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How to Write a Bibliography in APA Format

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

paper bibliography format

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

paper bibliography format

  • APA Bibliography
  • How to Create One
  • Why You Need It

Sample Bibliography

An APA format bibliography lists all of the sources that might be used in a paper. A bibliography can be a great tool to help you keep track of information during the research and writing process. In some cases, your instructor may require you to include a bibliography as part of your assignment.

At a Glance

A well-written APA format bibliography can help you keep track of information and sources as you research and write your psychology paper. To create a bibliography, gather up all of the sources that you might use in your paper. Create an APA format reference for each source and then write a brief annotation. Your annotation should be a brief summary of what each reference is about. You can quickly refer to these annotations When writing your paper and determine which to include.

What Is an APA Format Bibliography?

An APA format bibliography is an alphabetical listing of all sources that might be used to write an academic paper, essay, article, or research paper—particularly work that is covering psychology or psychology-related topics. APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA). This format is used by many psychology professors, students, and researchers.

Even if it is not a required part of your assignment, writing a bibliography can help you keep track of your sources and make it much easier to create your final reference page in proper APA format.

Creating an APA Bibliography

A bibliography is similar in many ways to a reference section , but there are some important differences. While a reference section includes every source that was actually used in your paper, a bibliography may include sources that you considered using but may have dismissed because they were irrelevant or outdated.

Bibliographies can be a great way to keep track of information you might want to use in your paper and to organize the information that you find in different sources. The following are four steps you can follow to create your APA format bibliography.

Start on a New Page

Your working bibliography should be kept separate from the rest of your paper. Start it on a new page, with the title "Bibliography" centered at the top and in bold text. Some people use the title "References" instead, so it's best to check with your professor or instructor about which they prefer you to use.

Gather Your Sources

Compile all the sources you might possibly use in your paper. While you might not use all of these sources in your paper, having a complete list will make it easier later on when you prepare your reference section.

Gathering your sources can be particularly helpful when outlining and writing your paper.

By quickly glancing through your working bibliography, you will be able to get a better idea of which sources will be the most appropriate to support your thesis and main points.

Reference Each Source

Your references should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name, and they should be double-spaced. The first line of each reference should be flush left, while each additional line of a single reference should be a few spaces to the right of the left margin, which is known as a hanging indent.

The format of each source is as follows for academic journals:

  • Last name of first author (followed by their first initial)
  • The year the source was published in parentheses
  • The title of the source
  • The journal that published the source (in italics)
  • The volume number, if applicable (in italics)
  • The issue number, if applicable
  • Page numbers (in parentheses)
  • The URL or "doi" in lowercase letters followed by a colon and the doi number, if applicable

The following examples are scholarly articles in academic journals, cited in APA format:

  • Kulacaoglu, F., & Kose, S. (2018). Borderline personality disorder (BPD): In the midst of vulnerability, chaos, and awe.  Brain sciences ,  8 (11), 201. doi:10.3390/brainsci8110201
  • Cattane, N., Rossi, R., & Lanfredi, M. (2017). Borderline personality disorder and childhood trauma: exploring the affected biological systems and mechanisms.  BMC Psychiatry,   18 (221). doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1383-2

Visit the American Psychological Association's website for more information on citing other types of sources including online media, audiovisual media, and more.

Create an Annotation for Each Source

Normally a bibliography contains only references' information, but in some cases you might decide to create an annotated bibliography. An annotation is a summary or evaluation of the source.

An annotation is a brief description of approximately 150 words describing the information in the source, your evaluation of its credibility, and how it pertains to your topic. Writing one of these for each piece of research will make your writing process faster and easier.

This step helpful in determining which sources to ultimately use in your paper. Your instructor may also require it as part of the assignment so they can assess your thought process and understanding of your topic.

Reasons to Write a Bibliography

One of the biggest reasons to create an APA format bibliography is simply to make the research and writing process easier.

If you do not have a comprehensive list of all of your references, you might find yourself scrambling to figure out where you found certain bits of information that you included in your paper.

A bibliography is also an important tool that your readers can use to access your sources.

While writing an annotated bibliography might not be required for your assignment, it can be a very useful step. The process of writing an annotation helps you learn more about your topic, develop a deeper understanding of the subject, and become better at evaluating various sources of information.

The following is an example of an APA format bibliography by the website EasyBib:

There are many online resources that demonstrate different formats of bibliographies, including the American Psychological Association website . Purdue University's Online Writing Lab also has examples of formatting an APA format bibliography.

Check out this video on their YouTube channel which provides detailed instructions on formatting an APA style bibliography in Microsoft Word.

You can check out the Purdue site for more information on writing an annotated APA bibliography as well.

What This Means For You

If you are taking a psychology class, you may be asked to create a bibliography as part of the research paper writing process. Even if your instructor does not expressly require a bibliography, creating one can be a helpful way to help structure your research and make the writing process more manageable.

For psychology majors , it can be helpful to save any bibliographies you have written throughout your studies so that you can refer back to them later when studying for exams or writing papers for other psychology courses.

American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 7th Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2020.

Masic I. The importance of proper citation of references in biomedical articles.   Acta Inform Med . 2013;21(3):148–155. doi:10.5455/aim.2013.21.148-155

American Psychological Association. How do you format a bibliography in APA Style?

Cornell University Library. How to prepare an annotated bibliography: The annotated bibliography .

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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How to Write a Bibliography (MLA, APA Examples)

TeacherVision Staff

Learn how to easily write a bibliography by following the format outlined in this article.

This resource will help your students properly cite different resources in the bibliography of a research paper, and how to format those citations, for books, encyclopedias, films, websites, and people.

What is a bibliography?

According to Infoplease.com, A bibliography is a list of the types of sources you used to get information for your report. It is included at the end of your report, on the last page (or last few pages).

What are the types of bibliography styles (MLA, APA, etc.)?

The 3 most common bibliography/citation styles are:

  • MLA Style: The Modern Language Association works cited page style
  • APA Style: The American Psychological Association style
  • Chicago Style: The bibliography style defined by the Chicago Manual of Style

We’ll give examples of how to create bibliography entries in various styles further down in this article. 

What sources do you put in a bibliography?

An annotated bibliography should include a reference list of any sources you use in writing a research paper. Any printed sources from which you use a text citation, including books, websites, newspaper articles, journal articles, academic writing, online sources (such as PDFs), and magazines should be included in a reference list. In some cases, you may need or want to cite conversations or interviews, works of art, visual works such as movies, television shows, or documentaries - these (and many others) can also be included in a reference list.

How to get started writing your bibliography

You will find it easier to prepare your MLA, APA, or Chicago annotated bibliography if you keep track of each book, encyclopedia, journal article, webpage or online source you use as you are reading and taking notes. Start a preliminary, or draft, bibliography by listing on a separate sheet of paper all your sources. Note down the full title, author’s last name, place of publication, web address, publisher, and date of publication for each source.

Haven't started your paper yet and need an outline? These sample essay outlines include a research paper outline from an actual student paper.

How to write a bibliography step-by-step (with examples)

General Format: Author (last name first). Title of the book. Publisher, Date of publication.

MLA Style: Sibley, David Allen. What It’s Like to Be a Bird. From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing, What Birds Are Doing, and Why. Alfred A. Knopf, 2020.

APA Style: Sibley, D.A. (2020). What It’s Like to Be a Bird. From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing, What Birds Are Doing, and Why . Alfred A. Knopf.

Notes: Use periods, not commas, to separate the data in the entry. Use a hanging indent if the entry is longer than one line. For APA style, do not use the full author’s first name.

Websites or webpages:

  MLA Style: The SB Nation Family of Sites. Pension Plan Puppets: A Toronto Maple Leafs Blog, 2022, www.pensionplanpuppets.com. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.

