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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

Font:

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.

Margins:

"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.

Alignment:

"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.

Indentations:

"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.

Page numbers:

Page numbers should be flush right in the header of each page. Use the automatic page numbering function in Word to insert page numbers in the top right-hand corner. The title page is page number 1.

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.

Headings:

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...

 

Please note: Any formatting requirements specified in the subject outline or any other document or web page supplied to the students by the lecturers should be followed instead of these guidelines.

Appendices

What is an appendix?

Appendices contain matter that belongs with your paper, rather than in it.

For example, an appendix might contain

  • the survey questions or scales you used for your research,
  • detailed description of data that was referred to in your paper,
  • long lists that are too unweildy to be given in the paper,
  • correspondence recieved from the company you are analysing,
  • copies of documents being discussed (if required),
  • etc.

You may be asked to include certain details or documents in appendices, or you may chose to use an appendix to illustrate details that would be inappropriate or distracting in the body of your text, but are still worth presenting to the readers of your paper.

Each topic should have its own appendix. For example, if you have a survey that you gave to participants and an assessment tool which was used to analyse the results of that survey, they should be in different appendices. However, if you are including a number of responses to that survey, do not put each response in a separate appendix, but group them together in one appendix as they belong together.

How do you format an appendix?

Appendices go at the very end of your paper, after your reference list. (If you are using footnotes, tables or figures, then the end of your paper will follow this pattern: reference list, footnotes, tables, figures, appendices).

Each appendix starts on a separate page. If you have only one appendix, it is simply labelled "Appendix". If you have more than one, they are given letters: "Appendix A", "Appendix B", "Appendix C", etc.

The label for your appendix (which is just "Appendix" or "Appendix A" - do not put anything else with it), like your refrerence list, is placed at the top of the page, centered and in bold, beginning with a capital letter.

You then give a title for your appendix, centered and in bold, on the next line.

Use title case for the appendix label and title.

The first paragraph of your appendix is not indented (it is flush with the left margin), but all other paragraphs follow the normal pattern of indenting the first line. Use double line spacing, just like you would for the body of your paper.

How do I refer to my appendices in my paper?

In your paper, when you mention information that will be included or expanded upon in your appendices, you refer to the appendix by its label and capitalise the letters that are capitalised in the label:

Questions in the survey were designed to illicit reflective responses (see Appendix A).

As the consent form in Appendix B illustrates...

How do I use references in my appendices?

Appendices are considered to be part of your paper for the purpose of referencing. Any in-text citations used in your appendix should be formatted exactly the same way you would format it in the body of your paper, and the references cited in your appendices will go in your reference list (they do not go in a special section of your reference list, but are treated like normal references).

If you have included reproduced matter in your appendices, treat them like an image or a table that has been copied or adapted. Place the information for the source in the notes under the reproduced matter (a full copyright acknowledgement for theses or works being published, or the shorter version used at JCU for assignments), and put the reference in the reference list.

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