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APA Style (7th ed.): Citation Guide

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Formatting a Paper in APA

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  • Paper Formatting
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APA Basic Formatting Rules for Student Papers

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the  APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • clearly legible, regular-sized font
  • recommendations: 12pt Times New Roman, 11pt Arial, 11pt Calibri, 10pt Lucida Sans Unicode, 11pt Georgia
  • double spaced throughout all parts of the paper including title, headings, and footnotes
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 1/2-inch (tab)
  • left-justified for the body of the paper

Running Head & Page Numbers:

  • not required to include shortened version of the title for student papers- unless requested by your instructor
  • include the page number in the top right corner of all pages

APA Title Page for Student Papers

Page number:.

  • include the page number in the top right margin. (It will be 1 for the Title Page. Continue numbering throughout the paper and References page.)

Heading about a 1/3 of the way down the page:

  • Paper Title : bold, centered
  • Author : your name
  • Institutional Affiliation : Lone Star College- Online
  • Course : your course number and the name of the course (ex. PSYC 2301: General Psychology)
  • Instructor : your instructor's name (ex- Prof. Jane Smith)
  • Due Date:  Month day, year format (ex- January 1, 2024)

APA Headings within the Body of the Paper

Paper title:.

  • include on the first line of the first page of the body of your paper
  • bold and centered

Headings and Sub-headings (use when needed)

  • APA uses a hierarchy of five levels for headings within the paper
  • short paper may not need headings at all

References Page Formatting

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • needs to start on a new page following the end of your paper
  • include the title References centered on the first line of the page
  • everything after the title is left-justified
  • listed in alphabetical order by the first part of the citation (usually the author)
  • double spaced throughout all parts
  • Each citation should have a hanging indent- or it should start at the left margin and then have all lines after it indented by 1/2-inch

Click on the information circles for tips on how to use Microsoft Word to format your paper in APA Style.

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Home » APA Research Paper Format – Example, Sample and Writing Guide

APA Research Paper Format – Example, Sample and Writing Guide

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APA Research Paper Format

The APA style is highly respected for its emphasis on accuracy, conciseness, and objectivity, making it an essential tool for researchers and scholars in various fields. This article will briefly overview the APA research paper format and its importance in academic writing.

APA Research Paper Format

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a widely used format for writing research papers in the social sciences. It provides guidelines for formatting papers, citing sources, and organizing information to ensure clarity and consistency in academic writing.

APA Research Paper Format is as follows:

Page Layout

The paper should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1-inch margins on all sides. Use a clear and readable font such as Times New Roman, with a font size of 12.

The title page should contain the paper’s title, author’s name, and institution name. The title should be centered, and the author’s name and institution name should be centered and placed below the title. The page header (running head) should be included on the top left corner of the page and contain the paper’s shortened title (50 characters maximum) in capital letters. The page number should be placed on the top right corner of the page.

The abstract is a brief summary of the paper’s main points, and it should be placed on a separate page after the title page. The abstract should be between 150-250 words and should include the research question or hypothesis, methods used, results, and conclusions. It should be written in a single paragraph and without indentation.

The main body of the paper should be organized into sections such as Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each section should start on a new page and be labeled with the appropriate heading. The Introduction should introduce the research question, provide background information, and explain the significance of the study. The Methods section should describe the research design, participants, measures, and procedures. The Results section should present the findings, including statistical analyses. The Discussion section should interpret the results, discuss the implications, and suggest future research directions.

In-Text Citations

When referring to the work of others within the paper, use in-text citations. In-text citations include the author’s last name and the year of publication, enclosed in parentheses. For example, (Smith, 2019). When citing a direct quote, include the page number in the citation. For example, (Smith, 2019, p. 45).

The reference page should be on a separate page at the end of the paper. All sources cited within the paper should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. The first line of each reference should be flush with the left margin, and subsequent lines should be indented. Each reference should include the author’s name, year of publication, title of the work, publisher, and location. Online sources should include the URL or DOI. The reference format varies based on the type of source, such as a book, journal article, or website.

In addition to these elements, there are some general formatting guidelines to follow in an APA research paper:

  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Double-space your text.
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Include page numbers in the top right corner of each page.
  • Use in-text citations to cite sources in your text.

APA Research Paper Example

APA Research Paper Example sample for students:

Title of the Paper

The Effects of Exercise on Mental Health in College Students

This study aims to investigate the effects of exercise on mental health in college students. A total of 100 participants (50 males and 50 females) were recruited from a local university. The participants were randomly assigned to either an exercise group or a control group. The exercise group participated in a 12-week exercise program, while the control group did not engage in any regular exercise. The participants’ mental health was measured using the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory before and after the intervention. The results showed that the exercise group had a significant decrease in anxiety and depression scores compared to the control group. These findings suggest that regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health in college students.

Keywords: exercise, mental health, college students, anxiety, depression

Introduction

Mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, are prevalent among college students. According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), approximately one in three college students reported experiencing some level of anxiety in the past year, while one in five reported experiencing depression. While there are several approaches to treating mental health issues, exercise has been identified as a potential intervention that can improve mental health. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of exercise on mental health in college students.

Participants: A total of 100 participants (50 males and 50 females) were recruited from a local university. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 25 and were not engaged in regular exercise.

The participants were randomly assigned to either an exercise group or a control group. The exercise group participated in a 12-week exercise program, which consisted of three 60-minute exercise sessions per week. The exercise sessions included a combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercises. The control group did not engage in any regular exercise during the 12-week period.

The participants’ mental health was measured using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) before and after the intervention. The BAI and BDI are self-report questionnaires that measure the severity of anxiety and depression symptoms, respectively. The scores on each questionnaire range from 0 to 63, with higher scores indicating greater levels of anxiety and depression.

Data analysis

A repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the changes in anxiety and depression scores between the exercise group and the control group.

The results showed that the exercise group had a significant decrease in anxiety scores (M = 19.25, SD = 5.87) compared to the control group (M = 23.50, SD = 6.33), F(1, 98) = 13.67, p < .001. Similarly, the exercise group had a significant decrease in depression scores (M = 15.80, SD = 4.91) compared to the control group (M = 18.45, SD = 4.86), F(1, 98) = 9.63, p < .01.

The results of this study suggest that regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health in college students. The exercise group had a significant decrease in anxiety and depression scores compared to the control group, indicating that exercise can be an effective intervention for improving mental health. These findings support previous research that has identified exercise as a potential treatment for mental health issues.

Limitations and Future Directions

One limitation of this study is that the sample size was relatively small and only included college students from one university. Future research should replicate these findings in a larger and more diverse sample. Additionally, future studies could also investigate the long-term effects of exercise on mental health and explore the optimal duration and frequency of exercise for maximum benefit. Furthermore, it would be interesting to examine the mechanisms by which exercise improves mental health, such as changes in brain chemistry and neural pathways.