APA Style: American Heart Association. (2022, April 11). How to keep your dog’s heart healthy. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2022/04/11/how-to-keep-your-dogs-heart-healthy

Online news article from a newspaper site:

APA Style: Duehren, A. (2022, April 9). Janet Yellen faces challenge to keep pressure on Russia. Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/janet-yellen-faces-challenge-to-keep-pressure-on-russia-while-addressing-global-consequences-11650366000

Print journal articles:

MLA Style: Booch, Grady. "Patterns in Object-Oriented Design." IEEE Software Engineering, vol. 6, no. 6, 2006, pp. 31-50.

APA Style: Booch, G. (2006). Patterns in object-oriented design. IEEE Software Engineering, 6(6), 31–50.

Note: It is suggested that you include a DOI and a webpage address when referencing either a printed journal article, and electronic journal article, or an journal article that appears in both formats. 

MLA Style: Gamma, Eric, and Peter A. Coad. “Exceptions to the Unified Modeling Language in Python Patterns.” IEEE Software Engineering, vol. 2, no. 6, 8 Mar. 2006, pp. 190-194. O’Reilly Software Engineering Library, https://doi.org/10.1006/se.20061. Accessed 26 May 2009.

APA Style: Masters, H., Barron, J., & Chanda, L. (2017). Motivational interviewing techniques for adolescent populations in substance abuse counseling. NAADAC Notes, 7(8), 7–13. https://www.naadac.com/notes/adolescent-techniques

ML:A Style: @Grady_Booch. “That’s a bold leap over plain old battery power cars.” Twitter, 13 Mar. 2013, 12:06 p.m., https://twitter.com/Grady_Booch/status/1516379006727188483.

APA Style: Westborough Library [@WestboroughLib]. (2022, April 12). Calling all 3rd through 5th grade kids! Join us for the Epic Writing Showdown! Winner receives a prize! Space is limited so register, today. loom.ly/ypaTG9Q [Tweet; thumbnail link to article]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/WestboroughLib/status/1516373550415896588.

Print magazine articles:

General format: Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of magazine. Volume number, (Date): page numbers.

MLA Style: Stiteler, Sharon. "Tracking Red-Breasted Grosbeak Migration." Minnesota Bird Journal, 7 Sept. 2019, pp. 7-11.

APA Style: Jordan, Jennifer, "Filming at the Top of the World." Museum of Science Magazine. Volume 47, No. 1, (Winter 1998): p. 11.

Print newspaper articles:

General format: Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of newspaper, city, state of publication. (date): edition if available, section, page number(s).

MLA Style: Adelman, Martin. "Augustus Announces Departure from City Manager Post." New York Times, late ed., 15 February 2020, p. A1

APA Style: Adelman, M. (2020, February 15). Augustus announced departure from city manager post. New York Times, A1.

Encyclopedias:

General Format: Encyclopedia Title, Edition Date. Volume Number, "Article Title," page numbers.

MLA Style: “Gorillas.” The Encyclopedia Brittanica. 15th ed. 2010.

APA Style: Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc. (1997.) Gorillas. In The Encyclopedia Brittanica (15th ed., pp. 50-51). Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc.

Personal interviews:

General format: Full name (last name first). Personal Interview. (Occupation.) Date of interview.

MLA Style: Smithfield, Joseph. Personal interview. 19 May 2014.

APA Style: APA does not require a formal citation for a personal interview. Published interviews from other sources should be cited accordingly.

Films and movies:

General format: Title, Director, Distributor, Year.

MLA Style: Fury. Directed by David Ayer, performances by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Sony Pictures, 2014.

APA Style: Ayer, D. (Director). (2014). Fury [Film]. Sony Pictures.

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How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

Academic Writing Service

Do not try to “wow” your instructor with a long bibliography when your instructor requests only a works cited page. It is tempting, after doing a lot of work to research a paper, to try to include summaries on each source as you write your paper so that your instructor appreciates how much work you did. That is a trap you want to avoid. MLA style, the one that is most commonly followed in high schools and university writing courses, dictates that you include only the works you actually cited in your paper—not all those that you used.

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Get 10% off with 24start discount code, assembling bibliographies and works cited.

  • If your assignment calls for a bibliography, list all the sources you consulted in your research.
  • If your assignment calls for a works cited or references page, include only the sources you quote, summarize, paraphrase, or mention in your paper.
  • If your works cited page includes a source that you did not cite in your paper, delete it.
  • All in-text citations that you used at the end of quotations, summaries, and paraphrases to credit others for their ideas,words, and work must be accompanied by a cited reference in the bibliography or works cited. These references must include specific information about the source so that your readers can identify precisely where the information came from.The citation entries on a works cited page typically include the author’s name, the name of the article, the name of the publication, the name of the publisher (for books), where it was published (for books), and when it was published.

The good news is that you do not have to memorize all the many ways the works cited entries should be written. Numerous helpful style guides are available to show you the information that should be included, in what order it should appear, and how to format it. The format often differs according to the style guide you are using. The Modern Language Association (MLA) follows a particular style that is a bit different from APA (American Psychological Association) style, and both are somewhat different from the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Always ask your teacher which style you should use.

A bibliography usually appears at the end of a paper on its own separate page. All bibliography entries—books, periodicals, Web sites, and nontext sources such radio broadcasts—are listed together in alphabetical order. Books and articles are alphabetized by the author’s last name.

Most teachers suggest that you follow a standard style for listing different types of sources. If your teacher asks you to use a different form, however, follow his or her instructions. Take pride in your bibliography. It represents some of the most important work you’ve done for your research paper—and using proper form shows that you are a serious and careful researcher.

Bibliography Entry for a Book

A bibliography entry for a book begins with the author’s name, which is written in this order: last name, comma, first name, period. After the author’s name comes the title of the book. If you are handwriting your bibliography, underline each title. If you are working on a computer, put the book title in italicized type. Be sure to capitalize the words in the title correctly, exactly as they are written in the book itself. Following the title is the city where the book was published, followed by a colon, the name of the publisher, a comma, the date published, and a period. Here is an example:

Format : Author’s last name, first name. Book Title. Place of publication: publisher, date of publication.

  • A book with one author : Hartz, Paula.  Abortion: A Doctor’s Perspective, a Woman’s Dilemma . New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1992.
  • A book with two or more authors : Landis, Jean M. and Rita J. Simon.  Intelligence: Nature or Nurture?  New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Bibliography Entry for a Periodical

A bibliography entry for a periodical differs slightly in form from a bibliography entry for a book. For a magazine article, start with the author’s last name first, followed by a comma, then the first name and a period. Next, write the title of the article in quotation marks, and include a period (or other closing punctuation) inside the closing quotation mark. The title of the magazine is next, underlined or in italic type, depending on whether you are handwriting or using a computer, followed by a period. The date and year, followed by a colon and the pages on which the article appeared, come last. Here is an example:

Format:  Author’s last name, first name. “Title of the Article.” Magazine. Month and year of publication: page numbers.

  • Article in a monthly magazine : Crowley, J.E.,T.E. Levitan and R.P. Quinn.“Seven Deadly Half-Truths About Women.”  Psychology Today  March 1978: 94–106.
  • Article in a weekly magazine : Schwartz, Felice N.“Management,Women, and the New Facts of Life.”  Newsweek  20 July 2006: 21–22.
  • Signed newspaper article : Ferraro, Susan. “In-law and Order: Finding Relative Calm.”  The Daily News  30 June 1998: 73.
  • Unsigned newspaper article : “Beanie Babies May Be a Rotten Nest Egg.”  Chicago Tribune  21 June 2004: 12.

Bibliography Entry for a Web Site

For sources such as Web sites include the information a reader needs to find the source or to know where and when you found it. Always begin with the last name of the author, broadcaster, person you interviewed, and so on. Here is an example of a bibliography for a Web site:

Format : Author.“Document Title.” Publication or Web site title. Date of publication. Date of access.

