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Free BibMe APA Format Guide & Generator

What is APA?

APA stands for the American Psychological Association, which is an organization that focuses on psychology. They are responsible for creating this specific citation style. They are not associated with this guide, but all of the information here provides guidance to using their style.

What is APA Citing?

APA style is used by many scholars and researchers in the behavioral and social sciences, not just psychology. There are other citation formats and styles such as MLA and Chicago citation style, but this one is most popular in the fields of science.

Following the same standard format for citations allows readers to understand the types of sources used in a project and also understand their components.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is currently in its 6th edition. It outlines proper ways to organize and structure a research paper, explains grammar guidelines, and how to properly cite sources. This webpage was created solely by BibMe to help students and researchers focus on how to create APA citations. For more information, please consult the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.).

We cite sources for many reasons. One reason is to give credit to the authors of the work you used to help you with your own research. When you use another person's information to help you with your project, it is important to acknowledge that individual or group. This is one way to prevent plagiarism. Another reason why we create citations is to provide a standard way for others to understand and possibly explore the sources we used. To learn more about citations, check out this page on crediting work. Also, read up on how to be careful of plagiarism.

What Does it Look Like?

There are two types of citations.

  • Those that are found in the body of a project are called in-text/parenthetical citations. They're added into a project when a direct quote or paraphrase has been added into your work. These citations only include the name(s) of the author(s), date, and page number(s), if applicable.
  • Those that are found on the final part of a project are called references. They're are found in the reference list (sometimes called APA works cited by some teachers), which is at the end of the assignment. It includes the full information of all sources used in a project. These types of references show the author's name, date published, title, publisher, URL, and other key pieces of information.

Depending on the types of sources used for your project, the structure for each citation may look different. There is a certain format or structure for books, a different one for journal articles, a different one for websites, and so on. Scroll down to find the appropriate APA format structure for your sources.

Even though the structure varies across different sources, see below for a full explanation of in-text citations and reference citations.

Still wondering, "What is APA format?" To learn more about APA referencing, including access to the American Psychological Association\'s blog, formatting questions, & referencing explanations, click on this link for further reading on the style. To learn more about using the BibMe service ( to help build APA citation website references, see the section below titled, "Using the BibMe Online Writing Center to Create Citations for your Reference List or APA Bibliography."

Citing Basics

In-Text Citations Overview

When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, include an in-text or parenthetical citation into the body of your project, immediately following it.

An APA in-text citation may look similar to this:

Author's Last name (Year) states that "direct quote" or paraphrase (page number).

Parenthetical citations look like this:

"Direct quote" or paraphrase (Author's Last name, Year, Page number).

These types of APA citations always have the author and the date together.

Only direct quotes need a page number. For paraphrased information, it isn't necessary, but helpful for the reader.

See the section below titled, "In-Text or Parenthetical Citations," for a full explanation and instructions.

Full References Overview

Each source used in your project is listed as a full citation on the APA reference page, which is usually the last part of a project.

The structure for each citation is based on the type of source used. Scroll down to see APA format examples of some common source formats.

Most print and offline citations include the following pieces of information, commonly in this order:

Author's Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Date published). Title of source. Location: Publisher.

Most online citations include the following pieces of information, commonly in this order:

Author's Last name, First Initial. Middle initial. (Date published). Title of source. Retrieved from URL

To see how to format each section, scroll down to the appropriate areas of this guide. There is a section on authors, one on publication dates, another on titles, publishers, and on online information.

To determine the exact APA citation format for your full citations, scroll down to the section titled, "Common Examples."

For a detailed explanation on formatting your reference list, scroll down to the section titled, "Your Reference List."

Here's a quick snapshot of the basics:

All in-text citations included throughout the paper should have a corresponding full reference at the end of the project.

Full references go on their own page at the end of a project. Title the page "References"

References are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference (usually the author's last name, sometimes the title).

  1. If the reference begins with the words A, An, or The, ignore them and alphabetize the reference by the word following it.

If you're looking for an easy way to create your references and citations, use BibMe's free APA citation machine, which automatically formats your sources quickly and easily.

Citation Components

How to Structure Authors

Authors are displayed in reverse order: Last name, First initial. Middle initial. End this information with a period.

