APA 7th edition

In October 2019, the American Psychological Association released an updated, 7th edition, of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

This guide provides an overview of some core concepts in the manual but should not be used as a replacement for the full manual, which you can borrow from the library at the Reserve Desk.

APA Style recommendations on how to cite generative A.I. such as ChatGPT:
Before you use and cite generative A.I., read your syllabus or talk to your professor. The decision whether generative A.I. can be used for academic assignments and how to cite it ultimately rests with the instructor.

  Style and Formatting



  • Use a single space after punctuation marks that close a sentence.
  • Use parentheses to introduce abbreviations and to denote separate thoughts.
  • Use square brackets to enclose material that's already in parentheses.
  • Major words including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns are capitalized. This is needed for:
    • titles of works appearing in text
    • all headings
    • the title of your paper included sections and subsections
    • table titles and figure titles
  • Sentence case in which the first word is capitalized and most other words are lowercase; used for:
    • titles of works in the reference list
    • table column headings, entries, and notes
  • Use abbreviations only as needed.
    • For the first use of an abbreviated term, write the full name of the term followed immediately by the abbreviation in parentheses.
  • For all subsequent uses of the term, use the abbreviation.
  • Numbers one through nine are expressed the as words.
  • Numbers 10 and greater are written numerically.


Paper Elements & Format

Basic formatting
  • 1-inch margins must be used on all sides.
  • Font should be consistent throughout your entire paper.
    • Use 11-point Calibri or 11-point Arial for a sans serif font. 
    • Use 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Georgia for a serif font.
  • All text should be double spaced.
  • Page numbers will appear in the upper, right hand corner of the page.
    • This includes the title page.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph by 0.5 inches.
Required paper elements

The 7th edition has differences between a student and professional paper. Be sure to consult with your professor to make sure you are following the correct version. 

student paper will include:

  1. Title page​​, including the following elements:
    • title
    • author name(s)
    • author affiliation(s)
    • course name and number
    • instructor name
    • assignment due date
    • page number
  2. Page numbers
  3. Text
  4. Reference List

Click here to download a sample student paper as a Word document.

Professional papers need the following:

  1. Title page, which will include:
    • Page number
    • Running head 
    • Author note
    • Affiliation for each author
    • Name of each author of the paper
    • Title of the paper
  2. Running head
  3. Page numbers
  4. Abstract
  5. Text
  6. Reference list

Click here to download a sample professional paper as a Word document.

Levels of Headings

APA has five different levels of headings to organize the body of your paper into sections and subsections. It is helpful to think about headings as being like an outline to a paper which has main topics, then subtopics, and subtopics to those. There are five heading levels in APA, starting with level 1 and ending with level 5. See the table below for sample formatting:


Reference Page

The general format of a reference list follows some basic rules:

  • The reference list begins on a new page after the text and before tables, figures, or appendices.
  • The page should begin with References in bold and centered.
  • All text is double spaced.
  • The first line of a reference should align with your left margin. After the first line the text should be indented 0.5 inches from the margin.
  • List references alphabetically by the author last name.


Building a reference

  • List authors by surname and initials.
    • Example: (Sheridan, C. P.)
  • Use commas to separate multiple authors. For two to 20 authors, use an ampersand before the last author.
    • Example: (Sheridan, C. P. & Hughes, S. E.)
  • If there are 20 or fewer authors, you must list out all of the authors.
  • If there are 21 or more authors, you must list out the first 19, add an ellipsis, and then list the last author's name.
  • If there is no author, move the title to the author position.
  • Dates are listed in parentheses followed by a period.
  • For journal articles, use the date of the volume.
  • Books use the date listed on the copyright page.
  • If no date is available, use (n.d.). 
  • Use sentence case capitalization for titles.
  • For references that have additional title/identifying information (e.g. edition, volume, etc.), place any additional information in parentheses after the title of the reference. Separate multiple pieces of information with commas.
  • If your reference doesn't have a title, put a description of the work in square brackets in the title section.
  • When using books, include the publisher's name and DOIs or URLs.
  • For journal articles, include the journal's information such as the title, volume, issue, pages and DOIs or URLs.
  • Websites need to include the website name and the URL.

  Creating in-text citations


in-text citations

In-text citation basics

An in-text citation is a citation within your writing that shows where you found your information, facts, quotes, and research. 

There are two types of in-text citations: parenthetical and narrative.

A parenthetical citation contains all citation information inside the parentheses. For example:

  • To distribute up-to-date schedules is one layer of the solution, but to give staff notice of daily changes and meetings is a final piece of the puzzle in public services (Hughes, 2018).

A narrative citation will have some or all of the citation information within the text. For example:

  • Hughes (2018) noted that another consideration for communication in public services departments is that staff members process information in a variety of ways.

Below are some more examples of in-text citations by different types of authors:

Author type

Parenthetical Citation

Narrative Citation

One author (Stein, 2020) Stein (2020)
Two authors (Turkel & Wingo, 2018) Turkel and Wingo (2018)
Three or more authors (Seibert et al., 2019) Seibert et al. (2019)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020)

Subsequent citations

(CDC, 2020)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2020)
Group author without abbreviation (Falvey Library, 2006) Falvey Library (2006)

Paraphrasing is when you put information from a source in your own words.

  • Page or paragraph numbers are not required but can be included.
  • For paraphrases that extend for several sentences, put the in-text citation after the first mention of the source. 
Direct Quotations

When copying a sentence from another source, you must include the author, date, and page number where the information was found.

  • A short quote is fewer than 40 words. An example looks like:

Librarians know that to offer exemplary customer service in a public service setting, "accurate and effective communication from the manager to staff is critical" (Hughes, 2018, p. 366).

  • A block quote has 40 or more words.
    • The quote needs to start on new line and be indented 0.5 inch from the left margin.
    • Block quotes do not need quotation marks.


Altering quotes
  • To omit part of a quote, use an ellipsis (...) to indicate the omitted section.
  • If you want to insert words into a quote, add the words with square brackets [insert words here]. 
  • To emphasize part of a quote, italicize the part you want to emphasize and add [emphasis added].


  Citing textual resources



What is a DOI? 

A DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique alphanumeric string used to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the internet. 

The DOI is an important part of the citation because it will help direct users to a source.

Not all sources have a DOI, but more recently published material is likely to have one.

Updated formatting in APA 7th

List DOIs as URLs in APA 7th style.

Correct format:  

  • https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8273-0
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-12-1


  • doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099
  • Retrieved from http://doi:10.1186/1471-2288-14
Finding DOIs

The DOI is often listed in the item record in a database, in the article citation, or on the first page of the document. It may also be found through the publisher website. 

You can also consult with CrossRef using their DOI lookup tool.


Book format

Basic book format



Single author







Multiple authors






Book by editors




Chapter author in an edited work 


Periodical format

Includes journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and blog posts.

Basic periodical format 



Journal article,

single author






Journal article,

multiple authors








Newspaper article






Magazine article



Blog post



UpToDate article






  Citing online resources


Website format


Organizational group author


Individual author


No date


Government source

Government agency group author



Government agency single author



Government source with retrieval date



Government source with report



  Citing audiovisual resources


Film and video format





Film or movie



Audio format









Podcast episode



Image format





  APA Word templates

APA Templates

Save some time by using preformatted Word templates from the official APA Style website. These templates have correct headers, margins, page numbers, font style and size, and hanging indents. They also include a reference section.

Click here to download an APA 7th Student paper template.

Click here to download an APA 7th Professional paper template.