Example : Dodman, Dr. Nicholas. “Dog-Human Communication.”  Pet Place . 10 November 2006.  23 January 2014 < http://www.petplace.com/dogs/dog-human-communication-2/page1.aspx >

After completing the bibliography you can breathe a huge sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back. You probably plan to turn in your work in printed or handwritten form, but you also may be making an oral presentation. However you plan to present your paper, do your best to show it in its best light. You’ve put a great deal of work and thought into this assignment, so you want your paper to look and sound its best. You’ve completed your research paper!

Back to  How To Write A Research Paper .

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  • The Complete Guide to APA Format in 2020
  • Headings and Subheadings
  • Discussion Section
  • Websites and Online Sources
  • Journals and Periodicals
  • Other Print Sources
  • Other Non-Print Sources
  • In-text Citations
  • Footnotes and Endnotes
  • Using MyBib Responsibly
  • Miscellaneous Questions

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APA Format is the official writing style of the American Psychological Association, and is primarily used in subjects such as psychology, education, and the social sciences.

It specifies how to format academic papers and citations for publication in journals, periodicals, and bulletins.

This guide will show you how to prepare and format a document to be fully compliant with APA Format in 2020.

Before You Start Writing...

There are several steps you must take to prepare a new document for APA style before you start writing your paper:

  • Make sure the paper size is 8.5" x 11" (known as 'Letter' in most word processors).
  • Set the margin size to 1" on all sides (2.54cm).
  • Change the line spacing to double-spaced .
  • Add page numbers to the top-right corner of every page.
  • Add a running head to the top-left corner of every page.

We have a pre-made APA style template document you can download to be sure you are ready to start writing. You can download it below:

When your document is ready, proceed to writing the title page .

Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format

APA Format for Students & Researchers

In this guide, students and researchers can learn the basics of creating a properly formatted research paper according to APA guidelines.

It includes information on how to conceptualize, outline, and format the basic structure of your paper, as well as practical tips on spelling, abbreviation, punctuation, and more. The guide concludes with a complete sample paper as well as a final checklist that writers can use to prepare their work for submission.

APA Paper Formatting Basics

  • All text should be double-spaced
  • Use one-inch margins on all sides
  • All paragraphs in the body are indented
  • Make sure that the title is centered on the page with your name and school/institution underneath
  • Use 12-point font throughout
  • All pages should be numbered in the upper right hand corner
  • The manual recommends using one space after most punctuation marks
  • A shortened version of the title (“running head”) should be placed in the upper left hand corner

Table of Contents

Here’s a quick rundown of the contents of this guide on how to do APA format.

Information related to writing and organizing your paper:

  • Paper and essay categories

General paper length

  • Margin sizes
  • Title pages
  • Running Heads
  • APA Outline
  • APA Abstract
  • The body of papers
  • APA headings and subheadings
  • Use of graphics (tables and figures)

Writing style tips:

Proper tone.

  • Reducing bias and labels
  • Abbreviation do’s and don’ts
  • Punctuation
  • Number rules

Citing Your Sources:

  • Citing Sources
  • In-text Citations
  • Reference Page

Proofing Your Paper:

  • Final checklist
  • Submitting your project

APA Information:

  • What is APA
  • APA 7 Updates

What you won’t find in this guide: This guide provides information related to the formatting of your paper, as in guidelines related to spacing, margins, word choice, etc. While it provides a general overview of APA references, it does not provide instructions for how to cite in APA format.

For step-by-step instructions for citing books, journals, how to cite a website in APA format, information on an APA format bibliography, and more, refer to these other EasyBib guides:

  • APA citation (general reference guide)
  • APA In-text citation
  • APA article citation
  • APA book citation
  • APA citation website

Or, you can use our automatic generator. Our APA formatter helps to build your references for you. Yep, you read that correctly.

Writing and Organizing Your APA Paper in an Effective Way

This section of our guide focuses on proper paper length, how to format headings, spacing, and more! This information can be found in Chapter 2 of the official manual (American Psychological Association, 2020, pp. 29-67).

Categories of papers

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details related to APA research paper format, first determine the type of paper you’re about to embark on creating:

Empirical studies

Empirical studies take data from observations and experiments to generate research reports. It is different from other types of studies in that it isn’t based on theories or ideas, but on actual data.

Literature reviews

These papers analyze another individual’s work or a group of works. The purpose is to gather information about a current issue or problem and to communicate where we are today. It sheds light on issues and attempts to fill those gaps with suggestions for future research and methods.

Theoretical articles

These papers are somewhat similar to a literature reviews in that the author collects, examines, and shares information about a current issue or problem, by using others’ research. It is different from literature reviews in that it attempts to explain or solve a problem by coming up with a new theory. This theory is justified with valid evidence.

Methodological articles

These articles showcase new advances, or modifications to an existing practice, in a scientific method or procedure. The author has data or documentation to prove that their new method, or improvement to a method, is valid. Plenty of evidence is included in this type of article. In addition, the author explains the current method being used in addition to their own findings, in order to allow the reader to understand and modify their own current practices.

Case studies

Case studies present information related an individual, group, or larger set of individuals. These subjects are analyzed for a specific reason and the author reports on the method and conclusions from their study. The author may also make suggestions for future research, create possible theories, and/or determine a solution to a problem.

Since APA style format is used often in science fields, the belief is “less is more.” Make sure you’re able to get your points across in a clear and brief way. Be direct, clear, and professional. Try not to add fluff and unnecessary details into your paper or writing.  This will keep the paper length shorter and more concise.

Margin sizes in APA Format

When it comes to margins, keep them consistent across the left, right, top, and bottom of the page. All four sides should be the same distance from the edge of the paper. It’s recommended to use at least one-inch margins around each side. It’s acceptable to use larger margins, but the margins should never be smaller than an inch.

Title pages in APA Format

The title page, or APA format cover page, is the first page of a paper or essay. Some teachers and professors do not require a title page, but some do. If you’re not sure if you should include one or not, ask your teacher. Some appreciate the page, which clearly displays the writer’s name and the title of the paper.

The APA format title page for student papers includes six main components:

  • the title of the APA format paper
  • names of all authors
  • institutional affiliation
  • course number and title
  • instructor’s name

Title pages for professional papers  also require a running head; student papers do not.

Some instructors and professional publications also ask for an author’s note. If you’re required or would like to include an author’s note, place it below the institutional affiliation. Examples of information included in an author’s note include an ORCID iD number, a disclosure, and an acknowledgement.

Here are key guidelines to developing your title page:

  • The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay, but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. For example, instead of using the title “A Look at Amphibians From the Past,” title the paper “Amphibians From the Past.” Delete the unnecessary fluff!
  • Center the title on the page and place it about 3-4 lines from the top.
  • The title should be bolded, in title case, and the same font size as your other page text. Do not underline or italicize the title. Other text on the page should be plain (not bolded , underlined, or italicized ). 
  • All text on the title page should be double-spaced. The APA format examples paper below displays proper spacing, so go take a look!
  • Do not include any titles in the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms. In contrast, for your instructor’s name, use the form they prefer (e.g., Sagar Parekh, PhD; Dr. Minako Asato; Professor Nathan Ian Brown; etc.).
  • The institutional affiliation is the school the author attends or the location where the author conducted the research.

In a hurry? Try the  EasyBib title page maker to easily create a title page for free.

paper bibliography format

Sample of an APA format title page for a student paper:

APA-format-student-title-page

Sample of title page for a professional paper:

APA-format-professional-title-page

Running heads in APA Format

The 7th edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (p. 37) states that running heads are not required for student papers unless requested by the instructor. Student papers still need a page number included in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The 6th edition required a running head for student papers, so be sure to confirm with your instructor which edition you should follow. Of note, this guide follows the 7th edition.

Running heads are required for professional papers (e.g., manuscripts submitted for publication). Read on for instructions on how to create them.

Are you wondering what is a “running head”? It’s basically a page header at the top of every page. To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page. You may want to look for “Header” in the features.

A running head/page header includes two pieces:

  • the title of the paper
  • page numbers.

Insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the APA format paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of the page numbers).

For all pages of the paper, including the APA format title page, include the “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left in capital letters (i.e., the running head). If your full title is long (over 50 characters), the running head title should be a shortened version.