APA format example:

Kirschenbaum, M. A.

In an APA citation, include all authors shown on a source. If using the BibMe APA citation builder, click "Add another contributor" to add additional author names. Our free citation creator will format the authors in the order in which you add them.

If your reference list has multiple authors with the same last name and initials, include their first name in brackets.


Brooks, G. [Geraldine]. (2005). March. New York, NY: Viking.

Brooks, G. [Gwendolyn]. (1949). Annie Allen. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.

When no author is listed, exclude the author information and start the citation with the title followed by the year in parentheses.


When citing an entire edited book in APA format, place the names of editors in the author position and follow it with Ed. or Eds. in parentheses. See below for examples of citing edited books in their entirety and also APA citation format for chapters in edited books.

Use this handy chart to determine how to format author names in citations and references:

How to Structure Publication Dates

Place the date that the source was published in parentheses after the name of the author. In APA format for periodicals, include the month and day as well. If no date is available, place n.d. in parentheses, which stands for no date.

How to Structure the Title

For book titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Place this information in italics. End it with a period.


Gone with the wind.

For articles and chapter titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Do not italicize the title or place it in quotation marks. End it with a period.


The correlation between school libraries and test scores: A complete overview.

For magazine, journal, and newspaper titles: Each important word should start with a capital letter.


The Boston Globe

If you believe that it will help the reader to understand the type of source, such as a brochure, lecture notes, or an audio podcast, place a description in brackets directly after the title. Only capitalize the first letter.


New World Punx. (2014, February 15). A state of trance 650 [Audio file]. Retrieved from

How to Structure Publication Information

For books and sources that are not periodicals, give the city and state (or city and country if outside of the U.S.) for the place of publication. Abbreviate the state name using the two-letter abbreviation. Place a colon after the location.


Philadelphia, PA:

Rotterdam, Netherlands:

For journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals, place the volume number after the title. Italicize this information. Place the issue number in parentheses and do not italicize it. Afterwards, include page numbers.


Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 57(1), 79-82.

If you're citing a newspaper article, include p. or pp. before the page numbers.

How to Structure the Publisher

The names of publishers are not necessary to include for newspapers, magazines, journals, and other periodicals.

For books and other sources: It is not necessary to type out the name of the publisher exactly as it is shown on the source. Use a brief, but understandable form of the publisher's name. Exclude the terms publishers, company, and incorporated. Include Books and Press if it is part of the publisher's name. End this information with a period.


Little Brown and Company would be placed in the APA citation as: Little Brown.

Oxford University Press would be placed in the citation as: Oxford University Press.

How to Structure Online Sources

For sources found online:

  • include the URL at the end of the citation
  • format it as: Retrieved from URL
  • do not place a period after the URL

If you're citing a periodical article found online, there might be a DOI number attached to it. This stands for Direct Object Identifier. A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a unique string of numbers and letters assigned by a registration agency. The DOI is used to identify and provide a permanent link to its location on the Internet. The DOI is assigned when an article is published and made electronically. If your article does indeed have a DOI number, use this instead of the URL as the DOI number is static and never changes. If the source you're citing has a DOI number, after the publication information add a period and then The x's indicate where you should put the DOI number. Do not place a period after the DOI number.

If you're using the automatic BibMe APA reference generator, you will see an area to type in the DOI number.


Lobo, F. (2017, February 23). Sony just launched the world's fastest SD card. Retrieved from

Chadwell, F.A., Fisher, D.M. (2016). Creating open textbooks: A unique partnership between Oregon State University libraries and press and Open Oregon State. Open Praxis, 8(2), 123-130.

Looking for more help and clarification? Check out this great resource!

Citations and Examples

Citations for Print Books

Author's Last name, First name initial. Middle name initial. (Year published). Title of book. Location of publisher: Publisher.


Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Looking for an APA formatter? Don't forget that the BibMe APA citation generator creates citations quickly and easily.

Notes: When creating an APA book citation, keep these in mind:

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles, as well as the first letter of any proper nouns.
  • The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be stated and italicized.

