Basic Concepts for apa style: How to Implement it Efficiently

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Basic Concepts for APA Style: How to Implement it Efficiently

  • Deanna Hanson-Abromeit
  • Conservatory of Music and Dance
  • Bob Schubert
  • Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching


  • Word Based Tools
  • Paper Format
  • Paper Sections
  • Resources
  • Questions

Using Word and APA

  • Word 2007
    • Formats reference list and insertion of citations citation
  • Endnote

Paper Format

  • 8 ½ X 11 paper, one sided
  • 12 pt Times Roman or Courier
  • Double spaced
  • At least 1 inch margins – top, bottom, left, right
  • Paragraphs indentation of ½ inch tab or 5-7 spaces
    • Exceptions: abstract & block quotations

Paper Format

  • Page Numbers
    • Number consecutively
    • Begin with title page
    • Upper right hand edge
    • At least 1 inch from edge
  • Manuscript page headers
    • Identifier of manuscript pages
    • First 2 or 3 words of title
    • Right hand corner above or 5 spaces before page number
  • Punctuation

Paper Sections

  • Sections
    • Title Page
    • Abstract
    • Text
    • References
    • Appendices
    • Footnotes & Notes
    • Tables
    • Figures

Title Page

  • Running Head for Publication
    • Abbreviated title used for publication
    • 50 characters max
    • Flush left at the top of title page (below manuscript page header)
    • ALL CAPS
  • Title
  • Byline and Affiliation
    • In order of contribution
    • Centered
    • One double-space below title


  • Begin on a new page
  • Manuscript Header and Page 2 in upper right hand corner of page
  • Label page Abstract, centered at top of page
  • Block paragraph form
  • Not to exceed 120 words
  • Type all numbers as Arabic numerals


  • Start on a new page; page number 3
  • Title of paper centered at the top of the page
  • Double-space
  • Begin text
  • No page breaks between sections
  • All pages have the manuscript page header and the page number

Headers – One to Five Levels

  • Centered Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
  • Method
  • Flush left, italicized, upper & lower case side heading
  • Participants
  • Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period
  • Description of groups.

In-text Citations

  • Single Reference Citation
  • Multiple Reference Citation
    • Semi-colon (;) to separate multiple references for a single citation
    • Alphabetical order
    • e.g. (Hanson-Abromeit, 2009; Schubert, 2009)
    • 3-5 authors, list all last names first time; subsequent citations are listed under first author followed by et al. and publication year
    • 6 or more authors
      • Last name first author et al., publication year
      • e.g. (Hanson-Abromeit et al., 2009)

In-text Citations

  • Book chapter
    • Chapter author, comma (,) year of publication
  • Web site and electronic references
    • Author name (if available) and year
    • Unknown author use page title or first couple of words of paragraph
    • Unknown year use n.d.
    • Refer to APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources
  • Subsequent citation in same paragraph
    • Author(s) name only; no date
    • Author and date included in subsequent paragraphs


  • Start on a new page; page number in upper right corner
  • Title page, centered at top of page
  • References
  • Double space
  • Hanging indent format
  • Components of a reference:
    • Philbin, M. K., & Evans, J. B. (2006). Standards for the acoustic environment of the newborn ICU. Journal of Perinatology, 26, S27–S30.


  • Each Appendix started on a separate page
  • Label each page, centered, at top
  • Appendix
  • Use letters to identify the Appendix if more than one
  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B
  • Label appendix tables to correspond with the appendix
  • Table B1

Footnotes & Notes

  • Author Note
    • For blind review the author note should be place on the title page
    • Separate page, center label Author Note
    • Double spaced
  • Content & Copyright Permission Footnotes
    • Superscript Arabic numerals in text
    • New page, label Footnotes, center
    • Type all content of footnotes (do not use the automatic function as it may not translate accurately)


  • Numbered consecutively as they appear in text
  • Identified by the word Table and an arabic numeral, flush left; table title below label
  • Table 1
  • Participant Comments
  • Double space
  • Begin each table on a separate page
  • Center column heads over column; if a multiple pages are necessary repeat column heads

Figures and Figure Captions

  • Numbered consecutively as they appear in text
  • Identified by the word Figure and an arabic numeral, outside of the figure image or on the back
  • Be sure to include the manuscript page header outside of the figure image or on the back
  • Indicate the word TOP if orientation is not obvious
  • Each figure must have a caption; captions are listed on a separate page, placed prior to the figures
  • Figure 1. Discography of recorded music


  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (5th ed.) (2001). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources available from


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