), student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers.
The full references, or citations, for these sources can be found on the last part of a research project, titled the “References.”
Here’s how to create in-text citations for specific amounts of authors:
APA citation with no author
When the source lacks an author’s name, place the title, year, and page number (if available) in the text. The title should be in italics if it sits alone (such as a movie, brochure, or report). If the source is part of a whole (as many web pages and articles are), place the title in quotation marks without italics (See Section 8.14 of the Publication manual ).
Structure of an APA format citation in the text narratively, with the author's name missing:
Title of Source (Year) or “Title of Source” (Year)
Structure of an APA style format citation, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, with the author’s name missing: (Title of Source, Year) or (“Title of Source,” Year)
Structure for one author
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author (Year)...(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author, Year, page number).
Structure for two authors
Place the authors in the order they appear on the source. Only use the ampersand in the parenthetical citations (see Section 8.17 of the Publication manual ). Use ‘and’ to separate the author names if they’re in the text of the sentence.
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 (Year)....(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author 1 & Last name of Author 2, Year, page number).
Structure for three or more authors
Only include the first listed author’s name in the first and any subsequent citations. Follow it with et al.
(Last name Author 1 et al., Year, page number)
(Agbayani et al., 2020, p. 99)
Last name of Author 1 et al. (Year)...(page).
Agbayani et al. (2020)...(p. 99)
One author, multiple works, same year
What do you do when you want to cite multiple works by an author, and the sources all written in the same year?
Include the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ and so on after the year in the citation.
Writers can even lump dates together.
Example: Jackson often studied mammals while in Africa (2013a, 2013b).
On the APA reference page, include the same letters in the full references.
Groups and organizations
Write out the full name of the group or organization in the first citation and place the abbreviation next to it in brackets. If the group or organization is cited again, only include the abbreviation. If it doesn’t have an abbreviation associated with it, write out the entire organization’s name each and every time (see Section 8.21 of the Publication manual ).
First APA citation for an organization with an abbreviation: (World Health Organization [WHO], Year)
World Health Organization (WHO, Year)
Notice in the example directly above, the name of the organization is written out in full in the text of the sentence, and the abbreviation is placed in parentheses next to it.
Subsequent APA citations in the text for an organization with an abbreviation: (WHO, Year) OR WHO (Year)
All citations in the text for an organization without an abbreviation: (Citation Machine, Year) or Citation Machine (Year)
One in-text citation, multiple works
Sometimes you’ll need to cite more than one work within an in-text citation. Follow the same format (author, year) format but place semicolons between works (p. 263).
(Obama, 2016; Monroe et al., 1820; Hoover & Coolidge, 1928)
Reminder: There are many citation tools available on CitationMachine.com. Head to our homepage to learn more, check out our APA citation website, and cite your sources easily! The most useful resource on our website? Our APA citation generator, which doesn’t just create full references, it’s also an APA in-text citation website! It’ll do both for you!
Click here to learn more about crediting work .
Reference list citation components
References display the full information for all the citations found in the body of a research project.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the references:
- All references sit together on their own page, which is usually the last page(s) of a paper.
- Title the page ‘References’
- Place ‘References’ in the center of the page and bold it. Keep the title in the same font and size as the references. Do not italicize, underline, place the title in quotation marks, or increase the font size.
- The entire page is double spaced.
- All references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference, which is usually the author’s last name. If the source lacks an author, alphabetize the source by the title (ignore A, An, or The)
- All references have a hanging indent, meaning that the second line of text is indented in half an inch. See examples throughout this guide.
- Remember, each and every citation in the text of the paper MUST have a full reference displayed in the reference list. The citations in the text provide the reader with a quick glimpse about the sources used, but the references in the reference list provide the reader with all the information needed to seek out the source themselves.
Learn more about each component of the reference citation and how to format it in the sections that follow. See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section.
The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual ).
Format: Last name, F. M.
- Angelou, M.
- Doyle, A. C.
Two or more authors
When two or more authors work together on a source, write them in the order in which they appear on the source. You can name up to 20 authors in the reference. For sources with 2 to 20 authors, place an ampersand (&) before the final author. Use this format:
Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Kent, A. G., Giles, R. M., Thorpe, A., Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & He, Y.
If there are 21 or more authors listed on a source, only include the first 19 authors, add three ellipses, and then add the last author’s name.
Roberts, A., Johnson, M. C., Klein, J., Cheng, E. V., Sherman, A., Levin, K. K. , ...Lopez, G. S.
If you plan on using a free APA citation tool, like the one at CitationMachine.com, the names of the authors will format properly for you.
If the source lacks an author, place the title in the first position in the reference (Section 9.12 of the Publication manual ). When the source’s title begins with a number (Such as 101 Dalmatians ), place the reference alphabetically as if the number was spelled out. 101 Dalmatians would be placed in the spot where ‘One hundred’ would go, but keep the numbers in their place.
Additionally, if the title begins with the words ‘A’, ‘An,’ or ‘The,’ ignore these words and place the title alphabetically according to the next word.
See the “Titles” section below for more information on formatting the title of sources.
On an APA reference page, corporate authors are always written out in full. In the text of your paper, you may have some abbreviations (such as UN for United Nations), but in the full references, always include the full names of the corporation or organization (following Section 9.11 of the official Publication manual ).
%%United Nations. (2019). Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1031981
Publication date & retrieval date
Directly after the author’s name is the date the source was published. Include the full date for newspapers and magazine articles, and only the year for journals and all other sources. If no date is found on the source, include the initials, n.d. for “no date.”
%% Narducci, M. (2017, May 19). City renames part of 11th Street Ed Snider Way to honor Flyers founder. The Philadelphia Inquirer . http://www.philly.com/
If using our APA Citation Machine, our citation generator will add the correct format for you automatically.
Giving a retrieval date is not needed unless the online content is likely to be frequently updated and changed (e.g., encyclopedia article, dictionary entry, Twitter profile, etc.).
%%Citation Machine [@CiteMachine]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2019, from https://twitter.com/CiteMachine
When writing out titles for books, articles, chapters, or other non-periodical sources, only capitalize the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. Names of people, places, organizations, and other proper nouns also have the first letter capitalized. For books and reports, italicize the title in the APA citation.
Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Roots: The saga of an American family.
For articles and chapters in APA referencing, do not italicize the title.
Wake up the nation: Public libraries, policy making, and political discourse.
For newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and other periodicals, capitalize the first letter in each word and italicize the title.
The Seattle Times.
A common question is whether to underline your title or place it in italics or quotation marks in the reference list. Here’s a good general rule: When a source sits alone and is not part of a larger whole, place the title in italics. If the source does not sit alone and is part of a larger whole, do not place it in italics.
Books, movies, journals, and television shows are placed in italics since they stand alone. Songs on an album, episodes of television shows, chapters in books, and articles in journals are not placed in italics since they are smaller pieces of larger wholes.
The Citation Machine citation generator will format the title in your citations automatically.
Additional information about the title
If you feel it would be helpful to include additional information about the source type, include a descriptive noun or two in brackets immediately following the title. Capitalize the first letter.
%%Kennedy, K., & Molen, G. R. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Jurassic Park [Film]. USA: Universal.
Besides [Film], other common notations include:
- [Audio podcast]
- [Letter to the editor]
- [Television series episode]
- [Facebook page]
- [Blog post]
- [Lecture notes]
- [PowerPoint presentation]
- [Video file]
If you are using Citation Machine citing tools, additional information about the title is automatically added for you.
For books and reports, include the publisher name but not the location (see Section 9.29 of the Publication manual ). Older editions of the style required the city, state and/or country, but this hasn't been the case since the 7th edition was released.
It is not necessary to include the entire name of the publisher. It is acceptable to use a brief, intelligible form. However, if Books or Press are part of the publisher’s names, keep these words in the reference. Other common terms, such as Inc., Co., Publishers, and others can be omitted.
For newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals, include the volume and issue number after the title. The volume number is listed first, by itself, in italics. The issue number is in parentheses immediately after it, not italicized. There is no space after the closing parenthesis and before the volume number.
%%Giannoukos, G., Besas, G., Hictour, V., & Georgas, T. (2016). A study on the role of computers in adult education. Educational Research and Reviews , 11 (9), 907-923. https://doi.org/10.5897/ERR2016.2688
After including the publisher information, end this section with a period.
Electronic source information:
For online sources, the URL or DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are included at the end of an APA citation.
DOI numbers are often created by publishers for journal articles and other periodical sources. They were created in response to the problem of broken or outdated links and URLs. When a journal article is assigned a DOI number, it is static and will never change. Because of its permanent characteristic, DOIs are the preferred type of electronic information to include in APA citations. When a DOI number is not available, include the source’s URL (see Section 9.34 in the Publication manual ).
For DOIs, include the number in this format:
For URLs, type them in this format:
http:// or https://
Other information about electronic sources:
- If the URL is longer than a line, break it up before a punctuation mark.
- Do not place a period at the end of the citation/URL.
- It is unnecessary to include retrieval dates, unless the source changes often over time (like in a Wikipedia article).
- It is not necessary to include the names of databases
If using the Citation Machine APA citation website autocite features, the online publication information will be automatically replaced by the DOI. The Citation Machine APA template will properly cite your online sources for you.
Make sure you run your completed paper through the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader, which scans for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. Whether it’s an adjective , verb , or pronoun out-of-place, our technology helps edits your paper for you!
An APA annotated bibliography is a full bibliography that includes a small note for each reference citation. Each note should be short (1-2 paragraphs) and contain a summary or your evaluation about each source. When creating your citations on CitationMachine.net, there is a field at the bottom of each form to add your own annotations.
Follow the publication manual guidelines on paper format and writing style. Let your instructor guide other details about your annotations. Still confused? Read our guide on annotated bibliographies .
These types of projects look different depending on the style you’re using. Use the link at the top of the page to access resources related to the Modern Language Association’s style. Here’s information related to Chicago citation style .
Need help with the design and formatting of your paper? Look no further! This section provides the ins and outs of properly displaying the information in your APA essay.
- Times New Roman, 12-point size.
- Calibri, Arial, or Georgia, 11-point size
- Lucida, Sans Unicode, or Computer Modern, 10-point size
- Indents = Every paragraph should start with an indent.
- Margins = 1 inch around the entire document
- Spacing = Double space everything!
Arrange your pages in this order:
- Page 1 - APA Title Page (see below for information on the title page)
- Page 2 - Abstract (If your professor requests one)
- Page 3 - First page of text
- References begin on their own page. Include the list of references on the page after the text.
- Tables and figures
Keep in mind that the order above is the recommendation for papers being submitted for peer review. If you’re writing an APA style paper for a class, your professor may be more lenient about the requirements. Also, if you’re submitting your paper for a specific journal, check the requirements on the journal’s website. Each journal has different rules and procedures.
Just a little nudge to remind you about the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader. Whether it’s a conjunction or interjection out of place, a misspelled word, or an out of place citation, we’ll offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t forget to check out our APA citation maker while you’re at it!
In older editions of APA, running heads were required for all papers. Since the 7th edition, that’s changed.
- Student paper: No running head
- Professional paper: Include a running head
The running head displays the title of the paper and the page number on all pages of the paper. This header is found on every page of a professional paper (not a student paper), even on the title page (sometimes called an APA cover page) and reference list (taken from Section 2.8 of the Publication manual ).
It's displayed all in capital letters at the top of the page. Across from the running head, along the right margin, is the page number.
- Use the header feature in your word processor. Both Google Docs and Word have these features available.
- Use one for the recommended fonts mentioned under "Page formatting."
A title page, sometimes called an APA cover page, graces the cover of an essay or paper. An APA title page should follow rules from Section 2.3 of the official Publication manual and include:
- Page number, which is page 1
- Use title case and bold font
- The title should be under 12 words in length
- The title should be a direct explanation of the focus of the paper. Do not include any unnecessary descriptors such as “An Analysis of…” or “A Study of…”
- Exclude any labels such as Mr., Ms., Dr, PhD...
- Name of the school or institution
- Course number and/or class name
- Name of your instructor, including their preferred honorifics (e.g., PhD, Dr., etc.)
