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APA Citation: What is APA Style?

Click through the tabs to learn the basics, find examples, and watch video tutorials.

Just the basics

Basic Elements of APA Style

Here is a check list of the most basic elements of APA Style. When your instructor assigns a project that requires you to write a paper using APA format you will be setting up your document with these elements:

  • Title page (also known as a cover page)
  • Running header
  • 12-point font. Times New Roman
  • Double-spaced. The entire document including the title page and reference list.
  • Page numbers. The title page is your first page. The number one (1) should be located in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Margins. APA guidelines specify: one-inch margins at the top, bottom, right and left of every page. Default margins in Word are one inch.
  • Citations and reference list. Include both in-text citations and a reference list.

PowerPoint? Presentations?

Instructors frequently require students to use APA Style within presentations. APA Style does not provide specific guidelines for PowerPoint presentations and visuals. You will be adapting APA Style guidelines. Check with your instructor about the format. You will likely need to have in-text citations on the slides throughout your presentation for images, data, quotes and paraphrased statements, AND a slide at the end for a reference list.

Complex assignment? Full research paper?

If you are required to follow APA Style for a complex assignment use this guide along with the official APA Style Guide. Click Resources tab for more information.

Getting Started with APA Style

What does APA mean?

American Psychological Association

APA Style® originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers convened and sought to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension.

As with other editorial styles, APA Style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. It concerns uniform use of such elements as

  • selection of headings, tone, and length;
  • punctuation and abbreviations;
  • presentation of numbers and statistics;
  • construction of tables and figures,
  • citation of references; and
  • many other elements that are a part of a manuscript.

Source: What is APA Style?

The basics of APA are easy to learn, but everyone references APA Style guides to figure out the rules.

Here are some of the resources APA produces:

Use the official APA Style guide at the Business Library or purchase your own copy:

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition.

Purchase

More resources - guides, online, videos