This study provides evidence that regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health in college students. Given the high prevalence of mental health issues among this population, exercise may be an important intervention for improving well-being. Healthcare professionals and educators should consider promoting exercise as a component of mental health management in college students.

  • American College Health Association. (2019). American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2019.
  • American College Health Association. Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(6), 893-897. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Beck Depression Inventory-II. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
  • American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Note: This is just a sample example do not copy this as your assignment or research topic.

APA Research Paper Writing Guide

Writing a research paper in APA (American Psychological Association) format can be a challenging task, but it is an essential skill for students and researchers alike. The following guide will provide you with the necessary steps to write an APA research paper.

  • Choose a topic: Select a topic that is relevant to your field of study or interests. You can browse online academic databases, read relevant journals and books, or brainstorm with peers and mentors.
  • Conduct research: Use credible sources to gather information and data that support your thesis statement. You can use online academic databases, books, and peer-reviewed journals.
  • Create an outline: Use the information gathered from research to create a detailed outline that outlines the main points of your paper. This outline will serve as a guide as you write your paper.
  • Write the introduction: The introduction should provide background information on the topic and a thesis statement that states the purpose of your paper.
  • Write the body: The body of the paper should contain your arguments and supporting evidence. Each paragraph should focus on a single idea, and evidence should be cited according to APA format.
  • Write the conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points of your paper and restate the thesis statement.
  • Revise and edit : After completing the first draft, revise and edit your paper to ensure it is well-written, organized, and free from grammatical errors.
  • Cite sources: Use APA format to cite sources throughout the paper, including in-text citations and a reference page.

Purpose of APA Research Paper Format

The purpose of the APA research paper format is to provide a standardized format for academic writing in the social sciences. This format includes guidelines for the structure, formatting, and citation of research papers, with the goal of ensuring that papers are clear, concise, and easy to read and understand.

The APA format includes specific guidelines for the title page, abstract, main body, and reference list, as well as guidelines for in-text citations and headings. These guidelines help to ensure that research papers are formatted consistently across different journals and academic disciplines, making it easier for readers to find and understand the information presented.

In addition to promoting consistency and clarity, the APA format also promotes ethical research practices, such as the proper attribution of sources and the accurate reporting of research findings. Overall, the APA research paper format is a valuable tool for promoting clear and effective communication in the social sciences.

When to use APA Research Paper Format

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used in the social sciences for writing research papers, including psychology, sociology, education, and nursing. It provides guidelines for formatting papers, citing sources, and referencing materials used in the research. Here are some situations when you should use the APA research paper format:

  • When writing research papers in social sciences : APA style is commonly used in social sciences research papers such as psychology, sociology, education, and nursing.
  • When your professor or institution requires it : APA style may be required by your professor or institution for academic papers.
  • When submitting papers to academic journals: Many academic journals in social sciences require authors to follow APA style guidelines when submitting research papers for publication.
  • When citing sources in your research paper: APA style provides rules for citing sources within the text of the paper, creating a reference list at the end of the paper, and formatting in-text citations and the reference list.
  • When formatting your research paper : APA style provides guidelines for formatting the title page, abstract, headings, font, spacing, margins, and pagination of your research paper.

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  • Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.

The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.

Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.

APA |  MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography

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Table of contents

Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
  • Set 1 inch page margins.
  • Apply double line spacing.
  • If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.

The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.

APA title page - student version (7th edition)

Running head

If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.

APA running head (7th edition)

For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.

APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.

APA headings (7th edition)

Reference page

APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.

APA reference page (7th edition)

Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.

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The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use title case capitalization for headings .

Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.

On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
  • The course name or number
  • The due date of the assignment

MLA heading

Page header

A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.

MLA page header

Works Cited page

MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.

The format of the MLA Works Cited page

You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.

Generate MLA citations for free

The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger.
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.

Format of a Chicago Style paper

Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.

Example of a Chicago Style title page

Bibliography or reference list

Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.

The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.

Chicago bibliography

To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Include a title page
  • If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Apply APA heading styles
  • Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a reference page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
  • Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
  • Include a bibliography or reference list

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/

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These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

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This workshop provides an overview of APA (American Psychological Association) style and where to find help with different APA resources. It provides an annotated list of links to all of our APA materials and an APA overview. It is an excellent place to start to learn about APA format.

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APA (American Psychological Association) Style is most commonly used in the  social and behavioral sciences.

  • APA General Format The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the guidelines of your institution or publisher to adapt APA Style formatting guidelines as needed.
  • In-text Citations In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge how others contributed to your work. By following the principles of proper citation, writers ensure that readers understand their contribution in the context of the existing literature—how they are building on, critically examining, or otherwise engaging the work that has come before.
  • Reference List Check each reference carefully against the original publication to ensure information is accurate and complete. Accurately prepared references help establish your credibility as a careful researcher and writer. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to focus on the content of your reference list, discerning both the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements (who, when, what, and where) with ease. When you present each reference in a consistent fashion, readers do not need to spend time determining how you organized the information. And when searching the literature yourself, you also save time and effort when reading reference lists in the works of others that are written in APA Style.
  • Sample Paper This page contains several sample papers formatted in seventh edition APA Style.
  • DOI Lookup: Crossref Search "Metadata". Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better.
  • Basics of APA Tutorial This tutorial is designed for writers new to APA Style. Learn the basics of seventh edition APA Style, including paper elements, format, and organization; academic writing style; grammar and usage; bias-free language; mechanics of style; tables and figures; in-text citations, paraphrasing, and quotations; and reference list format and order. The Basics of Seventh Edition APA Style tutorial will permanently stay on this site for free.

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What citation style to use for science [Updated 2023]

Top citation styles used in science

What citation style should you use for a science paper? In this post, we explore the most frequently used citation styles for science. We cover APA, IEEE, ACS, and others and provide examples of each style.

APA is the number one citation style used in science

APA (American Psychological Association) style is a citation format used in the social sciences, education, and engineering, as well as in the sciences. APA consists of two elements: in-text citations and a reference list.

It uses an author-date system, in which the author’s last name and year of publication are put in parentheses (e.g. Smith 2003). These parenthetical citations refer the reader to a list at the end of the paper, which includes information about each source.

APA style resources

🌐 Official APA style guidelines

🗂 APA style guide

📝 APA citation generator

APA style examples

Here is an example of an in-text citation in APA style:

In recent years, much debate has been stirred regarding volcanic soil (Avşar et al., 2018) .

