What is APA? The American Psychological Association (APA) style is the preferred means of citing resources in the social sciences circle. The APA writing manual is in its 5th edition and is newer than the MLA writing style.

When is APA used? APA style is used when writing a psychological paper or any social sciences paper. It is a helpful style when most sources are from published journals, articles, and frequently published works. 

How is APA different? APA references focus on the date and title of a research source instead of the author. This is because one author or journal can have three similar articles, as well as because of scientific information changes.

American Psychological Association (APA) Example:

Title Page # References Book Author, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year). Book Title. (Vols. Volume#(s)). In First Initial. Middle Initial. Editor Last Name (Ed.), Published City, Published State: Publisher. Web Document Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year). In The Web Document Title. (chap. Chapter/Section). Retrieved Month. Day, Year, from URL Address In-text citations General Guidelines

  1. All in-text citations direct the reader to the appropriate source in the Reference List at the end of the text.
  2. Author last name and source publication year are typically included in an in-text citation.
  3. Location of cited information within its source is specified by noting the page (p.), paragraph (para.), chapter (chap.), figure (fig.), etc... number after the publication year in parentheses.

Author Cited Within Text Format: [Author Last Name] ([Year Published]) sentence. Example: Dr. Milton (2004) theorizes that there is the correlation between students’ expressions in a class and the grade that the students learn in that class.

American Psychological Association (APA) Author Not Cited Within Text Format: Sentence ([Author Last Name], [Year Published]). Example: There is a correlation between students’ expressions in a class and the grade that the students learn in that class (Milton, 2004). Direct Quotation Format: Sentence ([Author Last Name], [Year Published], [Page Number(s)]). Example: “There is a correlation between students’ expressions in a class and the grade that the students learn in that class” (Milton, 2004, p. 2).

Footnotes General Guidelines

  1. Footnotes are used to provide information that is not essential to the thesis of the text.
  2. Footnotes are used sparingly. Statements, for which there is information in the footnotes, are superscripted with a sequential number that corresponds with the relevant footnote.
  3. The footnotes page is placed at the end of the text preceding the Reference List page.

Page Setup 1. The heading of the footnotes page (Footnotes) is centered without punctuation or text effects.

Source: National Council of Teachers of English

American Psychological Association (APA)

Footnotes are numbered with superscripts. One space exists between the superscript and the first word of a footnote.


1 Birth Frederickson ... 

2 Carlos Care Emma ...

Footnotes are double spaced. Endnotes In most styles, the only difference between footnotes and endnotes is their location within the text. Traditionally, endnotes are located on a separate page and footnotes are located at the bottom of the page on which their associated statements appear. APA style is an exception to these endnote/footnote distinctions. APA footnotes replace endnotes, but the footnotes appear in the traditional location of endnotes (on a separate page preceding the reference list).

Reference Additional information may be found at the American Psychological Association website (http://www.apastyle.org/). Example of papers: EssayLab.com

Free APA template 6th edition: