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APA Citation Style (6th edition)

APA Quick tips

This guide covers APA basics, examples of references and in-text citations for some of the more commonly used resources, and formatting instructions. If you need more information, Writing Centre and Library staff are available to answer your questions. Copies of APA resources are available at both libraries,.

The following handouts are easy to print and have readily accessible when you are researching and writing your assignments and essays. 

What is APA style?

When editors or teachers ask you to write in "APA style," they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.

APA style refers to the entire presentation and structure of your written document including rules or guidelines such as:

  • line spacing, margins, page headers
  • font size - use a serif font (e.g. Times New Roman) for text and san serif (e.g. Arial) for figure or table labels
  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references
  • presentation of statistics
  • as well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript

Proper documentation requires that you acknowledge sources within your paper.  A citation appears in two places in your essay. Once in the body of your paper; these are called in-text or parenthetical citations. The citation will also be in the list at the end of your paper; this is called a References list.