APA format running head

Preparing outlines in APA Format

Outlines are extremely beneficial as they help writers stay organized, determine the scope of the research that needs to be included, and establish headings and subheadings.

There isn’t an official or recommended “APA format for outline” structure. It is up to the writer (if they choose to make use of an outline) to determine how to organize it and the characters to include. Some writers use a mix of roman numerals, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters.

Even though there isn’t a required or recommended APA format for an outline, we encourage writers to make use of one. Who wouldn’t want to put together a rough outline of their project? We promise you, an outline will help you stay on track.

Here’s our version of how APA format for outlines could look:

paper bibliography format

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for information on APA citation format and other related topics, check out our other comprehensive guides.

How to form an abstract in APA

An APA format abstract (p. 38) is a summary of a scholarly article or scientific study. Scholarly articles and studies are rather lengthy documents, and abstracts allow readers to first determine if they’d like to read an article in its entirety or not.

You may come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display abstracts in the search results and often display them before showing the full text of an article or scientific study. It is important to create a high quality abstract that accurately communicates the purpose and goal of your paper, as readers will determine if it is worthy to continue reading or not.

Are you wondering if you need to create an abstract for your assignment? Usually, student papers do not require an abstract. Abstracts are not typically seen in class assignments, and are usually only included when submitting a paper for publication. Unless your teacher or professor asked for it, you probably don’t need to have one for your class assignment.

If you’re planning on submitting your paper to a journal for publication, first check the journal’s website to learn about abstract and APA paper format requirements.

Here are some helpful suggestions to create a dynamic abstract:

  • Abstracts are found on their own page, directly after the title or cover page.
  • Professional papers only (not student papers): Include the running head on the top of the page.
  • On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
  • On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew. Use concise, brief, informative language. You only have a few sentences to share the summary of your entire document, so be direct with your wording.
  • This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
  • If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords : in italics.  Then list your keywords that stand out in your research. You can also include keyword strings that you think readers will type into the search box.
  • Active voice: The subjects reacted to the medication.
  • Passive voice: There was a reaction from the subjects taking the medication.
  • Instead of evaluating your project in the abstract, simply report what it contains.
  • If a large portion of your work includes the extension of someone else’s research, share this in the abstract and include the author’s last name and the year their work was released.

APA format example page:

Example APA abstract

Here’s an example of an abstract:

Visual design is a critical aspect of any web page or user interface, and its impact on a user’s experience has been studied extensively. Research has shown a positive correlation between a user’s perceived usability and a user’s assessment of visual design. Additionally, perceived web quality, which encompasses visual design, has a positive relationship with both initial and continued consumer purchase intention. However, visual design is often assessed using self-report scale, which are vulnerable to a few pitfalls. Because self-report questionnaires are often reliant on introspection and honesty, it is difficult to confidently rely on self-report questionnaires to make important decisions. This study aims to ensure the validity of a visual design assessment instrument (Visual Aesthetics of Websites Inventory: Short version) by examining its relationship with biometric (variables), like galvanic skin response, pupillometry, and fixation information. Our study looked at participants assessment of a webpage’s visual design, and compared it to their biometric responses while viewing the webpage. Overall, we found that both average fixation duration and pupil dilation differed when participants viewed web pages with lower visual design ratings compared to web pages with a higher visual design rating.

Keywords : usability, visual design, websites, eye tracking, pupillometry, self-report, VisAWI

The body of an APA paper

On the page after the title page (if a student paper) or the abstract (if a professional paper), begin with the body of the paper.

Most papers follow this format:

  • At the top of the page, add the page number in the upper right corner of all pages, including the title page.
  • On the next line write the title in bold font and center it. Do not underline or italicize it.
  • Begin with the introduction and indent the first line of the paragraph. All paragraphs in the body are indented.

Sample body for a student paper:

example APA paper body

Most scientific or professional papers have additional sections and guidelines:

  • Start with the running head (title + page number). The heading title should be in capital letters. The abstract page should be page 2.
  • The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based. It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
  • Begin a new section with the Method and use this word as the subtitle. Bold and center this subtitle. The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
  • Begin a new section with the Results . Bold and center this subtitle. The Results section summarizes your data. Use charts and graphs to display this data.
  • Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
  • Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
  • Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.

Sample body for a professional paper:

example apa format professional paper body

Keep in mind, APA citation format is much easier than you think, thanks to EasyBib.com. Try our automatic generator and watch how we create APA citation format references for you in just a few clicks. While you’re at it, take a peek at our other helpful guides, such as our APA reference page guide, to make sure you’re on track with your research papers.

Proper usage of headings & subheadings in APA Format

Headings (p. 47) serve an important purpose in research papers — they organize your paper and make it simple to locate different pieces of information. In addition, headings provide readers with a glimpse to the main idea, or content, they are about to read.

In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with a different formatting:

  • This is the title of your paper
  • The title should be centered in the middle of the page
  • The title should be bolded
  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary (called title capitalization)
  • Place this heading against the left margin
  • Use bold letters
  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary
  • Place this heading against the left side margin
  • End the heading with a period
  • Indented in from the left margin

Following general formatting rules, all headings are double spaced and there are no extra lines or spaces between sections.

Here is a visual APA format template for levels of headings:

example apa format headings

Use of graphics (tables and figures) in APA Format

If you’re looking to jazz up your project with any charts, tables, drawings, or images, there are certain APA format rules (pp. 195-250) to follow.

First and foremost, the only reason why any graphics should be added is to provide the reader with an easier way to see or read information, rather than typing it all out in the text.

Lots of numbers to discuss? Try organizing your information into a chart or table. Pie charts, bar graphs, coordinate planes, and line graphs are just a few ways to show numerical data, relationships between numbers, and many other types of information.

Instead of typing out long, drawn out descriptions, create a drawing or image. Many visual learners would appreciate the ability to look at an image to make sense of information.

Before you go ahead and place that graphic in your paper, here are a few key guidelines:

  • Follow them in the appropriate numerical order in which they appear in the text of your paper. Example : Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3.
  • Example: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3
  • Only use graphics if they will supplement the material in your text. If they reinstate what you already have in your text, then it is not necessary to include a graphic.
  • Include enough wording in the graphic so that the reader is able to understand its meaning, even if it is isolated from the corresponding text. However, do not go overboard with adding a ton of wording in your graphic.
  • Left align tables and figures

In our APA format sample paper , you’ll find examples of tables after the references. You may also place tables and figures within the text just after it is mentioned.

Is there anything better than seeing a neatly organized data table? We think not! If you have tons of numbers or data to share, consider creating a table instead of typing out a wordy paragraph. Tables are pretty easy to whip up on Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

General format of a table should be:

  • Table number
  • Choose to type out your data OR create a table. As stated above, in APA format, you shouldn’t have the information typed out in your paper and also have a table showing the same exact information. Choose one or the other.
  • If you choose to create a table, discuss it very briefly in the text. Say something along the lines of, “Table 1 displays the amount of money used towards fighting Malaria.” Or, “Stomach cancer rates are displayed in Table 4.”
  • If you’re submitting your project for a class, place your table close to the text where it’s mentioned. If you’re submitting it to be published in a journal, most publishers prefer tables to be placed in the back. If you’re unsure where to place your tables, ask!
  • Include the table number first and at the top. Table 1 is the first table discussed in the paper. Table 2 is the next table mentioned, and so on. This should be in bold.
  • Add a title under the number. Create a brief, descriptive title. Capitalize the first letter for each important word. Italicize the title and place it under the table number.
  • Only use horizontal lines.
  • Limit use of cell shading.
  • Keep the font at 12-point size and use single or double spacing. If you use single spacing in one table, make sure all of the others use single spaces as well. Keep it consistent.
  • All headings should be centered.
  • In the first column (called the stub), center the heading, left-align the information underneath it (indent 0.15 inches if info is more than one line).
  • Information in other columns should be centered.
  • General . Information about the whole table.
  • Specific . Information targeted for a specific column, row, or cell.
  • Probability . Explains what certain table symbols mean. For example, asterisks,  p values, etc.

