APA (American Psychological Association) Style originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers convened and sought to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension.
As with other editorial styles, APA Style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. It concerns uniform use of such elements as selection of headings, tone, and length, punctuation and abbreviations, presentation of numbers and statistics, construction of tables and figures, citation of references, and many other elements that are a part of a manuscript. (Source: Official APA website)
In-text Citation with APA
The APA style calls for three kinds of information to be included in in-text citations. The author's last name and the work's date of publication must always appear, and these items must match exactly the corresponding entry in the references list. The third kind of information, the page number, appears only in a citation to a direct quotation.
Direct quote from the text
"The potentially contradictory nature of Moscow's priorities surfaced first in its policies towards East Germany and Yugoslavia," (Crockatt, 1995, p. 1).
Major Citations for a Reference List/Bibliography
Note: All second and third lines in the APA Bibliography should be indented.
A book in print
Baxter, C. (1997). Race equality in health care and education. Philadelphia: Ballière Tindall.
A book chapter, print version
Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 17-43). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Millbower, L. (2003). Show biz training: Fun and effective business training techniques from the worlds of stage, screen, and song. Retrieved from http://www.amacombooks.org/
An article in a print journal
Alibali, M. W. (1999). How children change their minds: Strategy change can be gradual or abrupt. Developmental Psychology, 35, 127-145.
An article in a journal without DOI
Carter, S., & Dunbar-Odom, D. (2009). The converging literacies center: An integrated model for writing programs. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 14(1), 38-48. Retrieved from http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/
An article in a journal with DOI
Gaudio, J. L., & Snowdon, C. T. (2008). Spatial cues more salient than color cues in cotton-top tamarins (saguinus oedipus) reversal learning. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 122, 441-444. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.122.4.441
Websites - professional or personal sites
The World Famous Hot Dog Site. (1999, July 7). Retrieved January 5, 2008, from http://www.xroads.com/~tcs/hotdog/hotdog.html
Websites - online government publications
U.S. Department of Justice. (2006, September 10). Trends in violent victimization by age, 1973-2005. Retrieved from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/vage.htm
Emails (cited in-text only)
According to preservationist J. Mohlhenrich (personal communication, January 5, 2008).
Mailing Lists (listserv)
Stein, C.(2006, January 5). Chessie rescue - Annapolis, MD [Message posted to Chessie-L electronic mailing list]. Retrieved from http://email@example.com
Radio and TV episodes - from library databases
DeFord, F. (Writer). (2007, August 8). Beyond Vick: Animal cruelty for sport [Television series episode]. In NPR (Producer), Morning Edition. Retrieved from Academic OneFile database.
Radio and TV episodes - from website
Sepic, M. (Writer). (2008). Federal prosecutors eye MySpace bullying case [Television series episode]. In NPR (Producer), All Things Considered. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/
Film Clips from website
Kaufman, J.C. (Producer), Lacy, L. (Director), & Hawkey, P. (Writer). (1979). Mean Joe Greene [video file]. Retrieved from http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/ccmp/meanjoe_01g.ram
|Film||Greene, C. (Producer), del Toro, G.(Director). (2015). Crimson peak [Motion picture]. United States: Legendary Pictures.|
Photograph (from book, magazine or webpage)
Close, C. (2002). Ronald. [photograph]. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Retrieved from http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=108890
Artwork - from library database
Clark, L. (c.a. 1960's). Man with Baby. [photograph]. George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. Retrieved from ARTstor
Artwork - from website
Close, C. (2002). Ronald. [photograph]. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Retrieved from http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?
APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).
Contributors: Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 02:26:13
Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.
To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all APA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart.
You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel.
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. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
Include a page header (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
Major Paper Sections
Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header/running head should look like this:
Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:
TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.
Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).
Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.
Image Caption: APA Title Page
Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.
You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.
Image Caption: APA Abstract Page
Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.
How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA
Contributors' names and the last edited date can be found in the orange boxes at the top of every page on the OWL.
Contributors' names (Last edited date). Title of resource. Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/