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APA (6th Edition) Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide based on the 6th Edition of APA style

APA formatting tips

Quick formatting notes taken from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.


"The preferred typeface for APA publications is Times New Roman, with a 12-point font size" (p. 228).

Line Spacing:

"Double-space between all text lines of the manuscript. Double-space after every line in the title, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and figure captions...never use single-spacing or one-and-a-half spacing except in tables or figures" (p. 229).


"Leave uniform margins of at least 1 in. (2.54 cm) at the top, bottom, left and right of every page" (p. 229).


"Do not justify lines... instead, use the flush-left style, and leave the right margin uneven, or ragged. Do not divide words at the end of a line, and do not use the hyphenation function to break words at the ends of lines. Let a line run short rather than break a word at the end of a line" (p.229).


"Indent the first line of every paragraph and the first line of every footnote... type the remaining lines of the manuscript to a uniform left-hand margin. The only exceptions to these requirements are (a) the abstract, (b) block quotations, (c) titles and headings, (d) table titles and notes, and (e) figure captions" (p.229).

Reference List:

"APA requires that the reference list be double-spaced and that the entries have a hanging indent" (p.180).
"Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author followed by initials of the author's given name" (p.181).

Some guides for formatting

Thesis Formatting


This page on the APA style blog discusses the use of referencing in tables, and also points out how to reference a table which you have taken or adapted from another source. You'll also be able to see examples of tables that have been formatted according to APA style:

Extensive advice for formatting tables can be found in Chapter 5 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The document below is a simplified example of how to set out a table according to APA style.

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.