Here is a bibliography entry in APA style:

Avşar, E., Ulusay, R., Aydan, Ö., & Mutlutürk, M . ( 2015 ). On the Difficulties of Geotechnical Sampling and practical Estimates of the Strength of a weakly bonded Volcanic Soil . Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment , 74 ( 4 ), 1375–1394 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-014-0710-9

Chicago is the number two citation style used in science

Chicago style is another form of citation used for science papers and journals. It has two formats: a notes and bibliography system and an author-date system.

The notes and bibliography system is mostly used for the humanities, whereas the author-date system is used in science and business. The latter uses in-text citations formed by the author's last name and date of publication. A bibliography at the end of the paper lists the full information for all references.

Chicago style resources

🌐 Official Chicago style guidelines

🗂 Chicago style guide

📝 Chicago citation generator

Chicago style examples

Here is an in-text citation in Chicago style:

However, a research proved this theory right (Hofman and Rick 2018, 65-115) .

Here is a bibliography entry in Chicago style:

Hofman, Courtney A., and Torben C. Rick . “ Ancient Biological Invasions and Island Ecosystems: Tracking Translocations of Wild Plants and Animals .” Journal of Archaeological Research 26 , no. 1 ( 2018 ): 65–115 . doi.org/10.1007/s10814-017-9105-3 .

CSE is the number three citation style used in science

CSE style is the standard format used in the physical and life sciences. This style features three types of citation systems: citation-sequence, name-year, and citation-name.

• Name-Year : In-text citations of this type feature the author’s last name and the year of publication in brackets. A bibliography at the end lists all references in full.

• Citation-Sequence : Every source is assigned a superscript number that is used as an in-text reference. The bibliography at the end lists all numbers with their references in the order in which they appeared in the text.

• Citation-Name : The reference list is organized alphabetically by authors’ last names; each name is assigned a number which can be placed in superscript as an in-text reference.

CSE style resources

🌐 Official CSE style guidelines

📝 CSE citation generator

CSE style examples

Here is an example of an in-text citation in CSE name-year style:

Therefore, the translocation of wild plants was tracked (Hofman and Rick 2018) .

Here is a bibliography entry in CSE name-year style:

Hofman CA, Rick TC. 2018. Ancient Biological Invasions and Island Ecosystems: Tracking Translocations of Wild Plants and Animals. J. Archaeol. [accessed 2019 Mar 11]; 26(1): 65–11. doi.org/10.1007/s10814-017-9105-3.

AIP is the number four citation style used in science

AIP style, as its title suggests, is commonly applied in physics and astronomy papers. This style has a numbered citation system , which uses superscript numbers to show in-text citations. These numbers correspond to a list of sources at the end of the paper.

AIP style resources

🌐 Official AIP style guidelines

🗂 AIP style guide

📝 AIP citation generator

AIP style examples

Here is an in-text citation in AIP style:

A similar study was carried out in 2015 ¹ .

Here is a bibliography entry in AIP style:

¹ H.D. Young and R.A. Freedman, Sears & Zemansky's University Physics (Addison-Wesley, San Francisco, CA, 2015) p. 160

ACS is the number five citation style used in science

ACS style is the standard citation style for chemistry. This style uses both numeric and author-date citations systems. The numbered in-text citations can have either a superscript number or a number in italics. Full references for each source are listed at the end of the paper.

ACS style resources

🌐 Official ACS style guidelines

🗂 ACS style guide

📝 ACS citation generator

ACS style examples

Here is an in-text citation in ACS author-date style:

The opposing side was given first (Brown et al., 2017) .

Here is a bibliography entry in ACS author-date style:

Brown, T.E.; LeMay H.E.; Bursten, B.E.; Murphy, C.; Woodward, P.; Stoltzfus M.E. Chemistry: The Central Science in SI Units . Pearson: New York, 2017.

IEEE is the number six citation style used in science

IEEE style is used for engineering and science papers. This style uses a numeric, in-text citation format, with a number in square brackets. This number corresponds to a reference list entry at the end of the paper.

IEEE style resources

🌐 Official IEEE style guidelines

🗂 IEEE style guide

📝 IEEE citation generator

IEEE style examples

Here is an example of an in-text citation in IEEE style:

As seen in a multi-camera study [1] ...

Here is a bibliography entry in IEEE style:

[1] E. Nuger and B. Benhabib, “Multi-Camera Active-Vision for Markerless Shape Recovery of Unknown Deforming Objects,” J. Intell. Rob. Syst. , vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 223–264, Oct. 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions about citation styles used in science

The most frequently used citation style in the sciences is APA (American Psychological Association) style.

There are two major types of citation systems you can use: author-date or numeric. Numeric citation styles tend to be preferred for science disciplines.

Yes, you have to add a bibliography or reference list citing all sources mentioned in your scientific paper.

Some of the most popular scientific journals are: Science Magazine , Nature , and The Lancet .

Title pages for science papers must follow the format of the citation style that you’re using. For example, in APA style you need to include a title, running head, a name, and other details. Visit our guide on title pages to learn more.

What citation style to use for computer science

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A parenthetical citation includes the last name(s) of the author(s) followed by a comma and the page number(s). The parenthetical citation can be at the end of a sentence or may be in the middle of a sentence if needed to be clear on what is being cited.

A company should always do what is right regardless of the consequences, but doing the right thing tends to result in the best outcomes (Dunn, 2016).

Because doing the right thing is always the best choice (Dunn, 2016), corporate leaders must carefully develop a strong ethical compass.

A narrative citation is used when the author’s name is part of the text. In these cases, the author’s name does not need to be repeated in the parenthetical reference.

Dunn (2016) asserts the view that though a company should do what is right regardless of the potential consequences, ethical actions often produce the best possible outcomes for all (p. 22).

For more on in-text citations of a paraphrase, see opens new window https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/paraphrasing

When quoting a source directly, page numbers are used to indicate the location of the quoted text. Though page numbers are not required for a paraphrase, it may be helpful to include page numbers to indicate the location of the paraphrased text. If the source has no page numbers, other location indicators, such as paragraph or section numbers may be used.

“Fundraising is an art and a science” (Garry, 2017, p. 99).

It is hard to predict how donors will respond to an appeal, but in time fundraisers learn to trust their intuition regarding the best approach (Garry, 2017, p. 99).

For more on citing quotations, See opens new window https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/quotations

Personal communications are sources that can not be recovered or accessed by the reader because they are not published. This includes emails, texts, conversations (in person, by phone or video conference, etc.), online chats, interviews, classroom lectures, memos, letters, etc. If the information is not available from any recoverable (published) source, it can be cited as a personal communication. Because the reader can not access the information in personal communications, they will not be included in the reference list, but cited in the text only.

