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APA Citation Style (6th ed.): APA Style

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APA    American Psychological Association, Publication Manual, 6th ed.

APA Style Overview

The APA style is often used when writing research papers and documenting information sources in the social sciences. APA stands for the American Psychological Association.

It is highly recommended to consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., 2010 for additional information on APA style. Copies of the APA Publication Manual are located at your campus library.

Formatting Basics

When formatting your research paper according to APA style, use the following guidelines:

  • typed
  • double-spaced 
  • standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") 
  • 1" margins on all sides
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font
  • 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 (Angeli et al, 2010).

The title page should include the following elements:

  • the title of the paper
  • the author's name
  • the institutional affiliation
  • the page header flush left at the top of the page
  • the page number flush right at the top of the page

Consult the Online Writing Lab (OWL) to see an example of a title page.

Your paper should include four major sections.More information on manuscript elements can be located in Chapter 2 of the APA Publication Manual.

  • Title Page, pg. 23 - 24
  • Abstract, pg. 25 - 26
  • Main Body, pg. 27- 37
  • References, pg. 37-38
  • Appendices, pg. 38 - 40
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