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Citation Styles and Plagiarism: APA

Get basic information on the major citation styles, plagiarism guidelines, and info on some of our citation softwares

APA Style

These disciplines tend to use APA Citation and Formatting Style:

  • Business
  • Communication Studies
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Geography
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Basic APA Citation Formats

The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. All references on the references page should be double-spaced and use a hanging indent. 

Note: If you are direct quoting a specific part of a source, include a page number, table, paragraph, section, time stamp, etc. in your in-text citation. If you are citing ideas from a whole work, no section identifier is needed. Please consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to include these section identifiers.

Books with a single author

Reference Page:

Oliver, P. (2014). Writing your thesis (3rd ed.). Sage.

In-text Citation:

(Oliver, 2014).

Narrative In-text Citation:

According to Oliver (2014)...

Oliver (2014) states...

Books With More Than Two Authors

Reference Page:

Werner-Burke, N., Knaus, K., & Helt DeCamp, A. (2014). Rebuilding research writing: Strategies for sparking informational inquiry. Routledge.

In-text Citation:

(Werner-Burke et al., 2014).

Narrative In-text Citation:

Werner-Burke et al. (2014) argue... 

Articles in online scholarly journals (plus example of how to cite two authors)

Reference Page:

Martinez, C. T., Kock, N., & Cass, J. (2011). Pain and pleasure in short essay writing: Factors predicting university students' writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(5), 351-360.

In-text Citation:

(Martinez, Kock & Cass, 2011).

Narrative In-text Citation:

Martinez, Kock, and Cass (2011) recommend...

Documents in a Website

Reference Page:

Clay, R.A. (2007). Writing well.

With Organization as Author:

American Library Association. (2015, February 9). Framework for information literacy for higher education.

In-text Citations:

(Clay, 2007).

(American Library Association, 2015).

Narrative In-text Citations:

According to Clay (2007)... 

The American Library Association (2015) claims...


The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. 

Formatting Your Main Content

  • Double-space the text of your paper.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs.
  • Number all pages, including the title page and abstract, with arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) on the top right hand corner about an inch from the top of the page.
  • Use section headings to designate the different sections of your paper. Center, bold, and capitalize all words in your section headings. If you use subsections, consult the APA Manual 7th edition for additional guidance.

Formatting the Title Page of Your Paper For Student Papers

Note: If you are submitting your paper for a professional publication, there are different requirements for the title page. Consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to format title pages for professional papers. Additionally, title page requirements for honors projects may differ from department to department. Please consult your advisor for how to format your title page.

  • In the top right corner, insert a page number.
  • About one third down the page and centered, include the full title of your paper. Capitalize all words four letters or longer in your title.
  • Underneath the title, include your name.
  • Underneath your name, include the name of the department to which you are submitting the paper followed by a comma, and then Texas Christian University (Ex: Honors College,  Texas Christian University).
  • Underneath the department name and institution, include the course number and name (Ex: HNRS 20633: Video Games and Representation).
  • Underneath the course name, include the name of your professor. 
  • Underneath your professor's name, include the date the project is due, including the month (spelled out), day, and year.

Formatting Your References Page

  • Include page numbers in the top right corner.
  • Center the word "References" at the top of the references page.
  • Alphabetize all references by authors' last names. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding reference listed on the references page.
  • Use a hanging indent for each reference.
  • Double-space the entire page

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