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APA Style (7th ed.)

  • 1a. General practice exercises
  • 1b. Sample paper
  • 2a. APA Style (7th ed.) formatting checklist
  • 2b. Formatting practice exercises
  • 3. Quoting and paraphrasing
  • 4a. Citations versus attributions
  • 4b. APA Style (7th ed.) citations checklist
  • 4c. Citations practice exercise
  • 4d. What information needs to be cited to avoid plagiarism?
  • 5a. APA Style (7th ed.) references checklist

APA Style (7th ed.) references checklist

  • 5b. References practice exercises
  • 6. Academic integrity checklist
  • 7. Ordering the APA Style manual from the RRU Bookstore
  • Looking for more APA Style information?

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If you're using the APA Style rules and want to review your references before you submit your document for grading or publication, check for these 10 common problem areas. To see examples of these 10 items, please refer to the Annotated Student Sample Paper by the American Psychological Association.:

1.  Placement in document

References typically appear after the main text but before appendices (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 43). If you’re unsure of the order expected in your work, please check with your instructor or publishing editor.

2.  Start references on a new page titled “References”

References should begin on a new page, and the page should be titled “References” (APA, 2020, p. 303). “References” is a section label, not a section heading, which means the word should be centred and bolded (APA, 2020, p. 49). If the list only has one entry, title the page "Reference". See How Should I Format My References in APA Style? for more information.

3.  Double-space references

The references should be double-spaced without extra spaces between references (APA, 2020, p. 303). See How Should I Format My References in APA Style? for more information.

4.  Left-align references with a hanging indent

The first line of a reference should start flush to the left margin, and references should be left-aligned with a ragged right margin (APA, 2020, p. 303). Do not break words or URLs at the end of a line; instead, use your word processor’s automatic line-wrapping function (APA, 2020, p. 300). Second and subsequent lines of every reference should have a hanging indent (APA, 2020, p. 303). Use your word processor’s  settings to set up an automatic hanging indent. For example:

See How Should I Format My References in APA Style? for more information.

5.  Check spacing after punctuation

Provide one space after a comma or a period within references, including after an author’s initials e.g., Author, A. A. (APA, 2020, p. 154).

6.  Check capitalization of resource titles

Use sentence case (i.e., capitalize the first word of a title, the first word of a subtitle, and proper nouns) in the title of a work that is part of a larger work, such as a journal article, book chapter, newspaper article, magazine article, blog post, social media post, or encyclopedia or dictionary entry (APA, 2020, p. 291). Stand-alone resources, such as a report, dissertation, thesis, YouTube or TED Talk video, web page, brochures, press releases, and conference papers should also be presented in sentence case (APA, 2020, p. 291).

Use title case (i.e., all major words capitalized) in periodical titles (e.g., journal, newspaper, magazine) (APA, 2020, p. 294).

7.  Check italicization of resource titles

Italicize the title of a stand-alone resource (APA, 2020, p. 291), such as a book, journal, report, dissertation or thesis, newspaper, magazine, encyclopedia, dictionary, or web page.

Do not italicize the title of a resource that is part of a greater whole (APA, 2020, p. 291), such as a journal article, book chapter, newspaper article, magazine article, encyclopedia entry, or dictionary entry.

8.  Provide a DOI if the resource has one assigned

If the resource has a DOI, whether you worked with a print or electronic version, provide that information in the https://doi.org/xxxx form (APA, 2020, p. 299). If you're unsure if the resource has a DOI, search for the article in Crossref's Free DOI Lookup . 

9.  Do not provide a URL if the resource doesn't have a DOI

If you worked with an electronic resource that doesn't have a DOI assigned to it, do not provide a URL to the resource in the reference. If you are referencing a journal article, provide the title of the periodical in the reference (APA, 2020, p. 316). If you're referencing a book or reference work, provide the publisher's name (APA, 2020, p. 321) and "use the spelling of the publisher name as shown on the work you used" (APA, 2020, p. 296). These details can usually be found on the reverse side of the resource’s title page. If the publisher is also the author, "the publisher or site name is omitted from the source element" (APA, 2020, p. 294). 

If you retrieved the resource from an academic research database (e.g., eBook Collection in EBSCOhost) and the resource doesn't have a DOI assigned to it, do not provide a URL for the resource. 

For example references, please see How Do I Reference a Journal Article in APA Style (No DOI)? or How Do I Reference a Book in APA Style? in WriteAnswers.

10.  Do not include personal communication in the references

If your resource isn’t recoverable to the intended reader, use the format for personal communication to cite the resource only in text (APA, 2020, p. 260). Personal communication isn’t included in the references because readers can’t access the resource. See  How Do I Cite or Reference Personal Communications in APA Style? for more information.

For extensive information on references to specific resource types, including examples, please search  WriteAnswers  by keyword.

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

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  • URL: https://libguides.royalroads.ca/apa7

APA 7th referencing style

  • About APA 7th
  • Printing this guide
  • In-text references
  • Direct quotations

Reference list formatting

Difference between reference list and bibliography, order of works with no title, publisher details, publication date, page numbers, multiple works with same author(s) and same year, example reference list.