- Paper’s due date
- If this is a professional paper, also include a running head. If this is a student paper, do not include one.
Follow the directions for the running head and page number in the section above. Below the running head, a few lines beneath, and centered in the middle of the page, should be the title. The next line below is the author’s name(s), followed by the name of the school or institution, the class or course name, your instructor’s name, and the paper’s due date.
All components on this page should be written in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. Double space the title, names, name of school or institution, and all other information on the page (except for the running head and page number).
Example - Student Title Page APA:
Example - Professional Title Page APA:
If you’re submitting your paper to a journal for publication, check the journal’s website for exact requirements. Each journal is different and some may request a different type of APA format cover page.
Looking to create an APA format title page? Head to CitationMachine.com’s homepage and choose “Title Page” at the top of the screen.
An abstract briefly but thoroughly summarizes dissertation contents. It’s found in the beginning of a professional paper, right after the title page. Abstracts are meant to help readers determine whether to continue reading the entire document. With that in mind, try to craft the lead sentence to entice the reader to continue reading.
Here are a few tips:
- Be factual and keep your opinions out. An abstract should accurately reflect the paper or dissertation and should not involve information or commentary not in the thesis.
- Communicate your main thesis. What was the examined problem or hypothesis? A reader should know this from reading your abstract.
- Keep it brief. Stick to the main points and don’t add unnecessary words or facts. It should not exceed 250 words.
- Consider your paper’s purpose. It’s important to cater your abstract to your paper type and think about what information the target audience for that paper type would want. For example, an empirical article may mention methodology or participant description. A quantitative or qualitative meta-analysis would mention the different variables considered and how information was synthesized.
- Use verbs over noun equivalents, and active voice. Example: “There was research into…” becomes “We researched…”
- The abstract goes after the title page.
- It should have the same font (size and type) as the rest of the paper.
- It should stick to one page.
- Double-space all page text.
- Center and bold the word “Abstract” at the top of the paper.
- Don’t indent the first line of the abstract body. The body should also be in plain text.
- For the keywords, place it on the line after the abstract and indent the first line (but not subsequent lines). The word “Keywords:” is capitalized, italicized, and followed by a colon. The actual keywords are sentence case and in plan font.
- List each keyword one after the other, and separate them by a comma.
- After the last keyword, no ending punctuation is needed.
Tables & Figures
If your paper includes a lot of numerical information or data, you may want to consider placing it into a table or a figure, rather than typing it all out. A visual figure or simple, organized table filled with numerical data is often easier for readers to digest and comprehend than tons of paragraphs filled with numbers. Chapter 7 of the Publication manual outlines formatting for tables and figures. Let's cover the basics below.
If you’d like to include a table or figure in your paper, here are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind:
- At the end of the paper after the APA reference page
- In the text after it is first mentioned
- The table first mentioned in the text should be titled ‘Table 1.’ The next table mentioned in the text is ‘Table 2,’ and so on. For figures, it would be 'Figure 1,' 'Figure 2,' and so forth.
- Even though every table and figure is numbered, also create a title for each that describes the information it contains. Capitalize all important words in the title.
- For tables, do not use any vertical lines, only use horizontal to break up information and headings.
- Single spacing is acceptable to use in tables and figures. If you prefer double spacing your information, that is okay too.
- Do not include extra information or “fluff.” Keep it simple!
- Do not include the same exact information in the paper. Only include the complete information in one area—the table or the text.
- All tables and figures must be referenced in the text. It is unacceptable to throw a table or figure into the back of the paper without first providing a brief summary or explanation of its relevance.
Publication Manual 6th Edition vs 7th Edition
The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in 2009. The current 7th edition came out in the fall of 2019 and was designed to be more student focused, provide more guidance on accessibility, and address changes that have developed over the last 10 years.
Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the most relevant changes related to APA format.
Journals and DOIs
DOI stands for “digital object identifier.” Many journal articles use and have a unique DOI that should be included in a full citation.
When including a DOI in a citation, format it as a URL. Do not label it “DOI.” Articles without DOIs from databases are treated as print works. For example:
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
There are few new guidelines when you are citing a book. First, the publisher location no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. Bloomington, IN: First Books Library.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. First Books Library.
Second, the format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, etc.) no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic [Kindle].
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic .
Lastly, books from research databases without DOIs are treated the same as print works.
When using a URL in a citation, you no longer need to include the term “Retrieved from” before URLs (except with retrieval dates). The font should be blue and underlined, or black and not underlined.
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
Within a full APA citation, you may spell out up to 20 author names. For two to 20 authors, include an ampersand (&) before the name of the last author. For sources with 21 or more authors, structure it as follows:
Structure: First 19 authors’ names, . . . Last author’s name.
7th edition example: Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J. K., Taylor, Z., Filmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., Garfield, . . . Trump, D.
When creating an in-text citation for a source with 3 or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name. This helps abbreviate the mention.
6th Edition: (Honda, Johnson, Prosser, Rossi, 2019)
7th Edition: (Honda et al., 2019)
Tables and Figures
Instead of having different formats for tables and figures, both use one standardized format. Now both tables and figures have a number, a title, name of the table/figure, and a note at the bottom.
If you’re still typing into Google “how to cite a website APA” among other related questions and keywords, click here for further reading on the style .
When you’re through with your writing, toss your entire paper into the Citation Machine Plus plagiarism checker , which will scan your paper for grammar edits and give you up to 5 suggestions cards for free! Worry less about a determiner , preposition , or adverb out of place and focus on your research!
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Updated March 3, 2020
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.
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What Is Cite This For Me’s APA Citation Generator?
If you are working on a paper in the APA style, you know that formatting APA citations can be a complicated task that requires a lot of patience. Fortunately, referencing has never been so easy. Introducing your new best friend: the Cite This For Me APA citation generator. Using this automated citation machine to create accurate citations allows students to work smarter, leaving them more time to focus on their studies.
The Cite This For Me powerful citation generator fully-formats all of your APA citations in just a click. So if you’re unsure how to accurately create your citations in the APA format, or you need to cite all of your sources in record time, using the Cite This For Me accurate generator will help ensure you don’t lose valuable points on your work unnecessarily.
