APA 7th Edition Manual

Posted: October 8th, 2020

APA 7th Edition Manual: Complete Guide

The American Psychological Association recently announced the latest version of the APA publication style- the 7th edition. This latest edition comes just ten years after the publication of the 6th edition.

The APA 7th edition features new and updated content concerning paper formatting and elements. The new edition also comprises changes made to in-text citations, bias-free language, and references.

This guide comprehensively discusses the APA 7th edition. It will highlight significant differences between the 6th and 7th editions. Read on for a detailed list of changes in the new APA edition.

Our guide is inclusive of everything you need to know when it comes to APA formatting. Go through it to ensure you get it right. To make it easy to grasp the new edition’s contents, we have used examples for each section.

Does the APA 7th Edition Have a Running Head?

Previous APA editions writing style have always required a paper for having a running head. The 7th edition, however, doesn’t require student papers to have a running head. However, professional papers must have a running head on each page. (p. 37, APA 2020)

Papers for publication should have a running head on the title page as well. Unlike in the sixth edition, where you had to label the Running Head, the 7th edition no longer needs you to write the “Running head.”

What is a running head?

A running head is an abbreviated title for the essay paper, which appears on each page’s top part. The running head makes it easy for the reader to identify with the title, especially for those reading print copies.

Running Head on Title Page

How to write a running head

It should be written in capital letters and MUST be 50 characters or less (including punctuation and spacing). The running head should either be a shortened version of the title or be the same as the title. If you use the shortened version, it should carry the same idea as the paper’s title.

Why a running head is still required for authors looking to be published

A running head helps your reader have the title in mind when going through all your work pages. Thus, making it essential to have one for your copy.

As a professional author, you might think your typesetter or editor should handle the running head. However, as the author, it is your role to craft one because, as the writer, you know your work best.

What to remember when writing a running head

Sometimes, depending on the paper, your instructor may ask you to add a running head. In such a case, follow the same guidelines as professionals.


APA Writing Format

APA 7th Edition Format

Here are the guidelines of the new edition in regard to formatting your paper;

  • Fonts

Under the APA 7th edition, you are encouraged to use the same font throughout the paper. The recommended fonts are;

  • 11-point Arial
  • 11-point Calibri
  • 10-point Lucida
  • 11-point Georgia
  • 12-point Times New Roman

Here is how to change your font when using Microsoft Word;

How to change fonts on MS Word

  • Spacing

The latest APA style required the author to use a double line throughout the document (p. 45 APA 2020). You will now be expected to use double spacing for every text, including the title page, headings, abstract, text, reference, appendices, etc.

You should not include extra lines before a section heading, after a section heading, or in between paragraphs.

To adjust your spacing, go to your word processor program. Find the space setting, and adjust it to double spacing.


How to change MS word settings

  • Page Numbering

Under formatting, the APA 7th edition style rules require the author to begin page numbering with 1. The first page is the title page, and the numbering should be placed at the top right corner of the page. (p. 44 APA 2020)

The subsequent pages should continue to be numbered flush right until the last page of the paper. Nonetheless, as a student, you may find instructors who will advise you to ignore numbering the title page. They will require you to begin numbering on the second page, numbered “2”.

Starting page numbering on the second page is an academic convention. It is most common when writing major research projects, dissertations and theses. The title page for the three academic papers requires a formatted title page. Hence the title page isn’t numbered.

So, as a student, unless told otherwise by your instructor, you will begin numbering your document on the title page. It will be labeled as number “1” after flushing it to the right.

  • Margins

The student paper should have a 1-inch margin, equivalent to 2.54 cm (p. 45,  APA 2020). However, publication papers may require different margins due to publication requirements. For instance, for a dissertation or thesis which will be published, follow the set publications.

  • Paragraphs

All paragraphs should be aligned to the left and have a ragged right edge. Each first sentence of a paragraph should be indented at 1.27 cm or 0.5 in. (p. 45, APA 2020). If you are using Microsoft Word, you can adjust the settings under the paragraph settings tab.

  • Punctuations following a quotation

If you happen to end a sentence with quotation marks, the period after a short quotation (less than 39 words) should appear after the citation.

APA 7th Edition Title Page

The new APA manual edition has different recommendations for students and professionals. Students are expected to follow their instructor’s directions. However, if no specific directions are given, the student should use the APA specific title page.

The APA title page for students should include;

  • The paper’s title
  • Each authors name
  • Affiliation for the authors, in this case, the school attended
  • Course code and course title for which you are writing. You will use the format used by your institution. For instance, LIT 134
  • The course instructor’s name and his or her title
  • The paper’s due date It should be written in your country’s most common format. For example, some states use 3rd January 2020, while some use January 3, 2020.
  • Page number, which should also appear in subsequent pages


APA 7th Edition Sample Title Page

The title of your essay should be considered a section label and not the heading of a section.