  • Author information
  • Additional referencing information
  • Using headings
  • Book chapter
  • Brochure and pamphlets
  • ChatGPT and other generative AI tools
  • Conferences
  • Dictionary or encyclopaedia
  • Government legislation
  • Journal article
  • Lecture notes and slides
  • Legal sources
  • Newspaper or magazine article
  • Other web sources
  • Patents and standards
  • Personal communication
  • Press (media) release
  • Secondary source (indirect citation)
  • Social media
  • Software and mobile apps
  • Specialised health information
  • Television program
  • Works in non-English languages
  • Works in non-English scripts, such as Arabic or Chinese
  • No specific font type or size required. Recommendations include Calibri size 11, Arial size 11, Lucida size 10, Times New Roman size 12, Georgia size 11 or Computer Modern size 10 (LaTeX).
  • The reference list is double spaced  (between each reference AND within the reference).
  • A reference list is arranged alphabetically by author last name .
  • Each reference appears on a new line.
  • Each item in the reference list is required to have a hanging indent .

Zarate, K., Maggin, D. M., & Passmore, A. (2019). Meta‐analysis of mindfulness training on teacher well‐being. Psychology in the Schools , 56(10), 1700–1715. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22308

  • References should not be numbered.
  • If a reference has no author, it is cited by title, and included in the alphabetical list using the first significant word of the title.
  • If you have more than one item with the same author, list the items chronologically, starting with the earliest publication.
  • If there is no date, the abbreviation n.d. may be used.
  • Use the full journal name , not the abbreviated name.
  • Web addresses or DOIs can either be live links (blue and underlined) or as normal black text with no underline. If the work containing the reference list is to be made available online, use the live link format.
  • APA 7th sample papers Includes example papers formatted in the APA 7th style from the American Psychological Association
  • A reference list only includes the books, articles, and web pages etc that are cited in the text of the document.
  • A bibliography includes all sources consulted, even if they are not cited in the document
  • ​ use  sentence case  (the first word uses a capital letter with each subsequent word in lower case). The exceptions are for names eg. countries and after a colon : eg. Writing prose in Australia: Words of wisdom from the best
  • do not use single or double quotation marks.
  • do not italicise.
  • ​ use  sentence case   
  • italicise the title 
  • should be provided in full (not abbreviated) and use capitals where appropriate (rather than sentence case) eg.  Psychological Review .
  • they should be  italicised .
  • Website titles should be italicised.  
  • add a description of the reference used, including the type of reference in square brackets. For example, [Image of a child playing in outdoor playground]. 
  • For social media posts or comments without a title , add up to the first 20 words used in the post or comment and italicise it. Also include a description of the work in square brackets. For example, Join us for the UQ R User Group’s end-of-year event tomorrow! [Facebook post] .
  • use the title in place of the author
  • list alphabetically
  • Use the first significant word of the title. Ignore "A", "And" and "The".

For example, 

The best 10 years of Radio magazine. (2003).  Radio ,  9 (9), 79.

The only 10 recipes you'll ever need. (1998).  Good Housekeeping ,  227 (3).

  • List multiple publisher names in the order in which they appear, separated by semicolons. 
  • For publisher names, words like "Co.", "Publishers" or "Inc." should not be included. For example, use Springer, not Springer Publishers.
  • Places of publication are not included.
  • Do not include publisher name if it is the same as the author.
  • Use n.d. if there is no date available
  • Use in press when the work is accepted for publication but has not been published
  • When the work has been published online prior to publication , include the year of when it was added online.
  • When a month, date or season is used, use (Year, Month Date) or (Year, Season). For example, (2019, November 8) or (2019, Autumn/Winter).
  • If a "Last Updated" date in used, include this as the publication date. This is only when the information has been clearly changed, not just reviewed.
  • For online works that are meant to be changed regularly eg. Facebook, dictionary entry, use Retrieved Month, Date, Year, from Web address. For example, Retrieved November 8, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/uniofqldlibrary
  • Use the full page range and full page numbers eg. 121-138
  • For an online publication that uses article numbers or similar, include Article then the article number in the Page Number place. For example, Article e09645731
  • Page numbers are included when you are referring to a section of a greater work eg. book chapter, journal article.
  • Use pp. for book chapter  page numbers but not for journal articles.
  • Arrange works with the same author(s) and same year alphabetically by title in the reference list. This then determines which references uses a, b, c etc.
  • Add the relevant letter after the year (which is also used for corresponding in-text references). The first reference listed in the reference list uses "a", second uses "b" etc.

Yang, Q., & Harris, J. G. (2010a). Dynamic range control for audio signals using fourth-order level estimation  [Paper presentation]. 129th Audio Engineering Society Convention, San Francisco, CA.

Yang, Q., & Harris, J. G. (2010b). A higher-order spectro-temporal integration model for predicting signal audibility  [Paper presentation]. International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Dallas, TX. 

