APA 6th edition


One inch on all sides
Line Spacing:
Double-space throughout, including title page, abstract (if applicable), body of document, and references
Sentence Spacing:
Periods at the end of sentences are to be followed by TWO spaces
Font size and Type:
12 point; Times New Roman
Justify Left
Paragraph Indent:
5-7 spaces (or Tab)
Apa Ex 1 Apa Ex 2 Apa Ex 3

Note: The running head may not be necessary in shorter research papers. Consult your instructor when in doubt.

In-text citations

Sources must always be documented in the paper using author's last name and year as appropriate. Always keep author/source and year together. Can put page # alone at end of citation in direct quotes, however, page number is only necessary when using a direct quote, not when paraphrasing.

Freda and Trader (2011) noted that “nursing students from Salisbury University have a long attention span” (p. 15).
“Nursing students from Salisbury University have a long attention span” (Freda & Trader, 2011, p. 15).

Note: Use ampersand (“&”) only in parenthesis in text, not when citing authors within text.

When a source has one or two authors, the one author or both are included every time the source is cited. (previous example)

When a source has three, four, or five authors, all authors are included in the first time the source is cited. But when cited subsequently in the paper, the first author's surname and “et al.” (meaning “and others”) are used.

When a source has six or more authors, the first author's surname and “et al.” are used on the first and all subsequent citations.

Freda et al. (2011) noted that...
“Nursing students are very motivated” (Freda et al., 2011, p. 10).

Often times you will come across an unknown author or unknown date (typically found in electronic sources). Do your best to locate an author and/or date, however, if unable, use the article title or the first word or two of the title in the parenthesis and use the abbreviation “n. d.” (for “no date”). Be sure to place quotation marks around the title or shortened title.

Nursing students are motivated learners (“Study of Nursing,” n. d.).

Block Quotations

A quotation (not a paraphrase) of 40 or more words is displayed in a block of typewritten lines without quotation marks. Start the block quotation on a new line and indent the entire block five spaces (tab). Block quotes are typically introduced with a colon.

Freda (2011) found the following:
Nursing students from Salisbury University are highly motivated. They tend to have long attention spans and ask important questions. It is evident that these students graduate with honors. They often find careers that make them happy and wealthy. Nursing students are role models. (p. 110)

Note: Place period after the last sentence of quote not after page number in parenthesis.

Reference List Formatting

Place the word “References” at the top, centered, beneath the running head (if applicable) and page number. All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented five spaces (tab) from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation. Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work. List the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work unless the work has more than eight authors. If the work has more than eight authors, list the first six authors and then an ellipsis (...) then the last author. Put year of publication in parenthesis following the authors with a period following the closing parenthesis. Include title of book or article, name of journal, periodical volume, volume # of journal (place in parenthesis), pages, city of publication with state (two letter postal abbreviation) and publisher (for book). Place a period after the page #'s for journal entries and after the publisher for book entries. Italicize titles of books or journals (not journal article) along with periodical volume (not the volume # in parenthesis, if applicable).

Book Reference

Shipley, W. C. (1986). Shipley Institute of Living Scale. Los Angeles, CA:
     Western Psychological Services.

Journal Reference

Pratto, F., & John, O. P. (1991). Automatic vigilance: The attention-grabbing
     power of negative social information. Journal of Personality and Social
     Psychology, 61
(3), 380-391.

Note: I find it easiest to follow examples when referencing, rather than attempt to memorize the format. Use examples either from this site or your APA manual.

Electronic References

The format for citing electronic references is slightly different than citing books or hard-copy journals in that you need to include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) if one is provided for you. The DOI is a unique string of numbers assigned by a registration agency to online periodicals to identify their content and location on the internet. This is an important piece of information to include as URLs can change. Have you ever attempted to go back to a certain site and the information is no longer there or its changed? By having a DOI, you will always be able to access that particular article no matter where it is on the web.

General Format

Author, A. A. (date). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue number), page
     numbers. doi: xx.xxxxxxx

Example of Electronic Reference with DOI

Mather, M., & Knight, M. (2005). Goal-directed memory:
     The role of cognitive control in older adults' emotional memory.Psychology and
     Aging, 20
(4),554-570. doi: 10.1037/08827974.554

When DOI is not present put “Retrieved from” and then the URL

Sillick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self esteem
     mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. Applied
     Psychology, 2
(2), 38-48. Retrieved from http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php


The general rule on the use of numbers is to use figures to express numbers 10 and above and words to express numbers below 10.

25 years old
five years old

If the number or percentage is the first word of a sentence (even if 10 or greater), always write it out in word form.

Note: There are many rules surrounding the use of numbers in APA format. These are just the basics. Please consult your professor or APA manual for more in-depth instruction.