–The American Psychological Association (APA) style is widely accepted in the socialsciences and other fields, such as education, business, and nursing. The APA citation formatrequires parenthetical citations within the text rather than endnotes or footnotes. Citations inthe text provide brief information, usually the name of the author and the date of publication,to lead the reader to the source of information in the reference list at the end of the paper.
NOTE: Although the examples in this guide are shown in single space, APAstyle requires double spacing throughout (e.g. text, references, etc.)APA RULES FOR THE REFERENCE LIST
– The following sections show some of the morecommonly used APA citation rules.
NOTE: All citations must be in the hanging indent format with the first line flush tothe left margin and all other lines indented. Single spaces are placed after allpunctuation (periods, commas, etc.) in the text and in the reference citations.JOURNALS, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS IN PRINT FORMATGeneral Form
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article.
Title of Journal, xx
NOTE: The journal title and the volume number are in italics. The issue number inparenthesis is in regular type.One Author
Turner, R. A. (2007). Coaching and consulting in multicultural contexts.
Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59
Two to Six Authors [List all authors]
Brainerd, C. J., Reyna, V. F., Wright, R., & Mojardin, A. H. (2003).Recollection rejection: False-memory editing in children andadults.
Psychological Review, 110
More than Six Authors [List the first six authors, then use et al.]
Wolchik, S. A., West, S. G., Sandler, I. N., Tein, J., Coatsworth, D.,Lengua, L., et al. (2000). An experimental evaluation of theory-based mother and mother-child programs for children of divorce.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68
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/