Citations for Edited Books

Most edited books state on the cover or title page that they are edited by an author or multiple authors. The format is the same as a print book, except the editor's name is in the author's position. Include a parentheses afterwards with the abbreviation (Ed.) for an edited book by one author or (Eds.) for an edited book with two or more authors.

Editor, F. M. (Ed.). (Year published). Title of edited book. Location: Publisher.


Gupta, R. (Ed.). (2003). Remote sensing geology. Germany: Springer-Verlag.

Citations for Chapters in Edited Books

Some edited books contain chapters written by various authors. Use the format below to cite an author's individual chapter in an edited book.

Chapter author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of book (p. x or pp. x-x). Location: Publisher.

Notice that for APA style, the title of the chapter is not italicized, while the title of the book is. In addition, the chapter author's name is reversed at the beginning of the reference, but the editor's name is written in standard order.


Longacre, W. A., & Ayres, J. E. (1968). Archeological lessons from an Apache wickiup. In S. R. Binford & L. R. Binford (Eds.), Archeology in cultural systems (pp. 151-160). Retrieved from

In the above example, Longacre and Ayers are the authors of the individual chapter and Binford & Binford are the editors of the entire book.

Citing an E-book from an E-reader

E-book is short for "electronic book." It is a digital version of a book that can be read on a computer, e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.), or other electronic devices.

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work [E-reader version]. or Retrieved from URL is used when a source has a DOI number. If the e-book you're citing has a DOI number, use it in the APA citation. DOIs are preferred over URLs.

How to cite in APA (an e-book example):

Eggers, D. (2008). The circle [Kindle version]. Retrieved from

Citing an E-book Found in a Database and Online

Use this format when citing an e-book that is either found on a website, or found on a subscription database. APA formatting for this is very similar to the structure of a print book. The only difference? Instead of the publisher information, include the DOI number or URL.

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work. OR Retrieved from URL

When citing an online book or e-book, keep in mind:

  • A DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to its location on the Internet. It is therefore important, if one is provided, to use it when creating a citation. In place of the x's in the DOI format, place the 10 digit DOI number.
  • Notice that for e-books, publication information is excluded from the citation.


Sayre, R. K., Devercelli, A. E., Neuman, M. J., & Wodon, Q. (2015). Investment in early childhood development: Review of the world bank's recent experience.

Citations for Chapters in E-books

Need to cite a chapter in an e-book? No problem! Citing a chapter in an e-book is very similar to citing a chapter in a print book. Instead of including the publisher information, include a DOI number (if one is displayed) or the URL.

Chapter author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of book (p. x or pp. x-x). or Retrieved from URL

Epstein W. M. (1999). The ineffectiveness of psychotherapy. In C. Feltham (Ed.), Controversies in psychotherapy and counselling (pp. 65-73).

Citations for Websites

How to cite a website in APA:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day published). Title of article or page. Retrieved from URL

APA website citation example:

Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from

Citing a general website article without an author:

Article title. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Retrieved from URL


Teen posed as doctor at West Palm Beach hospital: Police. (2015, January 16). Retrieved from

Still wondering how to cite a website in APA? Check out! It's quick, simple, and free! Our APA citation machine also builds references for many other styles as well!

Citations for Journal Articles Found in Print

Today, most journal articles are found online, but you may be lucky enough to score a copy of a print version for your research project. If so, use the structure below for your reference:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.

Notice that the article's title is only capitalized at the beginning. If there are any proper nouns or subtitles, capitalize the first letter for those words as well. The journal article's title and the volume number are both italicized. In addition, the title of the journal is in title case form (all important words are capitalized).


Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children,13(3-4), 147-148.

Citations for Journal Articles Found Online

Databases are a popular place to find high quality journal articles. These references are formatted the same way as the print versions, except the DOI or URL is included at the end. If the article has a corresponding DOI number, use it instead of the URL. No URL? Use the homepage of the journal's website for the URL.

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. OR Retrieved from URL


Spreer, P., & Rauschnabel, P. A. (2016). Selling with technology: Understanding the resistance to mobile sales assistant use in retailing. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 36(3), 240-263.