(Yang & Harris, 2010a)

(Yang & Harris, 2010b)

  • If the date is n.d . (for no date), include a dash then the relevant letter at the end eg. n.d.-a. It will appear before any specified years.
  • If the date is " in press ", include a dash then the relevant letter at the end eg. in press-a. It will appear after any specified years.
  • If a month and day are included , references with just a year are first , followed by specified dates in chronological order. For example:-

(Taylor, 2019a)

(Taylor, 2019b, May 14)

(Taylor, 2019c, August 3)

  • This applies to all reference types with the same author(s) and year.

Ballard, T., Yeo, G., B. Vancouver, J., & Neal, A. (2017). The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation [Advance online publication]. Motivation and Emotion , 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-017-9640-8

Brown, C. G. (2020). Ethical and legal considerations for using mind–body interventions in schools. In Promoting mind–body health in schools: Interventions for mental health professionals. (pp. 113-128). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000157-008

Carson-Chahhoud, K. V., Ameer, F., Sayehmiri, K., Hnin, K., van, A. J. E., Sayehmiri, F., Brinn, M. P., Esterman, A. J., Chang, A. B., & Smith, B. J. (2017). Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (6). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001006.pub3/abstract

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Beyond boredom and anxiety . Jossey-Bass. (Original work published 1975).

Dravsnik, J., Signal, T., & Canoy, D. (2018). Canine co‐therapy: The potential of dogs to improve the acceptability of trauma‐focused therapies for children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 70 , 208-216. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12199

Leigh, J. (2010). Self-determined mindfulness and attachment style in college students (Publication Number 305210119) [Doctoral dissertation, Indiana State University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Malcolm, L. (2002-present). All in the mind [Audio podcast]. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. (n.d.). Wikipedia . Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mindfulness-based_cognitive_therapy&oldid=905716408

O’Brien, B. (2017, May 5). NVivo 11 training - full video (5/4/17) - updated [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNo-Qxsp-mk

Office of Fair Trading. (2018, August 17). Community groups key to seniors staying engaged [Press release]. https://www.qld.gov.au/law/laws-regulated-industries-and-accountability/queensland-laws-and-regulations/fair-trading-services-programs-and-resources/fair-trading-latest-news/media-statements/community-groups-key-to-seniors-staying-engaged

Quealy-Gainer, K. (2014, 16 April). I kill the mockingbird by Paul Acampora (review). Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books , 67 (10), 494-494. https://doi.org/10.1353/bcc.2014.0415

Rappaport, J., & Dubin, C. S. (1983, January 24). Say no more (Season 11, Episode 12) [Television series episode]. In B. Metcalfe, M*A*S*H . 20th Century Fox Television; CBS.

Shapiro, R. E., & Cowan, R. (2017, January 10). Key points about caffeine and migraines . American Migraine Foundation. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/caffeine-and-migraine/

Siegal, Z. V., Teasdale, J. D., & Williams, G. M. G. (2011). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: Theoretical rationale and empirical status. In S. C. Hayes, V. M. Follette, & M. M. Linehan (Eds.), Mindfulness and acceptance: Expanding the cognitive-behavioral tradition (pp. 45-65). Guilford Publications. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Tr0N7aGgAS4C

Simon, P., & Garfunkel, A. (1965). The sounds of silence. On Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. [Song]. Columbia.

U2. (1988). Rattle and hum [Album]. Island; Sun Studio; Point Depot; Danesmoat; STS Studio; A&M Studios; Ocean Way.

University of Queensland Library [@UQ_Library]. (2017, October 4). Turtles down by UQ St Lucia lakes today. Air conditioned library or enjoying the sun and the view - tough choice! [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/uqlibrary/status/915782138905034752

University of Queensland Library. (2017, October 4). The winners of the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards will be revealed at tonight’s ceremony. Good luck to all shortlisted writers! [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pg/uniofqldlibrary/posts/

Zachary, K. C. (2018). Treatment of seasonal influenza in adults. UpToDate . Retrieved May 3, 2018, from https://www-uptodate-com.ezp3.library.uq.edu.au/contents/treatment-of-seasonal-influenza-in-adults

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APA Style & Citation 7th edition

  • What's new with the 7th edition
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • PowerPoint and APA
  • Citations: References
  • Citations: In-Text
  • Library Databases
  • Books and Ebooks
  • Media (includes videos)
  • Other types of sources
  • Numbers, Capitalization, Italics
  • Additional Resources

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Editable APA Template

  • APA 7th edition student sample paper To use this as a template, open the document with Word and replace the text with your own, but keep the formatting.

General APA Rules

Rules for all apa papers:.

