Use APA Style

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth EditionThis guide contains a list of basic APA style elements that are commonly required for assignments at CityU. Note: This guide follows APA 6th edition rules, and will be updated to reflect APA 7th edition rules effective Spring 2020. Also, note that some courses and programs may have different requirements for use of APA.

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.

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

OWL at Purdue has recently 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.

APA Style Blog, written by experts from the American Psychological Association

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: How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?

Learn more: What is a Citation?


APA Template

CityU APA Template: Download an APA style Microsoft Word template created by Douglas Degelman of Vanguard University.


APA Examples

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

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:
First citation (Collins, Hanges, & Locked, 2004); subsequent citations (Collins et al., 2004)


Reference list:

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

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. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

In text:
(Beck & Sales, 2001)

E-book from Online Database

Reference list:

McLyman, L. A. (2005). Wise leadership [Ebrary version]. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. Retrieved from

In text:
(McLyman, 2005)

Reference list:

Oreg, S. & Michel, A., & Todnem, R. (Eds.). (2013). The psychology of organizational change: Viewing change from the employee’s perspective [Skillsoft Books version]. Retrieved from

In text:
First citation (Oreg, Michel, & Todnem, 2013); subsequent citations (Oreg et al., 2013)

Reports from Online Business Databases

Reference list:

Giraldo, V. (2013, November). Family clothing stores in the US. Retrieved from IBISWorld database.

In text:
(Giraldo, 2013)

Reference list:

MarketLine. (2013, October 9). Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW Group): Company profile. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.

In text:
(MarketLine, 2013)

Reference list:

Marketline. (2014, October). Office services and supplies in Europe: MarketLine industry profile. Retrieved from Mint Global database.

In text:
(MarketLine, 2014)

Reference list:

Morningstar. (2014). Ford Motor Co.: Key ratios. Retrieved from Morningstar Investment Research Center database.

In text:
(Morningstar, 2014)

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]. Retrieved 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 (6.11-6.21, 6.16, 6.25).

Hanging indents and double spacing are used for all reference list entries (2.11).

Capitalize only the first word of an article, book, or chapter title and subtitle (if any), and any proper nouns (6.29)

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

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) should be included in journal article citations if they can be easily located (see sample citations below).

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 (7.01, 7.02).


How to Format Documents

Font is 12 point Times New Roman (8.03).

Margins are set at 1 inch (2.54cm) (8.03).

Line spacing is double throughout the entire document with pages numbered in sequence, starting with the title page (8.03).

Punctuation spacing is two spaces after each punctuation mark ending a sentence, and one space after all other punctuation (4.01, 4.02).

Title page is a separate page and includes the header, article title, author’s name and date (8.03).*

Headers appear at the top of each page and include the author’s last name and page number.*

All pages, beginning with the title page, should be numbered consecutively (8.03).

Heading levels accurately reflect the organization of the paper and are used consistently throughout the paper (3.02-3.03).

Paragraphs contain at least three sentences but are not longer than one page (3.08). Indent the first line of each paragraph (8.03).

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 (4.22-4.23).

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 (4.08, 6.03, 6.05).

Figures, tables, appendices and other document elements should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1,2,3) in the order in which they are mentioned (5.05, 5.30).

Tables are all referred to in the text and every table column includes a heading (5.13, 5.19).

Appendices are on separate pages, with only one table or figure per page (8.03).

Need more help? Ask a Librarian!