Notes: When creating your online journal article citation, keep in mind:

  • This citation style does NOT require you to include the date of access/retrieval date or database information for electronic sources.
  • Use the URL of the journal homepage if there is no DOI assigned and the reference was retrieved online. * If the journal article has a DOI number assigned to it, include that number in the citation instead of a URL.
  • Don't forget, our free BibMe APA generator is simple to use! Check out BibMe Plus while you're at it! If you have a noun, conjunction, or preposition out of place, we'll flag it and offer suggestions for quick writing fixes!

Citations for a Newspaper Article in Print

Similar to journal articles, most individuals use online newspaper articles for research projects. However, if you're able to get your hands on a print version, use this structure for your reference:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article title. Newspaper Title, pp. xx-xx.


Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times, p. D5.

Notes: When creating your newspaper citation, keep in mind:

  • Begin page numbers with p. (for a single page) or pp. (for multiple pages).
  • Even if the article appears on non-consecutive pages, include all page numbers, and use a comma to separate them. Example: pp. C2, C5, C7-C9.
  • Include the full date of publication, not just the year like in most references.

Citations for Newspapers found Online

Use this structure when referencing a newspaper article found on a website or database:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from URL of newspaper's homepage


Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Notes: When citing a newspaper, keep in mind:

  • If the article was found on the newspaper's website, include the URL for the newspaper's homepage. For databases, include whatever URL is provided.
  • Multiple lines: If the URL runs onto a second line, only break URL before punctuation (except for http://).
  • This style does NOT require you to include the date of access for electronic sources. If you discovered a newspaper article via an online database, the database's information is NOT required for the citation either. If you're using the BibMe APA formatter, we make it easy for you by only including what you need in your references!

Citations for Magazines

Citing a magazine article in print:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), page range.

APA format citation:

Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.

Notes: When citing a magazine, keep in mind:

  • You can find the volume number with the other publication information of the magazine.
  • You can typically find page numbers at the bottom corners of a magazine article.
  • If you cannot locate an issue number, simply don't include it in the citation.

Citing a magazine article found online:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue). Retrieved from URL


Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15). Retrieved from,9171,1179361,00.html

Notes: When creating an online magazine citation, keep in mind:

*The volume and issue number aren't always on the same page as the article. Check out the other parts of the website before leaving it out of the citation.

Citations for Blogs

Blogs are found on websites and display continuously updated content and posts by a single author, group, or company. A blog shows news updates, ideas, information, and many other types of entries. Similar to journal entries, a blog begins with the date the information was added followed by the content.

If you’re wondering how to cite a blog entry, look no further! Citing a blog is very similar to citing a website. The only difference? After the title, in brackets, display for the reader that the source is a [Blog post].

Citing a blog post:

Last name of Author, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Day blog post was published). Title

of blog post [Blog post]. Retrieved from URL


Gonzalez, J. (2019, February 3). Let’s give our teaching language a makeover [Blog post].

Retrieved from

Notice two things: 1. The title only has a capital letter at the beginning. If there are any proper nouns in the title, capitalize the first letter for those as well. 2. It isn’t necessary to include the title of the blog. The blog post title is included in the citation, but the title of the complete blog is excluded. Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog is called Cult of Pedagogy. The reader can easily access the blog and see information about it in the URL, which is why the blog title isn’t necessary to include.

Cite a blog post in the text of the paper:

(Author’s last name, Year)


Author’s last name (Year)

Citations for Films

Producer's Last name, F. M. (Producer), & Director's Last name, F. M. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Studio.


Bender, L. (Producer), & Tarantino, Q. (Director). (1994). Pulp fiction [Motion picture]. United States: Miramax.

Citations for Online Films & Videos:

Person who posted the video's Last name, F. M. [User name]. (Year, Month Day of posting). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

If the name of the individual who posted the YouTube video is not available, begin the citation with the user name and do not place this information in brackets.

Smith, R. [Rick Smith] (2013, September 20). Favre to Moss! [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: If you're discussing a certain part of the film or video in the body of your project, include a timestamp in the in-text or parenthetical citation. (Pulp Fiction, 1994, 1:15:30). The time stamp is Hours:Minutes:Seconds.

Citations for Images

Citing an image found in a print publication (such as a book or magazine) or museum:

Creator's Last name, F. M. (Year of Publication). Title of image [Format]. City, State of Publication or Museum: Publisher/Museum.