Here’s an APA format example of a table:

example apa format table

We know putting together a table is pretty tricky. That’s why we’ve included not one, but a few tables on this page. Scroll down and look at the additional tables in the essay in APA format example found below.

Figures represent information in a visual way. They differ from tables in that they are visually appealing. Sure, tables, like the one above, can be visually appealing, but it’s the color, circles, arrows, boxes, or icons included that make a figure a “figure.”

There are many commonly used figures in papers. Examples APA Format:

  • Photographs
  • Hierarchy charts

General format of a figure is the same as tables. This means each should include:

  • Figure number

Use the same formatting tables use for the number, title, and note.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to APA format for figures:

  • Only include a figure if it adds value to your paper. If it will truly help with understanding, include it!
  • Either include a figure OR write it all out in the text. Do not include the same information twice.
  • If a note is added, it should clearly explain the content of the figure. Include any reference information if it’s reproduced or adapted.

APA format sample of a figure:

example apa format figure

Photographs:

We live in a world where we have tons of photographs available at our fingertips.

Photographs found through Google Images, social media, stock photos made available from subscription sites, and tons of other various online sources make obtaining photographs a breeze. We can even pull out our cell phones, and in just a few seconds, take pictures with our cameras.

Photographs are simple to find, and because of this, many students enjoy using them in their papers.

If you have a photograph you would like to include in your project, here are some guidelines from the American Psychological Association.

  • Create a reference for the photograph. Follow the guidelines under the table and figure sections above.
  • Do not use color photos. It is recommended to use black and white. Colors can change depending on the reader’s screen resolution. Using black and white ensures the reader will be able to view the image clearly. The only time it is recommended to use color photos is if you’re writing about color-specific things. For example, if you’re discussing the various shades of leaf coloration, you may want to include a few photographs of colorful leaves.
  • If there are sections of the photograph that are not related to your work, it is acceptable to crop them out. Cropping is also beneficial in that it helps the reader focus on the main item you’re discussing.
  • If you choose to include an image of a person you know, it would be respectful if you ask their permission before automatically including their photo in your paper.  Some schools and universities post research papers online and some people prefer that their photos and information stay off the Internet.

B. Writing Style Tips

Writing a paper for scientific topics is much different than writing for English, literature, and other composition classes. Science papers are much more direct, clear, and concise. This section includes key suggestions, explains how to write in APA format, and includes other tidbits to keep in mind while formulating your research paper.

Verb usage in APA

Research experiments and observations rely on the creation and analysis of data to test hypotheses and come to conclusions. While sharing and explaining the methods and results of studies, science writers often use verbs.

When using verbs in writing, make sure that you continue to use them in the same tense throughout the section you’re writing. Further details are in the publication manual (p. 117).

Here’s an APA format example:

We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants.

It wouldn’t make sense to add this sentence after the one above:

We tested the solution to identify the possible contaminants. Researchers often test solutions by placing them under a microscope.

Notice that the first sentence is in the past tense while the second sentence is in the present tense. This can be confusing for readers.

For verbs in scientific papers, the APA manual recommends using:

  • Past tense or present perfect tense for the explantation of the procedure
  • Past tense for the explanation of the results
  • Present tense for the explanation of the conclusion and future implications

If this is all a bit much, and you’re simply looking for help with your references, try the EasyBib.com APA format generator . Our APA formatter creates your references in just a few clicks. APA citation format is easier than you think thanks to our innovative, automatic tool.

Even though your writing will not have the same fluff and detail as other forms of writing, it should not be boring or dull to read. The Publication Manual suggests thinking about who will be the main reader of your work and to write in a way that educates them.

How to reduce bias & labels

The American Psychological Association strongly objects to any bias towards gender, racial groups, ages of individuals or subjects, disabilities, and sexual orientation (pp. 131-149). If you’re unsure whether your writing is free of bias and labels or not, have a few individuals read your work to determine if it’s acceptable.

Here are a few guidelines that the American Psychological Association suggests :

  • Only include information about an individual’s orientation or characteristic if it is important to the topic or study. Do not include information about individuals or labels if it is not necessary.
  • If writing about an individual’s characteristic or orientation, for essay APA format, make sure to put the person first. Instead of saying, “Diabetic patients,” say, “Patients who are diabetic.”
  • Instead of using narrow terms such as, “adolescents,” or “the elderly,” try to use broader terms such as, “participants,” and “subjects.”
  • “They” or “their” are acceptable gender-neutral pronouns to use.
  • Be mindful when using terms that end with “man” or “men” if they involve subjects who are female. For example, instead of using “Firemen,” use the term, “Firefighter.” In general, avoid ambiguity.
  • When referring to someone’s racial or ethnic identity, use the census category terms and capitalize the first letter. Also, avoid using the word, “minority,” as it can be interpreted as meaning less than or deficient. Instead, say “people of color” or “underrepresented groups.”
  • When describing subjects in APA format, use the words “girls” and “boys” for children who are under the age of 12. The terms, “young woman,” “young man,” “female adolescent,” and “male adolescent” are appropriate for subjects between 13-17 years old; “Men,” and “women,” for those older than 18. Use the term, “older adults.” for individuals who are older. “Elderly,” and “senior,” are not acceptable if used only as nouns. It is acceptable to use these terms if they’re used as adjectives.

Read through our example essay in APA format, found in section D, to see how we’ve reduced bias and labels.

Spelling in APA Format

  • In APA formatting, use the same spelling as words found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (American English) (p. 161).
  • If the word you’re trying to spell is not found in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a second resource is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary .
  • If attempting to properly spell words in the psychology field, consult the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology

Thanks to helpful tools and features, such as the spell checker, in word processing programs, most of us think we have everything we need right in our document. However, quite a few helpful features are found elsewhere.

Where can you find a full grammar editor? Right here, on EasyBib.com. The EasyBib Plus paper checker scans your paper for spelling, but also for any conjunction , determiner, or adverb out of place. Try it out and unlock the magic of an edited paper.

Abbreviation do’s and don’ts in APA Format

Abbreviations can be tricky. You may be asking yourself, “Do I include periods between the letters?” “Are all letters capitalized?” “Do I need to write out the full name each and every time?” Not to worry, we’re breaking down the publication manual’s abbreviations (p. 172) for you here.

First and foremost, use abbreviations sparingly.

Too many and you’re left with a paper littered with capital letters mashed together. Plus, they don’t lend themselves to smooth and easy reading. Readers need to pause and comprehend the meaning of abbreviations and quite often stumble over them.

  • If the abbreviation is used less than three times in the paper, type it out each time. It would be pretty difficult to remember what an abbreviation or acronym stands for if you’re writing a lengthy paper.
  • If you decide to sprinkle in abbreviations,  it is not necessary to include periods between the letters.
  • Example: While it may not affect a patient’s short-term memory (STM), it may affect their ability to comprehend new terms. Patients who experience STM loss while using the medication should discuss it with their doctor.
  • Example : AIDS
  • The weight in pounds exceeded what we previously thought.

Punctuation in APA Format

One space after most punctuation marks.

The manual recommends using one space after most punctuation marks, including punctuation at the end of a sentence (p. 154). It doesn’t hurt to double check with your teacher or professor to ask their preference since this rule was changed recently (in 2020).

The official APA format book was primarily created to aid individuals with submitting their paper for publication in a professional journal. Many schools adopt certain parts of the handbook and modify sections to match their preference. To see an example of an APA format research paper, with the spacing we believe is most commonly and acceptable to use, scroll down and see section D.

For more information related to the handbook, including frequently asked questions, and more, here’s further reading on the style

It’s often a heated debate among writers whether or not to use an Oxford comma (p. 155), but for this style, always use an Oxford comma. This type of comma is placed before the words AND and OR or in a series of three items.

Example of APA format for commas: The medication caused drowsiness, upset stomach, and fatigue.

Here’s another example: The subjects chose between cold, room temperature, or warm water.

Apostrophes

When writing a possessive singular noun, you should place the apostrophe before the s. For possessive plural nouns, the apostrophe is placed after the s.

  • Singular : Linda Morris’s jacket
  • Plural : The Morris’ house

Em dashes (long dash) are used to bring focus to a particular point or an aside. There are no spaces after these dashes (p. 157).

Use en dashes (short dash) in compound adjectives. Do not place a space before or after the dash. Here are a few examples:

  • custom-built
  • 12-year-old

Number rules in APA Format

Science papers often include the use of numbers, usually displayed in data, tables, and experiment information. The golden rule to keep in mind is that numbers less than 10 are written out in text. If the number is more than 10, use numerals.

APA format examples:

  • 14 kilograms
  • seven individuals
  • 83 years old
  • Fourth grade

The golden rule for numbers has exceptions.

In APA formatting, use numerals if you are:

  • Showing numbers in a table or graph
  • 4 divided by 2
  • 6-month-olds

Use numbers written out as words if you are:

  • Ninety-two percent of teachers feel as though….
  • Hundred Years’ War
  • One-sixth of the students

Other APA formatting number rules to keep in mind:

  • World War II
  • Super Bowl LII
  • It’s 1980s, not 1980’s!

Additional number rules can be found in the publication manual (p. 178)

Need help with other writing topics? Our plagiarism checker is a great resource for anyone looking for writing help. Say goodbye to an out of place noun , preposition , or adjective, and hello to a fully edited paper.

Overview of APA references

While writing a research paper, it is always important to give credit and cite your sources; this lets you acknowledge others’ ideas and research you’ve used in your own work. Not doing so can be considered plagiarism , possibly leading to a failed grade or loss of a job.

APA style is one of the most commonly used citation styles used to prevent plagiarism. Here’s more on crediting sources . Let’s get this statement out of the way before you become confused: An APA format reference and an APA format citation are two different things! We understand that many teachers and professors use the terms as if they’re synonyms, but according to this specific style, they are two separate things, with different purposes, and styled differently.

A reference displays all of the information about the source — the title, the author’s name, the year it was published, the URL, all of it! References are placed on the final page of a research project.

Here’s an example of a reference:

Wynne-Jones, T. (2015). The emperor of any place . Candlewick Press.

An APA format citation is an APA format in-text citation. These are found within your paper, anytime a quote or paraphrase is included. They usually only include the name of the author and the date the source was published.

Here’s an example of one:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is even discussed in the book, The Emperor of Any Place . The main character, Evan, finds a mysterious diary on his father’s desk (the same desk his father died on, after suffering from a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy attack). Evan unlocks the truth to his father and grandfather’s past (Wynne-Jones, 2015).

Both of the ways to credit another individual’s work — in the text of a paper and also on the final page — are key to preventing plagiarism. A writer must use both types in a paper. If you cite something in the text, it must have a full reference on the final page of the project. Where there is one, there must be the other!

Now that you understand that, here’s some basic info regarding APA format references (pp. 281-309).

  • Each reference is organized, or structured, differently. It all depends on the source type. A book reference is structured one way, an APA journal is structured a different way, a newspaper article is another way. Yes, it’s probably frustrating that not all references are created equal and set up the same way. MLA works cited pages are unique in that every source type is formatted the same way. Unfortunately, this style is quite different.
  • Most references follow this general format:

Author’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year published). Title of source . URL.

Again, as stated in the above paragraph, you must look up the specific source type you’re using to find out the placement of the title, author’s name, year published, etc.

For more information on APA format for sources and how to reference specific types of sources, use the other guides on EasyBib.com. Here’s another useful site .

Looking for a full visual of a page of references? Scroll down and take a peek at our APA format essay example towards the bottom of this page. You’ll see a list of references and you can gain a sense of how they look.

Bonus: here’s a link to more about the fundamentals related to this particular style. If you want to brush up or catch up on the Modern Language Association’s style, here’s a great resource on how to cite websites in MLA .

In-text APA citation format

Did you find the perfect quote or piece of information to include in your project? Way to go! It’s always a nice feeling when we find that magical piece of data or info to include in our writing. You probably already know that you can’t just copy and paste it into your project, or type it in, without also providing credit to the original author.

Displaying where the original information came from is much easier than you think.Directly next to the quote or information you included, place the author’s name and the year nearby. This allows the reader of your work to see where the information originated.

APA allows for the use of two different forms of in-text citation, parenthetical and narrative Both forms of citation require two elements:

  • author’s name
  • year of publication

The only difference is the way that this information is presented to the reader.

Parenthetical citations are the more commonly seen form of in-text citations for academic work, in which both required reference elements are presented at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Example:

Harlem had many artists and musicians in the late 1920s (Belafonte, 2008).

Narrative citations allow the author to present one or both of the required reference elements inside of the running sentence, which prevents the text from being too repetitive or burdensome. When only one of the two reference elements is included in the sentence, the other is provided parenthetically. Example:

According to Belafonte (2008), Harlem was full of artists and musicians in the late 1920s.

If there are two authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference must list them both:

(Smith & Belafonte, 2008)

If there are three or more authors listed in the source entry, then the parenthetical reference can abbreviate with “et al.”, the latin abbreviation for “and others”:

(Smith et al., 2008)

The author’s names are structured differently if there is more than one author. Things will also look different if there isn’t an author at all (which is sometimes the case with website pages). For more information on APA citation format, check out this page on the topic: APA parenthetical citation and APA in-text citation . There is also more information in the official manual in chapter 8.

If it’s MLA in-text and parenthetical citations you’re looking for, we’ve got your covered there too! You might want to also check out his guide on parenthetical citing .

Would you benefit from having a tool that helps you easily generate citations that are in the text? Check out EasyBib Plus!

paper bibliography format

References page in APA Format

An APA format reference page is easier to create than you probably think. We go into detail on how to create this page on our APA reference page . We also have a guide for how to create an annotated bibliography in APA . But, if you’re simply looking for a brief overview of the reference page, we’ve got you covered here.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to the references page in APA format:

  • This VIP page has its very own page. Start on a fresh, clean document (p. 303).
  • Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title).
  • Alphabetize and double-space ALL entries.
  • Use a readable font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Lucida (p. 44).
  • Every quote or piece of outside information included in the paper should be referenced and have an entry.
  • Even though it’s called a “reference page,” it can be longer than one page. If your references flow onto the next page, then that’s a-okay.
  • Only include the running head if it is required by your teacher or you’re writing a professional paper.

Sample reference page for a student paper:

Here’s another friendly reminder to use the EasyBib APA format generator (that comes with EasyBib Plus) to quickly and easily develop every single one of your references for you. Try it out! Our APA formatter is easy to use and ready to use 24/7.

Final APA Format Checklist

Prior to submitting your paper, check to make sure you have everything you need and everything in its place:

  • Did you credit all of the information and quotes you used in the body of your paper and show a matching full reference at the end of the paper? Remember, you need both! Need more information on how to credit other authors and sources? Check out our other guides, or use the EasyBib APA format generator to credit your sources quickly and easily. EasyBib.com also has more styles than just the one this page focuses on.
  • 12-pt. Times New Roman
  • 11-pt. Calibri, Arial, Georgia
  • 10-pt. Lucida, Sans Unicode, Computer Modern
  • If you created an abstract, is it directly after the title page? Some teachers and professors do not require an abstract, so before you go ahead and include it, make sure it’s something he or she is expecting.
  • Professional paper — Did you include a running head on every single page of your project?
  • Student paper — Did you include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of all your pages?
  • Are all headings, as in section or chapter titles, properly formatted? If you’re not sure, check section number 9.
  • Are all tables and figures aligned properly? Did you include notes and other important information directly below the table or figure? Include any information that will help the reader completely understand everything in the table or figure if it were to stand alone.
  • Are abbreviations used sparingly? Did you format them properly?
  • Is the entire document double spaced?
  • Are all numbers formatted properly? Check section 17, which is APA writing format for numbers.
  • Did you glance at the sample paper? Is your assignment structured similarly? Are all of the margins uniform?