  • Margins: 1"
  • Recommended font: 12-point Times New Roman, or 11-point Calibri, Arial or Georgia; or 10-point Lucida sans Unicode or Computer Modern
  • Make sure that there is no extra space after each paragraph (Microsoft Word defaults to including one. Fix this by: highlighting your entire paper, clicking the Paragraph Settings button [bottom-right corner of Paragraph section at top of the page/screen], then selecting "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style" or making the Spacing After = 0.

paragraph line spacing

Sections of an APA Paper

  • Title Page - check with your instructor if they are requiring a title page
  • Text of your paper
  • Appendices - check with your instructor to see if they want you to include appendices

Major Sections of Your Paper

If a title page is required for your assignment, follow these steps:

  • Place your cursor at the top of the first page Hit Enter on the keyboard 4 times
  • Capitalize the first letter of all important words (but not words like a, the, of, etc.)
  • Title may be up to 2 lines (Main Title on First Line: Subtitle on Second)
  • Title should be no more than 12 words
  • Title should contain no abbreviations (spell out United States of America instead of using U.S.A.)
  • Title should contain no unnecessary words
  • Title font should be bold, and centered on page
  • Press ENTER twice, then type your full name (with middle initial if you want to include it)
  • Press ENTER, then type Central Penn College
  • Press ENTER, then type the course name and number this assignment is for
  • Press ENTER, type the Instructor's name - check with them for their preferred form
  • Press ENTER, type the due date in month, date, year format

First Page of Your Essay

1. Type the title of your paper as it appears on the title page - bold font, title case, and centered

2. On the first line of your paragraph, click the left align button to move your cursor back to the left margin

3. Begin writing your paper. Once you have a few lines done, highlight the lines you've written (do NOT include the title), then click the Paragraph Formatting button

4. Under Indentation: Special, choose First Line. The default indentation is 0.5", which is correct

References Page

Your References should begin at the top of a new page immediately after your essay has ended.

1. Type in bold font and center the title: References

2. Press enter, then select the left align button to move your cursor to the left margin

3. Write (or paste) all of your citations. Each citation should begin on a new line. Double line spacing, like the rest of your paper. Do not add any extra spaces between citations.

4. Highlight all of your citations, then click the Sort button in the Paragraph section of the menu. The defaults are correct to sort alphabetically. Click OK. [The sort option is not available in Word online, open your document in the desktop app or manually copy and paste your citations in alphabetical order.]

5. Highlight all of your citations, then select Paragraph options. Under Indentation: Special, select Hanging. The default setting is 0.5", which is correct. Click OK.

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IRSC Libraries Home

APA 7th Edition Style Guide: Formatting Your Paper

  • About In-text Citations
  • In-Text Examples
  • What to Include
  • Volume/Issue
  • Bracketed Descriptions
  • URLs and DOIs
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Book with No Author
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Chapters and Parts of Books
  • Classical Works
  • Course Materials
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Multi-Volume Works
  • Newspaper Article
  • Patents & Laws
  • Personal Communication
  • Physicians' Desk Reference
  • Social Media
  • Unpublished Manuscripts/Informal Publications (i.e. course packets and dissertations)
  • Formatting Your Paper
  • Formatting Your References
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Headings in APA
  • APA Quick Guide
  • NEW!* Submit your Paper for APA Review

APA recommends using the same font throughout your paper. IRSC Librarians recommend using 12-point Times New Roman font. If not using Times New Roman, then another serif  or  sans serif typeface should be used for its readability. Only use different typeface in figure descriptions, in that case, use a font between 8 and 14 points.

Line Spacing & Margins

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.To add double-spacing in Microsoft Word, highlight all the text you want double-spaced, then click on Page Layout . Next to the word Paragraph click on the arrow. Under Spacing , Line Spacing , select Double and then click OK .

Leave 1 in. margins from top to bottom and side to side. Microsoft Word usually is set to 1 in. margins. You can check this by clicking on Page Layout , then click on Margins. The margin you are using is highlighted, select Normal if it is not already selected. 

Number of Spaces after a Period

APA style recommends placing one space  after a period

  • that ends a sentence, 
  • when the period separates parts of a reference entry, 
  • and after author name abbreviations (i.e. Lander, F. K.).

Do not put a space after a period

  • for internal abbreviations (i.e., U.S., p.m.).

Video How-To Set-Up an APA Paper for a Mac

APA Research Paper Template

  • APA Research Paper Template for Word 2016 This template was created and saved as a Word template for Microsoft Word 2016.

You can save this template in Microsoft Word (IRSC students, download Office for free, see a librarian if you need help). Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using APA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an APA style research paper. 

  • APA Research Paper Template with an Abstract

The newest edition of APA, 7th edition does not require the use of an abstract for student papers; however, your instructor may wish you to include one. This template has the abstract included.

Sample Paper

Example Title Page

The new APA 7th edition has a format for writing a professional paper as well as one for a student paper. These directions are a set-up for student papers. In the header, on the right, is the page number, starting with 1. Centered on the page is the full title of the paper in boldface type. Place one extra space after the title of the paper. Following is the author (or authors if this is a group paper), the department and institution to which the paper is affiliated, the course number and course name, the professor's name, and the due date of the paper.

Example Page Two

The text of your paper begins on the second page. The full title starts it off at the top center of a new page, in boldface font. For the rest of the paper, you only need page numbers in the header. Remember to cite!

ExampleReferencesPage

Your References start on its own page and goes at the end of your paper. Title it References, centered, and bold-faced at the top. The references are alphabetized and have a hanging indent.