APA 7th Edition Headings

Headings act as a guide for the reader when going through your paper. Academic papers have different heading levels, which are organized according to subordination levels. Generally, each separate section of your paper should have a level-one2 heading.

APA 7th edition has made changes to headings of levels;

  • Three
  • Four

Unlike before, all headings are now required to be in title case. That is, all important words should be capitalized and in boldface. Heading levels will now be distinguished through the use of indentation, italics, and use of periods.

Let us use examples to distinguish further the heading levels between the 6th and 7th editions.

APA 6TH Edition Headings (3.03)

Heading level Heading format
1 Centered heading in Bold with both Uppercase and Lowercase.


The text after the title should start a new paragraph

2 Flush left and in Bold, with both Uppercase and Lowercase.


The text should start a new paragraph.


3 Indented and in boldface, written in lowercase, and end with a period.


The paragraph text should continue on the same line as the paragraph.

4 Indented, italicized, and in bold, written in lowercase and ending with a period.


The paragraph text should continue on the same line as the paragraph.

5 Indented and italicized, written in lowercase, and ending with a period.


The paragraph text should continue on the same line as the paragraph.


APA 7th Edition Headings (2.27)

Heading level Heading format
1 Centered, Bold, and in Title Case


The next text should start a new paragraph.

2 Flush Left, Bold and in Title Case


The next sentence should initiate a new paragraph

3 Flush Left, Bold, in Italics, written in Title Case

The next sentence should initiate a new paragraph

4 Indented, boldface, written in Title Case, Ending with a Period.


The paragraph text should continue on the same line as the paragraph.

5 Indented, Boldface in Italics, written in Title Case and Ending with a Period.


The paragraph text should continue on the same line as the paragraph.


 The changes in regards to the different headings levels between the 6th and 7th editions are now clear. If you are writing your scientific report paper, this is how the headings should appear using the 7th edition format;

Note that a scientific report has three main sections;

  • Method
  • Results

Each unit will start with a level one heading. Using the APA 7th edition format above, your headings will appear as follows;

Methods (level one heading)

Site of study- level two heading

Participant population-level two heading

Teachers-level three heading

Students- level three heading


Results (level one heading)

Spatial Ability -level two heading

Test One- level three heading

Teachers with Experience- Level four heading

Teachers in Training- Level four heading

Graduate Teaching AssistantsLevel five heading


Test TwoLevel three heading

Kinesthetic Ability- Level two heading

Usually, the first paragraph or the first section of a paper is always considered the introduction. APA 7th edition discourages the use of “heading introduction” in your academic paper. So, you don’t need to begin with an “introduction heading” (p. 47, APA 2020)

Note: You shouldn’t label a section heading with any numbers or letters.


Quotations for Essay Writing

APA 7th Edition Guidelines regarding Direct Quotations

 Before discussing what the new edition has to say when it comes to direct quotations, let us understand what a direct quotation is.

When an author writes word-for-word as it appears from another material, he has quoted the author directly. Therefore, direct quotation refers to a word-for-word phrase that the author includes in his work, which the author has obtained from an external source.

If the direct quotation is 40 words or lesser, you should add it to your paragraph and use double quotations at the beginning and the end of the quote.

In his book, Johnson starts with, “Your thoughts determine where you are in life. If you want to change your life, that change has to start from your thoughts.” (Johnson, 1990, p.20)

If the quote exceeds 40 words, you will need to indent it as a freestanding paragraph without the quotation marks. At the end of the text, cite the source you quoted from and the page number (in parenthesis). This information should be added after the punctuation mark.

Your thoughts determine where you are in life. If you want to change your life, that change has to start with your thoughts. Sadly, most people don’t recognize the power of their minds. Your subconscious mind taps into your thoughts and makes them a reality. (Johnson, 1990, p.20)

How to write an in-text reference following a direct quotation

The format of a direct quotation when writing an in-text citation includes the author of the text, the year of publication, and the specific page you got the quote from.

Sometimes, the material you obtain the quote from may fail to have page numbers. In such a case, write down the timestamp or paragraph number. Remember to write the full details in the reference section.

How to add direct quotation in an in-text citation

If you are looking to add the direct quote as part of your sentence, plate the reference immediately after the quote. Then continue with your sentence.

For example;

Your thoughts determine where you are in life. If you want to change your life, that change has to start with your thoughts. Sadly, most people don’t recognize the power of their minds. Your subconscious mind taps into your thoughts and makes them a reality. (Johnson, 1990, p.20) which means….

How to quote audiovisual works

If your reference was an audiovisual- a song, video, or TV show, you should include the time stamp.

