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APA style is among the most common styles of formatting a write-up that includes a defined way of adding references to the document. The APA format is known due to its specific style of adding in-text citation, reference-page, foot-notes, and a list of other things. Let's get started with the guidelines of the APA style of documentation.

General Guidelines

  • Everything you type should be double-spaced on an 8.5" x 11" paper, with 1 inch page-margin left at all the four sides.
  • Times New Roman, in 12 font-sizes is used most commonly.
  • Include a header at the top of every page. At the top-right side of your each page, insert a page number, followed by the title of your document written in all capital letters. Limit this to around 50 word-limit, including spaces.

Sections of the paper in APA style

There are three minimum parts of a document formatted in APA style: (1) Title page, (2) Abstract, and (3) Citation. Let's look at each page one by one.

Title Page

  • In the title page, include the title of your paper, the name of the author, and the name of the institution/college/school.
  • While typing your title, ensure that the capitalization rules are followed. This means that the first alphabet of every key word is written in upper case and the rest in lower case.
  • Try to cut short your title in the most relevant manner, without writing long sentences. It's advised to not exceed the word limit of 12 words.
  • All the text of the page should be double-spaced.
  • Title should be followed by the name of the author in the format of: first name, middle name, and last name. Do not include the title of the author, e.g. Mr., Miss, Mrs., Dr., etc.
  • Below the author name, mention the location of the university for which the APA document is being written.


  • The header needs to be consistently pulled from the title page to this page of abstract.
  • To start the abstract, mention 'Abstract' in the top-center of the page. Do not use any formats, like bold, italics, etc. Write it simple.
  • Write the summary of the key points that the paper is written around.
  • The content of the abstract is independent from the APA formatting.


Every source you have collected the information from needs to be listed in this section. The general format followed to cite references in an APA style is:

  1. In case of 1 author:

<Last name of the author>, <First name of the author>< (year of publication)>. <Title of the book>, <page-numbers referred>, <web-page address>

  1. In case of 2 authors:

<Last name of first author>, <first name's initials of the first author>, <last name of the second author>, <first name's initials of the second author>, rest everything as mentioned above.

  1. Magazine article

<last name of the author> , <first name's initials><(date of publication in YYYY, Month Date format>. <Title of the magazine>. <Publishers>. <pages of reference>

  1. Newspaper article

<last name of the author> , <first name's initials><(date of publication in YYYY, Month date format)>. <Title of the article>. <name of the newspaper>. <page numbers>

  1. Books

Below is the example of one author. If you have to add reference of a book with more than one author, you may add them in the similar format by putting commas.

<last name of the author>, <first name's initials><(year of book published in YYYY format)>. <Name of the book>. <location of publication>.

Tips for the citation page in APA format

  • The citation should be started off on a fresh new page.
  • Every new entry of the resource should be arranged in alphabetical order, hence it would be advisable that you make a rough draft of every source you refer, and finally arrange them alphabetically to save time moving entries up and down multiple times.
  • As per the latest APA updated guidelines, every new entry needs to be separated from the previous one by double-space. Previously, it was one space, but for all the documents you write, it is important to follow the new guidelines.
  • The references should be added in-text as well as on the bibliography page, both. Each reference that you pick needs to be put in the respective page as the in-text citation, and then included in detail in the reference page.
  • Also, please remember to italicize the name of the books, journals, and newspapers.