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references apa double spaced or single

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APA Style Guide - 7th Edition: Formatting Your Paper

  • Formatting Your Paper
  • In-Text Citations
  • Articles from Periodicals
  • Books & Reference Works
  • Websites & Online Media
  • Audiovisual Media
  • Grammar and Mechanics

Additional Resources

  • Masters Programs

APA Formatting Templates - 7th edition

Start writing your paper by using one of ECPI's Student Sample Paper templates below.

references apa double spaced or single

A Student Sample Paper template is also available from the APA Publication Manual 

  • APA Guide Maintained by ECPI Libraries. Contains formatting, reference and in-text citation guidance.
  • APA Style Maintained by the American Psychological Association. Contains quick answers and tutorials for APA.
  • APA Style Blog A blog maintained by the American Psychological Association answering questions about APA Style.

references apa double spaced or single

Formatting Tutorial APA 7th Edition

Format your paper from scratch using this formatting tutorial.

Want to watch on youtube.com? Click here

references apa double spaced or single

Parts of an APA Paper

References page.

Your title page should include:

  • Title of the paper
  • Name of each author of the paper
  • Affiliation for each author
  • Course number and name 
  • Instructor name
  • Assignment due date
  • Page number at the top right

Remember to double space your entire paper, including the title page!

references apa double spaced or single

The main body of your paper should:

  • Have your title centered on the first line of the page and bold the title
  • Aside from the title, text should be left-oriented
  • Paragraphs should be indented and text is double spaced
  • Each page should contain a page number

references apa double spaced or single

Your reference page should:

  • Begin on a new page immediately following the end of your paper
  • Have the word "References" centered on the first line of the page. Bold the word "References"
  • Have all citations listed in alphabetical order by the first word of the citation
  • Include a hanging indent for all citations ( Click here for directions on creating a hanging indent in Word )
  • Contain only sources used in your paper

Need more help with your citations? Check out the Reference Page tab!

references apa double spaced or single

Paper Format - APA Style

Consistency in the order, structure, and format of a paper allows readers to focus on a paper’s content rather than its presentation.

Click here for Paper Format guidance from APA Style

General Formatting

Your APA style paper should be:

  • Typed and double-spaced with one inch margins on all sides.
  • a serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Georgia.
  • a sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode.
  • Each page should include a page number at the top right of the page.
  • NOTE - Your instructor may request different formatting and assignments may have different requirements.

Presentation Formatting

Formatting a presentation on platforms such as Powerpoint or Prezi

There is not a formal APA style for presentation slides but you are still required to properly cite sources using APA style. You should also properly cite brochures and posters, ask your instructor how they want this information provided.

Properly citing sources includes:

  • Citing all images, statistics, tables, quotations, etc. with an in-text citation and on your references slide.
  • In-text citations should appear on the same slide you use information from that source.
  • If more than one in-text citation is on the same slide, you should be clear about what information came from each source.
  • Include a reference slide at the end for your reference citations.
  • Reference citations are structured and formatted in the same way they would be in a paper.
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APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

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In-Text Citations

Resources on using in-text citations in APA style

Reference List

Resources on writing an APA style reference list, including citation formats

Other APA Resources

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Formatting a References Page in Word 2013/2016

Use the following directions to format your References page in APA format. Also, check out our APA 7th ed. sample paper . 

  • After completing your paper, click the "Insert" tab and choose "Blank Page" to add a new page to your document. Your header with your page number should appear in the top right corner when you insert the new page.

Task bar of Microsoft Word with the Insert tab outlined in red and the Blank Page icon outlined in a red box.

  • Click on the "Home" tab, then click the "Justify Center" icon. This will center your title.

Home tab in Microsoft Word with a red box outlining it; center justified icon also outlined in a red box.

  • Type in your title: References. Your title should be bolded in size 12 Times New Roman font.

References page in APA format with the word "References" centered and in bold.

  • Hit "Enter" on your keyboard to start a new line. Then, hit the "Justify Left" icon to move the cursor back to the left. Make sure to unbold the text.

Task bar for Microsoft Word under the "Home" tab with the Justify Left icon outlined in red.

  • Type in your full APA citation for your sources. Remember your References page should still be double-spaced!

References page with full APA citation, but the citation does not have a hanging indent.

  • All References entries that are longer than a single line must include a Hanging Indent for second (and so forth) line(s).
  • Choose the line you wish to indent. Move your cursor to the line you wish to indent.
  • Hit CTRL T (or CMD T on a Mac) on your keyboard.

References page with a full APA citation that includes a hanging indent.

  • Repeat (if necessary) for your third line.

Formatting a References Page in Word Online

Use the following directions to format your References page in APA format. Also, check out our APA 7th ed.  sample paper . 

  • After completing your paper, add a new page to your document for your Works Cited. Hit "Enter" on your keyboard until you begin a new page.  Your header with your page number should also update automatically (although you will not be able to see them in the document).
  • Click the "Home" tab, then click the "Justify Center" icon. This will center your title.

Word Online taskbar with "Home" tab outlined in red and the "Center Alignment" tab outlined in red.

  • Type in your title, References. Your title should be bolded and in size 12 Times New Roman font.

References page formatted in Word Online.

