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Apa Format


DEFINITION: APA format is a specific writing style endorsed by the American Psychological Association. Students, researchers and professionals know that information in an APA style format is found in a specific format. Since in-text citations, references, etc. in any APA-style essay is constructed in the exact same manner, additional research or further investigation of subject matter is easier to conduct.

Make sure you use 8½” x 11.0” paper with a 1.0” margin on all sides (top, bottom, left and right); be sure to double space all lines.

HEADER: An APA cover page has a header with page numbers right-aligned. Then an abbreviated title is inserted flush left. For the title page only, the abbreviated title is preceded by the words “Running Head:” All pages after the title page must have the abbreviated title only flush left and page numbers flush right. Example of how running head appears in on APA cover page:

Running Head: APPLE                                                                                                     1               

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: After the header, the first page has three lines that are centered on the page vertically & horizontally:

Line 1: essay title
Line 2: author’s name
Line 3: school name

The following is how these three lines appear on the APA cover page:
Apple Farmers
Julie Neilson
University of Minnesota

Assembling the header and three identifying lines noted immediately above would have the first page appear as follows:

Running Head: APPLE                                                                                                 1

Apple Farmers
Julie Neilson
State University of New York

INTRODUCTION: The second page of the essay has an introduction with a lead that will interest your reader; this is sometimes referred to as a hook.

THESIS STATEMENT: Usually found within the introduction is your thesis statement, the concept to be supported in the body of the essay. Also at the top of the second page you should have the title of the essay and the headers on the right side. Note that the words “Running Head:” do not appear here; only the shot title (APPLE) in capitals flush left and page number flush right..

Example of how the second and subsequent pages appear immediately below:

APPLE                                                                                                                                                           2

                                                                                 Apple Farmers

      Apple farmers perform perhaps one of the most important but under appreciated jobs in America. Most people don’t know the physical labor involved in performing the routine tasks necessary to keep this vital industry running.

BODY: The essay body should include at least three (3) paragraphs that support the thesis made in the introduction.

IN-TEXT CITATIONS: To assist in supporting a thesis, in-text citations are used. Proper APA format for these are author’s last name, the year the article/book was written and appropriate page number surrounded by parentheses. Example: “Place the cable next to the air hose so it doesn’t pinch” (Alexander, 2003, p. 102).

If the author’s name is mentioned before the parentheses, it is not necessary to include it subsequently; just the page number is necessary. Example: Noting divers were asphyxiated by excess carbon dioxide, Alexander (2003) decided to engage in a less dangerous sport. (p. 119)

If paraphrasing someone else’s ideas, concepts or work, attribute to the individual; page number are not required. Example: It’s quite simple; without air, life forms cease to exist. (Alexander, 2003)

The following are examples of how in-text citations appear in an APA essay:

For a book/magazine quote –  (last name of author , published year , Page number )

Example :  “I had a dream that all blacks will be able to vote” (King, 1960,p.98).

For an internet web site – ( last name of author or name of site, published year or date retrieved from Internet )

Example :  “I had a dream that all blacks will be able to vote” (Amazon , 2009)

For a website electronic journal – (Last name Author, date published, page number)

Example : “I had a dream that all blacks will be able to vote” (King, 2001, p. 120)

If a page number for the book or journal read is not availableone of the following formats applies. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the symbol, or the abbreviation "para." followed by the paragraph number (King, 2002, ¶ 4) or (King, 2002, para. 4).

REFERENCE PAGE: For every source cited in the essay, detailed information must be included on a separate page called the reference page.  The following is how a preference page in APA format would appear:


Apple                                                                                                             7

Reference Page

List Reference(s) here.


The first reference line is as you type it; subsequent lines (if any) are indented.  If using MS Word, use the Paragraph, Special, Hanging Indent function to format your APA references as indicated in the last sentence.

Books Authors Last Name, First Initials. (Date). Book Title. Place of Publication: Publisher. 
Hamilton, M. (1966). I Had A Terrible Dream Last Night. Washington. DC. Little, Purple and Sons.



Last Name, First Initial. (Year of publication). Name of article. Title of on-line publication, (volume number if available). Retrieved from http://www.website address.com/full/url.

Delaney, B. (1987). An anthology noting my friends, acquaintances and other living members of an extended family. Users Guide to Friendship, 155. Retrieved from http://www.nnnevermore.com /articles/friends

Academic Journal:

Last Name, First Initial. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of publication, volume number. Retrieved from http://www.website address.com/full/url.

Kenneth, I. A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human rights. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from http://www.cac.psu.edu/jbe/twocont.html




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