For example;

Yates, (2017, 9:13)


Basics of Numbers under the APA 7th Edition

According to APA 7th edition, section 6.32, numerals should only be used to express number 10 and numbers above. For instance 10,11,34,56, 100, 450 etc. Section 6.33 requires you to write out numbers below 10 in words. For example, three, five, nine.

Numbers written as words

You can use words to express numbers under any of these circumstances;

  • When the number is used at the beginning of a title, heading, or sentence. For example, Seventeen IT technicians will be attending the meeting.


  • When using the number to express a common fraction, the manager presented certificates to three-quarters of his staff.


  • When numbers between zero and nine are used when writing the abstract. Previously, the sixth edition recommended authors to use numerals when writing the abstract. However, the seventh edition requires the author to write numbers between zero and nine when writing the abstract.

Numbers that should be written In numerals

You should write numbers in numerals when expressing any of the below situations;

  • Numbers are expressing time. For example; He has worked as a manager for 7 years now.


  • Numbers that are representing measurements, points, or scores. For example, The top student this year had 9 points.


  • When writing a number that suggests a specific position in a series, chapter 8 was quite extensive.


  • When expressing measurement. For instance, she is 5.68 feet tall.


  • Numbers are representing a sum of money. For example; she owes me $10


  • When the number represents a mathematical formula or expression, for example, the instructor will award prizes to anyone who scores above 70% in the test.

APA 7th edition most notable changes

APA 7th Edition Changes

We will discuss the updates of the 7th edition features chapter by chapter for better clarity and understanding.

  • Grammar and Writing Style (Chapter 4)

The significant change under Chapter Four- Grammar and Writing style is in terms of pronoun usage. It approves an author to use”they” to be used a singular pronoun. It advises the author to use “they” to refer to someone whose gender is either irrelevant or unknown.

For example, instead of saying, “I don’t know who reported this. Nonetheless, he or she offered us valuable information,” you can now write, “I don’t know who reported this. Nonetheless, they offered us valuable information.

Also, “they” can be used for a person who uses “they” to refer to a personal pronoun.  In both cases where “they” can be used,  its derivatives such as “them,” “their,” “themselves” should also be used accordingly.

As for verbs, the plural verb will be used when “they” is used in the paper to refer to a person or an entity. For instance, you can say “they are such a kind person” instead of saying, “they is such a kind person.”

Regarding grammar, the APA 7th edition manual discourages the use of anthropomorphizing language. Meaning, non-human pronouns such as “which” and “that” should be used. Thus, use “which” and “that” for inanimate objects and animals, instead of using “who.”

  • APA 7th Edition Language (Chapter Five)

Like previous editions, the 7th edition encourages the use of bias-free language. The latest edition features several updates relating to age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity.

The changes in the manual are too extensive to discuss them all. However, we will highlight the significant changes in the manual regarding the use of bias-free language. Important changes are;

  • Using person-first language when applicable. For instance, say “a man with asthma” in place of “an asthmatic man.”


  • Avoid replacing nouns with adjectives when trying to describe a group of people. For instance, rather than saying “drug users,” it is best to say “people who abuse or use drugs.”


  • Try using specific labels instead of general ones. For example. Instead of writing “Asian Americans,” it is more precise to say “Korean Americans.”


  • Focus on the qualities relevant to your paper when describing differences between your target group. For instance, when discussing illnesses linked to sex chromosomes, mentioning sexual orientations aren’t necessary. So, limit yourself to relevant qualities such as the participants’ biological sexes.


In conclusion, the APA 7th edition emphasizes the need to use respectable language and avoid bias.

APA style guide

  • Mechanics of Style 

Chapter six in the APA manual is the mechanics of style. When it comes to style, the 7th edition features several changes. However, two changes stand out and are the most important;

  • Instead of highlighting examples using italic, you can use quotation marks. For instance, you can say, you should press the “K” button instead of writing, you should press the K
  • After a period, use one space before writing the next sentence unless your instructor states otherwise.
  • Tables and figures 

APA 7th edition has made very minimal changes in Chapter seven- Tables and Figures. The two most notable changes are that tables and figures should now be formatted in parallel. That is, there are consistent rules when it comes to numbering, titles, and notes.

Second, the new edition allows for tables and figures to be presented either as part of the document; or after references on a separate page.

Adding Figures and Tables to Your Paper

A table refers to any numerical texts or values expressed in columns and rows. On the other hand, a figure refers to maps, graphs, photographs, and drawings. When including a table or a figure in your document, you should know that;

  • Any table or figure in your document should be referred to in your document
  • All tables and figures should be numbered according to the order in which they appear in the paper
  • You should reference them according to their number. For example. “as shown in table 2” or “As figure 3 illustrates.”

