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APA Citation and University Writing: APA 7 Style Overview

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

APA Style

American Psychological Association (APA) - 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.

Basic Elements of APA 7 Style

Title page (also known as a cover page).

Font options:

  • sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode
  • serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10-point) Computer Modern (the default font for LaTeX)

Double-spaced. The entire document including the title page and reference list.

References page always starts on a new page.

Page numbers. The title page is your first page. The number one (1) should be located in the upper right-hand 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.

For more information see the APA 7 webpage:

Getting Started

You do not need to memorize APA

Use the Format your paper and Examples tabs we provide to properly format your paper according to APA standards.


  • APA Style impacts how you put your paper together: layout, punctuation, capitalization, and headings.
  • APA Style also has format guidelines for the information you provide about the sources you used for your research (in-text citations and references).
  • GGU instructors frequently require students to use APA Style when writing research papers, short assignments, and presentations.
  • Read your assignment instructions carefully. Follow your teacher's directions and adapt APA Style format rules to your assignment requirements.
  • There are other citation styles (MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Make sure your instructor requires APA and that you select the correct style from the database citation generator if you choose to use one.
  • Many library databases have citation generators allowing you to easily obtain the APA citation.(*NOTE: You should still check to ensure the citation follows proper APA formatting guidelines). We recommend looking at our Examples page.
  • Complex questions about APA should be directed to the GGU Online Writing Lab
  • Introduction to GGU's APA 7 Citation Guide (Short video tutorial)

Key Resources