URL: https://westernu.libguides.com/citation_style

Citation Style: APA 7th Style


APA Style


APA has just released the 7th edition of its citation manual. The library has a copy of the new edition (see below) and will be updating this guide as soon as possible and providing training for faculty and students. The WesternU Colleges that use APA as their citation style will not be transitioning over to APA 7th until the 2020-2021 academic year.

Here are resources describing some of the notable changes to the new edition:


The APA style is taken from the books:

General Guidelines

The order of pages is: title page, abstract, text/body, references, tables, figures, and appendices.

The body of the paper should be double-spaced. Single spacing for table titles, headings, figure captions, and footnotes.

The same font should be used throughout the paper and should be legible/accessible. Options include:

  • Calibri 11-point
  • Arial 11-point
  • Lucida Sans Unicode 10-point
  • Times New Roman 12-point
  • Georgia 11-point
  • Computer Modern 10-point

Page alignment is flush left (creating an uneven right margin).

Paragraph indentation is 0.5 inches.

‚ÄčMargins are one inch on all sides.

The page number should appear as a header in the upper right-hand corner, at least 1 inch from the edge, beginning with the title page. 

A running head is no longer required for student papers, but papers submitted for publication should include a left-aligned running head in all caps on every page.


Level of headings in the document should be:

1.                                      Centered, Boldface, Title Case Heading

2. Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

3. Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

4.           Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading Ending with a Period. *

5.           Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading Ending with a Period. *

* The paragraph after these headings start directly after the period, not on a separate line.

In-Text Citations

When the name of the author(s) of a source is part of the formal structure of the sentence, the year of publication appears in parentheses following the identification of the author(s).

  • Example:
    Wautier and Schmidt (2004) found that a chief means by which AGE via RAGE exert their effect is by generation of reactive oxygen species, at least in part via stimulation of NADPH oxidase.

When the author(s) of the source are not part of the formal structure of the sentence, both the author(s) and the year of publication appear in parentheses.

  • Example:
    The aim of the present study was to develop, implement and evaluate a brief intervention to improve adherence to the recommended lifestyle changes for patients with Type 2 diabetes, in particular to help patients to reduce the total amount of fat consumed and to increase lifestyle physical activity levels (Clark et al., 2004)

When citing a source that has two authors, both authors are included every time the source is cited.

When citing a source that has three or more authors, the first author's name and "et al." is used every time the source is cited, including the first time.

When citing a source found in another source refer to both sources in the text, but only put the source you actually used in the Reference list. If possible, it is always best to find the original work.

  • Example In-Text:
    Seidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993)
  •  Example Reference Listing:
    Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud:

    Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches.Psychological Review, 100(4), 589-608.

Enclose a direct quote fewer than 40 words in double quotation marks.

  • Effective teams can be difficult to describe because "high performance along one domain does not translate to high performance along another" (Ervin et al., 2018, p. 470).

For Quotes 40 words or more, use a block format without quotation marks. Start the block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 inches from the left margin.

  •  Researchers have studied how people talk to themselves:

    Inner speech is a paradoxical phenomenon. It is an experience that is central to many people's everyday lives, and yet it presents considerable challenges to any effort to study it scientifically. Nevertheless, a wide range of methodologies and approaches have combined to shed light on the subjective experience of inner speech and its cognitive and neural underpinnings. (Alderson-Day & Fernyhough, 2015, p. 957)

 Citation should include the page number (if available), paragraph number, or heading and paragraph number.

  • Examples: 
    (Oddone, Olsen, Lingquist, & Orr, 2004, p. 85).
    (Myers, 2000, para. 5).
    (Beutler, 2000, Conclusion section, para. 1)


References should begin on a new page with the title "References" bolded and centered on the first line.

References are formatted with a hanging indent and are organized alphabetically by surnames of first authors.


  • Authors are listed by surname, followed by their initials separated by periods and a space
  • Authors are separated by commas with an ampersand (&) before the last author's name
  • For less than and including 20 authors, name all of the authors.
  • For more than 20 authors, name the first 19 followed by an ellipsis (...) and the last author's name

Article/Chapter Titles

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle, as well as any proper nouns

Book Titles

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle, as well as any proper nouns
  • Italicize entire title

Journal Titles

  • Give the title in full, in uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Italicize entire title

If available, include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), for electronic journals in place of the URL. This is generally found on the first page of an article, near the copyright notice. Use the format https://doi.org/#####

Reference Examples

Journal Article- 20 authors or fewer:

Grundel, B. L., White, G. L., Jr., & Eichold, B. H., II. (1999). Diabetes in the managed care setting: A prospective plan. Southern Medical Journal, 92(5), 459-464.

Journal Article- 21 authors or more:

Grudniewicz, A., Moher, D., Coby, K.D., Bryson, G.L., Cukier, S., Allen, K., Ardern, C., Balcom, L., Barros, T., Berger, M., Ciro, J.B., Cugusi, L., Donaldson, M.R., Egger, M., Graham, I.D., Hodgkinson, M., Khan, K.M., Mabizela, M., Manca, A.,... Lalu, M.M. (2009). Predatory journals: No definition, no defence. Nature, 576(7786), 210-212.


Saladin, K. S. (2007). Anatomy & physiology: The unity of form and function (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Chapter in an Edited Book:

Rabow, M. W., & Pantilat, S. Z. (2006). Care at then end of life. In L. M. Tierney Jr., S. J. McPhee, & M. A. Papadakis (Eds.), Current medical diagnosis and treatment (45th ed., pp. 67-85). McGraw-Hill.

 Electronic Journal- with DOI:

Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482-488. https://doi.org/10.1037/0002-9432.76.4.482 

Electronic Journal- without DOI:

Przekop, P. R., Tulgan, H., Przekop, A. A., & Glantz, M. (2006). Adverse drug reaction to methotrexate: Pharmacogenetic origin. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 106(12), 706-707. https://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093245

Electronic Book Chapter- no page numbers:

Blumenthal, D. K., & Garrison, J. C. (2011). Pharmacodynamics: Molecular mechanisms of drug action. In B. A. Chabner, L. L. Brunton, & B. C. Knollman (Eds.), Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics (12th ed., chap. 3). http://www.accesspharmacy.com/content.aspx?aID=16658452

Web Site:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, July 29). People at risk of developing flu-related complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm

Martin Lillie, C.M. (2016, December 29). Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resiliency. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/self-compassion-can-improve-your-resiliency/art-20267193

Magazine Article:

Martin, N. J., Komarova, N. L., & Niyogi, P. (2001, January 5). Evolution of universal grammar. Science, 291(5501), 114-118.

AI/LLM/Generative Text Tools: 

Guidelines on the use and citation of AI, large language models, and generative text tools are in flux and best practices are still emerging. There are many opinions and context matters. Please consult your instructor or prospective publisher to check whether your proposed use of AI tools is appropriate in your given case and follow any further proposed guidance they offer.

The current guidelines from APA are to note the prompt text within the document (possibly including the full chat transcript as an appendix, since each chat session will yield different results, even with the same prompt) and cite the source as a software, e.g.:

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat

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