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Citation Help


APA is the acronym for American Psychological Association. This format is mostly associated with referencing the social sciences such as humanities, education, and science. When composing a paper in APA format, a student is required to follow a specific style guide.


 Writing a paper in APA format

To format an APA research paper follow the guidelines below:

  • Incorporate the heading at the start of every page and include a shortened title of the paper. This title should not be more than 50 characters
  • The font used must be clear and highly readable. Most scholars recommend the use of 12 pt. Times New Roman
  • Input a page number on the right in the paper’s header

A paper in APA format is divided into four major sections:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Body

The first page of the paper is usually the title page followed by an abstract on the next. The body then follows on the third page while the reference page comes last. The reference section is sometimes referred to as a bibliography.

Title page

The title page is also known as the cover page. It must comprise the following information:

  • Your name and the institution’s name
  • A page number on the right and a page header on the left side of the paper
  • Double-spaced text. This should apply to the entire paper, from the title page to the references.
  • A centered title. This title should ideally be placed in the upper half of the page. Make sure you keep the paper title short, not more than 12 words, and it should not contain any abbreviations or words with no purpose.

Right below the title, write your full names, starting with the first, middle with initials and then the last name. Refrain from including initials like Dr. or degree such as Ph.D. The name of your institution comes below your name.


Note that the abstract is on the next page after the title page. The abstract page should already have a header on the top left. The term “abstract” must be placed on the opening line and centered, and without any additional formats like bold, quotation marks, italics, or even underlining.

Write your abstract just beneath that line. An abstract concisely summarizes what a paper is about. The abstract contains:

  • Research questions
  • Methods
  • Participants
  • Results
  • Data analysis
  • Conclusion

A good abstract range between 150 and 250 words. You can create another paragraph and type the word “keywords” in italics and then put the keywords. It, is, however, not an absolute necessity to list down keywords.

Style Guide with Examples

As mentioned earlier, the last page of your paper will be a bibliography. This article provides a citation examples:

Citing books

The last name of the author, the initials of his last and middle name, the year the book was published, book title, the place it was published and lastly the publisher. You can visit superiorpapers.website for more examples on how to cite books, eBooks and more.

  • Example: Miller, A. (1953). The Crucible. New York: Viking Press.

APA Citation Guide

These are the requirements of APA style in-text citation:

  • The name and initial of the author should be capitalized
  • Capitalize all the letters when referring to the title of the source
  • You can either italicize or highlight by underlining the title of longer sources like books, music, albums, television series, music, and documentaries
  • Insert quotation marks around television series episodes, song title, and articles
  • You will need to introduce a quote using the last name of the author and also include the date of publication in parenthesis if the quotes are short. Make sure you include a page number for your reference. Use blockquotes if your quotation is over 40 words. Use a half inch left margin indent and place it in its paragraph. Place the citation after the quotation mark.


Reference Page

A reference page should appear at the end of the essay.  The reference page can be referred to as “works cited” or “ bibliography” with other formatting styles. The role of style reference is to assist your reader to locate the sources of your work.

  • The word “References” should be centered at the top of your page. Do not do any additional formatting to this word.
  • Double space your reference page and ensure that every line below the opening line in your reference list must have a hanging indent of half an inch from the left margin.
  • Following the guidelines of APA, the names of the author should be last name, first name. However, in a scenario where the source has more than one author, include their names as initials.
  • List your references in alphabetical order

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