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Citation Styles: APA Style

Learn about different citation styles

APA 7th ed. Overview


What is APA Style?


APA = American Psychological Association

APA Style is typically used in the social sciences, like psychology, anthropology, sociology, nursing, business, as well as education and other fields.

Writing in APA is more than simply learning the formula for citations or following a certain page layout. APA also includes the stylistics of your writing, from point of view to word choice.

APA style establishes standards of written communication:

  • The organization of content

  • Writing style

  • Citing references

Purdue OWL APA Guidelines

Select the link below to read about APA guidelines.

Purdue OWL APA Guidelines (7th ed.)


Parenthetical Citations




Click here to watch an ERC tutorial about abstracts

APA In-text Citations

Check Purdue OWL to be sure you're using in-text citation correctly.


Check Purdue OWL to see how to list your references correctly.

Objective Tone

Social sciences uses an objective tone with a purpose statement rather than a thesis statement

So what is an objective tone?


  • Impartial

  • Doesn't show feelings

  • Unbiased or neutral

  • Avoid pronouns such as "You and I"

  • An ideal example of the objective tone is presented in traditional textbooks

Sections of an APA paper

Running head

A big change in APA 7th ed. is that students don't have to use a running head in their APA papers. The running head is only required in professional papers; however, you should check with your instructor.

If you do have to use a running head, you're probably wondering what in the world a "running head" is. . .well, the running head is a shortened version of your paper's title. The running head cannot exceed 50 characters, including spacing.

Watch the ERC tutorial to learn how to insert a running head into your paper.


For your list of sources, you should include a References page.

Each citation style refers to the list of sources by a different title.

APA Citations

Differences between MLA and APA

The Most Noticable Changes in APA 7th ed.