Skip to Main Content

APA Style 7th Edition: Citing Your Sources

Provide guidance on APA format style based on the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

Mechanics of Style

Refer to Ch. 6 Mechanics of style in the APA Publication Manual 7th ed. regarding specific guidelines regarding the mechanics of style for writing.

Standard Formatting Quick Guide


  • Use 1" margins for the entire document.
  • Use a 1/2" indent for every paragraph and footnote.
  • Indent set-off quotations 1/2" from the left margin.

Text Formatting

  • Text font:
    • Should be accessible to all users
    • The same font should be used throughout paper
    • San serif fonts preferred for online works (Recommend 11pt Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10pt Lucida Sans Unicode)
    • Serif fonts preferred for print works (Recommend 12pt Times New Roman or 11pt Georgia)
  • Font size and type exceptions:
    • Figure images- use a sans serif font with a type size between 8 and 14
    • Computer code- use a monospace font (ex. 10pt Lucida Console or 10pt Courier New)
    • Footnotes- default footnote settings of word-processing program acceptable
  • Do not justify the text or use hyphenation.
  • One space after a period

Page Header

  • Include a running head on every page (Running Head does not apply to academic/student papers)
    • Doesn't have to be same as title, but limited to 50 characters and conveys the idea of the title
    • If title is less than 50 characters, can be used as running head
    • Avoid using abbreviations in the running head
    • Appears flush left in all-capital letters
  • Page number should be flush right.

Title Page

  • Title should be typed in title case, bold, centered and positioned in upper half of title page
    • If title is longer than one line, separate the title and subtitle on double-spaced lines if desired
  • Center the author's/authors' name directly under the title.
  • Format the name omitting titles (Dr, Prof, etc.) and degrees: First name, middle initial, last name.
  • Center the institutional affiliation directly under the author's/authors' name.
  • Author's note (not applicable to student papers)
  • Student papers should include:
    • Course number and name of course
    • Instructor name
    • Assignment due date
  • Running head in page header, flush left (not applicable to student papers)
  • Page number in page header, flush right


  • Begin introduction on a new page.
  • Type the title in title case, bold, centered and positioned at the top of the first page of text
  • Do not type the heading "Introduction," title will act as de facto Level 1 heading
  • Use Level 2 heading for any subsections within introduction, Level 3 for subsections of Level 2, and so on
  • Use Level 1 heading for next main section of paper

References (Reference Page)

  • Starts on new page
  • The word "References" should appear (without quotation marks) centered at the top of the page, bold
  • Double-space all reference entries
  • Use a hanging indent for reference- first line of each reference is flush with the left margin while subsequent lines are indented.


  • Use footnotes to provide additional content or acknowledge copyright permission
  • Content footnotes convey just one idea and only include simple, relevant or essential information
  • Use a footnote to acknowledge the source of lengthy quotes, scale and test items, and figures or tables that have been reproduced or adapted
  • Number all footnotes consecutively in the order they appear, use superscript Arabic numerals within the text
  • Appear in the footer or on a separate page following references
    • For separate page- Label section "Footnotes" in bold, centered at the top of the page.  Write footnotes as double-spaced indented paragraphs which begin with superscript footnote number.


  • Begin each appendix on a new page following references and footnotes (if applicable).
  • If single appendix, label page "Appendix."
  • If there is more than one appendix, label each with with a capital letter (ex. "Appendix A," "Appendix B" and so forth) in the order they're mentioned in the text
  • If the appendix includes text, the text should be written as regular indented paragraphs
    • If text appendix contains tables, figures, footnotes and/or display equations, give each one a number preceded by the letter of the appendix in which it appears (ex. Figure A2 for the second figure in Appendix A).
  • If appendix "consists of only a table or figure, then the appendix label takes the place of the table or figure number and the appendix title takes the place of the table or figure title."


Adapted from American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed).



The correct form of abbreviation must be used in reference lists:

chap. chapter
ed. edition
Rev. ed. Revised edition
2nd ed. second edition
Ed. (Eds.) Editor (Editors)
Trans. Translators
n.d. no date
p. (pp.) Page (pages)
Vol. Volume (as in Vol. 4)
Vols. Volumes (as in 4 vols.)
No. Number
Pt. Part
Tech. Rep. Technical Report
Suppl. supplement