This guide provides you with everything you need to know to help ensure that your paper reflects all your hard work. Read ahead for tips on how to structure and present your work according to the APA formatting guidelines, how to avoid charges of plagiarism, and how to cite sources both in-text and in your reference list and bibliography.
Popular APA Citation Examples
- Dictionary entry
- Edited book
- Image or video online
- PDF or E-book
- Presentation or lecture
- Video, film, or DVD
Why Do I Need to Cite?
Essentially, citing is the crediting of sources used in academic work. When another source contributes to your work you must acknowledge the original author with an accurate reference, unless it is common knowledge (e.g., the Magna Carta was signed in 1215). Failing to cite all of your sources or citing them incorrectly constitutes plagiarism , which is considered a serious academic offense. It is important to remember that information doesn’t just belong to anyone who happens to stumble upon it. If you are caught plagiarizing it is more than likely that you will lose points on your assignment, or even face expulsion from your university.
APA citation format also stipulates that students and researchers should be wary of a type of plagiarism called “self-plagiarism.” This is when you reuse material that you previously wrote for a new writing assignment without signaling to the reader that you have done so by creating an APA format citation for your work. Presenting your own past work as new scholarship is still plagiarism, and could still have serious consequences.
Aside from avoiding plagiarism, attributing your research to its proper source is crucial in ensuring that your work is firmly anchored in academic tradition. Correctly citing your sources validates the statements and conclusions you make in your work by providing supporting evidence. For many students, citing can be a frustrating process, but it’s an excellent way to enhance the quality of your work and inject it with authority.
Imagine if all the stress of referencing simply vanished. Well, Cite This For Me’s APA citation generator is here to help you make that stress disappear – now you can create in-text citations and reference lists in the APA format without all of the usual frustrations of referencing.
What is the APA Citation Style?
The APA citation style is a parenthetical author-date style, meaning that you need to put the author’s last name and the publishing date into parentheses wherever another source is used in the narrative.
The APA format consists of in-text citations and a reference list, along with guidelines for formatting the paper itself. Both the in-text citations and the reference list can be created in the blink of an eye using the Cite This For Me APA reference generator.
Although primarily used by students and researchers studying the social and behavioral sciences, the APA format is used amongst other scientific publications for its editorial efficiency. The Cite This For Me APA citation generator uses an up to date version of the APA format, helping to ensure accuracy whether you are using the APA format generator for university assignments or are preparing research projects for publishing.
Aside from the APA format, there is a plethora of different citation styles out there – the use of which depends on your discipline, university requirements, your professor’s preference, or the publication you are submitting the work to. It is important to make sure that you are using the correct style – so if you’re unsure, consult your department and follow their guidelines exactly.
It is important to note that APA style citation rules are fundamentally an editorial style, not a writing style per se. An editorial style refers to rules and guidelines a publisher uses to ensure that materials in their publications are presented consistently.
The citation generator above will generate your references in APA format as standard, and can show you how to cite APA sources in a few clicks. You can also sign up to Cite This For Me to select from thousands of widely used global college styles, including individual university variations. So, whether your professor prefers that you use the MLA format , or your discipline requires you to adopt the Chicago style citation , your referencing will be supported. Cite This For Me includes citation generators and handy guides for styles such as ASA , AMA or IEEE .
How Do I Create and Format My Citations?
Ever find yourself searching the web for things like “How to cite a website APA?” Then you’re in the right place. When you reference a source within an APA style paper; whether it is using a direct quote, repurposing an image, or simply referring to an idea or theory, you should:
- Insert an in-text citation (the author’s surname and the date of publication within parentheses) straight after a direct quote
- Insert an in-text citation at the end of the sentence where a source has contributed, but was not a direct quote
- If you have already mentioned the author’s name in the sentence, you only need to insert the date immediately after their surname
- Include page numbers within the parentheses (after the date), if referring to a particular page or section of the source
- When citing a source with three to five authors, include all surnames for the first in-text citation, then use the first author’s surname followed by et al. for subsequent citations
- When citing six or more authors – use the first author’s surname followed by et al. for all citations
- If you are mentioning both the year and author in the text, don’t include an additional citation in parentheses – unless you are referring to a particular section of the source, in which case you should cite the page number
- Provide an alphabetical list (ordered by author’s surname) of all sources used, titled ‘References’, on a separate page at the end of the narrative
- Inclusive page numbers for the electronic version of a print source (i.e., a PDF)
- Provide your appendices on a separate page after the reference list
- Use ‘&’ in place of ‘and’ in both in-text citations and full references
Use the Cite This For Me APA citation maker to create citations with ease; this will allow you to add citations to your project, edit on the spot, and export separate in-text citations as well as fully-formatted reference lists.
APA Citation Examples (7th Edition)
Each APA reference must adhere to the rules set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition . The following examples follow guidelines from Chapter 10 of the manual. Here are a few examples for you to get started:
In-text citation APA examples:
- Page specified, author mentioned in text:
Lutz & Huitt (2010, p. 4) argue that “the statistical significance of …”
- Page specified, author not mentioned in text:
The results were consistent throughout the study (Fernández-Manzanal, Rodríguez-Barreiro, & Carrasquer, 2007).
- Six authors:
The study found that … (Sania et al., 2011)
The data presented …. (“How sleep enhances memory retention”, 2015).
Reference list examples:
- Book citation, one author, multiple editions:
Hawking, S. W. (1998). A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes (10th ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
- Ebook, online only:
Tyler, G. (n.d.). Evolution in the systems age . Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=142&action=setvar&vartype=history&varname=bookmark&v1=1&v2=46&v3=2
- Journal article, three authors, with a DOI:
Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education , 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218
* Note: For more information on the different types of journal article citations that can be made under APA 7, see section 10.1 of the Publication Manual, pp. 316-321.
