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APA Citation Style, 6th Edition: Basic Info

APA Citation Style

Formatting Your Paper

(THIS Libguide IS FOR APA 6th edition, click here to visit our new APA 7th edition Libguide)

General Guidelines:

  • Font: The preferred font for APA publications is Times New Roman in 12 point font.
  • Spacing: In general, your entire document should be double spaced.
  • Margins: Margins should be set uniformly at 1 inch on all sides.
  • Headers:
    • Running Head: The header of each page should also contain the running head, flush left. The header on the first page of your paper will be different than all subsequent pages. The header on your first page should follow this format: (Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER). All subsequent page headers should follow this format (TITLE OF YOUR PAPER). The running head should be the title of your paper and no more than 50 characters.
    • Page Numbers: Page numbers should be in the header of your document, flush right. 

Referencing Materials without Pagination

Many online resources do not include page numbers. If citing a source that has no page numbers, cite the paragraph instead.

  • If paragraphs are numbered, reference the paragraph number in the in-text citation. For example, (Basu & Jones, 2007, para. 4).
  • If document includes headings but no page or paragraph numbers, cite the heading and number of paragraph. For example ( Verbunt, Pernot, & Smeets, 2008, Discussion section, para. 1). 
  • If the document has no headings, page numbers, or paragraph numbers, use a short title with quotation marks. For example, (Golan, Kuchler, & Krissof, 2007, "Mandatory Labeling Has Targeted," para.4).

Please see page 172 of the APA Manual, 6th Edition for further information.


One of the most important things to remember for APA style formatting is consistency! The APA has not released guidelines on every single type of resource because the possibilities are endless. Just remember to follow the general formats when imputing information about a resource, include as much information as necessary, and be consistent! If you have questions about how to cite a particular resource, feel free to contact the library. Our contact information can be found on the left side of this page.

Ordering Your Pages

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Text
  4.  References
  5. Tables
  6. Figures
  7. Appendices

Carrie Forbes, MLS

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Carrie Forbes
Laupus Library
Room 2518
East Carolina University
600 Moye Blvd.
Greenville, NC 27834
252-744-2217 -OR- 252-689-8734 (TEXT)
Subjects: Nursing