APA Style

What is APA Style?

APA Style is the set of procedures, or style rules, for writing and presenting academic papers.

Why cite?

The purpose of citing sources is to credit the author whose ideas and notes you are using and allow readers to locate the sources.
The ultimate authority on APA style and citation is the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association along with the 2012 edition of the APA Style Guide to Electronic References. These can be found at the Reserve Desk of the ASA Libraries.
Another resource is the Pocket Guide to APA Style which accompanied your English Composition II textbook. This can be found at the Reserve Desk of the ASA Libraries, also.

Online Style and Formatting Guides

The American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association’s “APA Style: Learning APA Style” page includes a free tutorial for anyone new to APA, and has a series of learning resources.

Purdue University

The Purdue OWL guide to “APA Style” includes formatting instructions and models for citing various sources. It includes a sample paper (.pdf) you can view here.

Microsoft Word

Use these Microsoft Word Instructions to properly format an APA paper or to create an APA paper template.

Key Points For Writing an APA Formatted Paper

Basic APA Format

  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Left alignment
  • Double-spaced
  • Remove extra space between paragraphs
  • First line of each paragraph indented 1/2-inch
  • Times New Roman typeface
  • 12-point font
  • Title page is required
  • Abstract page is required
  • Page number in header (top-right)
  • Running head in header (top-left)

References Page Formatting

  • Use page-break feature to start on a new page
  • Center title References
  • Format reference entries with a hanging indent (first line flush with 1-inch left margin, and subsequent lines indented by 1/2-inch)
  • Double-spaced with no extra space between entries
  • Times New Roman typeface
  • 12-point font
  • Sort citations alphabetically

Tools to Help You Create Citations

The Citation Fox

The Citation Fox created by the University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York.


Use this tool if you have a couple of citations to create. You select the source type and fill in the information fields and NoodleTools creates the citation.

Son of Citation Machine

Click on the APA button and select the source type and fill in the information fields and Son of Citation Machine creates the citation.

Microsoft Word

MS Word uses the Reference Tab to insert an in-text citation and create a bibliography by selecting the source type and filling in the information fields as you type your paper in MS Word. Be sure you have selected the APA 6th ed. from the drop down style menu.

Most of the ASA Library databases and eBooks have a citation button which will provide you the citation for the source you selected. Both Ebsco and Gale databases have the citation button on the right.

List of Sample Citations

American Psychological Association

Download these samples which illustrate the correct way to structure your references based on the type of source.


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