APA Format

1. What is the APA format?

The APA format was created in 1929 by the American Psychological Association. In 2009, the 6th version of the guidelines was issued. This style is used for papers in behavioral and social sciences — namely, in psychology.

2. General APA style guidelines

The text should be written with double line spacing with 1" margins on the top, bottom, left, and right. There are no strict guidelines, but APA recommends using common fonts like Times New Roman and a readable point size like 12.

The APA essay format has its peculiarities compared to other formats. For example, every page of a paper should have a running head. It is flush left, while the page number is flush right. There is also a difference in the structure of the paper, as the APA writing style has an abstract. It is a summary of the paper provided after the title page.

3. The APA structure of a paper

There should be four sections in papers formatted for the American Psychological Association:

3.1 Title page

On the top of the title page, the next line should be printed as:

Running head: TITLE OF THE PAPER

The title that is given in a running head should consist of 50 characters with spaces as a maximum, all words typed in capital letters. On the other pages of the paper, there should be no “running head” phrase anymore—only the title or its shortened version on the left.

All lines on the title page should be centered and double spaced. The title page indicates the title of the paper (it should be no longer than 12 words and consist of only full words), the name of the author (without Dr., or Prof.,) and the name of the educational institution. The date is optional.

3.2 Abstract

The word “Abstract” (without quotation marks, capitalization, or italicization) should be in the center of the line, on the very top of the page.

Starting from the next line, without indentation, a short summary of the paper is provided. It should include the key points of a paper. The abstract should be in one paragraph and equal to 150-250 words. There can also be keywords on the abstract page. They are listed from the new line and with an indentation after the keywords and a colon (both italicized).

3.3 Footnotes

The APA format doesn’t recommend using notes, but sometimes both footnotes and endnotes are necessary, and in this case, the APA style manual gives concise guidelines on how to apply them.

In the APA citation guide, only content notes and copyright permission notes are allowed. To make a note, the superscript number should be put near the corresponding piece of text after all punctuation marks.

The footnotes appear on relevant pages, and the endnotes are placed after the references. To arrange them according to the APA style, the word “Footnotes” (without quotation marks and with only the first letter being capitalized) should be given at the center of the top line of the last page. The entries are listed by number, with a 5-space indentation before each entry. Like the whole text, footnotes should be double-spaced.

4. The APA citation style

According to the APA referencing style, all lines except for the first one in each entry should be indented 0.5” from the left margin. The list is given alphabetically by reversed authors’ names. If there are up to 7 authors, the commas between their names should apply. If there are more than 7 authors, the first 6 authors should be listed, followed by an ellipses and the name of the last one. Provided there are several cited works by one author, the entries should be listed chronologically, starting from the earliest work.

According to the APA citation requirements, journal titles should be given in full. The capitalization of the journal title should be maintained. Every meaningful word of all titles of journals and magazines should be capitalized. The titles of larger containers (books and journals) should be italicized. The titles of smaller containers (chapters, articles) should be in plain formatting without quotation marks, capitalization, or italicization.

When citing web sources, it is better to use the DOI instead of the URL.

4.1 In-text citations

Citation marks are used in the main text and in the references at the end of the paper. For in-text citations, the APA format citation guide applies the author-year style. If there is a direct quotation in the text, a parenthesis with the last name of the author and the year of the publication of the source should also include a page (Hawking, 2018, p. 365). If there is no page (like on websites), the paragraph number can be used. Web sources are cited according to the same order and system as printed media. If the first element of information is unavailable, it should be omitted, and the title should be used first. If the title is too long, the first few words can be used. If the date is unknown, “n.d.” for “no date” can be applied.

According to the APA citation style, an in-text reference should follow a sentence containing borrowed information rather than appearing at the end of a paragraph. All punctuation marks are given after the parentheses with the source of citation. If a direct quotation exceeds 40 words, it should be indented and put as a block. In this case, the quote is used without quotation marks. After the full stop following the block, there should be the last name of the author, the year of publication, and the page (if applicable) enclosed in parentheses.

4.2 References

These are examples of different media citations:

Book: Hawking, S. W. (2018). Title. City, State: Publisher.

Journal: Hawking, S. W. (2018). Title of an article. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), p. or pp.

Magazine: Hawking, S. W. (2018). Title of an article. Magazine Title, Volume (Issue), p. or pp.

Website: Hawking, S. W. (2018). Webpage title. Retrieved from URL/DOI

A website without an author: Title of the web page. (2018, September 10). Retrieved from URL/DOI

Newspaper: Hawking, S. W. (2018, September 10). Title of an article. Newspaper Title, p. or pp.

Blog: Hawking, S. W. (2018, September 10). Title of a blog post [Blog post]. Retrieved from URL/DOI

YouTube video: Hawking, S. W. [Username]. (2018, September 10). Video title. Retrieved from URL/DOI

Films: Producer’s Hawking, S. W. (Producer), & Einstein A. (Director). (Year of publication). Title of a film [Format]. Retrieved from URL/DOI

Thesis or dissertation: Hawking, S.W. (2018). Title of a thesis or a dissertation. Retrieved from URL/DOI

Interview: Hawking, S. W. (2018, September 10). A. Einstein (interviewer) [Format of the Interview].

Encyclopedia: Hawking, S. W. (2018). Title of an entry. Editor’s(Ed.) last name, Encyclopedia title (Version). Retrieved from URL/DOI

Dictionary: Dictionary entry. (2018). Dictionary title (Version). Retrieved from URL/DOI

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