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Citation Styles

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is used in many social sciences. It provides a common structure for academic work, helping writers give proper credit to the sources they've used and assisting the reader in exploring further. 

If you’re unable to find the help you need on this page, email the Library or check the APA Style website or blog.

APA Formatting

APA papers have one-inch margins and are double-spaced and left-aligned. Use an accessible  font (e.g., 11-pt. Calibri or Arial, 12-pt. Times New Roman) and headings. Paragraphs are indented 0.5". Page numbers are at the top-right, and student papers don't require a running head.

For more information, see the Excelsior College APA Formatting Guide or this annotated student paper.

APA Template

Word template for a student paper

Changes for the Seventh Edition

One of the goals of the new edition was to make citations and formatting simpler for students and instructors. There are now distinct formatting guidelines for student papers (see template below). Other notable changes:

  • Student papers no longer require a running head.
  • In-text citations with three or more authors include only the first author, followed by “et al.” 
  • In the References list, citations now include up to 20 authors. For citations with more than 20 authors, the first 19 are followed by an ellipsis and then the final name.
  • Book citations no longer include publisher location.
  • For website articles, the site name is included.
  • The label “DOI” is no longer necessary; the formatting is the same as for a URL link.
  • When a URL is used, “retrieved from” is only required when a date is needed.
  • Instructions have been expanded for various source types, including social media posts and podcasts.
  • APA endorses the use of “they” as a singular pronoun, for those who use it as a personal pronoun or for anyone whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.
  • There is expanded information on citing oral or traditional knowledge.