APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the…

APA (American Psychological Association)
style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This
resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA
manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text
citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information,
please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).
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General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed, double-spaced
on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1″ margins on all
sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends
using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Include a page header (also known as the “running head”)
at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page
numbers flush right. Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” in the header
flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version
of your paper’s title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major
sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

Title Page

The title page should contain the title of
the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the
page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at
the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page
header/running head should look like this:


Pages after the title page should have a
running head that looks like this:

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After consulting with publication
specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first
printing sample papers have incorrect examples of Running heads on pages after
the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a
complete list of all the errors in the APA’s 6th edition style guide.

Type your title in upper and lowercase
letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title
be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations
or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All
text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author’s name:
first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or
degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author’s name, type the
institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the
author(s) conducted the research.

This image shows the title page for an APA
sixth edition paper.

APA Title Page


Begin a new page. Your abstract page should
already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the
abstract page, center the word “Abstract†(no bold, formatting, italics,
underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a
concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your
abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions,
participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also
include possible implications of your research and future work you see
connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph
double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from
your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were
starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your
keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in

This image shows the Abstract page of an
APA paper.

APA Abstract Page

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to
see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources
page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual Resources

Contributors’ names and the last edited
date can be found in the orange boxes at the top of every page on the OWL.

Contributors’ names (Last edited date).
Title of resource. Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore,
K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General
format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

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