Including the format helps the reader understand and visualize the type of image that is being referenced. It can be [Photograph], [Painting], or another medium.


Roege, W. J. (1938). St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue from 50th St to 51st Street [Photograph]. New York, NY: New York Historical Society.

Citing an image retrieved online:

Similar to citing an image in print, when citing an image found online, place the medium, or format, in the brackets. Capitalize the first letter.

Photographer, F. (Year of Publication). Title of photograph [Photograph]. Retrieved from URL


Ferraro, A. (2014). Liberty enlightening the world [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Citations for TV/Radio Broadcasts

Writer's Last name, F. M. (Writer), & Director's Last name, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [Television series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer's Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name. City, State of original channel: Channel.

Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [Television series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother. Los Angeles, CA: CBS.

TV/Radio Broadcasts found online:

Writer, F. M. (Writer), & Director, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [Television series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer's Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name. Retrieved from URL

Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [Television series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother. Retrieved from,p30,d0

Note: When citing a TV show or episode, keep in mind:

  • IMDB is a great resource for finding the information needed for your citation (Director, Writer, Executive Producer, etc.) * This information can also be found in the opening and closing credits of the show.

Type what you find into the BibMe APA formatter. We'll do the work for you and structure your references properly!

Citations for Songs

To cite in APA a song from an album listened to online, use the following structure:

Songwriter's Last name, F. M. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by F. M. Last name]. On Album title [Format]. Retrieved from URL


  • If the song is done by a band or group, include the band or group's name instead of an individual's name.
  • Only include the "Recorded by F. M. Last name" portion if it's a different individual than the writer.
  • The format can be CD, Online song, mp3, or any other simple description to allow the reader to understand the format.

Moudaber, N. (2017). Her dub material. On Mood 50: Best of Mood [Online song]. Retrieved from

If you're using the BibMe APA citation generator to build your references, choose "Music/Audio" from the source options.

Citations for Interviews

A personal interview should NOT be included in a reference list. They are not considered recoverable data (they cannot be found by a researcher). You should reference personal interviews as citations in the body of the project instead.


(J. Doe, personal communication, December 12, 2004)

Citations for Encyclopedia Entries

Author's Last name, F. M. (Publication Year). Entry title. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia (pp. xx-xx). City, State abbreviation or Country: Publisher.


Kammen, C., & Wilson, A. H. (2012). Monuments. Encyclopedia of local history. (pp. 363-364). Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

How to Reference a Lecture

This style of reference would be used if you were citing a set of notes from a lecture (e.g., PowerPoint or Google slides provided by your instructor).

Citing online lecture notes or presentation slides:

Author's Last name, F. M. (Publication year). Name or title of lecture [Lectures notes or PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from URL


Saito, T. (2012). Technology and me: A personal timeline of educational technology [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Tip: If you want to cite information from your own personal notes from a lecture, this is considered personal communication. It is considered personal communication since the lecture notes may not be available online for others outside of the class to access. Refer to it only in the body of your essay or project. You can follow the style guide for personal communication available in the Interview section.

Citing Social Media

Social media is everywhere, even in research projects. Many influencers post thoughts, inspirational quotes, and intriguing stories in their profiles.

If you need to cite a post from a social media platform, use this structure:

Last name, F. M. or Group Name who posted the content [\@Username]. (Year, Month Day posted). First 40 words of the post [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If the name of the individual or group is unknown, begin the citation with the handle and remove the brackets.
  • If the post only includes an image or video without any text, instead of including the first 40 words of the post provide a description of the post and place it in brackets: [video of a NASA rocket leaving the atmosphere].
  • The format, in brackets, can be [Tweet], [Facebook status update], [Facebook page], [Instagram photo], [Instagram video], or for a Reddit post, use [Online forum comment].

Citing a Tweet from Twitter:


BibMe [BibMe]. (2018, December 3). Need to write a research paper ASAP? Here are 9 steps to getting it done: [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Citing a Facebook post:


DeGeneres, E. (2018, December 21). Holiday party goals [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from

Citing an Instagram post:


Lipa, D. [dualipa]. (2018, December 2). A lil Hollywood glam brunch! Thank you \@variety for by Breakthrough Artist of the Year award and thank you for your continuous support. That you to my dear friend \@wyattish for presenting me with my award [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from


Since this citation style is commonly used in science-related disciplines, it makes sense that many students and scholars include tables in their projects.