  • Hit "Enter" on your keyboard to start a new line. Then, go to the "Home" tab and hit "Justify Left" to move the cursor back to the left. Make sure to unbold the text.

Word Online taskbar with "Home" tab outlined in red and the "Justify Left" icon outlined in red.

  • Type in your full APA Citations for your sources. Remember, your References page should be double-spaced!

References page with a full APA Citation double-spaced, but missing the hanging indent.

  • All References page entries that are longer than a single line must include a Hanging Indent for second (and so forth) line(s). Move your cursor to the end of the first line.
  • Using your mouse, move the cursor to the beginning of the second line of your citation.
  • Hit "Tab" on your keyboard. This should indent only the second line of your citation.

Full APA citation with a hanging indent.

  • << Previous: Formatting Your Title Page and Paper in Word
  • Next: APA Handouts >>
  • Formatting the Author & Title
  • Citing a Book or Ebook
  • Citing Part of a Book or Ebook
  • Citing an Encyclopedia
  • Citing a Journal Article
  • Citing an Article Written for a Database
  • Citing a Magazine or Newspaper Article
  • Citing Interviews, Emails, etc.
  • Citing a Website Article or Page
  • Citing a Video
  • Citing Images in a Project
  • In-text Citations
  • Annotated Bibliography - APA
  • Formatting Your Title Page and Paper in Word
  • APA Handouts
  • More APA Resources
  • APA Workshop (Mar. 2022)

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  • Last Updated: May 8, 2024 9:31 AM
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Apa spacing: getting it right in apa 7, published by steve tippins on february 1, 2022 february 1, 2022.

Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 05:08 am

APA style can be confusing – especially with the relatively recent switch from APA 6 to APA 7. Not to worry – we’ve got your back. Here are all your APA spacing questions answered

Is APA Single or Double Spaced?

In APA 7 th edition, the default line spacing guideline is to use double-spacing throughout your paper, including block quotations and the reference list. Also, you should not add blank lines before or after headings or add extra spacing between paragraphs.

To set up your document to ​double-line spacing and to be sure not to add lines between paragraphs or before or after headings, follow these directions:

  • On the Home tab, click on the Paragraph menu.
  • Set the Spacing Before and After to 0 pt.
  • Check “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style”.
  • From the Line spacing menu, select “Double”. 
  • Click on “Set As Default”.

One Space Requirement

One space is required after a period at the end of a sentence, when the period separates parts of a reference entry, and after the author’s abbreviations in the reference list. Also put one space after any other punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. 

APA Spacing for Title Page

Insert a double-spaced blank line between the title and your name. Double space the rest of the information.

APA Spacing for Tables and Figures

Double space the title and table number and title above the table or figure itself, and any note that you provide below the table or figure. The spacing inside the cells of your table or figure can be adjusted to whatever spacing best presents your information. You can add an extra blank line above and/or below the figure or table to separate it from the text that is on the same page.  

APA Spacing for an Image

Double space the image’s caption that is below the image. You can space any text in the actual image any way that best presents your information. You can add an extra blank line above and/or below the image to separate it from the text that is on the same page.  

references apa double spaced or single

APA Spacing for Appendices 

Double space all of the information in the Appendices.

APA Spacing for Abbreviations 

Do not put a space after internal periods in abbreviations, such as U.S., B.A., e.g., and p.m. Do not put a space between a word and a colon. 

Example : The following are the guidelines for spacing:

APA Spacing for Colons

When writing hours and minutes in numeral form, do not put a space before or after the colon.

When a ration is expressed with two numbers, do not put a space before or after the colon.

When writing Biblical chapters and verses, do not put a space before or after the colon.

Genesis 2:14

APA Spacing for Footnotes

When you insert footnotes, use should use the footnotes function of the word-processing program and choose the default font settings, which are single-spaced and a smaller font than the text.

APA Spacing for Equations

For equations, to make them more visible to readers, you can use triple- or quadruple-spacing before and after them.

APA Spacing for Ellipses

An ellipsis is a set of three periods, which indicates an omission. There should not be any spaces between the three periods. However, you should put a single space on either side of the ellipses to separate it from the text. 

An ellipsis … indicates an omission.

If you have an ellipsis after a complete sentence, put the period, question mark, or exclamation point after the last word of the sentence. Then, put a space between the punctuation mark and the ellipsis, and a space after the ellipses. For colons, the same spacing is required.

references apa double spaced or single

    Ellipses have three periods. … They indicate omission.

For commas, it the comma comes before the ellipsis, the same rules as above apply. However, if the comma comes after the ellipsis, you should not put space between the comma and the ellipsis.

Example : 

Put the period, question mark …, after the last word of the sentence.

Note: For more information, refer to sections 2.21 and 6.8 of the APA Manual , 7th edition. For more support, see our Dissertation Editing and Dissertation Coaching services.

