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CJ 305 - Research Methods Course Guide : APA Citation and Formatting

Use this guide as a reference to find Library resources for your CJ 305 class

APA Citation and Formatting


APA 7th Edition Guide


APA (American Psychological Association) is a way of citing references and organizing your academic writing. There are other different citation styles; however, APA is used mostly in the sciences and social sciences such as psychology, criminal justice, human services and business. You will use APA in a variety of ways throughout your academic career: term papers, research reports, literature reviews, articles, etc.

Formatting Your Paper

Here are the basic rules of formatting when it comes to APA papers; however, be sure to double check with your professor for the specifics of how your paper should be presented.

  • Double space everything
  • Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, or Georgia 11
  • 1-inch margins
  • Running Head no longer required for student papers
  • Text flush left
  • Do not divide or hyphenate words at the ends of lines
  • Use abbreviations sparingly

Heading formats in APA papers - 7th Edition




Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading  

         Text begins as a new paragraph.


Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

         Text begins as a new paragraph.



Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

         Text begins as a new paragraph.


         Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.


         Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citation Formats

You must use an in-text citation any time you use information from an outside source. This includes direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries. When summarizing or paraphrasing, a page number does not need to be included in the in-text citation. See the chart below for format examples:

Author type Parenthetical citation Narrative citation

One author

(Luna, 2020)

Luna (2020)

Two authors

(Salas & D’Agostino, 2020)

Salas and D’Agostino (2020)

Three or more authors

(Martin et al., 2020)

Martin et al. (2020)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation 

Subsequent citations

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)

(NIMH, 2020)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)

NIMH (2020)

Group author without abbreviation

(Stanford University, 2020)

Stanford University (2020)



When quoting directly from a source you must include the page number. For example:

  • Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?
  • She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

If the quote is 40 words or longer use a block quote. Start the block quote on a new line, indent the entire quote a half-inch (as you would a normal paragraph), and omit the quotes:

Jones's (1998) study found the following:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to  purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)

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Reference List

A list of references must be included at the end of your paper and includes publishing information for each source you have used in your paper.

The References page should:

  • Have the word References centered at the top of the page
  • Be alphabetized by the first item in the references (usually author’s name).
  • Be double spaced
  • Have hanging indents (Meaning the first line of each reference is flush left, and subsequent lines are indented 0.5”)

Reference list entries include the four elements of the author, date, title, and source.

Here are some examples of the most common citation types. See the APA 7 Document Above, or the websites below for more information.


Type of Material




Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title of book. Publisher. 

Sapolsky, R. M. (2017). Behave: The biology of humans at our best and worst. Penguin Books.

Chapter in an edited book.

Author, A.A. (year of publication). Chapter title. In Author, A.A. (Eds.), Book title (page range). Publisher.

Aron, L., Botella, M., & Lubart, T. (2019). Culinary arts: Talent and their development. In R. F. Subotnik, P. Olszewski-Kubilius, & F. C. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potential into domain-specific talent (pp. 345–359). American Psychological Association.

Journal article

Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title of article. Journal Title, Volume(issue). page range. https://doi or URL

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217.


Webpage from website.

Author, A. A. (year of publication, Month date). Webpage title. Website Title. https://url

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

APA 7 Resources

APA Citation Resources Online: