APA Style - Paper Formatting

Andrew Tingley | January 9, 2023
11a person writing a paper on a computer

The APA writing standards were created by the American Psychology Association and were created to be clear and easy to use and reference. They are the standard for most science-based and technical writing papers.

According to the APA, “APA Style is used by writers in many disciplines around the world for concise, powerful, and persuasive scholarly communication.”

You may be familiar with other standards of writing (MLA, Chicago Style), but skip to the items below for examples of how to format using APA and you may find it’s quite simple.

Note about Auto Citation Generators

I recommend NOT using the auto-citing generators. They tend to create citations that are slightly off and if you find one with a google search, they may use the old standards (the current standard is APA 7).

A Note about Scholarly Writing

When researching, you should put emphasis on scholarly research. Try to avoid using websites that contain opinions or can be updated frequently with unreliable information (e.g. Wikipedia). These websites can be great starting points, but make sure to verify and follow up on the information that you find here.

Some fields are tricky to find verified scholarly writing (like video production), but it doesn’t hurt to try. You may also go directly to manufacturer’s resources (websites, manuals), or well know industry organizations (Encyclopedias, IMDb, etc.).

APA Formatting Examples based on Source

All papers should include:

A Title Page
Main Body (the meat of your paper)
and References page

Appropriate font selection and sizes, lines double spaced
In-text citations

Referencing a website (or blog) example

Crawford, C. (2021, February 3). Social Media Analytics: The Complete Guide. Socialbakers.

Referencing a YouTube video example

Marketing91. (2017, January 7). Integrated Marketing Communications – The complete explanation [Video]. YouTube. INSERT FULL DIRECT YOUTUBE LINK HERE

Referencing a book example

Armstrong, G. & Kotler, P. (2015). Marketing: An Introduction (12th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.

Referencing a personal communication, such as a phone call example
use in-text citation only and do not include it in your references list.

(N. Kuiper, personal communication, January 9, 2023).

Formatting Example

Here is an excerpt of a paper written for a marketing class. Look for examples of the title page, in-text citations, and references.

Student paper format example

APA Sample Papers

Additional References:

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Mini Bio

Andrew has been producing video for over 20 years, and teaching for 6.

Read More