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APA Style Guide: Formatting Your Paper

  • About In-text Citations
  • In-text Examples
  • How to Paraphrase
  • What to Include
  • Volume/Issue
  • Non-Routine Information
  • Place of Publication
  • Retrieval Statement
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Book with No Author
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Chapters and Parts of Books
  • Classical Works
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Multi-Volume Works
  • Newspaper Article
  • Patents & Laws
  • Physicians' Desk Reference
  • Social Media
  • Technical/Company Reports
  • Unpublished Manuscripts/Informal Publications (i.e. course packets)
  • Formatting Your Paper
  • Formatting Your References
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Avoid Plagiarism

APA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman font. If not using Times New Roman, then another serif typeface should be used for its readability. Only use different typeface in figure descriptions to add style to the paper (section 8.03).

Line Spacing & Margins

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.To add double-spacing in Microsoft Word, highlight all the text you want double-spaced, then click on Page Layout . Next to the word Paragraph click on the arrow. Under Spacing , Line Spacing , select Double and then click OK .

Put two spaces after the period for each sentence in the body of the paper (Note, use only one space after a period in your references at the end of the paper) . Microsoft Word does not have a setting to automatically put in two spaces at the end of a sentence, but you can set-up the grammar check to alert you when only one space is used. In Word 2007, click on File, then click Options. Next, click on Proofing. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word , click on Settings. Next to Spaces required between sentences , change the setting to 2. Click OK to exit. This setting will alert you to single spaces after a period with the green squiggle that shows when there is a grammar error in your paper.

Leave 1 in. margins from top to bottom and side to side. Microsoft Word usually is set to 1 in. margins. You can check this by clicking on Page Layout , then click on Margins. The margin you are using is highlighted, select Normal if it is not already selected. 

Video How-To for Other Popular Applications

references apa double spaced or single

Sample Paper

The title page of an APA paper includes a shortened version of your title in the header, with the words: Running head: before it. The shortened title needs to make sense, it is not simply the first 50 characters of the longer title. The running head is on the left, on the right is the page number, starting with 1. Centered on the page is the full title of the paper, the author's name is on the next line, and the institutional affiliation (your school) is on the third line.

If your professor requires an abstract, you will include a summary of your paper on the second page. Start the abstract on a new page. Type the word Abstract on the center top of the page. Include page number and shortened title in the header. You no longer need to type the words

Running head:

before the title. The abstract is typed without any indentation.

Finally, we begin to type the paper! The full title starts it off at the top center of a new page. For the rest of the paper, you only need the title and page numbers in the header. Remember to cite!

APA Research Paper Template

Below is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using APA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an APA style research paper. Microsoft Word 2013 will allow you to save personal templates. Once you have the template opened in Word

Click "Save as"

Give the file a name

Under "Save as type", select Word Template

Then when you open Word 2013, you will be able to choose a template rather than a blank document. You might have to select Personal to find your template.

Number of Spaces after a Period

APA style recommends placing two spaces after a period that ends a sentence. This rule is often not enforced by professors. The reasoning behind it is to aid in proofreading. You can read more about it in the APA Style Handbook on pages 87-88. Microsoft Word 2010 and later editions does not allow the user to put in two spaces after a period in any automatic way. You can set-up your grammar check to alert you when you have failed to place two spaces after a period. To do this, go to File-Options-Proofing-Writing Style-Grammar-Settings. In Spaces Required Between Sentences, select 2. Now when you type your paper and insert only one space after a period, you will see a small green squiggly where you fail to put in two spaces, once you do a grammar check of your paper. Keep in mind that APA does not call for two spaces after any period (such as for abbreviations or in the reference list) ONLY when a period ends a sentence do you need two spaces.

Step by Step Instructions for Formatting your APA Style Research Paper

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  • Last Updated: Oct 27, 2022 9:47 AM
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Answered By: Jackie Stevens Last Updated: Aug 28, 2022     Views: 30441

If you need to change Word document formatting, it is best to strip out Word's default settings, which are set to the "Normal" template by default. The elements of the Normal style are Calibri font, size 11, single spacing with an extra line between paragraphs and right justification. The simplest and most efficient way to edit the formatting is to change to the "No Spacing" style, and reset the spacing and indentations, as you require.

1. If you are starting with a blank document, simply click the "No Spacing" button in the Styles group before you start typing, and set the formatting as per the images below.

If you have already typed some text, highlight the text and click the "No Spacing" button in the Styles group, and set the formatting as shown below.

references apa double spaced or single

4. You can also change the indent style here if you wish. In the Indentation box under Special , select First Line from the   dropdown list for the body of your text (APA and Chicago), and  Hanging for your Reference list/Bibliography.

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  • How do I format hanging indent in Word?
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  1. Line spacing

    Line Spacing. In general, double-space all parts of an APA Style paper, including the abstract; text; block quotations; table and figure numbers, titles, and notes; and reference list (including between and within entries). Do not add extra space before or after paragraphs. Exceptions to double line spacing are as follows:

  2. APA 7th Edition Style Guide: Formatting Your References

    Your reference list is alphabetized according to the first word of each end reference. With multiple references that list the same author, list these in chronological order with the earliest date first in the list. The reference list is double spaced and formatted using a hanging indent. To put in a hanging indent, type your references normally.

  3. General Format

    General APA Guidelines. Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. Include a page header (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. For a professional paper, this includes your paper title and the page number. For a student paper, this only includes the ...

  4. Setting Up the APA Reference Page

    On the APA reference page, you list all the sources that you've cited in your paper. The list starts on a new page right after the body text. Follow these instructions to set up your APA reference page: Place the section label "References" in bold at the top of the page (centered). Order the references alphabetically. Double-space all text.

  5. 5a. APA Style (7th ed.) references checklist

    The references should be double-spaced without extra spaces between references (APA, 2020, p. 303). ... If you are referencing a journal article, provide the title of the periodical in the reference (APA, 2020, p. 316). If you're referencing a book or reference work, provide the publisher's name (APA, 2020, p. 321) and "use the spelling of the ...

  6. 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.).

  7. Library Guides: APA 7th referencing style: Reference list

    Recommendations include Calibri size 11, Arial size 11, Lucida size 10, Times New Roman size 12, Georgia size 11 or Computer Modern size 10 (LaTeX). The reference list is double spaced (between each reference AND within the reference). A reference list is arranged alphabetically by author last name. Each reference appears on a new line.

  8. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    Indent the first line of every paragraph of text 0.5 in. using the tab key or the paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program. Page numbers: Put a page number in the top right corner of every page, including the title page or cover page, which is page 1. Student papers do not require a running head on any page.

  9. LibGuides: APA Style & Citation 7th edition: Format Basics

    1. Type in bold font and center the title: References. 2. Press enter, then select the left align button to move your cursor to the left margin. 3. Write (or paste) all of your citations. Each citation should begin on a new line. Double line spacing, like the rest of your paper.

  10. Research Guides: APA 7th Edition : Reference List Basics

    Double-space your reference list. For each author, list the last name first followed by the initials for their first and middle names. Arrange your reference list alphabetically by the last name of the author. Use a hanging indent after the first line of your citation. Creating an APA Style Reference List - 7th Edition.

  11. Reference List: Basic Rules

    Reference List: Basic Rules. This resourse, revised according to the 7 th edition APA Publication Manual, offers basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper. Most sources follow fairly straightforward rules. However, because sources obtained from academic journals carry special weight in research writing, these sources are subject to special ...

  12. APA Citation Guide (APA 7th Edition): Reference List & Sample Paper

    Double-space the list entries (including between and within references). Use a hanging indent for all references, meaning that the first line of each reference is flush left and subsequent lines are indented by 0.5 inch. Put your list in alphabetical order. Alphabetize the list by the first word in the citation.

  13. LibGuides: APA 7th Edition Style Guide: Formatting Your Paper

    The new APA 7th edition has a format for writing a professional paper as well as one for a student paper. These directions are a set-up for student papers. In the header, on the right, is the page number, starting with 1. Centered on the page is the full title of the paper in boldface type. Place one extra space after the title of the paper.

  14. A step-by-step guide for creating and formatting APA Style student papers

    View reference examples on the APA Style website. Consult Chapter 10 in both the Concise Guide and Publication Manual for even more examples. Reference list line spacing. Start the reference list at the top of a new page after the text. Double-space the entire reference list (both within and between entries). Reference list alignment

  15. LibGuides: APA Style Guide

    Typed and double-spaced with one inch margins on all sides. Use the same font throughout the text of the paper. Options include: ... There is not a formal APA style for presentation slides but you are still required to properly cite sources using APA style. You should also properly cite brochures and posters, ask your instructor how they want ...

  16. 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.)

  17. APA Style 6th Edition Blog: Never Space Out on Line Spacing Again

    References. Double. Double space within references and between references. Table body. Single, 1.5, or double. Spacing inside the cells of a table can be adjusted to best present your data. Table title, number, and note. Double. Double space the table number and title above the table body as well as any table note below the table. Figure (any ...

  18. Formatting Your Reference Page in Word

    Remember, your References page should be double-spaced! All References page entries that are longer than a single line must include a Hanging Indent for second (and so forth) line(s). Move your cursor to the end of the first line. Using your mouse, move the cursor to the beginning of the second line of your citation. Hit "Tab" on your keyboard.

  19. APA Spacing: Getting it Right in APA 7

    Not to worry - we've got your back. Here are all your APA spacing questions answered. Is APA Single or Double Spaced? In APA 7 th edition, the default line spacing guideline is to use double-spacing throughout your paper, including block quotations and the reference list. Also, you should not add blank lines before or after headings or add ...

  20. LibGuides: APA Style Guide: Formatting Your Paper

    Under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Double and then click OK. Put two spaces after the period for each sentence in the body of the paper (Note, use only one space after a period in your references at the end of the paper). Microsoft Word does not have a setting to automatically put in two spaces at the end of a sentence, but you can set-up the ...

  21. How do you double space a reference list?

    3. Change the Line Spacing to Double. Make sure the Before and After spacing are both set to 0 pt. 4. You can also change the indent style here if you wish. In the Indentation box under Special, select First Line from the dropdown list for the body of your text (APA and Chicago), and Hanging for your Reference list/Bibliography.

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