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APA Style

This guide contains tips for how to maximize your Academic Writer experience plus additional resources to assist with APA style.

APA Style 7th Edition Overview

Overview of Seventh Edition Guideline Changes

Item Guidelines
DOI Information

When using Academic Writer to generate a reference, remove the proxy information from the reference as highlighted below.


  • Ambrose, A. (1963). The age of onset of ambivalence in early infancy: Indications from the study of laughing. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 4(3–4), 167–181.


  • Ambrose, A. (1963). The age of onset of ambivalence in early infancy: Indications from the study of laughing. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 4(3–4), 167–181.

Figure Titles

The word “Figure” and the number should be bolded.

  • Example: Figure 1

The figure title is in title case and italics. 

  • Example: APA Checklist

All headings are bold.

Headings 3 & 5 are italicized. 
In-text Citations

Two authors: For works with two authors, use an ampersand (&) in parenthetical in-text citations: (Guirrez & Castillo, 2020) and use the word “and” in narrative in-text citations: Guirrez and Castillo (2020).

Three or more authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. in-text and parenthetically from the first citation onward.

Parenthetical Citations: Place the author name and publication year in parentheses.

Narrative Citations: Incorporate the author's name into the text as part of the sentence and then follow with the year in parentheses.

Line Spacing Double-space the entire paper. Do not add extra lines before or after headings or between paragraphs.
Lists - Bulleted 

Bulleted items that are complete sentences should begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark.

There are two options for punctuating bulleted lists that consist of items listed as words or phrases.

  1. Do not use any punctuation after the bulleted items.
  2. Insert punctuation after the bulleted items as if the items were not in list form. 
Lists - Lettered

Use a serial comma when a list within a sentence contains three or more items.

Use semicolons if any of the items already contain a comma.

For increased attention to items use lowercase letters in parentheses before each item.

Use one space after a period or other punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.

Use a serial comma before the final element in lists of three or more items (i.e., Oxford Comma).

Use parentheses to set off in-text citations.

Reducing Bias When writing, always be sure to select words that are accurate, clear, and free from bias or prejudicial connotations.
Reference List The label “References” should be formatted as a Level 1 heading.

Capitalize titles in sentence case: Capitalize only the first word of the title, the subtitle, and any proper nouns.

  • Example: The APA manual: Seventh Edition

Present both DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks (e.g., beginning with “https:”).

Provide surnames and initials for up to and including 20 authors.

Only use the words “Retrieved from” if the retrieval date is needed.

Do not add a period after the DOI or URL.

Omit the publisher if the author and publisher are an exact match.

Do not include physical locations for publishers.

Singular "They" Singular “they” is endorsed as part of APA Style because it is inclusive of all people and helps writers avoid making assumptions about gender
Spacing  Use one space after a period or other punctuation at the end of a sentence.
Table Formatting

Number tables in the order they are mentioned in the text.

Include borders only at the top and the bottom of the table, beneath column headings, and above column spanners.

Do not use vertical borders or borders around every cell in the table.

Table Titles 

The word “Table” and the number should be bolded.

  • Example: Table 1

The table title is in title case and italics.

  • APA Checklist
Title Page - Student

The running head is no longer a required element of the title page.

Page number upper right corner.

The title should be capitalized, bold, centered, and located in the upper half of the title page.

Basics of APA Style

Basics of APA Style icon glasses on book

Wednesday 3:00 p.m. 

April 10-May 29, Thursday at 3:00 pm PT

Learn more about the basics of APA Style in this group session. During the session, you will learn basic document setup, citation formatting, where to locate additional APA resources, and review some of the updates in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual. Through guided practice, you will build citations and references from sample sources. There is always time provided for interactive group discussions, so each session is unique. 

Links to Relevant Resources

Video Resources

What's New in APA Style - In this video, members of the APA Style team provide an overview of the key updates made in each chapter of the Publication Manual. 

Creating References Using Seventh Edition APA Style In this webinar, members of the APA Style team demonstrate how to format references and explain why references are easier because of the changes.

Citing Works in Text Using Seventh Edition APA Style - This webinar provides information on how to create and format in-text citations. Experts also answer many of the most common citation questions.

A Step-By-Step Guide for APA Style Student Papers - This webinar provides information on how to set up papers, with an emphasis on how default word-processing software settings align with seventh edition style.


Academic Writer Tutorial: Basics of Seventh Edition APA Style - This tutorial covers the basics of seventh edition APA Style. This tutorial was adapted from the tutorial featured in Academic Writer®, APA’s tool for teaching and learning effective writing.​

Additional Resources

Bias-Free Language


In-Text Citations



Tables and Figures



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