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Set up your APA document

Copyright & Plagiarism

Here are some resources to help you better understand Copyright, Plagiarism, and the correct documentation of resources.


The video to the left gives clear instructions on how to format your paper.

Things to remember:

  • Double-spaced
  • 1" margins on all sides
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font
  • Page header (also known as the "running head") is a shortened version of your papers' title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
  • Four Sections:  Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, Reference


Purdue OWL: Basic Rules

  • Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper on a new page separate
  • Label this page "References" centered at the top of the page (do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title).
  • All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.
  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • Alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first).
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Present the journal title in full.
  • Maintain the punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or Web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word.
  • Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.

Books: Basic Form


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Note: For "Location," you should always list the city and the state using the two letter postal abbreviation without periods (New York, NY).

Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Visit Purdue OWL for more information on: Reference List - Books

  • Edited Book, No Author
  • Edited Book with an Author or Authors
  • A Translation
  • Edition Other Than the First
  • Article or Chapter in an Edited Book
  • Multivolume Work

An Entry in an Encyclopedia

Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The New Encyclopedia  Britannica. (Vol. 26, pp. 501-508). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Visit Purdue OWL for more information: Reference List: Other Print Sources

  • An Entry in an Encyclopedia
  • Work Discussed in a Secondary Source
  • Dissertation Abstract
  • Dissertation, Published
  • Dissertation, Unpublished
  • Government Document
  • Report from a Private Organization
  • Conference Proceedings

Article in Periodicals: Basic Form

  1. Authors are named last name followed by initials.
  2. Publication year goes between parentheses, followed by a period.
  3. The title of the article is in sentence-case, meaning only the first word and proper nouns (a name used for an individual person, place, or organization, spelled with initial capital letters, e.g., Larry, Mexico, and Boston Red Sox.) in the title are capitalized.
  4. The periodical title is run in title case, and is followed by the volume number which, with the title, is also italicized.
  5. If a DOI has been assigned to the article that you are using, you should include this after the page numbers for the article.
  6. If no DOI has been assigned and you are accessing the periodical online, use the URL of the website from which you are retrieving the periodical.‚Äč


Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume             number(issue number), pages. 


Visit Purdue OWL for more information: Reference List: Articles in Periodicals 

  • Articles in Journal Paginated by Volume
  • Article in Journal Paginated by Issue
  • Article in a Magazine
  • Article in a Newspaper
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Review

Electronic Sources: Basic Form

  1. There are no spaces used with brackets in APA.
  2. When possible, include the year, month, and date in references. If the month and date are not available, use the year of publication. 
  3. Online articles follow the same guidelines for printed articles. Include all information the online host makes available, including an issue number in parentheses.

Article From an Online Periodical

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from


Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from

Visit Purdue OWL for more information on: Reference List - Electronic Sources (Web Publications)

  • Article from an Online Periodical
  • Online Scholarly Journal Article: Citing DOIs
  • Article from an Online Periodical with DOI Assigned
  • Article from an Online Periodical with no DOI Assigned
  • Article from a Database
  • Abstract
  • Newspaper Article
  • Electronic Books
  • Kindle Books
  • Chapter/Section of a Web Document or Online Book Chapter
  • Online Book Reviews
  • Dissertation/Thesis from a Database
  • Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
  • Online Bibliographies and Annotated Bibliographies
  • Data Sets
  • Graphic Data (e.g. Interactive Maps and Other Graphic Representations of Data)
  • Qualitative Data and Online Interviews
  • Online Lecture Notes and Presentation Slides
  • Nonperiodical Web Document or Report
  • Computer Software/Downloaded Software
  • E-mail
  • Online Forum or Discussion Board Posting
  • Blog (Weblog) and Video Blog Post
  • Wikis
  • Audio Podcast
  • Video Podcasts

Interviews, Email, and Other Personal Communication

No personal communication is included in your reference list; instead, parenthetically cite the communicator's name, the phrase "personal communication," and the date of the communication in your main text only.


(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).
A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2002).


Visit Purdue OWL for more information: Reference List: Other Non-Print Sources

  • Interviews, Email, and Other Personal Communication
  • Motion Picture
  • A Motion Picture or Video Tape with International or National Availability
  • A Motion Picture or Video Tape with Limited Availability
  • Television Broadcast or Series Episode
  • Single Episode of a Television Series
  • Television Broadcast
  • A Television Series
  • Music Recording

Author(s): Basic Form

The following rules for handling works by a single author or multiple authors apply to all APA-style references in your reference list, regardless of the type of work (book, article, electronic resource, etc.)


Single Author

Last name first, followed by author initials.

Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 7-10.


Visit Purdue OWL for more information: Reference List: Author/Authors

  • More than one author
  • Organization as author
  • Unknown author
  • Two or more works by the same author
  • Introductions, prefaces, forewords, and afterwords 

Need help with your research?

Creating a Citation Page

You Quote It, You Note It!

Want to learn the basics of avoiding plagiarism and learn why, when, and how to cite? Check out this tutorial!

Citation Generator

Automatic citation generators are quick and easy ways to create a works cited page.  Unfortunately, these tools aren't always correct.

If you choose to use an automatic citation generator, like the ones provided below, ensure the generated citations are correct by checking them against a style manual or guidelines provided by a professor.