In an interview, Benjamin Colby (personal communication, July 25, 2015) mentioned . . . .

A. J. Montoya (personal communication, February 4, 2020) emailed detailed financials to the research team . . . .

In a lecture on November 1, 2021, to a BUS 326 class, Dr. Dash said . . . .

More information is available on the APA Style website .

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What is APA Style?

What is APA Style?

The APA (American Psychological Association) style format is the preferred citation style for social science research papers. What does APA style mean? APA style is a set of guidelines for writing and formatting research papers in psychology and related fields. APA is frequently used in the fields of economics, criminology, political science, sociology, business, and pedagogy. When we talk about APA style in research, we are talking about the rules for what a research paper must contain and how it should be written. APA provides specific guidelines for nearly all aspects of manuscript formatting, from font choice to margins and punctuation.

Why Do We Use APA Style? We use APA style for several important reasons. First, APA is referred to as a citation style because it includes specific rules for how the references you cite should be formatted and indicated in your research paper. Proper citation ensures that you will never be accused of plagiarism and lets others who read your paper understand where you got your information. Second, APA style provides style and writing guidelines to make sure that your research paper is easy to read and has all of the necessary elements. The primary purpose of APA style is to promote scientific communication by facilitating clarity of expression and standardizing the organization and content of manuscript formatting.

What Does APA Style Include? So, what is included in an APA style research paper? In fact, APA style has three levels. The first level dictates organization. The second level addresses writing style and language use. The third level deals with mechanics such as punctuation. Let’s begin with the first level - organization.

Level 1 - Organization

An APA style research paper must include:

  • A title page - limit your title to a maximum of 12 words and avoid the use of abbreviations and unnecessary words
  • An abstract - the abstract should discuss the topic under study, the research questions, any subjects of the research, your research methods, the findings/results, analysis of the data, and your conclusions
  • An introduction - address the problem and premise upon which the research was based
  • Your methodology - explain in detail how you did your research
  • Your results - explain what you found
  • A discussion - talk about what your findings mean
  • References - a list of the sources you cited

There are more specific guidelines for the manuscript formatting of abstracts and title pages, many examples of which can easily be found by referring to the APA Manual of Style.

Level 2 - Writing Style

An APA style research paper should be written formally. Your intended audience is other academics, your colleagues, and you want to communicate with them very clearly and professionally. This means:

  • No pop culture references
  • Minimize literary devices (metaphors, irony, imagery, etc.)
  • Be direct and straightforward
  • Use technical terms, but only where appropriate
  • Avoid biased language

In other words, your writing should sound as clear and neutral as possible. It is recommended that you avoid using colorful language to try to sound fancy. For example, if you had your research subjects jump up and down on one leg for ten minutes, say so. Don’t try to use complex phrasing like “participants utilized a unipedal movement to propel themselves off of the ground and then return to land.” With regard to biased language, always use gender-inclusive language (firefighters vs. firemen). Use specific group labels (Asian Americans vs. minorities) and avoid euphemisms (adults with learning disabilities vs. special adults). It’s always a good idea to Google search any terms you want to use if you aren’t sure whether they are offensive or not.

Level 3 - Mechanics

APA style manuscript formatting demands the use of double-spacing and 8.5 x 11 paper with 1-inch margins. Times New Roman 12pt font is recommended. There are a large number of specific recommendations for proper manuscript formatting of an APA style paper, which can be found in the APA Manual of Style. Some of the most common recommendations include:

  • Use title case for headings
  • Use numerals for numbers 10 and above
  • Hyphenate compound adjectives that precede a noun (fact-checking organization, not fact checking organization)
  • Spell out a term before introducing its abbreviation in parentheses (the United Nations (UN))
  • Left align all tables and figures
  • Use in-text citations for sources
  • Use footnotes sparingly

What is APA Citation?

Citation in APA style follows a specific format. In general, you should cite citations in the text and then provide the full citation in the “References” section at the end of your paper. Note that APA style requires this section to be titled “References.” “Works Cited” or “Bibliography” is not an acceptable alternative in APA style manuscript formatting .

Citation style will differ somewhat depending on whether you are citing a journal article, book, blog entry, news article, conference paper, social media post, or some other type of media. For the sake of a simple example, we will cite a journal article here.

In-text Citation Example

  • According to some scholars (Lee, 2005), civil society in South Korea plays a divisive rather than a unifying role in the nation’s fledgling democracy.
  • Lee (2005) argues that civil society in South Korea plays a divisive rather than a unifying role in the nation’s fledgling democracy.

References Citation Example

Lee, S. J. (2005). Democratization and polarization in Korean society. Asian Perspective , 99-125.

Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about memorizing the tricky details of APA citation for every media format you might cite in your research paper. Citation generators abound online that can do the job for you. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the APA Manual of Style to make sure your references are cited correctly.

Now that you know what APA style is all about, you’re ready to write a great research paper! Remember, there are numerous online sources that can help you format your citations. Always check the APA Manual of Style or ask your professor or advisor for help if you need it. Once you get the hang of it, writing in APA style will come naturally to you.

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Mla Vs. Apa Format: Which Citation Style Should You Use For Science Writing?

When writing a science paper or lab report, using the correct formatting style is critical for properly citing sources and presenting your scientific ideas. The two most common formatting styles are MLA and APA, but which one should you use for science writing?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: APA format is generally preferred over MLA for science writing . APA provides guidelines optimized for scholarly scientific communications and publications.

In this comprehensive guide, we compare MLA versus APA format for science writing. You’ll learn when to use each style, key formatting differences, and tips for consistently applying the right citations in your science papers.

When to Use MLA vs. APA for Science Writing

Types of science writing.

Science writing encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science. It can take various forms, such as research papers, lab reports, literature reviews, and scientific articles.

Each type of science writing has its own requirements when it comes to formatting and citation styles.

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is commonly used in the humanities, including literature, art, and language studies. While it is not the most common citation style for science writing, there are situations where MLA may be appropriate.

For example, if you are writing a science paper that focuses on the historical or cultural aspects of a scientific topic, MLA style may be more suitable.

MLA format typically uses in-text citations with the author’s last name and page number, and a Works Cited page at the end of the document. It is important to provide accurate and complete citations to give credit to the original authors and allow readers to locate the sources you used for your research.

APA (American Psychological Association) style is widely used in the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, and education. It is also commonly used in scientific research papers and articles.

APA style provides a clear and concise way to present scientific information and ensure consistency in citations.

In APA format, in-text citations include the author’s last name and the year of publication. A reference list is also included at the end of the document, providing detailed information about each source cited. This allows readers to easily find and verify the sources you used in your research.

When writing scientific papers, it is crucial to follow APA guidelines for citing sources, as it helps maintain the integrity of the research and allows other researchers to build upon your work.

Key Differences Between MLA and APA Format

In-text citations.

One of the key differences between MLA and APA format lies in how in-text citations are handled. In MLA format, the author’s last name and the page number are typically used to cite sources within the text. For example, (Smith 42).

On the other hand, APA format uses the author’s last name and the publication year. For instance, (Smith, 2019). This difference in formatting is important to keep in mind when writing scientific papers, as it ensures proper attribution of sources and allows readers to easily locate the full reference in the bibliography.

Reference Lists

Another significant difference between MLA and APA format is how the reference lists are structured. In MLA format, the reference list is called the Works Cited page, and it is placed at the end of the document.

Each entry is listed alphabetically by the author’s last name and includes the author’s name, the title of the work, the publication information, and the medium of publication. In contrast, APA format uses a reference list, which is also placed at the end of the document.

Each entry is organized alphabetically by the author’s last name and includes the author’s name, the publication year, the title of the work, and other publication information.

The use of headings in MLA and APA format also differs. In MLA format, headings are not typically used, as the focus is more on the content and structure of the paper. However, APA format requires the use of headings to organize the content and provide clarity to the reader.

APA format has specific guidelines for the formatting of headings, including the use of different levels (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2) to indicate the hierarchy of information.

Figures and Tables

MLA and APA format also have different guidelines for the inclusion of figures and tables in scientific writing. In MLA format, figures and tables are often placed within the text, close to where they are mentioned. They are typically labeled as “Fig.” and “Table” followed by a number.

APA format, on the other hand, requires figures and tables to be placed in separate sections at the end of the document. Each figure and table should have a caption that describes the content and a number that corresponds to its order of appearance in the text.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific formatting requirements of MLA and APA format when writing scientific papers. Adhering to the correct citation style ensures that your work is professional, consistent, and easily understandable to your readers.

APA Guidelines for Science Writing

Formatting research papers.

When it comes to formatting research papers in APA style for science writing, there are a few key guidelines to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to use 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper. Additionally, the font should be Times New Roman and set to a 12-point size.

The paper should be double-spaced throughout, including the title page, abstract, main body, and references. It is also crucial to include a running head and page numbers on each page.

Writing With Precision

APA style emphasizes clear and concise writing in science papers. When writing in APA style, it is important to be precise and avoid using vague or ambiguous language. This means using specific terminology, providing detailed explanations, and avoiding unnecessary jargon.

Additionally, APA style encourages writers to use active voice, which helps to make the writing more direct and engaging. By using active voice, the writer clearly identifies the subject of the sentence and makes the writing more engaging for the reader.

Using Active Voice

One of the key aspects of APA style for science writing is the use of active voice. Active voice is when the subject of the sentence performs the action, rather than having the action done to it. For example, instead of saying “The experiment was conducted,” APA style encourages writers to say “We conducted the experiment.”

Using active voice not only makes the writing more engaging, but it also helps to clearly identify the responsible party for the action.

Reporting Statistics

When reporting statistics in APA style for science writing, it is important to provide clear and accurate information. This can be done by using appropriate statistical symbols and formatting, such as italicizing variables and using subscripts.

Additionally, APA style requires writers to include relevant information such as means, standard deviations, and sample sizes. It is also important to clearly label figures and tables and provide a thorough explanation of the statistical analysis performed.

This helps to ensure that the reader can easily understand and interpret the data being presented.

Tips for Applying APA Style in Science Writing

Use citation generators.

When it comes to applying APA style in scientific writing, using citation generators can be a great help. These online tools automatically generate citations in APA format for various sources such as books, journals, websites, and more.

They save you time and ensure that your citations are formatted correctly, following the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association. Some popular citation generators include Citation Machine , EasyBib , and BibMe .

By using these tools, you can focus more on your research and writing, knowing that your citations are accurate and properly formatted.

Adhere to APA Paper Structure

When writing scientific papers in APA style, it’s important to follow the prescribed paper structure. The APA format typically includes a title page, an abstract, an introduction, a methods section, a results section, a discussion section, and a references page.

Each section has specific formatting requirements, such as the use of headings, subheadings, and proper citation formats. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these requirements and apply them consistently throughout your paper.

This ensures that your work is organized and easy to navigate for readers.

Be Consistent Throughout

Consistency is key when it comes to applying APA style in science writing. This means using the same format and style for all citations and references throughout your paper. Make sure to use the correct punctuation, capitalization, and italics when citing different sources, such as books, articles, or websites.

Additionally, pay attention to the order and formatting of the elements within each citation, including authors’ names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers. Being consistent in your formatting not only enhances the readability of your paper but also shows your attention to detail and adherence to professional standards.

Proofread and Revise

Before submitting your scientific paper, it’s crucial to proofread and revise it for any errors or inconsistencies, including those related to APA style. Carefully review your citations and references to ensure they are complete, accurate, and formatted correctly.

Check for any inconsistencies in capitalization, italics, or punctuation. Additionally, make sure your paper adheres to the overall guidelines of APA style, such as the use of proper headings and subheadings.

Taking the time to proofread and revise your work will help you present a polished and professional scientific paper.

For most science writing, APA format is the preferred citation style over MLA. APA provides specific guidelines that optimize scientific communication and publications.

By understanding when to use APA, adhering to key formatting differences from MLA, following APA science writing tips, and proofreading your citations, you can expertly apply APA style for your research papers, lab reports, and other scientific documents.

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Recommendations For A Science Fair Research Paper: APA Format

Formatting is a crucial element in any academic writing. It makes your arguments easier to understand and eliminates confusion. This allows your readers and supervisors to concentrate on your content. It is also easier to trace information cited, follow the flow of ideas and read more about the subject from your reference materials. Here are rules to follow when formatting a paper for your science fair in APA style.

Paper Component

  • There are four main sections of an APA paper.
  • A title page- it gives the details of the writer, the paper and the institution.
  • Abstract- it captures in general terms the idea being discussed. From reading the abstract, a person should deduce your main point of argument.
  • Main Body- this is the heart of your paper. It has an introduction, body and conclusion. This is where you introduce the specifics of your topic, provide supporting facts and make conclusions based on the details of your discussion.
  • References- this is a list of books and other academic materials used to construct your argument. References give credibility to your work. Use authoritative books and materials to strengthen your arguments.

The page captures the name or title of the paper as a running header, name of institution, name and details of the author and a note about the paper. The note indicates the reason for engaging in research which could be to fulfill certain academic accreditation. Do not use abbreviations or words that have no purpose. Center the page and use 12pts font size unless instructed otherwise.

