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APA Citation Guide: General Rules

APA General Guidelines

- Your paper should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") 

- 1" margins on all sides.

-You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

-Include a 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.

-Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

- Instructors may make changes to the guidelines to the student's paper.  Always follow specific instructions created for assignment.

APA Reference List

-Entries created for research need to be put in a reference list called References.
-Use a hanging indentation.
-Authors' names are inverted (last name first); give the last name and initials for all authors of a particular work for up to and including seven authors. If the work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors and then use ellipses after the sixth author's name. After the ellipses, list the last author's name of the work.
-Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
-For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
-Present the journal title in full.
-Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
-Capitalize all major words in journal titles. When referring to the titles of books, chapters, articles, or webpages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
-Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.

Additionally, the in-text citation for a work corresponds to the reference list entry. For example, the in-text citation for the work in the example is Botto and Rochat (2018) or (Botto & Rochat, 2018).


Punctuation in reference list entries
-Use punctuation marks in reference list entries to group information.

  • Ensure that a period appears after each reference element—that is, after the author, date, title, and source. However, do not put a period after a DOI or URL because it may interfere with link functionality. And if a title ends with a question mark, the question mark replaces the period.
  • Use punctuation marks (usually commas or parentheses) between parts of the same reference element. For example, in a reference for a journal article, use a comma between each author’s last name and initials and between different authors’ names, between the journal name and the volume number, and between the journal issue number and the page numbers.
  • Do not use a comma between the journal volume and issue numbers. Place the issue number in parentheses directly after the volume number instead.
  • Italicize punctuation marks that appear within an italic reference element (e.g., a comma or colon within a book title). Do not italicize punctuation between reference elements (e.g., the period after an italic book title or the comma after an italic journal title).

APA Title Page Example

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