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Research Coach

Make a research coach appointment with a librarian today and get help framing research questions, finding or accessing resources, and citation help.  Students can meet with a librarian face-to-face, over the phone, or through Zoom video conferencing. 

APA Style Guide 6th Edition

This page a brief overview of the Publication Manual for APA 6th edition. For additional and more detailed information refer to the Publication Manual for APA 6th edition. A librarian can also help you with additional citation or paper formatting questions. Please contact LeAn (901-324-2014 ext. 3107) on the MCUTS campus or Amber (731-661-5058) on the Jackson campus. You can also request a research coach appointment.

In-text Citations

In-text citations are used within the main content of your paper to indicate where a quote or idea was found. APA uses the author-date style of in-text citation. Each in-text citation should also have a full citation on the references page of your paper. 

Basic parenthetical in-text citation is (author's last name, publishing date). If the author is unknown use the first few words of the title for your in-text citation. 

Type of Citation

First Citation in Text

Subsequent Citations in Text

Parenthetical Format, First Citation in Text

Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text

1 work by 1 author

Harris (2003)

Harris (2003)

(Harris, 2003)

(Harris, 2003)

1 work by 2 authors

Harris and Ramirez (2011)

Harris and Ramirez (2011)

(Harris & Ramirez, 2011)

(Harris & Ramirez, 2011)

1 work by 3 authors

Peet, Young, and Collins (1988)

Peet et al. (1988)

(Peet, Young, & Collins, 1988)

(Peet et al., 1988)

1 work by 4 authors

Peet, Young, Collins, and Darcy (2008)

Peet et al. (2008)

(Peet, Collins, Young, & Darcy, 2008)

(Peet et al., 2008)

1 work by 5 authors

Peet, Collins, Young, Darcy, and McHugh (2002)

Peet et al. (2002)

(Peet, Collins, Young, Darcy, & McHugh 2002)

(Peet et al., 2002)

1 work by 6 or more authors

Hughes et al. (2009)

Hughes et al. (2009)

(Hughes et al., 2009)

(Hughes et al., 2009)

Groups (readily identified through abbreviations) as authors

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, 1997)

NOAA (1997)

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], 1997)

(NOAA, 1997)

Groups (no abbreviation) as authors

Stanford University (2010)

Stanford University (2010)

(Stanford University, 2010)

(Stanford University, 2010)

American Psychological Association. (2009). Crediting sources: Citing references in text. Publication manual of the American psychological association (6th ed., p. 177) Washington, D.C.: Author.

Format

The Purdue OWL website has a sample paper and additional tips for formatting your APA style paper. 

Basic formatting guidelines:

  • A title page at the beginning
  • Heading on title page includes the words Running head: SHORTENED TITLE page number (the title is aligned to the left and page number to the right)
  • Heading on all pages SHORTENED TITLE page number (title aligned left and page numbers aligned right) 
  • Double space all pages
  • Use two spaces after a period
  • Margins: 1 inch on all sides
  • Font: Times New Roman size 12
  • References page at the end

Many of these settings are not automatic in Word, please see the APA Style Guide or ask a librarian for help

Reference List

Your APA formatted paper will include a reference list at the end of the main text.

Formatting guidelines:

  • Start on a new page
  • Center References at the top as the title of the page
  • Double space 
  • Use hanging indentation (first line aligned left and additional lines indented 0.5 inches)
  • Organize alphabetically by author last name or first word of the full citation

Every source you used for this research paper should be included on the reference page.