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APA Format

The APA is the American Psychological Association.  The APA format is a set of style rules to use when writing papers in the allied health fields. It includes rules about your paper's title page and sections, but it also tells you exactly how to cite the sources you use.  You are required to follow the APA format; it's not optional.  Following these guidelines is an important part of avoiding plagiarism.  


For detailed information, check out the links and information below.


Formatting Your Paper

Types of Citations

An in-text citation and a reference citation will be needed for each source you borrow an idea from.  Any website, book, or article you quote, summarize, or paraphrase will need to have a these two items. 



In-Text Citations

An in-text citation goes right after a borrowed idea within papers body.  It gives just enough to tell the reader which source it is from on the reference page.  APA in Minutes is a video from Humber Library for a step-by-step guide. Additional examples are below.



Direct Quotations: 

(Author's last name, year, page #)


"Advertising really began to increase in the 19th century with the advent of the industrial age.  Populations increased, and more and more products came on the market" (Ferguson, 2016, p. 51).  


(Author's last name, year) 


As goods became more readily available for purchase during the industrial age, producers really began to increase their advertising to the masses (Ferguson, 2016). 


Creating a Reference Page

Reference citations belong on a separate References page at the end of your document.  There should be a reference citation that corresponds to each different in-text citation within the body of a paper. To create a References page, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new blank page at the end of a document

  2. Type the word References at the top center of the page.  Do not bold or italicize.

  3. Alphabetize sources by last name of the first author.  

  4. Sources by the same author should be categorized from earliest source to most recent (for example, 1999 will come before 2001).


Reference Citations

Reference citations go on a separate References page at the end of your paper.  Each type of source has a different format that must be copied exactly.  


Some simple examples are below, or visit Purdue OWL for much more detail.  Check out their YouTube channel for a quick and dirty explanation.





Author, A. (Year).  Title of the book.  City of publication, State: Publisher.



Sunstein, C.R. (2006). Infotopia: How many minds produce knowledge. New York, NY:

     Oxford University Press. 




Author, A. (Year). Title of webpage. Retrieved from



American Psychological Association (n.d.).  Confronting childhood obesity. Retrieved  



Journal Article


Author, A. M., Author2, B. (Year). Title of journal article in sentence case. 

     Title of Journal. Vol.(issue), pages. Retrieved from http://website url.



Piazza, M., Nomo, H., & Valenzuela, F. (2012).  Being amazing Dodgers: Why we're

     better than everyone else. Journal of Baseball Teams, 23(1), 23-28.  Retrieved from


Video or Image from a Website


Author, A. A. [User name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved

     from http://xxxxx


NASA [NASA] (2015, August 5).  EPIC view of moon transiting

     Earth. [YouTube]. Retrieved from


Creating a Hanging Indentation

A hanging indentation means every line after the first line in a citation must be indented.  It's required in APA format.  But it's pretty easy to do in Microsoft Word.  Check out this easy PDF tutorial.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a great research tool.  It sounds more difficult than it is.  A bibliography is a list of reference citations, just like your References page.  An annotated bibliography means that each reference citation is also followed by a short description of the work you are citing.  The description is called an annotation.  


Your annotation should do the following things:

  1. Summarize the source you are citing
  2. Evaluate it - How useful is it for your project?  How is it similar or different from other sources in this bibliography?
  3. List some unique or notable things about the source - What distinguishes it from other sources?


Note: It is NOT ok to copy the abstract of an article or someone else's summary for your annotation.  This is still considered plagiarism.

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