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APA Formatting & Referencing Guidelines

There are many different ways of formatting an article for publication. The following guidelines are the ones that our Transtutors essay and research paper writers have found to be most consistent in preparing manuscripts for publication by the American Psychological Association (APA). Here is a quick APA formatting and referencing guide for you:

APA Formatting for Text:

Short quotations in the text are identified by a number placed within parenthesis and followed by a period.
Longer (one paragraph or more) quotations, however, are presented differently than shorter quotes. In other words, long quotes do not receive the same typesetting treatment that short quotes do.
Here’s how to properly format a quote that is one paragraph or more in length:

  1. Begin the quote on a new line, without any type of indentation.
  2. Capitalize the first word of the quote and all subsequent words that would normally be capitalized within the body of your paper (unless they are proper nouns or acronyms).
  3. Indent the first line of the quote one-half inch from the left margin. 4) Place the entire quote within double quotation marks.

APA Formatting for Block Quotations:

Block quotations are any quotes that are more than three lines in length and appear as a separate paragraph apart from the text.
Here’s how to properly format a blockquote:

  1. Begin the quote on a new line, without any indentation.
  2. Type the entire quote within double quotation marks.
  3. Place one-half inch of space between the left margin and the quote.

APA Formatting for Headings:

Headings in your paper serve to divide your paper into sections and subsections. Most headings in APA format papers are title case (also known as headline style), meaning that the first letter of the first word of a heading is always capitalized, with all other letters in the heading being lowercased. All subsequent words in the title are also capitalized. There are a few exceptions to this rule though.
Here’s how to properly format headings within your paper:

  1. Type the heading on a new line and without any indentation.
  2. Capitalize the first word of the heading as well as all words that would normally be capitalized within the body of your paper unless they are proper nouns or acronyms.
  3. Indent the first line of the heading one-half inch from the left margin.

APA Formatting for References:

Reference list entries are alphabetized by author’s last name and numbered in the order that they appear in your paper. The reference list entry includes information about each source you cited in your manuscript including the author’s last name and first initial, the year of publication, title information, and source type.
To properly format reference list entries in APA style, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. Enter the author’s last name followed by a comma and the initials (if there are two authors then enter both authors’ names separated by an ampersand).
  2. Enter the publication year.
  3. If there are two authors, enter the word “and” between both names (note that this applies only to two authors).
  4. If the source is from a periodical that has more than four authors, then use et al. after listing the first four authors of work when preparing your reference list entry.
  5. If a book has more than one edition, only reference the year of the most recent edition (do not list all years in which editions have been published). 6) Insert a period after each piece of information given for a reference entry.

APA Formatting for Tables:

Tables are numbered consecutively and presented as separate pages following the reference list. APA format tables are double spaced and include at least one heading that summarizes all of the information contained in a table.
Here’s how to properly format tables in your paper:

  1. Type the title on its own line and bold it.
  2. Indent five spaces from the left margin and place your cursor above the indentation.
  3. Type all of your headings, with the first letter capitalized and all words in the heading lowercase unless they are proper nouns or acronyms.
  4. Indent every row five spaces from both the left and right margins (if needed).
  5. Insert a period after each piece of information given for a table.
  6. Create a new paragraph for every line of information given for the corresponding table.”

More about APA Citations and Referencing Style:

Citations help your readers locate the source of ideas or facts that you included in your paper. Citing sources is an important component of research and writing because it shows where the information came from, and it allows other researchers to find and read these same sources. In addition, it can help you avoid plagiarism (receiving credit for others’ ideas or words).

To properly format citations in APA style, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. All sources are double-spaced (no extra space between lines), and only the last names of authors should be used (first names are not needed).
  2. All entries are alphabetized by the author’s last name.
  3. If there are multiple authors with the same last name, then list their first initials (ordinal numbers are used for the subsequent authors if using more than three authors).
  4. When listing a reference in parentheses, only include the page number if it is referred to in your paper.
  5. If an electronic database is consulted, including the URL (if available), the access date, and the date of the last update.

Sources should be listed in a specific format called “APA style” (American Psychological Association). APA does not include author names in citations for most items. Instead, after the title of the work, use a descriptor phrase and alphabetize.

In your reference list, entries are arranged alphabetically by the last names of authors (or editors), or in the case of organizations such as government agencies, they are listed by the first word/phrase in their title. The reference list is double-spaced.

APA References should include enough information so that readers can find the sources you use. This includes the author’s name, the date of publication, and other necessary information. Use this final format for your references:

Author, A. A (Year). Title of work (pp. xx-xx)

APA Citations and References stylistic guidelines cover:

APA Formatting for In-Text Citations
In-text citations should be inserted after a quote or paraphrased idea from another source. These in-text citations include the author’s last name and a page number (if needed).
For example:
(Moore 56)

Citing Electronic Sources
Electronic sources are cited similarly to print materials (authors or organization; the title of work), but there are additional pieces of information necessary to make sure others can find the same source later. These include the type of electronic media, the date it was accessed, and a unique identifier.
For example:
Tisdale, E. (2017). Testimony on efforts to reduce firearm injuries and deaths [Audio blog comment]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293_1_508-528.pdf

For more information on APA formatting and referencing style, contact our Transtutors research paper writing experts at support@transtutors.com.

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September 22, 2021

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