Citation Guide

APA Quick Links

General Paper Formatting

APA Paper Format Basics

  • The page header consists of the page number only. No running header is required anymore! 
  • Double-space all parts of paper.
  • Recommended fonts include 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, and 12-point Times New Roman.
  • Title page is the first page of the paper.
  • Student Paper Setup Guide is a detailed, annotated guide from the official APA website

Tip for removing any extra lines between paragraphs and sections: Highlight the entire paper, go to the Paragraph section of the ribbon, and click the tiny box on the right

paragraph ribbon 

Set the spacing options like this: 0 pt Before and After; Line spacing Double; check box for Don't add space.  spacing options 

Watch this 2-minute video for instructions on how to add page numbers and set the line spacing for the entire paper:

Title Page Formatting

The title page is the first page of your paper and must include the following elements:

  • paper title, which is centered and bolded 3-4 lines down from top of the page
  • author name (aka your name) (Add one double-spaced blank line between the paper title and author name.)
  • author affiliation (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College)
  • course number and name
  • instructor name
  • assignment due date

See the official APA Title Page Setup guide for more details and a sample annotated title page.

Watch this 2-minute video of creating a Title Page:

Abstract Page Formatting

Tip: The official APA Abstract and Keywords Guide notes that Abstracts are optional, so please ask your Instructor if they require one!

Abstract basics:

  • The abstract is the second page of your paper (after the Title page).
  • At the top of the page, center and bold Abstract.
  • The first line of the abstract is NOT indented.
  • APA recommends the abstract be no more than 250 words.
  • Sample Abstract Page

In-Text Citation Formatting

You have two format options for in-text citations: parenthetical and narrative

Parenthetical citations: The author name and publication date appear in parentheses at the end of a sentence. If you are quoting directly, provide a page number, if available.

**Important**: The period goes AFTER the closed parenthesis.

APA citation format is the best (Chapman, 2023).

“This is a direct citation” (Chapman, 2019, p. 126).

Narrative citations: The author name is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence and the year follows directly in parentheses. If you are quoting directly, put the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. 

Jackson (1999) explains that when paraphrasing the idea in your own words, do not use quotation marks and do not include a page number.

According to Chapman (2019), "This is a direct citation" (p. 216).

Tip: Consult the Guidelines for formatting authors' names (2 authors; 3 or more authors; no authors)

Reference Page Formatting

This is a separate page at the end of your paper. Each citation in the text must be listed on the References page; each listing on the References page must appear in the text.

  • Center and bold the word References at the top of the page
  • All text is double-spaced, just like the rest of the paper.
  • List the sources alphabetically by authors' last names.  
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inch to create a hanging indent

Watch this video for a demonstration of the two ways to create a hanging indent:

Journal Article References Tips


  • Title of the article: Only capitalize the first word of the title and first word of any subtitle, as well as any proper nouns.

Abolishing abortion: The history of the pro-life movement in America

CRISPR-baby scientist fails to satisfy critics

  • Title of the Journal: Capitalize all major words in the title.

Journal of the American Medical Association

The American Journal of Nursing


  • Italicize the Journal Title, but NOT the title of the article. 
    • Efficacy and safety of drugs used for 'assisted dying'. British Medical Journal.
  • Italicize the volume number, but NOT the issue number.
    •  The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 210(12):

Volume and Issue Numbers

  • In addition to the title of the journal, you also need to include the volume and issue number the specific article appears in.
  • Insert a comma and space after the journal title and type the volume number. Italicize the volume number.
  • Place the issue number in parentheses after the volume number with no space in between.
  • If page numbers are provided, put a comma and space after the issue number and then the page range.

Depending on the database or website you are using to find articles, the volume and issue information can show up in a variety of formats. Below are three examples of how journal information can appear; the volume and issue numbers are indicated in red. Below each example is how the journal title, volume & issue, and page number information should be formatted on the References page.

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health Vol 21, Iss. 5, (Oct 2019): 1102-1114

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 21(5), 1102-1114.

Journal of Advanced Nursing. Oct2021; 77(10): 4104-4119.

Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(10), 4104-4119.

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20, Issue number 310 (2020).

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20(310).



APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available. DOIs provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles and other resources. Recommended format is

article page

Online/Web Resources General Tips

The following apply to most web-based/online/digital resources, including webpages, journal articles available online, online government reports, etc.

DOI : APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, instead of a regular url. DOIs provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles and other resources. Recommended format is

Retrieval Dates: Most references do not include retrieval dates. Include a retrieval date only if the work is unarchived and designed to change over time. Basic format: Retrieved February 24, 2023, from https://xxxxx