It's a good idea to include a table in your project when:

  • There is a good amount of quantitative information
  • A table would promote understanding

Do not write out the information from the table in the text of your paper. Including the same information in two spots is repetitive. Either type out the quantitative information in your paper or use a table.

If you choose to include a table, make sure to:

  • Refer to it in the text and provide a brief overview or snapshot of its contents.
  • Refer to the table in the text using numbers. For example, "Table 3 shows the countries with the highest amount of spending per pupil."
  • Every table should be numbered. The table mentioned closest to the beginning of the paper should be Table 1. The next table referred to in the paper is Table 2.
  • If you're submitting your project for publication in a journal or elsewhere, place all of your tables, in number order, at the end of your project, after the reference list. If you're submitting your project for a class, most professors prefer tables to be situated close to mentions in text. Ask your teacher or professor which one they prefer.
  • Each table needs a title. The title of the table should match the content displayed in it. Create a name for your table that is easy to understand. Italicize the title and capitalize the first letter of all major key words.
  • Do not include any vertical lines, only horizontal. Your horizontal lines should be over and above any column headings.
    • Capitalize the first letter of every important word.
  • Your table can either be single or double spaced. Keep the spacing in tables consistent throughout your project.
  • If you believe your table needs further explanation, or if it needs additional information to help the reader with understanding, include a note below the table.
    • A general note provides an overview of any information related to the table as well as an explanation of any abbreviations or unique characters. If you reproduced any portion of the table, include that information in the general note as well. Begin your general note with "Note." in italics and ending with period.
    • A specific note explains information in a row, column, or individual cell. Place a tiny letter in the top right corner of the area to specify, and include information regarding it in the note below.
    • A probability note displays the number of possibilities in the table. Use an asterisk symbol in the table, and show the probability in the notes.

Sample Table:

Prior to adding your table into your paper, use this handy checklist to confirm you have all of the requirements:

__ Is it necessary to include the table?

__ Are only horizontal lines included?

__ Did you include a simple, straightforward title? Is it in italics?

__ Did you use either single spaces or double spaces? APA paper format requires you to keep your tables consistent across your project.

__ Are column headings included?

__ Are notes included below the table to provide understanding? Are the notes in the proper order? Start with general notes, then include specific notes, and end with probability notes.

__ Did you refer to the table in the written portion of your paper?

In-Text and Parenthetical Citations

What is an In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Citation?

The purpose of in-text and parenthetical citations is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information, while they're in the middle of reading or viewing your project. You may include direct quotes in the body of your project, which are word-for-word quotes from another source. Or, you may include a piece of information that you paraphrased in your own words. These are called parenthetical citations. Both direct quotes and paraphrased information include a citation next to it. You also need to include the full citation for the source in the reference list, which is usually the last item in a project.

In-Text Citations for Direct Quotes

In-text and parenthetical citations are found immediately following any direct quotes or paraphrases. They should include the page number or section information to help the reader locate the quote themselves.


Buck needed to adjust rather quickly upon his arrival in Canada. He states, "no lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety" (London, 1903, p. 25).

Paraphrased Information

When taking an idea from another source and placing it in your own words (a paraphrase), it is not necessary to include the page number, but you can add it if the source is large and you want to direct readers right to the information.


At the time, papyrus was used to create paper, but it was only grown and available in mass quantities in Egypt. This posed a problem for the Greeks and Romans, but they managed to have it exported to their civilizations. Papyrus thus remained the material of choice for paper creation (Casson, 2001).

How to Format In-Text and Parenthetical Citations

An in-text citation in APA displays the author's name directly in the sentence, or text, of the paper. Always place the year directly after the author's name. Authors and dates stick together like peanut butter and jelly! If you're citing a direct quote, place the page number at the end of the quote.

Parenthetical citations display the author's name and year in parentheses after a quote or paraphrase. If you're citing a direct quote, include the page number as well. If you're paraphrasing, it is up to you whether or not you'd like to include a page number.