Submitting Your APA Paper

Congratulations for making it this far! You’ve put a lot of effort into writing your paper and making sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. If you’re planning to submit your paper for a school assignment, make sure you review your teacher or professor’s procedures.

If you’re submitting your paper to a journal, you probably need to include a cover letter.

Most cover letters ask you to include:

  • The author’s contact information.
  • A statement to the editor that the paper is original.
  • If a similar paper exists elsewhere, notify the editor in the cover letter.

Once again, review the specific journal’s website for exact specifications for submission.

Okay, so you’re probably thinking you’re ready to hit send or print and submit your assignment. Can we offer one last suggestion? We promise it will only take a minute.

Consider running your paper through our handy dandy paper checker. It’s pretty simple.

Copy and paste or upload your paper into our checker. Within a minute, we’ll provide feedback on your spelling and grammar. If there’s a pronoun , interjection , or verb out of place, we’ll highlight it and offer suggestions for improvement. We’ll even take it a step further and point out any instances of possible plagiarism.

If it sounds too good to be true, then head on over to our innovative tool and give it a whirl. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

What is APA Format?

APA stands for the American Psychological Association . In this guide, you’ll find information related to “What is APA format?” in relation to writing and organizing your paper according to the American Psychological Association’s standards. Information on how to cite sources can be found on our APA citation page. The official American Psychological Association handbook was used as a reference for our guide and we’ve included page numbers from the manual throughout. However, this page is not associated with the association.

You’ll most likely use APA format if your paper is on a scientific topic. Many behavioral and social sciences use this organization’s standards and guidelines.

What are behavioral sciences? Behavioral sciences study human and animal behavior. They can include:

  • Cognitive Science
  • Neuroscience

What are social sciences? Social sciences focus on one specific aspect of human behavior, specifically social and cultural relationships. Social sciences can include:

  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Human Geography
  • Archaeology
  • Linguistics

What’s New in the 7th Edition?

This citation style was created by the American Psychological Association. Its rules and guidelines can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . The information provided in the guide above follows the 6th edition (2009) of the manual. The 7th edition was published in 2020 and is the most recent version.

The 7th edition of the Publication Manual is in full color and includes 12 sections (compared to 8 sections in the 6th edition). In general, this new edition differentiates between professional and student papers, includes guidance with accessibility in mind, provides new examples to follow, and has updated guidelines.We’ve selected a few notable updates below, but for a full view of all of the 7th edition changes visit the style’s website linked here .

  • Paper title
  • Student name
  • Affiliation (e.g., school, department, etc.)
  • Course number and title
  • Course instructor
  • 6th edition – Running head: SMARTPHONE EFFECTS ON ADOLESCENT SOCIALIZATION
  • 7th edition – SMARTPHONE EFFECTS ON ADOLESCENT SOCIALIZATION
  • Pronouns . “They” can be used as a gender-neutral pronoun.
  • Bias-free language guidelines . There are updated and new sections on guidelines for this section. New sections address participation in research, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality.
  • Spacing after sentences. Add only a single space after end punctuation.
  • Tables and figures . The citing format is now streamlined so that both tables and figures should include a name and number above the table/figure, and a note underneath the table/figure.
  • 6th ed. – (Ikemoto, Richardson, Murphy, Yoshida 2016)
  • 7th ed. – (Ikemoto et al., 2016)
  • Citing books. The location of the publisher can be omitted. Also, e-books no longer need to mention the format (e.g., Kindle, etc.)
  • Example: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-019-0153-5
  • Using URLs. URLs no longer need to be prefaced by the words “Retrieved from.”

New citing information . There is new guidance on citing classroom or intranet resources, and oral traditions or traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.

Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

apa format

Published October 31, 2011. Updated May 14, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

APA Formatting Guide

APA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • Multiple Authors
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Parenthetical Citations
  • Sample Paper
  • View APA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all APA Examples

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We should not use “et al.” in APA reference list entries. If the number of authors in the source is up to and including 20, list all author names and use an ampersand (&) before the final author’s name. If the number of authors is more than 20, list the first 19 authors’ names followed by an ellipsis (but no ampersand), and then add the final author’s name. An example of author names in a reference entry having more than 20 authors is given below:

Author Surname1, F. M., Author Surname2, F. M., Author Surname3, F. M., Author Surname4, F. M., Author Surname5, F. M., Author Surname6, F. M., Author Surname7, F. M., Author Surname8, F. M., Author Surname9, F. M., Author Surname10, F. M., Author Surname11, F. M., Author Surname12, F. M., Author Surname13, F. M., Author Surname14, F. M., Author Surname15, F. M., Author Surname16, F. M., Author Surname17, F. M., Author Surname18, F. M., Author Surname19, F. M., . . .  Last Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year).

Alvarez, L. D., Peach, J. L., Rodriguez, J. F., Donald, L., Thomas, M., Aruck, A., Samy, K., Anthony, K., Ajey, M., Rodriguez, K. L., Katherine, K., Vincent, A., Pater, F., Somu, P., Pander, L., Berd, R., Fox, L., Anders, A., Kamala, W., . . . Nicole Jones, K. (2019).

Note that, unlike references with 2 to 20 author names, the symbol “&” is not used here before the last author’s name.

APA 7, released in October 2019, has some new updates. Here is a brief description of the updates made in APA 7.

Different types of papers and best practices are given in detail in Chapter 1.

How to format a student title page is explained in Chapter 2. Examples of a professional paper and a student paper are included.

Chapter 3 provides additional information on qualitative and mixed methods of research.

An update on writing style is included in Chapter 4.

In chapter 5, some best practices for writing with bias-free language are included.

Chapter 6 gives some updates on style elements including using a single space after a period, including a citation with an abbreviation, the treatment of numbers in abstracts, treatment for different types of lists, and the formatting of gene and protein names.

In Chapter 7, additional examples are given for tables and figures for different types of publications.

In Chapter 8, how to format quotations and how to paraphrase text are covered with additional examples. A simplified version of in-text citations is clearly illustrated.

Chapter 9 has many updates: listing all author names up to 20 authors, standardizing DOIs and URLs, and the formatting of an annotated bibliography.

Chapter 10 includes many examples with templates for all reference types. New rules covering the inclusion of the issue number for journals and the omission of publisher location from book references are provided. Explanations of how to cite YouTube videos, power point slides, and TED talks are included.

Chapter 11 includes many legal references for easy understanding.

Chapter 12 provides advice for authors on how to promote their papers.

For more information on some of the changes found in APA 7, check out this EasyBib article .

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APA Sample Paper

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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper  ,  APA Sample Professional Paper

This resource is enhanced by Acrobat PDF files. Download the free Acrobat Reader

Note: The APA Publication Manual, 7 th Edition specifies different formatting conventions for student  and  professional  papers (i.e., papers written for credit in a course and papers intended for scholarly publication). These differences mostly extend to the title page and running head. Crucially, citation practices do not differ between the two styles of paper.

However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in  student style and one in  professional  style.

Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples. Those authored by [AF] denote explanations of formatting and [AWC] denote directions for writing and citing in APA 7. 

APA 7 Student Paper:

Apa 7 professional paper:.

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Computer Science > Computation and Language

Title: ems-sd: efficient multi-sample speculative decoding for accelerating large language models.

Abstract: Speculative decoding emerges as a pivotal technique for enhancing the inference speed of Large Language Models (LLMs). Despite recent research aiming to improve prediction efficiency, multi-sample speculative decoding has been overlooked due to varying numbers of accepted tokens within a batch in the verification phase. Vanilla method adds padding tokens in order to ensure that the number of new tokens remains consistent across samples. However, this increases the computational and memory access overhead, thereby reducing the speedup ratio. We propose a novel method that can resolve the issue of inconsistent tokens accepted by different samples without necessitating an increase in memory or computing overhead. Furthermore, our proposed method can handle the situation where the prediction tokens of different samples are inconsistent without the need to add padding tokens. Sufficient experiments demonstrate the efficacy of our method. Our code is available at this https URL .

