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APA Format - 7th Edition

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, seventh edition was published in October 2019. Some departments and instructors may still be using APA 6th edition. Please consult your instructor if you are unsure which edition to use.

Introduction to APA Style

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, seventh edition is primarily used by educators, editors, students, and researchers to communicate their ideas in a standardized format.

It provides guidance and direction for all aspects of the writing process and is used by disciplines in the business, social sciences, health, and education fields.

There are several official resources online to help you with APA:

The main navigation links will show you how to set up your paper in APA format, and how to properly cite a variety of resources, both in your references list and within your paper using in-text citations.


APA Overview: Seventh Edition from Excelsior Online Writing Lab.

This short video is meant to give students who are brand new to APA format some context and basic overview information about using APA format for college papers.

APA stands for the American Psychological Association, and APA format is the formatting style that many academic majors use to format their papers and cite sources within their papers.

There are three basic “parts” of APA that you should understand: There is the basic format of how you set up your paper for things like your cover page, margins, line spacing, etc. There is in-text citing, where you use citations within your paper to let your readers know where your source material comes from. Finally, there is the References list, where you list all of the publication information for any sources used within your paper.

We’ll start with the overall formatting.

In the 7th edition of APA format, you should have a cover page that includes your title, your name, the name of your program and school, the name of your class, the name of your professor, and the date. You should also have the page number at the top right corner. Your page numbers should appear on every page.

You should begin your essay on the next page. Your margins should be 1 inch all the way around. You should use a clean, standard font, and you should double space your lines and single space after all punctuation. Be sure to indent by hitting tab for all new paragraphs.

Next, we will explore in-text citing.

It is important to remember that you must cite your sources within your text when you quote, summarize, and paraphrase information from your sources. This means, you must cite even information you put into your own words.

In APA, there are two basic structures for in-text citations—the narrative citation and the parenthetical citation.

The narrative citation is used when you mention the author or authors’ last names within the sentence. In this kind of citation, the year citation is placed after the author or authors’ last names, and any page or paragraph citations come at the end.

The parenthetical citation is used when you haven’t mentioned the author or authors’ names within the sentence. This citation includes the author or authors’ last names, year, and page number if necessary for a direct quote.

Finally, we will take a look at a References page.

The References page is where you will provide full publication and retrieval information for your sources. The References page is presented in alphabetical order, and it is important to remember that your in-text citations must match up with your References.

APA provides guidelines for formatting each reference based on source type. Be sure to refer to the References section in the Excelsior OWL for more information about how to format your References.

Lesley Tutoring Services

Librarians are happy to answer questions about citations, but we do not proof-read citations for accuracy. Contact Lesley's Center for Academic Achievement for help with formatting APA, as well as writing papers and other academic challenges.

Services include:
  • online tutoring for students taking courses off-campus or during intensive residencies
  • face-to-face tutoring for students taking courses on-campus.

This LibGuide was adapted from "APA (7th edition) Citation Guide" by Professor/Librarian Diana J. Matthews of the Lawrence W. Tyree Library at Santa Fe College.

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