AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA) GUIDE
Basic Format of Paper:
1. For spacing, APA distinguishes between manuscripts (those written for publication) and
theses, dissertations, and student papers. A manuscript is completely double-spaced (APA, 2001,
p. 286). Student papers are double-spaced except for references on the reference page and long
quotes (APA, 2001, p. 326).
You will need to ask your professor which spacing rule is preferred
for your assignment.
2. The paper needs to have one-inch margins (APA, 2001, p. 286-287). Do not right justify the
right margin (APA, 2001, p. 287). Font size needs to be 12 point (APA, 2001, p. 285).
3. Past tense (e.g., “Smith (1996)
”) or present perfect tense (e.g., “researchers
” is appropriate for literature review (APA, 2001, pp. 42-43).
4. After a period at the end of a sentence, you will only space once, instead of the traditional two
spaces (APA, 2001, p. 249). Example: The researchers examined gender differences in math.
They found . . .
only one space after the period
5. If the last word on a line is too long to stay at the end of a line, do NOT divide the word with a
hyphen. Just let the word fall to the next line (APA, 2001, p. 287).
6. Remember, it is
to copy someone’s work or ideas. If you copy four or more
words in a row from the journal that are the author’s original words, you must use quotation marks
When you paraphrase information, you give a citation, but you do not use quotation
marks (APA, 2001, pp. 349-350).
direct quotes of print sources must be cited with author’s last name, year, and a page
number immediately following the end quotation mark (APA, 2001, p. 117). This can be done in
two ways as follows:
The period at end of sentence
goes after cite,
if the cite ends the sentence
(APA, 2001, p. 121)
According to Smith and Jones (1995), "the gender difference was not significant" (p.
The results indicated, "the gender difference was not significant" (Smith & Jones,
pp. 456-457) with males and females performing equally.
citation will immediately follow the end quotation mark (APA,
2001, p. 121)
if quote falls on two pages, use “pp.” instead of “p.”
(APA, 2001, pp. 111 & 217)
For electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, indicate the paragraph of the quote by
using the paragraph symbol: (Smith, 1999, ¶ 6).