Know All About APA Format with Detailed Guide & Examples

apa format

Are you a high school or college student struggling to format your papers in APA style? Do citations give you anxiety?

If so, you're not alone. Many students find APA formatting to be one of the most daunting aspects of writing a paper.

Whether it's for a paper, assignment, or project, understanding the basic guidelines of this formatting style can be a challenge.

But don't worry - we’re here to help!

In this blog post, we'll show you everything you need to know about creating accurate APA citations and formatting your paper in APA style. By the end, you'll be an expert at using the APA format in your academic writing.

Keep reading to learn more!

What is APA Format?

APA format is a style of writing that was established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychologists in the United States.

The APA style is used in many disciplines during essay writing and research paper writing, including psychology, education, business, and the social sciences. In general, the APA format includes guidelines for paper structure, headings, and citations.

The American Psychological Association introduced the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual in 2019, replacing the old APA 6th edition format.

The new APA format 7th edition differentiates between student papers and professional papers. It has updated guidelines regarding citations, text formatting, and language.

In this blog post, we’ve provided guidelines following the APA 7th edition format. So your paper will be accurate and up-to-date if you follow this detailed guide.

How to Do APA Format?

“How to APA format a paper?”

Following are the general guidelines for formatting your paper APA style:

  • APA Format Margins - APA paper format has a margin of 1 inch, consistent on all sides.

  • APA Format Spacing - APA format line spacing guidelines require that your text be double-spaced. The first line of each paragraph should be indented about 0.5 inches.

  • APA Header Format - A page header or running head is included at the top of every page, including the title page. The APA format header includes the title of your paper on the left and page numbers on the right. The title name should not exceed more than 50 characters in the header.

  • APA Page Number Format - In APA style format, all pages are numbered. Insert the page numbers in the top right corner in the running head.

  • As per the APA 7 format, headers or running heads are not required in student papers, only in professional papers. So, only include page numbers at the top if you’re writing an academic paper.

  • APA Format Font - There are no strict guidelines as to what font should be used in the APA research paper format. However, the font size and style should be legible. Some recommended fonts are

    • Calibri; 11-point
    • Arial; 11-point
    • Lucida Sans Unicode; 10-point
    • Georgia; 11-point
    • Times New Roman; 12-point

(back to top)

How to Write in APA Format?

An APA format essay or paper has the following main components

APA Format Title Page

APA title page format should include:

  • Title of the Paper
  • Name of author(s)
  • Institute/department of affiliation
  • Course title (only for student papers)
  • Instructor or supervisor’s name (only for student papers)
  • Author’s note (only for professional papers)
  • Date

APA Format Abstract

The title page in APA format is followed by an abstract, which is a brief summary of the whole paper.

  • The abstract is on a separate page.
  • It should give a brief overview of your research question, methodologies used, inferred results, conclusion, and possible implications of your research.
  • It should comprise 250 words.
  • It is written in active voice.
  • To include keywords, indent the following line and add them after “Keywords:” in small letters and separated with commas.

APA Format Main Body

This includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Results inferred
  • Conclusion/Discussion

Use the guidelines mentioned above to format your main body accordingly.

APA Format Heading and Sub-Heading

For APA heading format, look at the guidelines below:

  • 1st Level Heading:
    • Centered
    • Bolded
    • The first letter of each word is capitalized
    • Don’t italicize or underline
  • 2nd Level Heading:
    • Left-aligned
    • Bolded
    • The first letter of each word is capitalized
  • 3rd Level Heading:
    • Left-aligned
    • Bolded
    • Italicized
    • Capitalize first letter of each word
  • 4th Level Heading:
    • Left-indented
    • Bolded
    • Capitalize first letter of each word
    • End in a period
  • 5th Level Heading:
    • Left-indented
    • Italicized
    • Capitalize first letter of each word
    • End in a period

For Example,

1st Level Heading

2nd Level Heading

3rd Level Heading

4th Level Heading

5th Level Heading

APA Format References

APA format has a reference list at the end of the paper on a separate page, which includes all the detailed citations of the sources used in the paper. This is labeled as ‘References.’

(back to top)

How to Cite in APA Format?

APA citation format includes in-text citations and a reference list at the end of the paper. We’ve detailed below how to cite your references APA format-style in both.

APA Format In-Text Citation

In-text citations are used when referencing another author’s work or quote, or simply information from some other source.

Put a direct quote in quotation marks. Otherwise, paraphrase. In any case, it is pertinent to cite your source.

APA in-text citations use the format below:

(Author’s Surname, Year of publication, Page number)

For example,

….. (Smith, 2006, p.16)

As explained by John Smith in his research study, ….. (2006, p.16)

APA Reference Format

To cite your sources properly in the APA format Reference page, keep the following points in mind:

  • All references are in alphabetical order.
  • The first lines are left-adjusted and the subsequent lines are indented a few spaces.
  • Include the author’s surname followed by his/her first name initials.
  • Mention the year of publication and the source name after the author’s name.
  • The names of the books, journal articles, magazines, and such are italicized.

“How to cite a book in APA format?”

Here’s the format for referencing a book:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Title of book (ed.). Publisher Location: Publisher

“How to cite an edited book in APA format?”

Following is the format for referencing an edited book:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Ed(s)). (Year). Title of book (ed.). Publisher Location: Publisher

“How to cite a chapter from a book in APA format?”

The basic format for referencing a chapter is as follows:

Author Surname, Initial(s). Chapter Title. Editor’s Initial(s), Surname (Ed(s)). (Year). Title of book (ed. Page number(s)). Publisher Location: Publisher

“How to cite an e-book in APA format?”

Here’s the format for referencing an e-book in APA format:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Title of E-book (ed.). URL

“How to cite a journal article in APA format?”

You can cite your journal article references in the format below:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year). Article Title. Title of Journal, Volume number, Page number(s). DOI or URL

“How to cite a newspaper in APA format?”

Follow the format below to cite newspaper references:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year, Month, Day). Title of Article. Title of Newspaper, column/section, Page number(s). URL (if online)

“How to cite a website in APA format?”

The format for referencing a website is as follows:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Year, Month, Day). Title. URL

Using APA Citation Generator

Many people use APA format citation generators to make references quickly. However, this does not mean that you should use them without checking.

There are some things to watch out for when you use an APA format generator:

  • The generator might not include all the details in the reference list.
  • The generator might not mention the date.
  • The generator might make a flawed structure of the forma

(back to top)

MLA Format Example

“What does APA format look like?”

Check out the examples below to know what an APA-style paper actually looks like and how to structure your own.

APA Format Template Student Paper (PDF)

APA Format Template Student Paper

APA Format Template Professional Paper (PDF)

APA Format Template Professional Paper

APA Format Example (PDF)

APA Format Example

Some other types of citation styles that you can use include MLA format, Chicago format, IEEE format, etc. You can also read APA vs MLA format to understand the difference between these citation styles better.

We hope that this blog post has helped you understand what APA format is and how to use it correctly in your academic writing. We’ve provided helpful guidelines on how to cite APA format references along with APA format paper examples.

You now know all you need to about APA format. It can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it will become second nature.

If you are still unsure about how to format APA paper or would like help citing sources properly, reach out to for assistance.

You can hire an expert writer from our professional essay writing service who can help you create high-quality papers that follow all the correct formatting guidelines.

Contact us today to get started!