Typing Tips & APA Style

Leave margins of 1 inch at the top, bottom, right, and left of every page.
Double Spacing
Double-space between all lines of the manuscript. This includes all quotations and the Reference section. Set your word processor on double-space and leave it there. Never use single spacing unless your professor instructs you to do so.
Indent five spaces for the first line of every paragraph in the text of your manuscript.
Begin each of the following parts of your manuscript on a new page and arrange the pages in the following order: (1) Cover page with the title of your paper, your name, name of the college, the course's name, the instructor's name, the date on which you are completing this paper, and running head; (2) body of the report (e.g., introduction, methods section, results and discussion); (3) references; and (4) appendices (if any). Number the pages consecutively beginning with the cover page. Place the page numbers in the upper right-hand corner using Arabic (for example, 1, 2, 3), not Roman (for example, I, II, III), numerals.

APA Editorial Style

It is best to use two levels of headings--a centered main heading and a left-justified heading. Main headings are centered, with the initial letter of main words typed in upper case. Side headings are left-justified and also have the initial letters of main words in upper case. Main headings are not underlined whereas side headings are underlined. In neither case are headings numbered or lettered. A heading is never used for the introduction.
Running Head
The running head is an abbreviated title that appears on the top pages of a published article to identify it for the readers. It is no more than 50 characters, which includes not only letters and numbers, but also punctuation and spaces. The running head is typed on the title page, left justified, below the manuscript page header in all uppercase letters. IN ADDITION TO the running head, the first two or three words of the title are printed on the top, right-hand corner of every page either above or five spaces to the left of the page number. For example, the complete title of an article is "Self-concept and body image: A gender analysis." The format for the running head on the title page is: Running head: SELF-CONCEPT AND BODY IMAGE. On the top of each page of the manuscript (including the title page), "Self-concept" appears five spaces before the page number. See the APA Manual for additional information.
Use abbreviations sparingly except for the reference list (see below). An abbreviation is appropriate when it is a word entry in a dictionary (e.g., Webster's Collegiate). Examples include IQ, REM, HIV, and ESP. In other instances, when introducing an abbreviation, the full term is given initially with the abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation alone then may be used in subsequent sentences. For example: "The California Achievement Test (CAT) was administered to the subject. The subject's score on the CAT was 89". Do this even when the term is a commonly used in psychology such as the MMPI. Do not use "S" or "E" for "subject" or "experimenter". Do not use contractions such as "don't," "didn't," "they're," and so on.

The following are the most common abbreviations used in the reference section.

chapter chap.
edition ed.
revised edition Rev. ed.
second edition 2nd ed.
Editor (Editors) Ed. (Eds.)
Translator Trans.
page (pages) p. (pp.)
Volume (Volumes) Vol. (Vols.)

The following are abbreviations that are acceptable for Statistical Symbols (see APA manual for additional ones).

Degrees of freedom df
F-ratio F
Mean M
Number of subjects in entire sample N
Number of subjects in portion of sample n
p-value p
Standard deviation SD
t-statistic t
z-scores z
Population mean m (mu)
Alpha level a
Beta b
Analysis of Variance ANOVA
Nonsignificant ns
Pearson product-moment correlation r
Sum of squares SS
Use periods with abbreviations with initials of names (D. Dodson), Latin abbreviations (i.e.) or reference abbreviations (Vol. 1). Note that the abbreviations for "that is" (i.e.) and "for example" (e.g.) are used only in parentheses. The abbreviation for "for example" is NOT "ex". Do not use periods with abbreviations of states (NY), acronyms (APA), measurements (ft, lb, except for in.), and routes of administration (im, iv). To form the plural of an abbreviation, add s (IQs, Eds.).
Generally, use numerals to express numbers which are 10 or greater and any numbers that are units of measurement or time, ages, times and dates, percentages, ratios, fractional or decimal quantities, exact sums of money, scores and points on a scale, page numbers, and series of four or more. Use numbers for comparisons with other numbers above 10 (e.g., 4 of the 11 stimulus words, 6 of the 12 groups). Use words (one, two) to express numbers zero through nine and any other number that begins a sentence. This aspect of the APA style is one of the most confusing, since there are so many exceptions to the general rule. It would be wise to check the APA Manual whenever you need to use numbers.
APA requires that a comma be used to separate items in a list of three of more items ( "the day, month, and year of" ). Do not hyphenate words at the end of a line. Generally, "et cetera" or "etc." should not be used in professional writing. Be specific and state exactly what you want the reader to know. If you would need to use a closed parenthesis followed by an open parenthesis, use a semicolon to separate the contents of the two phrases, so that you only have one set of parentheses. for example, do not write (...he did not mind) (Smith, 1987). Instead write (...he did not mind; Smith, 1987).
Citations in Text
First, it is important that you identify the source of your information whether or not it is directly quoted. You must identify the source or sources when you rephrase something so that you clearly give credit to the person(s) from whom you gained the ideas. Failure to do so is plagiarism and subject to procedures regarding academic dishonesty. By identifying your sources, you also make it clear to the reader that any ideas not so identified are yours. In addition, by including citations, you provide the reader with a potentially valuable source of information. The author(s) and date of publication are written as a part of the sentence and not as a footnote.
Use quotations sparingly. Only use quotations when you believe that some meaning will be lost if you rephrase a passage from the original. Whenever you use direct quotations, you must include the page number from which the information was taken. Quotations of fewer than 40 words are incorporated in the text and enclosed with double quotation marks ("). If you are using a quotation longer than 40 words, set off the quotation in a block without quotation marks, indent five spaces from your margin on the left only. Do not indent the beginning of the actual quote. See the APA Manual for further examples, especially regarding insertion of the page number of the quotation.