- How to cite a website in APA:
Veterans Affairs Canada. (2019, February 14). Indigenous people in the Second World War . https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/historical-sheets/aborigin
- Online newspaper article:
Smith, D. (2019, October 22). The banner, the rings, the season opener: Champion Raptors return on a night like no other. The Toronto Star . https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2019/10/22/the-banner-the-rings-the-season-opener-champion-raptors-return-on-a-night-like-no-other.html
- Article from an online news website (HuffPost, MSNBC, Vox, etc.):
Wade, L. (2013, March 6). ‘Sunstone’ crystal from British shipwreck may be vikings’ legendary navigation aid . HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sunstone-british-shipwreck-viking-navigation_n_2818858
- Video, online:
CrashCourse. (2015, April 30). Mars: Crash course astronomy #15 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-88YWx71gE
How Do I Format My Reference List?
Drawing on a range of relevant sources in your work proves that you have read widely around your chosen topic, so it’s a surefire way to impress your reader.
To ensure your reader’s ease of comprehension you must adhere to the style’s formatting guidelines. In APA format, a list of all the sources that have directly contributed to your work should be placed on a new page at the end of the narrative and titled ‘References’ (center align the title), otherwise known as an APA works cited list. The references should all have a hanging indentation – the second and subsequent lines of each reference should start ½ inch from the margin.
You may also be required to provide a full APA bibliography. This is a comprehensive list of all the source material you used to complete the assignment, even if it was not cited in the text. It should include any book, journal, article etc. that you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process in order to get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.
APA Format Example:
Sound like a lot of work? Although the style guidelines are strict in regard to how references should be formatted, the Cite This For Me APA citation machine can help take the weight off your shoulders by quickly compiling your reference list and bibliography.
APA Style Paper Formatting Guidelines (7th Edition)
When following the APA format guidelines, you must pay attention to presentation details such as font type, line spacing, margins and page headers to ensure your work is easily legible. The information below, as well as further formatting details, can be found in Chapter 2 of the APA 7 Publication Manual .
- 1-inch margins on all sides
- Easily readable font – Times New Roman recommended, 12pt. size
- Double-space the entirety of the paper
- Page numbers in the header, aligned to the right
- Title of the paper in all capitals, 50 characters or less, in the header on each page of the body (the ‘running head’), aligned to the left. Only include a running head if you’re writing a professional paper
- The paper should typically include four major sections – Title Page, Abstract, Main Body and References.
- If infographics (tables, charts) were used in the narrative you should also add Appendices as a separate section at the end of the paper.
APA Title Page
Not all instructors will require a title page, also sometimes called an APA cover page. If they do, include these four parts:
- Title of your paper
- Running head (see above section)
- Author’s/Your name
- Institutional affiliation
The title of your paper should:
- Be centered on the page and use title case (a combination of lower and uppercase letters).
- Not be italicized, bolded, or underlined
- Use a 12-point font
- Be a maximum of 2 lines and not more than 12 words long
- Not include abbreviations
Underneath the title, place the author’s name. If you wrote the paper, put your full name here. There’s no need to include titles or degrees (e.g., Ms., PhD, etc.).
Under the author’s name, place the institutional affiliation. For most students, this would be the name of the school, college or university you are attending. The title, author’s name, and institutional affiliation should all be double spaced. Here’s an example of an APA format title page:
The American Psychological Association also provides some helpful guidelines regarding overall best practices when writing academic and scientific papers. One important thing to be on the lookout for is bias in your writing. For instance, using the word “man” to represent humans as a species is neither scientific nor without potential bias.
Here are some good rules of thumb to help you avoid bias in your paper:
- Always be specific in your writing and avoid generalizations.
- Do not label people or test subjects unnecessarily.
- When writing about participants in your experiment or study, be sure to acknowledge them as such appropriately. Use the term “participants” instead of “subjects.”
- Use active voice instead of passive voice in your writing. For example, “the participants completed the task” vs. “the task was completed by the participants.”
- Always be cautious when discussing topics such as sexual orientation, racial and ethnic identity, disabilities, etc.
- Never change quotations to better serve your own ends or to better fit with your conclusions.
Important Terms for an APA Paper
Have you come across terms such as “abstract” or “appendices” in the manual and been unsure of their meanings? Here are some important terms to know when writing your next APA paper.
- Abstract – A brief and concise summary of your paper’s contents.
- Keywords – A list of significant keywords that the reader should be on the lookout for in your paper.
- Introduction – Generally kicks of the rest of your paper by describing what you’re writing about. In scientific papers, this would outline the problem you are solving and your research strategy.
- References – An APA reference page is the place where you list each source that you have cited via an APA in-text citation within the body of your paper.
- Running Head – Running head is the name of APA headings that are used in research papers. They contain the title of the paper, the page number, and the term “Running head.”
A Brief History of the APA Format
APA stands for American Psychological Association , the scientific organization that assembles the publishing manual of the APA format. The style was developed in 1929 by a group of scientists to standardize scientific writing. It was created in the hopes that it would provide a coherent and professional manner of citing sources for students and researchers in the fields of social and behavioral sciences.
The first publication manual of the APA format was published in pursuit of a neat and efficient research formatting style, mainly for editorial purposes. Although some contemporary scientists argued that having such strict regulations restricted personal writing styles, the format has since become one of the most popular referencing styles. Today it is adopted in term papers, research reports, literature reviews, theoretical articles, case studies etc.
What’s New in the 7th Edition of APA Format?
It is important to note that citation styles and referencing formats change over time as they adapt to new source types and trends in academic publishing. APA format is no different, and in the fall of 2019 released the 7th edition of its Publication Manual.
Are you curious to know what the differences are between the 7th and 6th edition of APA style? Here are some of the important updates listed in the 7th edition of APA citing:
- The location of the source’s publisher no longer needs to be included in the citation.
- DOIs are formatted as URLs (i.e. https://doi.org/xxx), and no longer require the label “DOI” preceding them in the reference.
- When making an APA website citation, URLs no longer need to be preceded by “Retrieved from.” The exception to this is when you include a date of retrieval, which is optional.
- When making an APA book citation for an ebook, you no longer need to include the device or platform that you read the book on (i.e. “Kindle) is no longer required in the citation.
- There is more flexibility in the 7th edition regarding APA paper format specifications on font.
- The running head in an APA format title page no longer requires the words “Running head,” and instead now only requires a page number and a shortened version of your paper’s title.
- You now need to only use one space after each period in your paper.
Before you switch to the newest version, it is a good idea to confirm with your teacher or instructor that this is the version of the style that they prefer you use.
How do I Create Accurate Citations with the Cite This For Me APA Generator?
Referencing giving you a headache? Let the Cite This For Me APA format generator remove the stress caused by citations by helping to turn in any of your sources into a fully-formatted citation. The generator will create your reference in two parts; an in-text citation and a full reference that is ready to be copied straight into your work.
To unlock the full potential of the APA citation maker, simply login to Cite This For Me multi-platform tool. Use the web platform to add and edit citations, export full projects and individual entries, utilize the add-ons, and save all of your citations in the cloud. Or, you can make use of Cite This For Me for Chrome – the browser extension for Google Chrome that allows you to cite APA sources and instantly create and edit a citation for any online web page, without leaving the one you’re viewing.
Cite This For Me gives students the confidence to achieve their full academic potential by encouraging them to research and cite diverse sources. The APA citation generator can help you cite many different kinds of sources; whether it be a PDF report, podcast, a musical score or many more .
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Section 8.17 of the APA Manual, 7 th edition, provides details on the number of authors to be included in in-text citations. As per this section, any work having 3 or more authors will not be written fully. Instead, the Latin words “et al” meaning “and others” have to be used after writing the first author’s name.
Example In-Text Citation Entry for more than 3 authors:
Almost all suppressed persons end up becoming an oppressed person when the same set of situations is presented in their lives (Camus et al., 1975).
In a rare instance, multiple sets of three or more authors might have the same initial pair or initial author. Under such rare situations, Section 8.18 of the APA manual requires you to write out the names of authors in order to distinguish between such confusing references.
Example In-Text Citation Entries:
Bandopadhyay, Schmidt, Wagner et al. (2000)
Bandopadhyay, Schmidt, Meyer et al. (1975)
Section 2.8 of the APA Manual, 7 th edition, provides details on the running head. A shortened version of the paper’s title (50 characters or fewer, including spaces and punctuation), the running head appears on top of each page so that the readers can connect the paper’s content with the title. While running heads are not required for student papers unless explicitly stated by the organization or instructor, manuscripts for publication absolutely require them.
Running heads should be in all-capital letters, flush left (directly across from the page number, which is flush right), and presented in the page header including the title page. You do not need to use the words, “Running head” because it is implied from its presence in the header.
Comparison of Loan Repayment Between Traditional Lending and Online Lending Models (Heading)
COMPARISON OF LOAN REPAYMENT MODELS (Running Head)
Section 2.3 of the APA Manual, 7 th edition provides details on what should appear in a title page for both professionals and students. While students are advised to follow the guidelines from their respective institutions or instructors, the following elements (from top to bottom) are necessary in the absence of any such information.
- Page number at the right hand side top in the header portion (also to be included in all pages)
- Title of the paper in bold, centered and appearing in the middle
- Author’s name
- Affiliation of the author (this will be the university’s name along with the department’s or division’s name)
- Name of the course (format used in the course materials. For example, PSY101)
- Name of the instructor (check with the instructor for their preference of salutation like Dr., Professor, etc.)
- Due date of the assignment with the month spelled out (June 1, 2021, or 1 June, 2021)
Section 2.3 of the APA Manual, 7 th edition provides details on what should appear on a title page for both professional and student papers. The following elements (from top to bottom) are necessary for the professional version of the title page.
- Running head in capitals at the left-hand side of the header portion (included on every page)
- Page number at the right-hand side of the header portion (included on every page)
- Title of the paper in bold, centered, and on the upper portion of the page (usually three or four lines down from the top)
- Authors’ name(s) in full, including first name, middle initial, and last name
- Affiliation of the authors (the university’s or institution’s name where the work referenced in the paper was conducted and the department’s or division’s name)
- Author Note (below the information listed above, this section provides additional pertinent information about authors along with contact information for those interested)
According to section 9.16 of the APA manual, 7th edition, you only need to add “retrieved from” and a retrieval date in a reference entry for web sources designed to be continuously updated. For example, an online reference entry from a dictionary or encyclopedia, or a social media page. Including a retrieval date signals to readers that the source may differ in content if retrieved on a different date. When including the retrieval date, insert it before the URL or DOI at the end of the entry:
Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://chegg.com
For web sources with stable URLs or DOIs that do not change, do not include a retrieval date. Only include the URL or DOI. Section 9.5 of the APA manual, 7 th edition provides information on how to format DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). Both DOIs and URLs are to be presented as hyperlinks (use http:// or https:// as the case may be). Since these are presented as hyperlinks that the readers can use to access the content, it is NOT necessary to have the words, “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI or an URL. However, test the resource to ensure the hyperlink works.
Section 8.11 of the APA Publication Manual , 7 th edition, provides details on parenthetical citations. A parenthetical citation provides the authors’ names and publication date of the source within parentheses along with the cited text. If two authors are present in the source, both authors’ last names should be mentioned in the in-text citation. Their names should be separated by an ampersand (&). The publication date should follow the second surname, separated by a comma.
A parenthetical citation can appear either at the end of the sentence or within the sentence depending on how the sentence is framed. The period or end punctuation appears after the closing parenthesis.
Example parenthetical citation at the end of a sentence:
The reach of fake news is greatly underrated (Rameses & Hudgson, 2021).
If more text appears along with the parenthetical citation, include commas to separate the year and help the reader distinguish the citation from the surrounding text.
Example parenthetical citation with additional text:
The reach of fake news is greatly underrated (see Rameses & Hudgson, 2021, for more detail).
Section 8.11 of the APA Publication Manual , 7 th edition, provides details on narrative citations. A narrative citation provides the authors’ names in running text, and the publication date appears within parentheses immediately after the names. If two authors are present in the source, both authors’ last names should be mentioned in the in-text citation. In narrative citations, the word “and” should be spelled out between the two names.
Example narrative citation with two authors:
Crompton and Williams (2020) noted that gut health is of paramount importance in maintaining mental health.
In some circumstances, the year may also appear within the text along with the authors’ names. In such a scenario, the date should not appear within parentheses.
