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APA Style: Basics

This guide is intended to help you cite sources in APA style, avoid plagiarism, learn what APA style is and includes, find examples of APA style, lead you to campus resources that can help you cite sources in APA, and more.

What's New in the 7th Edition?


Formatting & Style 

  • In the 7th edition, the answer to the hotly contested question: How many spaces do you use after a sentence? In APA 7th edition- just one. 
  • APA 7th edition includes two sets of formatting guidelines- one for students and another for professionals seeking publication. The guidance for student papers no longer includes the running head in the header of the title page.  
  • Heading fonts have been updated, and the list of allowable fonts has been extended. 
  • The 7th edition includes a new chapter on using bias free language. These recommendations include endorsing the singular they pronoun, describing groups of people instead of using adjectives, and using specific rather than broad categories.  

Citations

Websites

When you cite websites, you no longer need to include the words “Retrieved from” before the URL unless you also need to include a retrieval date. You should now also include the website name, unless it’s the same as the author, and web page titles are italicized. 

Website Sample Citations

Tunca, D. (n. d.). Biography. The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website. http://www.cerep.ulg.ac.be/adichie/cnabio.html 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019). Depression. https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/depression/index.asp 

Print Books

Print book citations no longer need to include the publisher location.  

Print Book Sample Citation

Adichie, C. N. (2014). Americanah. Anchor.  

eBooks

When you cite eBooks, you no longer need to indicate the type of eBook.  

eBook Sample Citation

Adichie, C. N. (2017). We should all be feminists. Anchor. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L0F01NK/ 

DOIs

Journal DOIs should be formatted as DOI URLs, instead of with the DOI: prefix 

DOI Format Example

https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917733847 

Authors

The rules around how many authors to include in a citation have been simplified. Now, up to twenty authors are included in reference list entries before you resort to using ellipses.  

In-Text Citations

In-text citations with more than three authors can be shortened to the first author’s name followed by et al. 

New to the 7th Edition

There is now guidance about citing sources that have gained in popularity since the publication of the previous manual, including social media posts, videos, and other electronic sources.  

Valuable Resources

From the APA

From SNHU