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medRxiv

Coming out of the ashes we rise: Experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse international nursing students at two Australian universities during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Find this author on Google Scholar
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  • Search for this author on this site
  • ORCID record for Eric Lim
  • For correspondence: [email protected]
  • ORCID record for Linda Ng
  • ORCID record for Huaqiong Zhou
  • ORCID record for Ambili Nair
  • ORCID record for Fatch Kalembo
  • Info/History
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Background and aim: Research on international students conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic has persistently highlighted the vulnerabilities and challenges that they experienced when staying in the host country to continue with their studies. The findings from such research can inevitably create a negative image of international students and their ability to respond to challenges during unprecedented times. Therefore, this paper took a different stance and reported on a qualitative study that explored culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) international nursing students who overcame the challenges brought about by the pandemic to continue with their studies in Australia. Method: A descriptive qualitative research design guided by the processes of constructivist grounded theory was selected to ascertain insights from participants' experiences of studying abroad in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Three themes emerged from the collected data that described the participants' lived experiences, and they were: 1) Viewing international education as the pursuit of a better life, 2) Focusing on personal growth, and 3) Coming out of the ashes we rise. Discussion: The findings highlight the importance of recognising the investments and sacrifices that CaLD international students and their families make in pursuit of international tertiary education. The findings also underscore the importance of acknowledging the qualities that CaLD international students have to achieve self-growth and ultimately self-efficacy as they stay in the host country during a pandemic. Conclusion: Future research should focus on identifying strategies that are useful for CaLD international nursing students to experience personal growth and ultimately self-efficacy and continue with their studies in the host country during times of uncertainty such as a pandemic.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

This study did not receive any funding

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.

The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

Ethical approval was obtained from Curtin University Human Research Ethics Office (HRE2022-0238) and The University of Southern Queensland Ethical Review Committee (H22REA114).

I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals.

I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).

I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines, such as any relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material, if applicable.

Data Availability

All data produced in the present study are available upon reasonable request to the authors

View the discussion thread.

Thank you for your interest in spreading the word about medRxiv.

NOTE: Your email address is requested solely to identify you as the sender of this article.

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IMAGES

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.)

    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.).

  2. How to Write an APA Format Bibliography

    To create a bibliography, gather up all of the sources that you might use in your paper. Create an APA format reference for each source and then write a brief annotation. Your annotation should be a brief summary of what each reference is about. You can quickly refer to these annotations When writing your paper and determine which to include.

  3. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    Basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper Author/Authors Rules for handling works by a single author or multiple authors that apply to all APA-style references in your reference list, regardless of the type of work (book, article, electronic resource, etc.)

  4. Creating an MLA Bibliography

    MLA 8 th edition vs MLA 9 th edition. The 9 th edition of the MLA handbook re-introduces guidelines regarding paper formatting (which were not present in the 8 th edition). The guidance in the 9 th addition is consistent with the guidance in previous editions and expands on the formatting of tables, figures/illustrations, and lists. The 9 th edition also offers new guidance in areas like ...

  5. Common Research Paper Bibliography Formats

    Research papers take a lot of different steps to format your outline and discuss where your sources came from. Every paper ends with a citation page or bibliography. ... Now that you understand the styles to use, it's time to create your research paper citation page. This can be a piece of cake if you follow the correct steps. Step 1: Create ...

  6. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  7. How to Write a Bibliography in APA and MLA styles With Examples

    Examples of Bibliography Format Examples of Bibliography Formats. There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the ...

  8. How to Write a Bibliography (MLA, APA Examples)

    This resource will help your students properly cite different resources in the bibliography of a research paper, and how to format those citations, for books, encyclopedias, films, websites, and people. ... These sample essay outlines include a research paper outline from an actual student paper. How to write a bibliography step-by-step (with ...

  9. How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

    Bibliography Entry for a Book. A bibliography entry for a book begins with the author's name, which is written in this order: last name, comma, first name, period. After the author's name comes the title of the book. If you are handwriting your bibliography, underline each title. If you are working on a computer, put the book title in ...

  10. EasyBib®: Free Bibliography Generator

    MLA Format Guide. This is the total package when it comes to MLA format. Our easy to read guides come complete with examples and step-by-step instructions to format your full and in-text citations, paper, and works cited in MLA style. There's even information on annotated bibliographies.

  11. The Complete Guide to APA Format in 2020

    There are several steps you must take to prepare a new document for APA style before you start writing your paper: Make sure the paper size is 8.5" x 11" (known as 'Letter' in most word processors). Set the margin size to 1" on all sides (2.54cm). Change the line spacing to double-spaced. Add page numbers to the top-right corner of every page.

  12. APA Style

    The authority on APA Style and the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual. Find tutorials, the APA Style Blog, how to format papers in APA Style, and other resources to help you improve your writing, master APA Style, and learn the conventions of scholarly publishing.

  13. APA Format: Everything You Need to Know Here

    An APA format citation is an APA format in-text citation. These are found within your paper, anytime a quote or paraphrase is included. They usually only include the name of the author and the date the source was published. Here's an example of one: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is even discussed in the book, The Emperor of Any Place. The main ...

  14. How do you format a bibliography in APA Style? (6th edition)

    In general, the list of references is double-spaced and listed alphabetically by first author's last name. For each reference, the first line is typed flush with the left margin, and any additional lines are indented as a group a few spaces to the right of the left margin (this is called a hanging indent ). For example:

  15. General Format

    Paper Format. The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the MLA Style Manual. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA Style: General Guidelines. Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.

  16. Basic principles of citation

    APA Style uses the author-date citation system, in which a brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry.The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication.

  17. Citation Styles Guide

    Citation styles also differ in terms of how you format the reference list or bibliography entries themselves (e.g., capitalization, order of information, use of italics). And many style guides also provide guidance on more general issues like text formatting, punctuation, and numbers.

  18. Sample papers

    The following two sample papers were published in annotated form in the Publication Manual and are reproduced here as PDFs for your ease of use. The annotations draw attention to content and formatting and provide the relevant sections of the Publication Manual (7th ed.) to consult for more information.. Student sample paper with annotations (PDF, 5MB)

  19. APA In-Text Citations

    APA is one of the most commonly used citation styles for texts in the social sciences, and it requires specific formatting of your paper and all in-text citations. APA Style in-text citations include the author name and publication year in parentheses (Name, Year). ... Parenthetical citation example: Multiple works by the same author published ...

  20. APA Sample Paper

    Crucially, citation practices do not differ between the two styles of paper. However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in student style and one in professional style. Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples.

  21. [2405.07542] EMS-SD: Efficient Multi-sample Speculative Decoding for

    Speculative decoding emerges as a pivotal technique for enhancing the inference speed of Large Language Models (LLMs). Despite recent research aiming to improve prediction efficiency, multi-sample speculative decoding has been overlooked due to varying numbers of accepted tokens within a batch in the verification phase. Vanilla method adds padding tokens in order to ensure that the number of ...

  22. Paper format

    To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments. The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create ...

  23. Coming out of the ashes we rise: Experiences of culturally and

    Background and aim: Research on international students conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic has persistently highlighted the vulnerabilities and challenges that they experienced when staying in the host country to continue with their studies. The findings from such research can inevitably create a negative image of international students and their ability to respond to challenges during ...

  24. PDF Sample Annotated Student Paper in APA Style

    parenthetical citation of a work with two authors, 8.17 parenthetical citation of a work with one author, 8.17 group author, 9.11 use of first person, 4.16 italics to highlight a key term, 6.22 narrative citation in parenthetical running text, 8.11 repeated citation needed, 8.1 student title page, 2.3 Sample Papers • 61 ELEMENTS & FORMAT