Use APA Style

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh EditionThis guide contains a list of basic APA style elements that are commonly required for assignments at CityU. Note: This guide follows APA 7th edition rules; some courses and programs may have different requirements for use of APA. Refer to your instructor if you are unsure as to which edition should be used in your class.

Any information that is not “common knowledge” must be cited. Common knowledge is information that most people know without looking it up. Common examples are “the sky is blue” or “it rains a lot in Seattle.” If you’re not sure whether something is common knowledge, citing it is better than not citing it.

Get Help with APA

You need to cite your sources in order to identify other people’s ideas and information used within your assignments. If you take or copy someone else’s words or ideas and present them as if they were your own, you are plagiarizing.

Learn more: How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?

APA Style Blog, written by experts from the American Psychological Association. This is the most comprehensive guide to the new 7th edition of APA.

APA Formatting and Style Guide, from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue

OWL at Purdue has paired with Chegg to provide access to Citation Machine within their tutorials. While citation builders are convenient, they are not always accurate. The following guide can help you make decisions about citation generators that you find online: using citation generators responsibly. Always check your references, and if you have any questions about APA please Ask a Librarian.

How to cite sources in your assignments (in-text citations): In-text citations are very important in your assignments. They tell your instructor where the information came from and gives it context within your own writing.

Learn more: What is a Citation?

APA Template

CityU APA Template: Download an APA style Microsoft Word template adapted by CityU librarians.

APA 7 student paper template

Professional paper template (for doctoral work or requested by your instructor):

APA Examples

APA 7 Reference Examples

Articles with or without DOI (read about DOI from APA)

Learn when to include a DOI:

Reference list:

Sampson, J. P., & Makela, J. P. (2014). Ethical issues associated with information and communication technology in counseling and guidance. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 14(1), 135-148.

In text:
(Sampson & Makela, 2014)

Reference list:

Collins, C. J., Hanges, P. J., & Locked, E. A. (2004). The relationship of achievement motivation to entrepreneurial behavior: A meta-analysis. Human Performance, 17(1), 95-117.

In text:
(Collins et al., 2004)


Reference list:

United Nations Statistics Division (n.d.). UNdata: A world of information.

In text:
(United Nations Statistics Division, n.d.)


Reference list:

Beck, C. A. J., & Sales, B. D. (2001). Family mediation: Facts, myths, and future prospects. American Psychological Association.

In text:
(Beck & Sales, 2001)

E-book from Online Database

Reference list:

McLyman, L. A. (2005). Wise leadership. Michigan State University Press.

In text:
(McLyman, 2005)

E-book not from Online Database (e.g., Kindle)

Reference list:

Oreg, S. & Michel, A., & Todnem, R. (Eds.). (2013). The psychology of organizational change: Viewing change from the employee’s perspective. Cambridge University Press.

In text:
(Oreg et al., 2013)

Reports from Online Business Databases

Reference list:

O’Connor, C. (2019, August). Family clothing stores in the US (Industry Report 44814). IBISWorld. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from

In text:
(O’Connor, 2019)

Reference list:

Morningstar Investment Research Center. (2020). Ford Motor Co. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from

In text:
(Morningstar Investment Research Center, 2020)

Reference list:

U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). Retail trade: Geographic area series: Summary statistics for the United States, states, metro areas, counties, and places: 2012. [Table]. American FactFinder. Retrieved January 31, 2020, from

In text:
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2012)

Citation Builders

Free citation tools to help you access your saved sources and references from anywhere online. Citation builders generate APA-formatted references from user-submitted information such as author, date, and publication title. While citation builders are convenient, they are not always accurate. Always check your references and citations for APA errors.

Notes on Formatting

References are cited accurately in both the text and the reference list, and are ordered alphabetically by authors’ surnames.

Hanging indents and double spacing are used for all reference list entries.

Capitalize only the first word of an article, book, or chapter title and subtitle (if any), and any proper nouns.

Electronic journal articles are cited in the same manner as print journal articles.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) should be included in journal article and book citations when available.

URLs are only included when there is no DOI number and when the information comes from a website (not including databases). URLs are also needed for published works with limited circulation or works that are proprietary and available only through that database (ex.: IbisWorld or Statista reports). If the database requires a log in, use the homepage url.

Retrieval dates are used for materials that may change over time and where the links are not archives (example: proprietary business reports, maps, tweets, etc.).

Journal and book titles in the reference list are spelled out fully and italicized.

Page numbers for all articles are provided in the reference list.

How to Format Documents

Font should be consistent throughout the document. Make sure that the font is accessible to all users. Suggestions: 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 11-point Georgia, 10-point Lucida, and 12-point Times New Roman.

Margins are set at 1 inch (2.54cm) on all sides.

Line spacing is double throughout the entire document with pages numbered in sequence, starting with the title page.

Punctuation spacing is one space after all punctuation.

Title page is a separate page and includes the article title, author’s name (s), affiliation of each author, course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date. The page number appears in the top right corner as a header.

Diagram of components of title page

All pages, beginning with the title page, should be numbered consecutively.

Heading levels accurately reflect the organization of the paper and are used consistently throughout the paper.

Abbreviations are written as entire words or phrases the first time they are used with the abbreviation following in parentheses. Use the abbreviated form subsequently, unless it is used at the beginning of a sentence.

Quotations under 40 words are surrounded by quotation marks and include page or paragraph numbers in the in-text citation. Quotations of 40 or more words are formatted in a freestanding block of text with no quotation marks.

Need more help? Ask a Librarian!