Home Blog Citation Styles APA Format - A Complete Guide With Examples

APA Format - A Complete Guide With Examples

APA Format - A Complete Guide With Examples

Academic papers must be clean and neat to cast a good impression on the reader.
Formatting technique is the key!

Besides making it clean and organized, it will also land you promising grades.
Professors are always keen to check the paper formatting technique.

APA format is one of the common formatting techniques!

APA style paper is referred to the students by almost every other teacher. The reason behind is the fact that it makes the work easy to understand and manageable.
Are you familiar with it?

If yes, wait up as there’s still a lot you should learn.
Continue reading further to collect essential information from this guide.

1. What is APA Format?

Let us begin our journey by exploring what is APA format?

It is utilized for constructing standards in written communication.

Writing style!

Organization of the content!

Citing references!

These elements are the epicenter in the APA style.

The reader feels at ease while reading a paper written in a well-structured pattern.

The publication manual of the American Psychological Association is one of the best guides to help you through your journey for learning the APA Format. This article is a brief of that manual.

1.1 APA Format Essay

Essays are always exciting to attempt.

For some students, the formatting style remains the devil.


A distinct category of essays requires APA formatting, which you should be aware of.

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Sociology
  • Nursing
  • Criminology

Offer the professor a clear picture of ideas through correct formatting style in essays.

1.2 APA Format Paper

APA formatting is entirely different from other formatting styles.

From layout to word choice, pay close attention to everything.

Students always encounter APA format in 2 common papers:

  • Experimental Report
  • Literature Review

In literature reviews, make sure to include an abstract section in the beginning.

The experimental report follows a contrasting structure:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Figures or Tables (if required)

These ingredients are a fundamental part of APA papers in experimental reports.

2. APA Format Title Page

APA format title page needs to be flawless.

A mistake at the very start of the paper will make the reader uninterested.


They never take such things for granted.

Read the following instructions twice:

  1. With 1 margin on each side, your paper must be double spaced.
  2. Font size should be 12 and Times New Roman font is recommended.

Type the title in title case, each word should have capital letters, centered in the upper side of the page.

APA suggests the title shouldn't exceed 12 words.

MAke sure that the text of your paper has double spacing so it is easier for the reader to go through the content without getting confused.

2.1 APA 6th Edition Format

The 6th edition of APA format has introduced some prominent changes.

The title page must include:

  1. Page number
  2. Running head
  3. Article title
  4. Author affiliation
  5. Author name

2.2 APA Format Header

A header is a must on the top of the page.

The running head serves as a shorter version of the title.


Never stretch it more than 50 words.

2.3 APA Format Headings

Are you a creative person?

Well, such persons enjoy placing headings in an excellent manner.

Headings are the heart of the APA style.

Regardless of your choice, make no mistake while making headings.

APA format paper comprises four major headings:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Main Body
  • References

2.4 APA Header Format

A unique APA header format is necessary to classify paper sections.

Guide the reader properly through headings.

An interesting heading style is followed in APA format.

5 pillars of headings are set!

  • You should use headings in order, starting with level 1.
  • Section headings: Level 1
  • Subsections: Level 2
  • Subsections of subsections: Level 3

What about the levels of headings?

Length and organization of the paper decide the level of headings.

3. APA Format Citation

Now that you've understood the basics, head toward the trickier part.

APA format citation!

The author-date method of in-text citations is the primary technique used while making in-text citations.

Two things must appear in the text:

  • Author's last name
  • Year of publication

Example: (Andy, 2017)

In-text citations and references go hand in hand.

Mention a complete reference of the cited source in the references section.

3.1 APA Format in text Citation

Keep a strict check of elements involved in in-text citation styles.

  1. Proper nouns should be capitalized (D. Jones).
  2. Capitalized titles in a hyphenated compound term (Natural-color plant).
  3. Titles of longer words are italicized. It comprises of movies, documentaries, albums or movies (The Last of the Mohicans).

3.2 APA Format Example

Here, an example will perfectly provide you with in-depth understanding.

Pay attention to each element of formatting in the following example:

4. APA Format Quotes

Quote or paraphrase is a part and parcel of outstanding papers.

They refresh the soul of your topic!

Make the paper sound energetic!

4.1 How to Cite in APA Format

When quoting directly from a source, include the year of publication, author name and the page number.

Example: As per Adams (2017), “Students face difficulty when they cite in APA format in their essays and research papers” (p. 200).

4.2 References APA Format

References are also essential while paraphrasing the work of others.

It is encouraged to mention the page number.

Though, not necessary!

Are these techniques forcing you to look out for an essay writing service?

Relax, it will get easier as the guide progresses.

What if a source has multiple authors?

Name both of them in parenthesis or a single phrase.

Don't forget to use ‘and' between names.

Example: (George and Andrew, 2017)

Example: (Andy, Emilia, Cheppe, Hernandez and Rodriguez, 2016)

It is not a good practice to mention the long list of authors.

Use et al. instead:

(Andy et a.l., 2017)

4.3 APA Citation Format

APA citation is a complex system.

Do not take the referencing business for granted. Believe us, you do not even know how ‘deeply' your professor will be affected by wrong formatting.

You may come across challenging scenarios and feel amazed.

How to cite a source where the author(s) name is not mentioned?

In such cases, cite your sources by the title.

  • Italicize the title of books.
  • Articles, chapters and web pages are placed in quotation marks.

When the author is a government agency, cite as:

As per the American Association (2001)……

4.4 APA Format Website

Citing websites is opposite to citing other sources.

Mention the site's address in the paper.

The information about the author should be found on the web page.

Search at the top or at the very bottom.

Place the last name, follow it by a comma and write initials of the 1st name.

Example: Henriquez, A.P.

4.5 APA Date Format

Mention as much of date as you can.

Correct APA date format is mandatory to be followed where available.

Starting with the year, month and day.

Example: (2018, October 8)

These tidbits of information are retrieved from http.

4.6 APA Format Examples

5. APA Format References

A reference list highlights sources used for collecting information.

It credits the authors who assisted in your research.

Follow the guidelines to make a perfect reference list.

  1. Mention the heading: References on the top.
  2. Keep double space between references.
  3. Remove the underlines from web addresses.
  4. Always order alphabetically.
  5. U.S. publishers offer city and abbreviation for the state as New York, NY.
  6. Use a dash for page ranges. (20-38).

5.1 APA Citation Generator

Citation tools have become very popular these days.

Do you use them as well?


Trusting these citation generators blindly may cause you to suffer.

A critical attention to every detail is essential.

What are some of the common mistakes committed by the citation generators?

Find out!

  • Not including all the details in the reference list.
  • Not mentioning the date.
  • Making a flawed structure of the format.

Nonetheless, these generators can ease the burden.

Get the work done in a matter of seconds!

Just keep a check on the points mentioned above.

5.2 APA Reference Format

Don't be mistaken that you'll be using the same format for books, journals and ebooks.

Each format follows a distinct set of rules.

APA references list for a journal articles should include:

  • Author(s). First initials follow the surname.
  • Title of the article.
  • Journal title (Italics).
  • Issue of journal.
  • First lines are left adjusted and subsequent lines are indented 5-7 spaces forming a hanging indent.

Make sure to look at the volume number as it indicates the total number of years a particular journal has been published-one volume per year.

5.3 APA Format Book

Citing information from books is a common practice in essays and research papers.

Memorize these ingredients to cite the book perfectly.

  • Author(s). First initials follow the surname.
  • Publishing year of the book.
  • Book title (Italics).
  • Place of publication.
  • Edition in round brackets (other than 1st edition).
  • Publisher.

Example: Arnold, G. D. (2018). The disability support worker social sciences (2nd edition.). South Melbourne, VIC: College Learning.

6. APA Format Reference Page

Does your task include making tables and figures?

APA format reference page also supports citations for tables.

A strict checklist needs to be implemented while citing them.

It is not as annoying as it sounds.

  • All figures and tables should be referenced to the main body in the text.
  • Numbers figures and tables in the same order as they appear in the text.
  • Each figure or table must be accompanied by a description of the contents.
  • If you are producing a figure or table from another source, cite it with caption and add in the reference list.
  • Don't violate the privacy of others if the publisher has refrained from copying. Take permission.

6.1 APA Footnotes and Endnotes

Have you made endnotes and footnotes?

They play a key role in every document.

Though APA format does not encourage using them, they can still be good for the work.

Mention the footnotes at the end of the page in the word document.

A number is placed in front of the text to refer to the footnote below.

7. APA Appendix Format

The appendix contains information, which may sound too lengthy to be mentioned in the text.

Written at the end of the paper, it includes:

  • Detailed descriptions
  • Lists of length
  • A category of articles to support data
  • Demographic information for subpopulations studied in the paper

7.1 Multiple Appendices

Are you planning on writing multiple appendices?

Carry on!

There is no restriction on a number of appendices to be included in the paper.

Label them with A, B and so on.

A title is a must for each appendix. Start the 1st paragraph of text from the left margin and then indent the 1st line of successive paragraphs by ½ inch.

Times New Roman (12 pt.) must be the font size and format, typed in double spaces.

Nevertheless, excluding appendix section from the paper will never affect your paper.

It neither does harm nor potential good.

7.2 APA Format Abstract

MLA and other formats are free from the restriction to have an abstract section in the paper.

Without abstract, APA style is incomplete. For better understanding of the MLA format check out our blog on MLA format techniques.

Put your best efforts to facilitate the reader.

Make him understand the flow of information in an interesting and smooth manner.

The abstract is usually a 150-200 words section, which will do the trick for you.

A thriving abstract will be:


Readable and coherent!



The abstract begins from a separate page and is immediately placed after the cover page, and before the introduction.

8. APA Annotated Bibliography Format

In literal terms, annotated bibliographies offer a critical analysis of a source.

It is a challenging task to master the art of writing fascinating annotated bibliographies.

How to write annotated bibliographies in APA format?

  1. Summarize the main idea of the source in 3-4 sentences.
    • Main arguments
    • Point of the article/ book
  2. 2 sentences to evaluate and assess the source.
    • Comparison with other sources of bibliography
    • Reliability of the source
    • The credibility of the author
    • Discrimination or objectivity in the text
  3. 2 sentences for personal reflection on the source.
    • Was the source helpful?
    • Has it changed your thinking?
    • The information added about the topic

Have you grabbed the crux of annotated bibliographies?

Since they are in the APA format, keep an eye on the formatting and styling techniques.

We've crafted a professional annotated bibliography example to ease you.

The example makes a detailed and structured commentary on a source.

9. A Brief Formatting Checklist

What were the primary organs of APA format?

  • Introduction
  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Body
  • Full Reference
  • In-text Citations
  • Tables and figures
  • Appendix

Can you write a research paper and include all these elements successfully?

If not, skim through the guide once again.

Work on your weak points to become a professional at writing essays and research papers in APA style.

We know that formatting can be tricky and if you still feel confused then do not worry, we have got you covered.
If you need professional help with your paper's APA format, talk to one of the writers at MyPerfectWords and get a custom paper done. Our seasoned writers are familiar with all the formats out there and they will make sure to satisfy you in every way possible.

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