Example of various ways to cite in the body of a project:

Smith (2014) states that, "the Museum Effect is concerned with how individuals look at a work of art, but only in the context of looking at that work along with a number of other works" (p. 82).

"The Museum Effect is concerned with how individuals look at a work of art, but only in the context of looking at that work along with a number of other works" (Smith, 2014, p. 82).

If your source has two authors, always include both names in each in-text or parenthetical citation.

If your source has three, four, or five authors, include all names in the first APA in-text citation along with the date. In the following in-text citations, only include the first author's name and follow it with et al.


1st citation: (Gilley, Johnson, & Witchell, 2015)

2nd and any other subsequent citations: (Gilley, et al. 2015)

If your source has six or more authors, only include the first author's name in the first citation and follow it with et al. Include the year the source was published and the page numbers (if it is a direct quote).

1st citation: (Jasper, et al., 2017)

2nd and any other subsequent citations: (Jasper, et al., 2017)

If your source was written by a company, organization, government agency, or other type of group, include the group's name in full in the first in text or parenthetical citation. In any APA citations following it, it is acceptable to shorten the group name to something that is simple and understandable.


1st citation: (American Eagle Outfitters, 2017)

2nd and subsequent citations: (American Eagle, 2017)

Still wondering how to in-text cite in APA? How about citing parenthetically? Check out this page to learn more about parenthetical citations. Also, BibMe writing tools can help create your in-text and parenthetical citations quickly and easily. Towards the end of creating a full reference citation, you'll see the option to create a citation for the body of your project in the APA format generator.

Need help with your writing? Give the BibMe Plus paper checker a whirl! Upload your paper or copy and paste it into the text box on the page. We'll run it through our innovative technology and let you know if there is an adjective, verb, or pronoun out of place, plus much, much more!

Your Reference List

The listing of all sources used in your project are found in the reference list, which is the last page or part of a project. Included in this reference list are all of the sources you quoted or paraphrased in the body of your paper. This means that every reference found in the reference list should have a matching in-text or parenthetical citation in your project. Where there is one, there has to be the other.

  • Your reference page in APA should be titled "References"
  • Place the title in the center of the page.
  • It is not necessary to include personal communications in the reference list, such as personal emails or letters. These specific sources only need in-text citations, which are found in the body of your project.
  • All references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
  • The entire page should be double spaced.
  • Use a hanging indent for all citations. The first line of each citation needs to be flush against the left margin. Any additional lines are indented in a half inch.
  • If you have two sources by the same author, place them in order by the year of publication.
  • Refer to the section titled, "How to Structure the Title," for rules regarding capitalization of source titles.


Thompson, H. S. (1971). Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: A savage journey to the heart of the American dream. New York, NY: Random House.

Thompson, H. S. (1998). The rum diary. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

If there are multiple sources with the same author AND same publication date, place them in alphabetical order by the title.


Dr. Seuss. (1958). The cat in the hat comes back. New York, NY: Random House.

Dr. Seuss. (1958). Yertle the turtle. New York, NY: Random House.

If a source does not have an author, place the source in alphabetical order by the first main word of the title.

Need help creating the citations in your APA reference list? helps you generate citations! Begin by entering a keyword, URL, title, or other identifying information. Try it out!

Sample Reference List:

APA Reference List

Here's more information with sample papers and tutorials.

How to Format Your Paper in APA:

Need to create APA format papers? Follow these guidelines:

In an APA style paper, the font used throughout your document should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font size. The entire document should be double spaced, even between titles and APA headings. Margins should be 1 inch around the entire document and indent every new paragraph using the tab button on your keyboard.

Place the pages in the following order:

  1. Title page (An APA format title page should include a title, running head, author line, institution line, and author's note). (Page 1)
  2. Abstract page (page 2)
  3. Text or body of research paper (start on page 3)
  4. Reference list
  5. Page for tables (if necessary)
  6. Page for figures (if necessary)
  7. Appendices page (if necessary)

Page numbers: The title page counts as page 1. Number the pages afterwards using Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4...).

Title Page in APA

Your title page should grace the front cover of your paper. It's sometimes called an APA cover page. Included on this page are five items: a running head, page number, title, your name, and the name of your school or institution.

