Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
JCU logo

APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

Guide to APA citation style using the 7th Edition of the APA Style Manual.

APA 7th examples and templates

The APA Style experts have provided sample papers at both the student and professional level with annotations to show how the style works in action.

You can view the samples here:

APA formatting tips

Quick formatting notes taken from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 7th edition


Use the same font throughout the text of your paper, including the title and any headings. APA lists the following options (p. 44):

  • Sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11 point-Arial, 10-point Lucida,
  • Serif fonts such as 12-point Times new Roman, 11-point Georgia or 10-point Computer Modern.

(A serif font is one that has caps and tails - or "wiggly bits" - on it, like Times New Roman. The font used throughout this guide is a sans serif [without serif] font). You may want to check with your lecturer to see if they have a preference.

In addition APA suggests these fonts for the following circumstances:

  • Within figures, use a sans serif font between 8 and 14 points.
  • When presenting computer code, use a monospace font such as 10-point Lucida Console or 10-point Courier New.
  • Footnotes: a 10-point font with single line spacing.

Line Spacing:

"Double-space the entire paper, including the title page, abstract, text, headings, block quotations, reference list, table and figure notes, and appendices, with the following exceptions:" (p. 45)

  • Table and figures: Words within tables and figures may be single-, one-and-a-half- or double-spaced depending on what you decide creates the best presentation.
  • Footnotes: Footnotes appearing at the bottom of the page to which they refer may be single-spaced and formatted with the default settings on your word processing program i.e. Word.
  • Equations: You may triple- or quadruple-space before and after equations.


"Use 1 in. (2.54 cm) margins on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right) of the page." If your subject outline or lecturer has requested specific margins (for example, 3cm on the left side), use those.


"Align the text to the left and leave the right margin uneven ('ragged'). Do not use full justification, which adjusts the spacing between words to make all lines the same length (flush with the margins).  Do not manually divide words at the end of a line" (p. 45).

Do not break hyphenated words. Do not manually break long DOIs or URLs.


"Indent the first line of every paragraph... for consistency, use the tab key... the default settings in most word-processing programs are acceptable. The remaining lines of the paragraph should be left-aligned." (p. 45)

Exceptions to the paragraph indentation requirements are as follows:

  • Title pages to be centred.
  • The first line of abstracts are left aligned (not indented).
  • Block quotes are indented 1.27 cm (0.5 in). The first paragraph of a block quote is not indented further. Only the first line of the second and subsequent paragraphs (if there are any) are indented a further 1.27 cm (0.5 in). (see What if...Long quote in this LibGuide)
  • Level 1 headings, including appendix titles, are centred. Level 2 and Level 3 headings are left aligned..
  • Table and figure captions, notes etc. are flush left.

Reference List:

  • Start the reference list on a new page after the text but before any appendices.
  • Label the reference list References (bold, centred, capitalised).
  • Double-space all references.
  • Use a hanging indent on all references (first line is flush left, the second and any subsequent lines are indented 1.27 cm (0.5 in).
    To apply a hanging indent in Word, highlight all of your references and press Ctrl + T on a PC, or Command (⌘) + T on a Mac.


Level 1 Heading - Centered, Bold, Title Case

Text begins as a new paragraph i.e. first line indented...


Level 2 Heading - Flush Left, Bold, Title Case

Text begins as a new paragraph i.e. first line indented...


Level 3 Heading - Flush Left, Bold, Italic, Title Case

Text begins as a new paragraph i.e. first line indented...


Level 4 Heading Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Full Stop. Text begins on the same line...


Level 5 Heading, Bold, Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending with a Full Stop. Text begins on the same line...


Thesis formatting

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country