Example narrative citation with two authors and date:
In 2020, Crompton and Williams broke new ground with their hypothesis that mental health is strongly linked with gut health.
As per Section 2.4 of the APA Publication Manual , 7 th edition, the title of a research paper should summarize the main idea in a succinct manner. While there is no prescribed title length in APA style, authors are advised to keep their titles brief and focused. The manual also provides examples between effective and ineffective titles, including “fluff” words that can be cut from titles and substantive information that should be included in a title to make it relevant to the reader(s).
When the whole book or article is being referenced, there is no need to include a page number. However, when you are referring to a specific page or pages (either in a paraphrase or a direct quote), include the page number(s) in your in-text citation.
If you are referring to information or a quote contained on a single page, add the page number after the author and date, preceded by “p.” If you are citing multiple pages, the page numbers should be preceded by “pp.” and separated by an en-dash.
Example in-text citation with single page number:
(Rayden, 2014, p. 308)
Example in-text citation with page range:
(Rayden, 2014, pp. 308-311)
If there are no page numbers in a work, you can use some other type of locator in in-text citations to help your reader find the information you are citing, like chapter names, headings, or paragraph numbers.
As per Section 8.14 of the APA Publication Manual , 7 th edition, for sources with an unknown author, include the title of the source and year of publication in your in-text citations instead.
If the title of the source is italicized in your reference list, it should also be italicized in your in-text citation. If the title is not in italics in the reference list, it should be in quotation marks in your in-text citation. Titles should be listed in title case (with all important words capitalized) when included in in-text citations.
In-text citation templates:
( Full Name of the Source , year)
(“Full Name of the Source,” year)
In-text citation examples:
( How to Be Awesomely You , 2021)
(“Social Dynamics in US Colleges,” 2018)
If a work’s author is designated as “Anonymous,” use “Anonymous” as the author in in-text citations, as shown below.
As per Section 2.14 of the APA Publication Manual , 7 th edition, an appendix or appendices are included after the references, footnotes, tables, and figures of the paper. In other words, appendices are the last item in your paper. Each appendix should be separately mentioned within the main text (e.g., “see Appendix A”). Appendices are to be self-contained; they should describe the contents and clearly have a label and title.
For a parenthetical in-text citation in APA style, the basic elements needed are the author’s last name (or the group author’s name) and the publication year. For parenthetical citations, format this information by inputting it in parentheses.
For a narrative in-text citation, include the information in the running text. Usually, this means you include the author’s last name followed by the year in parentheses. However, if needed, you may include both the author’s last name and the year in the running text.
For audio, visual, or audiovisual works, replace the author’s last name with a director’s last name (for a film), an uploader’s last name (for YouTube), the artist’s name (for an artwork), and so on.
As per section 2 of the APA 7 manual, papers require the following elements presented in the order below. Since the required elements differ depending on whether your paper is a professional or student paper, there are two lists to distinguish the differences. Sections like Figures, Tables, and Appendices may not be relevant to your paper, so you may exclude those.
- Title Page (with title, author(s), affiliations, and an author note)
- Page Headers including a running head and page numbers
- Reference List
- Keywords (optional)
- Footnotes (optional)
- Tables (optional)
- Figures (optional)
- Appendices (optional)
- Supplemental Materials (optional)
*Always refer to the professional journal’s instructions or submission guidelines.
- Page Numbers
An APA reference list comprises the publication details of the studies that specifically quote or support the ideas and concepts presented in a paper. Cite sources in the text, with a narrative or parenthetical citation, and include corresponding reference entries in the reference list.
An APA bibliography is similar to a reference list because it also includes full reference entries for sources cited in the text. However, they also include other sources that support or give background for further research related to the listed source.
An APA annotated bibliography includes short annotations below the reference entry in a separate paragraph(s). Annotations summarize and/or describe a source in detail.
Both the 6 th and 7 th editions of APA style are available on the Cite This For Me citation generator .
For a webpage/website, journal article, or book, you’ll need 1-2 pieces of basic publication information. For example:
- Website : URL, page title, etc.
- Journal article : Article title, DOI number, author(s), etc.
- Book : Book title, author, date published, etc.
Using those pieces of information, you can search for the source in the Cite This For Me APA citation generator and it will help you to create a citation.
Other source types (newspaper article, video, government document, etc.) will provide a form on which you provide all source information. Using that information, the citation generator will create a properly formatted APA citation for you.
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How to Cite a Research Paper in APA
Last Updated: October 19, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 142,385 times. Learn more...
If you’re citing a research article or paper in APA style, you’ll need to use a specific citation format that varies depending on the source. Assess whether your source is an article or report published in an academic journal or book, or whether it is an unpublished research paper, such as a print-only thesis or dissertation. Either way, your in-text citations will need to include information about the author (if available) and the date when your source was published or written.
Writing an In-Text Citation
- For example, you may write, “Gardener (2008) notes, ‘There are several factors to consider about lobsters’ (p. 199).”
- For example, you may write, “‘There are several factors to consider about lobsters’ (Gardner, 2008, p. 199).” Or, “The paper claims, ‘The fallen angel trope is common in religious and non-religious texts’ (Meek & Hill, 2015, p.13-14).”
- For articles with 3-5 authors, write out the names of all the authors the first time you cite the source. For example: (Hammett, Wooster, Smith, & Charles, 1928). In subsequent citations, write only the first author’s name, followed by et al.: (Hammett et al., 1928).
- If there are 6 or more authors for the paper, include the last name of the first author listed and then write "et al." to indicate that there are more than 5 authors.
- For example, you may write, "'This is a quote' (Minaj et al., 1997, p. 45)."
- For example, you may write, “‘The risk of cervical cancer in women is rising’ (American Cancer Society, 2012, p. 2).”
- For example, you may write, “‘Shakespeare may have been a woman’ (“Radical English Literature,” 2004, p. 45).” Or, “The paper notes, ‘There is a boom in Virgin Mary imagery’ (“Art History in Italy,” 2011, p. 32).”