What is a running head?

The running head shows the title of your paper. Place the running head in the top left corner of your project and place it in capital letters. Use your word processor's "header" option. It will automatically place your running head in the appropriate position, against the left margin.

On the title page only, include the phrase: Running head

Across from the running head, against the right margin, include the page number. The APA title page is 1.

Title page example:


For the rest of the paper or project, do not use the term, Running head, but include the title in capitals.

Example of subsequent pages:


Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and many other word processing programs allow you to set up page numbers and a repeated running head. Use these tools to make this addition easier for you!

Need help determining the title of your paper? Keep it simple and straight to the point. Exclude unnecessary terms such as "An Analysis of...." or "A Study of..." If your paper ends up being digitized and added to your school's research collection or a research database, a simple and effective title will help researchers locate it. It is recommended to keep it under 12 words and avoid abbreviations.

Centered in the middle, upper portion of the page, type the title of the APA paper in title case form (important words begin with a capital letter). Below the title, include your name as it appears in most of your work and papers (to make it simple for your professor, classmates, and other readers to easily determine whose work they're reading). Exclude any titles (such as Dr. or Ms.) and exclude any degrees (such as PhD). Below it, include the name of your school. Double space the entire section.

Example Title Page:

Running Head in APA

If you're looking for an APA sample paper, check out the other resources found on

Levels of Headings:

There are a lot of rules to follow when it comes to styling the header and title page, but there are even more rules when it comes to styling the various headings and sections in your research paper.

There are five sizes and styles, and they follow a top down approach.

In most cases, science-related papers and case students have three sections: Method, Results, and Discussion. These three sections are considered “Level 1” and are aligned in the center of the page and in bold. Additional sections of the paper are styled as follows:

Level | Style ----- | ----- 1 | Main headings of the paper are centered and in bold. Do not capitalize every letter. 2 | Subheadings of the paper are written against the left margin in bold. Use capital letters at the beginning of the key words. 3 | Next subsection below the subheadings are indented in half an inch in bold. Use lowercase letters except for the first letter in the first word and the first letter in any proper nouns. 4 | A subsection of the above is also indented half an inch in bold. Italicize this information. Use lowercase letters except for the first letter in the first word and the first letter in any proper nouns. 5 | A subsection of the above is indented and italicized. This is the only section that is not in bold. Use lowercase letters except for the first letter in the first word and the first letter in any proper nouns.

We’ve included a visual below to help you make sense of the five headings. Keep in mind, you do not need to have all five headings in your paper. You may only use the top two or three. It depends on the types of sections your paper includes.

Running Head in APA

Using the BibMe Online Writing Center to Create Citations for your Reference List or Bibliography

Looking to cite your sources quickly and easily? BibMe can help you generate your citations; simply enter a title, ISBN, URL, or other identifying information.

Click to see more styles, and if you'd like to cite your sources in MLA format, check out the BibMe MLA page. Other citation styles are available as well.

Not only will BibMe help you create your references quickly and painlessly, we'll also scan your paper with an innovative plagiarism checker. BibMe writing tools even helps to check your grammar, too! Improper usage of adverb? Missing an interjection? Determiner out of place? BibMe writing tools will highlight any areas of concern and offer suggestions to improve your writing. Try it out now!

Background Information and History of APA:

The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. APA style format was developed in 1929 by scholars from a number of different scientific fields and backgrounds. Their overall goal was to develop a standard way to document scientific writing and research.

Since its inception, the Style Manual has been updated numerous times and it is now in its 6th edition. The 6th edition was released in 2010. In 2012, APA published an addition to their 6th edition manual, which was a guide for creating an APA style citation for any type of electronic resource.

Today, there are close to 118,000 members. There is an annual convention, numerous databases, and journal publications. Some of their more popular resources include the database, PsycINFO, and the publications, Journal of Applied Psychology and Health Psychology.

Helpful Tips for Your Citation


Our citation guides provide detailed information about all types of sources in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian styles.


If required by your instructor, you can add annotations to your citations. Just select Add Annotation while finalizing your citation. You can always edit a citation as well.


Remember to evaluate your sources for accuracy and credibility. Questionable sources could result in a poor grade!