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APA Format Quick Guide

Provides an overview with examples of how to cite references and format a research paper using APA style formatting.

What is the APA Style?

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APA format is an editorial style developed by the American Psychological Association. It is primarily used by students and scholars in the social sciences and health fields (psychology, nursing, social work, sociology, etc.) 

As you are writing your papers you will be quoting from other people's work.  It's very important that you document and acknowledge your sources in the proper way.  This will include citations within your paper and a references list at the end, with bibliographic information for all the sources you refer to in the paper. 

APA style gives you specific rules to follow regarding what kinds of information need to be included in these citations and how it should be organized.   

The MLA Citation Style is another common format, usually used in the humanities. See the link below to a Bowie LibGuide for more information about MLA: 

How to use this guide

This guide is meant to serve as a quick look-up tool to help you create references and in-text citations for the most commonly used types of sources. 

To use this guide:

  • Collect together all the citation information you will need from the articles, books, reports, etc you will be using in your paper or project.

  • To create a reference or in-text citation for your paper pick the appropriate category from the "I want to cite..." pull-down menu.

  • The other pages of this guide provide further details about when to cite, how to cite within your paper, and formatting the paper and references list (selecting the right margins, font, etc) for your document.

CAUTION!  This guide only covers the basics of APA style. The ultimate, complete guide and authority for using APA style is the Sixth Edition Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, the APA official Website and the APA Style Blog (see links below).

DOI numbers (if they are available) are now required for APA citation of articles from journals, magazines, or newspapers.  For more information about what a DOI is, how to find it, and how to use it, see the link below: