Writing in the APA Format


APA (American Psychological Association) format is frequently used to cite sources. In college, many professors require that you write your papers in APA format. There are a lot of ways to learn how to write in this style.

Things You'll Need

  • APA style guides
  • Verify that APA style is the format that your professor or boss wants you to use.

  • Access the library, bookstore or Internet to learn to use APA style. The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue is one helpful resource. However, if you can't access the Internet, purchase the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," which references all the guidelines for the APA format.

  • Usually an APA formatted paper has four sections--the title page, the abstract, the body and the reference page. The OWL at Purdue website gives you details for each section of the paper.

  • Look at and study all the various ways to cite sources. For example, you should cite a book with the author's last name first followed by a comma and then the author's first initial. Next, list the year of publication in parentheses followed by a period. Now write the title of the publication, location of publication and the name of the publisher. There are also specific ways to cite the source if it has one or more authors, to cite articles in periodicals, to cite websites and to cite magazines and other printed material besides books.

  • Begin writing your paper using the APA format.

  • Proofread your paper to make sure you have used the style properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Review samples of APA-formatted papers. Ask someone who is familiar with APA style to check your paper.


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