- For example, you may write, “‘There are several factors to consider about lobsters’ (Gardner, 2008, p. 199).” Or, “The paper claims, ‘The fallen angel trope is common in religious and non-religious texts’ (“Iconography in Italian Frescos,” 2015, p.13-14).”
- For example, you may write, “‘There are several factors to consider about lobsters’ (Gardner, 2008, p. 199).” Or, “The paper claims, ‘The fallen angel trope is common in religious and non-religious texts’ (“Iconography in Italian Frescos,” 2015, p.145-146).”
- For example, you may write, “‘The effects of food deprivation are long-term’ (Mett, 2005, para. 18).”
Creating a Reference List Citation for a Published Source
- Material on websites is also considered “published,” even if it’s not peer-reviewed or associated with a formal publishing company.
- While academic dissertations or theses that are print-only are considered unpublished, these types of documents are considered published if they’re included in an online database (such as ProQuest) or incorporated into an institutional repository.
- For example, you may write, “Gardner, L. M.” Or, “Meek, P. Q., Kendrick, L. H., & Hill, R. W.”
- If there is no author, you can list the name of the organization that published the research paper. For example, you may write, “American Cancer Society” or “The Reading Room.”
- Formally published documents that don’t list an author or that have a corporate author are typically reports or white papers .
- For example, you may write, “Gardner, L. M. (2008).” Or, “American Cancer Society. (2015).”
- For example, you may write, “Gardner, L. M. (2008). Crustaceans: Research and data.” Or, “American Cancer Society. (2015). Cervical cancer rates in women ages 20-45.”
- For example, for a journal article, you may write, “Gardner, L. M. (2008). Crustaceans: Research and data. Modern Journal of Malacostracan Research, 25, 150-305.”
- For a book chapter, you could write: “Wooster, B. W. (1937). A comparative study of modern Dutch cow creamers. In T. E. Travers (Ed.), A Detailed History of Tea Serviceware (pp. 127-155). London: Wimble Press."
- For example, you may write, “Kotb, M. A., Kamal, A. M., Aldossary, N. M., & Bedewi, M. A. (2019). Effect of vitamin D replacement on depression in multiple sclerosis patients. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 29, 111-117. Retrieved from PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30708308.
- If you’re citing a paper or article that was published online but did not come from an academic journal or database, provide information about the author (if known), the date of publication (if available), and the website where you found the article. For example: “Hill, M. (n.d.). Egypt in the Ptolemaic Period. Retrieved from https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ptol/hd_ptol.htm”
Citing Unpublished Sources in Your Reference List
- Print-only dissertations or theses.
- Articles or book chapters that are in press or have been recently prepared or submitted for publication.
- Papers that have been rejected for publication or were never intended for publication (such as student research papers or unpublished conference papers).
- If the paper is currently being prepared for publication, include the author’s name, the year when the current draft was completed, and the title of the article in italics, followed by “Manuscript in preparation.” For example: Wooster, B. W. (1932). What the well-dressed man is wearing. Manuscript in preparation.
- If the paper has been submitted for publication, format the citation the same way as if it were in preparation, but instead follow the title with “Manuscript submitted for publication.” For example: Wooster, B. W. (1932). What the well-dressed man is wearing. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- If the paper has been accepted for publication but is not yet published, replace the date with “in press.” Do not italicize the paper title, but do include the title of the periodical or book in which it will be published and italicize that. For example: Wooster, B. W. (in press). What the well-dressed man is wearing. Milady’s Boudoir.
- If the paper was written for a conference but never published, your citation should look like this: Riker, W. T. (2019, March). Traditional methods for the preparation of spiny lobe-fish. Paper presented at the 325th Annual Intergalactic Culinary Conference, San Francisco, CA.
- For an unpublished paper written by a student for a class, include details about the institution where the paper was written. For example: Crusher, B. H. (2019). A typology of Cardassian skin diseases. Unpublished manuscript, Department of External Medicine, Starfleet Academy, San Francisco, CA.
- For example, you may write, “Pendlebottom, R. H. (2011). Iconography in Italian Frescos (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). New York University, New York, United States.”
- If you want certain information to stand out in the research paper, then you can consider using a block quote. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/apa-referencing/7JournalArticles
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_author_authors.html
- ↑ https://bowvalleycollege.libguides.com/c.php?g=714519&p=5093747
- ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
- ↑ https://libguides.southernct.edu/c.php?g=7125&p=34582#1951239
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_books.html
- ↑ https://morlingcollege.libguides.com/apareferencing/unpublished-or-informally-published-work
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_apa_faqs.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_other_print_sources.html
About This Article
To cite a research paper in-text in APA, name the author in the text to introduce the quote and put the publication date for the text in parentheses. At the end of your quote, put the page number in parentheses. If you don’t mention the author in your prose, include them in the citation. Start the citation, which should come at the end of the quote, by listing the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number. Make sure to put all of this information in parentheses. If there’s no author, use the name of the organization that published the paper or the first few words from the title. To learn how to cite published and unpublished sources in your reference list, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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APA 7 Publication Manual, p. 330, examples 50 to 59 Working papers are treated like issues briefs. If they have a number, this should be included in brackets after the title. If the working paper has no number, include the description of working paper in square brackets after the title.
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
Additional Resources. APA Headings and Seriation. APA PowerPoint Slide Presentation. APA Sample Paper. Tables and Figures. Abbreviations. APA Classroom Poster. Changes in the 7th Edition. General APA FAQs.
Cite The Scribbr Citation Generator will automatically create a flawless APA citation Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines: Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides. Double-space all text, including headings. Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches.
Generally, you cite a working paper in such a way that your readers understand it hasn't been published yet. The specific format differs depending on whether you're using Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago style.  Method 1 MLA Download Article 1
An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name (s) of the author (s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author (s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.
If you are working on a paper in the APA style, you know that formatting APA citations can be a complicated task that requires a lot of patience. Fortunately, referencing has never been so easy. Introducing your new best friend: the Cite This For Me APA citation generator.
If you’re citing a research article or paper in APA style, you’ll need to use a specific citation format that varies depending on the source. Assess whether your source is an article or report published in an academic journal or book, or whether it is an unpublished research paper, such as a print-only thesis or dissertation.