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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.

Quoting Basics

Short quotations: If you are directly quoting from a work, you need to use the author's last name, year of publication, and the page number after the quote, which should be enclosed with quotation marks. There are two ways to do this: (1) With an in-text citation of author (year) and then the page # after the quote; (2) With a parenthetical citation of author, year, and page number.

  • In-text example: Smith (2018) explained that "APA Style is often difficult for students to grasp, especially their first time citing sources" (p. 27).
  • Parenthetical example: When citing for the first time, "APA Style is often difficult for students to grasp" (Smith, 2018, p. 27).
    • For both examples, notice there is a signal phrase before the quote. Make sure to always introduce a quote.

Long quotations: For any direct quotations that are longer than 40 words, place them in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Have a signal phrase or lead-in sentence before the quote that ends with a colon.  Indent the entire block of text 1/2 inch (the same as you would for a new paragraph) and maintain double-spacing. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.

Example: Smith's (2018) study found the following:

APA Style is often difficult for students to grasp, especially their first time citing sources. Several students reported not thoroughly reading or learning about APA Style before attempting to use it, which was a common finding among those who had difficulty with using APA Style. Many students who read the manual, used online resources, or asked for help were able to successful use APA Style. (p. 27)

Sources without page numbers: When there is no page number for an electronic source, include the paragraph number by using the abbreviation "para." Do not use the page numbers of webpages that you print out as these pages may differ depending on the view of the source. 

  • Example: According to Jones (2015), "students can learn APA Style by continous use and practice" (para. 3). 

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