Fewer than 40 words

(a) "Professors should be better paid" (James, 1987, p. 421).


(b) James (1987) stated that, "Professors should be better paid" (p. 421).

Block quotations (40 words or more)

(c) With all the problems that are associated with the subject at hand, Smith (1990) asserted:

As soon as the semester is over, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. I worked for it; I owe it to myself; and nobody is going to deprive me of it. My only regret in life is that I did not do this sooner (p. 62).

If you paraphrase:

(d) there should be better pay for all professors (James, 1987).

If you have more than one source saying the same thing

(e) Teachers really should be accountable to the school board (Barnes, 1980; Smith, 1971).

Note: the ordering within the parentheses is determined by the alphabetical order of the authors.

If you have two references by the author from the same year but different publications

(f) Smith (1971a) wrote that teachers should be better paid. He also stated that these salaries should be higher than that of the governor of the state (Smith, 1971b).

If a reference is cited or summarized in a secondary source

(g) Norton (cited in Linders, 1953) completed a study of teacher salaries which showed little variation between male and female teachers.

(h) "there is little variation between male and female salaries" (Norton, cited in Linders, 1953, p. 61).

Note: In references, the secondary source (Linders) would be given, not the primary source (Norton). This means that you have read Linders' work, not Norton's. Keep the use of secondary sources to a minimum. In general, you should avoid secondary sources whenever possible (with the use of Inter-Library Loans, it should not be a problem to acquire the original article).

When there are less than six authors, list all of the authors the first time you cite the article (or book or chapter). After the first time, when there are two authors, continue to use both names. When there are three to five authors, use the format, James et al. (1987). If the reference has six or more authors, use the "et al." notation from the first time you cite the article.

If you cite two authors contained in parentheses, use an ampersand (&) to express "and."

An example would be (James & Lewiston, 1988). If the names are not in parentheses, use the word "and," for example, James and Lewiston (1988).

When referring to an appendix, use the format: (see Appendix A), placing a capital letter in the space immediately prior to the closing parentheses. Always start your appendices with A, continuing alphabetically.
The references section is very important. It must be in alphabetical order by authors, as noted on the original publication, with complete information. References are listed without any subheadings as to the type of reference. If there is more than one article by a particular author or identical set of authors, the articles are arranged in chronological order with the oldest first. For example, Smith, A. A. (1981) comes first, followed by Smith, A. A. (1984). Articles or books by the same author(s), published in the same year are to be labeled (a), (b), (c). An example would look like the following: Jones, E. L. (1989a); Jones, E. L. (1989b; Your citations in the text should match these designations).

Note that only the first word of a book or article is capitalized, except for proper nouns. However, the first word after a colon also is capitalized. In the reference section only, use one space after all periods and colons. When noting the publisher, you need only the city when its location is recognizable (e.g., New York, Boston, Chicago). You need the city and state of the city when not as recognizable (e.g., Bloomington, IN).

In most journals, the pages run consecutively from the beginning of the year so that all issues for a given volume (year) do not begin with page 1. If the journal is of this type, you only need to use the volume number, not the issue number. A contrast is provided in the first two examples.

In the reference list, always use an ampersand (&) to separate multiple authors. The following examples should help you to properly complete the references section.

Reference Section Format According to APA Style

Journal Article, one author

Brown, G.I. (1960). Which pupil to which classroom climate? The Elementary School Journal, 5, 265-269.

Tutin, J. (1987). A multivariate analysis of dropout status by length of stay in a rural community mental health center. Community Mental Health Journal, 23, 40-52.

Journal article, two authors, journal paginated by issue

Becker, L. J., & Seligman, C. (1981). Welcome to the energy crisis. Journal of Social Issues, 37(2), 1-7.

Journal article, more than two authors

Horowitz, L. M., Post, D. L., French, R. S., Wallis, K. O., & Seligman, E. Y. (1981). The prototype as a construct in abnormal psychology: Clarifying disagreement in psychiatric judgments. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 575-585.

Unpublished manuscript not submitted for publication

Cullari, S. (1994). A manual to conduct therapeutic relationships with individuals who have persistent mental disorders. Unpublished manuscript.


Albor, H. (1980). The structure of education in Cuba. Chicago: Columbus Press.

Bugental, J.F.T. (1978). Psychotherapy and process. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

Book published by a corporate author.

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Chapter in Edited Book

Broudy, H. O. (1960). Historic exemplars of teaching method. In N. L. Gage (Ed.), Handbook on research in teaching. (pp. 41-78). Chicago: Rand McNally.

[make sure you include page numbers for chapters in edited books]

Edited Book

McGoldrick, M., Pearce, J.K. & Giordano, J. (Eds.). (1982). Ethnicity and family therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

Multiple Authors of Book

Strunk, W., & White, E. B. (1979). Secondary social studies (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Translated Book

Freud, S. (1961). The ego and the id. In J. Strachey (Ed. and Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 19, pp. 3-66). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923). [NOTE: In text, cite "Freud, 1923/1961"].

ERIC (Education Resources Information Center).

Watson, S. D. (1983). Education of exceptional leaders in American schools. Rockford, IL: University of Illinois. (ERIC Documentation Reproduction Service No. ED 011 621).

For additional clarifications and examples, see APA Manual (Fourth Edition), pp. 168-234.