The title of this section is ‘Abstract’ which should be written in capital letters, centered and with no quotations. The section should summarize the paper by introducing the topic, the questions you seek to answer, approach given and conclusion drawn.

Provide full details of books, journals, papers and articles, among other materials used in supporting your discussion. Use an alphabetical order and the right presentation beginning with the name of the author. It must begin on a new page on your document.

APA formatting for your science fair research paper should be consistent. Failure to be inconsistent leads to confusion. You will also be penalized for mixing formatting styles.

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When you use ideas that are not your own, it is important to credit or cite the author(s) or source, even if you do not quote their idea or words exactly as written. Citing your sources allows your reader to identify the works you have consulted and to understand the scope of your research. There are many different citation styles available. You may be required to use a particular style or you may choose one.

One of the commonly used styles is the APA (American Psychological Association) Style.

APA style stipulates that authors use brief references in the text of a work with full bibliographic details supplied in a Reference List (typically at the end of your document). In text, the reference is very brief and usually consists simply of the author's last name and a date.For example:

...Sheep milk has been proved to contain more nutrients than cow milk (Johnson, 2005).

In a Reference list, the reference contains full bibliographic details written in a format that depends on the type of reference. Examples of formats for some common types of references are listed below. For additional information, visit the University of Arkansas libraries webpage on citing your sources . Another useful web-site on this topic is here.

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume(issue) (if issue numbered), pages.

Bass, M. A., Enochs, W. K., & DiBrezzo, R. (2002). Comparison of two exercise programs on general well-being of college students. Psychological Reports, 91(3), 1195-1201.

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. (Vol. number, pp. pages). Place: Publisher.

"Ivory-billed woodpecker." (2002). In The new encyclopædia britannica. (Vol. 5, p. ). 15th ed. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica.

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (if there is no author move entry title to first position) (Publication year). Title of article or entry. In Work title. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Ivory-billed woodpecker. (2006). In Encyclopædia britannica online. Retrieved from http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9043081

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine,volume, pages.

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23.

Author last name, Author First Initial. Author Second Initial. (Publication Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine. volume, pages. Retrieved from (database name or URL).

Holloway, M. (2005, August). When extinct isn't. Scientific American, 293, 22-23. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Page Author Last Name, Page Author First Initial. Page Author Second Initial. Page title [nature of work - web site, blog, forum posting, etc.]. (Publication Year). Retrieved from (URL)

Sabo, G., et al. Rock art in Arkansas [Web site]. (2001). Retrieved from http://arkarcheology.uark.edu/rockart/index.html

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Basic Tips for Citing in APA - 7th Edition

Citations using apa 7th edition, in-text citations using apa 7th edition.

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Basic tips for Citing in APA

  • Title your bibliography  References.  Be sure that the word References  is center-aligned and in bold.
  • All citations should be double-spaced and have any lines after the first indented by half an inch. This is called a hanging indent.
  • Alphabetize all citations by the author's last name. If the source does not have an author, alphabetize it by the title.
  • If an author’s name and a website name are the same, omit it from the source portion. If there is no author, move the title to the beginning of the citation. If an author's name and a publisher's name are the same, omit it from the publisher portion.
  • When doing in-text citations, you only need to put a page number if you are using a direct quote. 
  • Do not use copyright or review dates in place of publication dates . If no date of publication or last update is given, use (n.d.).
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Basic format for a book or eBook*

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of book: Capital letter for the first word of the subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

*Use the same formats for both print books and ebooks. For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g., Kindle) is not included in the reference (APA Style  Book/EBook References ).

Authored book with a DOI

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596 

Brown, L. S. (2018).  Feminist therapy  (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0000092-000

Authored book without a DOI

Everly, G.S., Jr., & Lating, J. M. (2017). The Johns Hopkins guide to psychological first aid . Johns Hopkins University Press.

Basic format for a book chapter

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of chapter: Capital letter for the first word of the subtitle. In E. E. Editor (Ed.),  Title of book: Capital letter for the first word of the subtitle  (Edition, Vol. #, pp. x-xx). Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Book chapter

Barreto, A. R., Campos, M. M., Dias, M. C. M., Friedmann, A., Haddad, L., Kishimoto, T. M., & Vitoria, T. (2007). Brazil. In R. S. New & M. Cochran (Eds.),  Early childhood education: An international encyclopedia  (Vol. 4, pp. 914-970). Praeger.

Work in an anthology

Vicioso, S. (2016). The Caribbean, or the feminine face of multiculturalism. In E. M. Martinez (Ed.),  Daring to write: Contemporary narratives by Dominican women  (pp. 159-163). University of Georgia Press. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41276-017-0075-x  

Use this format for periodicals, magazines, newspapers, blog posts, and other sources that are available in print and on the web. Do not  use this for webpages, websites, and digital-only sources such as CNN, BBC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Mayo Clinic, etc...

Basic format for a periodical

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article: Capital letter for the first word of the subtitle . T itle of Periodical ,  Volume (Issue), page-page. DOI or URL

Do not  use copyright or review dates in place of publication dates . If no date of publication or last update is given, use (n.d.).

Article with a DOI

Schwartz, J., Bind, M.-A., & Koutrakis, P. (2017). Estimating causal effects of local air pollution on daily deaths: Effect of low levels. Environmental Health Perspectives , 125 (1), 23–29. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP232  

Article with a URL (newspaper)

Martin, N. (2019, February 5). New Hampshire’s opioid crisis looms over marijuana legalization debate. The Boston Globe . https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/02/05/new-hampshire-opioid-crisis-looms-over-marijuana-legalization-debate/xBoezjtW0FzPbU1oyuS71M/story.html

Article with a URL (magazine)

Sciolino, E. (2020, May). The invention of hiking.  Smithsonian Magazine.  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/invention-hiking-1-180974592/  

Article with a URL (blog)

McKenna, N. (2020, April 14). The signaling pathways project: A FAIR portal into the cell signaling ‘omics data universe.  PLOS Collections .  https://blogs.plos.org/collections/the-signaling-pathways-project/

Use this format for  webpages, websites, and digital-only sources such as CNN, BBC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Mayo Clinic.  Do not  use this for periodicals , magazines, newspapers, blog posts, and other sources that are available in print and on the web.

Basic format for web sources

Author, A. A. (Date of publication).  Title of work: Capital letter for the first word of the subtitle . Title of Website. URL

Webpage on a news website

Shukman, D. (2019, April 2). What does air pollution do to our bodies?  BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47777103

Webpage on a website with a group author

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.).  About high blood pressure . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020, April 10).  Recreational therapists.  U.S. Department of Labor.  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/recreational-therapists.htm#tab-1​

Webpage on a website with no author

Tuscan white bean pasta . (2018, February 25). Budgetbytes. https://www.budgetbytes.com/tuscan-white-bean-pasta/

Online dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia entry:

Central Intelligence Agency. (2020, March 19). Central America: Haiti . In The world factbook . https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/ the-worldfactbook/geos/aa.html

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Equity. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved November 9, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equity

Basic format for social media posts

Author, A. A. [@username]. (YYYY, Month DD). Insert the first 20 words of the post here  [Description of audiovisuals if necessary] [Type of post]. Name of Site. URL

Author, A. A. (YYYY , Month DD).  Insert the first 20 words of the post here  [Description of audiovisuals if necessary]. Facebook. URL

National Institute of Mental Health. (2020, May 7). Today is Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, where do you begin? Start  [Image attached]. Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/nimhgov/posts/10159664588226978

Author, A. A.  [@username]. ( YYYY , Month DD).  Insert the first 20 words of the post here  [Description of audiovisuals] .  Instagram. URL

Smithsonian Libraries [@silibraries]. (2020, May 14).  Alpine Flowers Tales (Alpenblumenmärchen) is a 1922 illustrated storybook that describes the woodland adventures of two acorn children who get  [Watercolor illustration]. Instagram.  https://www.instagram.com/p/CALfxZ1A6ck/  

Author, A. A.  [@username]. ( YYYY , Month DD).  Insert the first 20 words of the post here  [Description of audiovisuals if necessary]  [Tweet].  Twitter. URL

National Geographic [@NatGeo]. (2020, April 12). Harpy eagles—the largest of all the eagles—may look like something from a fantasy book, but in the wild [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.  https://twitter.com/NatGeo/status/1249400149731934208?s=20  

Basic format for visual media

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Role of authors). (Date of publication).  Title of media: Capitalize the first letter of a subtitle  [Description of media]. Publisher/Production Company. URL

Citing an infographic

Creator of Infographic. (date of publication).  Title of the infographic: Capitalize the first letter of the subtitle  [Infographic]. URL

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Data sharing [Infographic]. https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/ data-sharing-infographic.pdf

Citing artwork in a museum or on a museum website

Artist, A. A. (Date of creation).  Title of artwork: Capitalize the first word of a subtitle  [Description of artwork]. Museum Name, Museum Location. URL

Murakami, T. (2002).  If the double helix wakes up...  [Painting]. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.  https://collections.mfa.org/objects/354616/if-the-double-helix-wakes-up?ctx=14b9a41f-1230-490c-9bf9-3b00357e070e&idx=1

Rostgaard, A. (1967).  Cancion protesta  [Song protest] [Silkscreen]. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.  https://www.moma.org/collection/works/7913

Citing artwork from a database

The following examples were found in various databases, however, note that APA 7 discourages the use of Database names in citations. Additionally, even though the works of art are retrieved from databases, the database states where the images are held. You would cite that as the location instead of the database itself.

Artist, A. A. (Date of creation).  Title of artwork: Capitalize the first word of a subtitle  [Description of artwork]. Database Name. Database URL (do not use a permalink to the piece of art if it requires the user to log in. If that is the case simply put the URL of the database itself)

Helicobacter pylori bacterium [Photograph]. (n.d.). Science Photo Library.  https://www.sciencephoto.com/

Homer, W. (1909).  Right & left  [Oil on canvas]. The Granger Collection.  https://www.granger.com

Miró, J. (1918). Portrait of Juanita Obrador  [Oil on canvas]. Art Institute of Chicago.  https://www.artic.edu/

Citing a webinar or PowerPoint

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Date of publication).  Title of webinar or PowerPoint: Capitalize the first letter of a subtitle  [Webinar/PowerPoint slides]. Publisher. URL

Goldberg, J. F. (2018)  Evaluating adverse drug effects  [Webinar]. American Psychiatric Association.  https://education.psychiatry.org/Users/ProductDetails.aspx?ActivityID=6172

Jones, J. (2016, March 23).  Guided reading: Making the most of it  [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare.  https://www.slideshare.net/hellojenjones/guided-reading-making-the-most-of-it

Citing a film or tv series

Producer, A. A. & Producer, B. B. (Producers). (Year).  Title of film or series: Capitalize the first letter of a subtitle  [Description]. Production Company A; Production Company B. URL.

Jackson, P. (Director). (2001). The lord of the rings: The fellowship of the ring  [Film; four-disc special extended ed. on DVD]. WingNut Films; The Saul Zaentz Company.

Ricciardi, L., & Demos, M. (Directors). (2015). Making a murderer [Television series]. Synthesis Films; Netflix.  https://www.netflix.com/title/80000770

Citing an online video (YouTube, Vimeo, etc...)

Uploader, A. A. (Year, Month Day).  Title of work: Capitalize the first word of a subtitle  [Description of work]. Publisher. URL

TED. (2011, May 2). Beware online “filter bubbles” [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/B8ofWFx525s

University of Oxford. (2018, December 6).  How do geckos walk on water ?  [Video]. YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1xGfOZJc8

What is a DOI?

  • DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier
  • It is a string of numbers and letters that is unique to a specific piece of content. No two published materials will ever have the same DOI.

Why use a DOI and not a URL or Permalink?

  • DOIs will always remain stable whereas URLs have a tendency to change over time.
  • If you access an item from a database and use a permalink in your citation people will have to have authentication access for that database in order to retrieve the publication information.
  • Anyone who is able to search with a DOI will be taken to an open webpage with the publication information.

How do I find the DOI?

  • Most databases will provide the DOI in the detailed record of their materials. 
  • If you are looking at a PDF or print version of an article, the DOI will typically be on the first page near the copyright notice.
  • https://doi.org/
  • http://dx.doi.org

What if the DOI isn't on the article or book?

  • Most scholarly articles published after the year 2000 have DOIs associated with them. If you cannot find the DOI on the detailed record you can use the Crossref website to locate it.

For further information on using DOIs in APA Style references:

  • APA Style Blog: DOIs and URLs This page addresses when to include digital object identifiers (DOIs) and uniform resource locators (URLs) in APA Style references.

Click the image or link below to search Crossref.org for a DOI.

Crossref search box

The library offers FREE access to the citation manager NoodleTools. NoodleTools can help you keep track of and organize your citations, and automatically create bibliographies. Click on the image or link below for more information.

Noodletools login screen

  • NoodleTools Citation Manager
  • How to log in to NoodleTools through Microsoft 365 If your school or college has enabled access through Microsoft 365, signing in to NoodleTools is simple and you won't need to remember a separate username and password.

Here are some other resources that you may find helpful in learning how to appropriately cite materials using the 7th edition of the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association​. 

If you need more assistance, please ask a librarian.

  • APA Style Blog (7th Edition) The style and grammar guidelines pages present information about APA Style as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition.
  • Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) APA Guide These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.
  • APA 7 - Sample References Page - PDF
  • APA 7 - Sample References Page - Word

Sample APA 7th edition references page

  • Sources with Authors
  • Sources with Group Authors
  • Sources without Authors
  • Tables and Figures (Images)

There are two components of an APA style citation: the in-text citation (parenthetical or narrative), as well as the full Reference List entry at the end of the paper. Both components provide the information necessary for the reader to locate and retrieve the source(s) used to inform a paper. Each cited source in the text of your paper (in-text citation), must also appear in the Reference List. The following tabs contain examples of both parts of an APA citation.

Complete Citation

Your complete citation should include the name of the author, date of publication, the title of the source, the title of the journal/website, identifying information such as volume, issue, and page numbers, and either a DOI or a URL if available. This gets alphabetized and placed in the References section at the end of your paper. 

Hanauer, N. (2019, July). Education isn't enough. Atlantic , 324 (1), 19-22.

In-Text Citation

Your in-text citation contains the last name of the author, the publication year, and page number (for direct quotes only), and is placed in the text of the sentence to which it relates. There are a few ways to do this, parenthetically, narratively, and using a direct quote. Parenthetical citations place the relevant information at the end of your sentence in parentheses, while narrative citations allow for the relevant information to be conveyed in the body of your sentence. As for direct quotes, there are a variety of ways to use them in your paper. APA style prefers that you frame them using your own words rather than simply dropping a quote in as its own sentence. See below for examples of each.

Parenthetical Citation Example:

The percentage of Americans with high-school diplomas has increased from approximately 50% in 1970 to 90% today (Hanauer, 2019).

Narrative Citation Example:

Hanauer (2019) found that the percentage of Americans with high-school diplomas has increased from approximately 50% in 1970 to 90% today.

Direct Quote Example:

One way to increase the quality of public schools is to “pay people enough to afford dignified middle-class lives” (Hanauer, 2019, p. 20).

Citing Multiple Works When citing two or more sources in the same parentheses, alphabetize the citations, and separate each with a semicolon.

Example: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.; Everly & Lating, 2017; Shukman, 2019)

In-text citations can change based upon the number of authors that a source has. Follow the examples below for creating accurate in-text citations for your references.

*If there are 21 or more authors, consult section 9.8 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th Edition.

Some sources will not have individual authors, but rather group authors. In these instances, you will still need to cite the item as you would any source with an author. Follow the example below for an accurate in-text citation of a source with a group author.

It is important to note that you should always define the abbreviation for a group author only once in the text. Thereafter, use the abbreviation for all mentions of the group in the text. See sections 8.21 and 9.11 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th Edition for more information.

At times you will come across sources where there is no author listed. If this happens, use a shortened version of the title in your in-text citation. If the title is italicized in the reference entry, italicize it in your in-text citation. If the title is not italicized in the reference entry, place it in quotation marks. See section 8.14 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th Edition for more information.

There are different ways to format quotes when they are used in your paper. Follow the guidelines below for proper formatting.

Short Quotations (Fewer than 40 words)

Include the quotation in the regular text of your paper. Be sure to use quotation marks and add an in-text citation with a page number (if applicable).

She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style," (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

Block Quotations (40 words or more)

If a quote has 40 or more words, treat it as a block quote. Start the block quote on its own line and indent the entire quote 0.5” from the left margin, be sure that it is also double-spaced, with no extra spaces before or after it. Do not use quotation marks for block quotes.

Use a parenthetical citation after the closing punctuation for the sentence or use the author and year in a narrative introduction before the quote. If you choose to use a narrative introduction, be sure to include the page number of the quote after the final punctuation.

Example 1 :

There are a variety of barriers to student success when working on research assignments. An example of these barriers is citation style and formatting. Jones (1998) argues the following based on her experience as an instructor:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)

Example 2 :

There are a variety of barriers to student success when working on research assignments. An example of these barriers is citation style and formatting. Based on their experiences, some instructors found that:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Tables in APA 7 style should follow the following format. In the example below, the author is citing a table from a primary source. Therefore, the in-text citation is included in the title of the table (in italics ). Underneath the table, there should be a note with a description of the table. The in-text citation can also be included in the note, underneath the table. The format for the in-text citation should follow the same rules as a text citation, e.g., (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019).

Example of a Table in APA Formatting

Graphics and images count as figures. These should follow the same formatting. The following examples will show how to cite these.

Graphics follow a similar format to tables. In the example below, you will notice the in-text citation for "(Creswell &Poth, 2018)" is incorporated into the description of the graph below (under " Note ").

apa style science research paper

The image example provided is an illustration that follows the same type of formatting as the graphic example. In the description of the image, under the note, the author provides an in-text citation.

APA 7 illustration example of broken leg bone.

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To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA : Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page . Title of LibGuide. URL

MLA : Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.

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  1. APA style research paper parts

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  3. LESSON 78

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  1. APA Sample Paper

    APA Sample Paper Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here. Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper , APA Sample Professional Paper Cite your source automatically in APA Cite

  2. Sample papers

    Authors seeking publication should refer to the journal's instructions for authors or manuscript submission guidelines for specific requirements and/or sections to include. Literature review professional paper template (DOCX, 47KB) Mixed methods professional paper template (DOCX, 68KB) Qualitative professional paper template (DOCX, 72KB)

  3. APA format for academic papers and essays

    Revised on January 17, 2024. This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines. The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual provides guidelines for clear communication, citing sources, and formatting documents. This article focuses on paper formatting. Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

  4. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    The Basics General guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay Author/Authors How to refer to authors in-text, including single and multiple authors, unknown authors, organizations, etc. Reference List Resources on writing an APA style reference list, including citation formats Cite your source automatically in APA Cite

  5. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    This guide will help you set up an APA Style student paper. The basic setup directions apply to the entire paper. Annotated diagrams illustrate how to set up the major sections of a student paper: the title page or cover page, the text, tables and figures, and the reference list. Basic Setup

  6. Paper format

    Date created: August 2019 Consistency in the order, structure, and format of a paper allows readers to focus on a paper's content rather than its presentation. To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments.

  7. Formatting a Paper in APA

    APA Headings within the Body of the Paper. The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the APA Publication Manual 7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first. Paper Title: include on the first line of the first page of the body of your paper; bold and centered

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    Basic Tips for Citing in APA - 7th Edition. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) by American Psychological Association. Call Number: Ref BF76.7 .P83 2020. ISBN: 9781433832178. Publication Date: 2019-10-01. The complete APA Manual is available in the Reference section on both campuses! Basic tips for Citing in APA.

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