How to reference tables and figures in your APA paper

Each figure should have a brief title that explains the table’s contents in a short but clear way. The title should be below the number of the figure and below the actual figure. Note that the title should be in Upper case and Italics.

Here is an example on the same;

Figure 3

Figure Title 

(The figure itself with all the contents )

In the case that you reproduced a table or a figure from a different source, you MUST include an attribution. The attribution can be copyright or creative commons. Place the attribution as a note directly below your table or figure. Any necessary explanatory notes should be added after the table or figure.

If you obtained your figure from an open access journal, you must include a Creative Commons License. So, your attribution should include;

  • ” Adapted from” if it is adapted, or “From” when reprinting a figure
  • The title of the article using double quotation marks. The title should be in title case
  • The author(s) first name initials followed by the surname
  • Year of publication
  • Journal title- which should be written in title case and italics
  • Volume- written in italics, followed by the issue number
  • The page number of the original table or figure. If there is no page number, you can use the paragraph number or section heading.
  • URL or DOI- if applicable
  • Creative commons license

Note: If the figure is neither a Creative Commons nor an Open Access, you may have to get written permission from the author to reproduce or adapt their table or figure. After obtaining a copyright permission statement, you should include it towards the end of the note.

If your paper has a table or figure, you MUST list the table or figure under your reference list.

The Use of Secondary Sources under APA 7th Edition

APA greatly discourages the use of secondary sources. It only permits the use of secondary sources when the original work is genuinely unavailable.

Take this example. You have read a book or an article which references information you would like to reference. But unfortunately, you are unable to get the initial source.  In this case, you will have to reference the source you have seen in the references list of the book or article. Thus, it is a secondary source. 

APA 7th Edition Citation

According to the APA guidelines, you should always avoid over and under citation. Over citation is unnecessary and can be distracting, while under citation could lead to plagiarism and self-plagiarism.

When is a paper said to be over cited? Your paper will be considered to have over citation if you repeat one citation in each sentence when discussing the same topic using the same source.

When discussing a key point in two or more sentences, to avoid over citation, only cite the source in the first sentence. Do not repeat the same citation in the next sentences provided the source is clear and unchanged.

In-text Citations

The APA 7th edition uses an author/date system. Therefore, your in-text reference for each source must include the name of the author or authors, and the source’s year of publication.

In-text citations have two basics; the author (s) name followed by the year of publication, and the use of round brackets.

So, your citation should appear as such; (Smith & Steven, 2020)

(Smith & Steven, 2020)

↓             ↓      ↓

Authors    Comma   Year of publication


Here are the changes in in-text citations in the new edition;

  • Irrespective of the source, any source with three or more authors will be attributed as follows. Mention the author’s first name and then “et al.”


Previously, you would only shorten a reference like this if the source has more than six authors.


For instance, in an in-text citation like “There is a 78% chance that there is life on other planets by NASA (Kate, Brett, Anne, Oliver, 2019)”. The same in-text citation under the new edition will be “There is a 78% chance that there is life on other planets by NASA ( Kate et al., 2019)”.


This rule, however, has an exception if its use will result in ambiguity. For instance, if you happen to have two books whose first authors share a common name, you will need to add as many authors’ names as you need to differentiate the two sources.


  • There is a new category related to oral traditions and any traditional knowledge regarding indigenous people. If the information is recorded as an interview transcript or audio file, use the ordinary citations used for media.


In some cases, the information isn’t recorded but is obtained from a face to face conversation. In such a case, you will need to use the revised citation for personal communication.


You will include the source’s name, name of the group of people (or the country they belong to), their location, and any relevant details, also write “personal communication” and conclude with the date which the conversation took place.


If the conversation happened over time, add a date range when the conversation took place. Luckily, you won’t have to provide a reference for this citation.


An example of a personal communication citation is: After a series of communicating with Terry Johnson ( Swahili Nation, lives in Mombasa, Kenya, personal communication, August 2019), we were able to understand….


When citing personal communication, you should capitalize on the name of the group of indigenous people and the nation they reside in. When sourcing information pertaining to traditional groups, ensure the information is reproduced after obtaining consent from the relevant indigenous stakeholders.

The APA 7th edition also has new guidelines as to how to present quotations. This new edition proposes that quotations originating from research participants need to be formatted as standard quotations.

  • If you include a direct quotation from an author, the new edition needs you to include either the page or paragraph number of the location of the words you quoted.


When writing the quote, you will include the author(s). publication year followed by either the page or paragraph number where you sourced the quote. The reference will be inside round brackets.


Here is an example of how an in-text direct quotation should appear;

Comma    Page number

↑              ↑

(Smith & Steven, 2020, pp. 18-20)


↓                   ↓

 Authors             year of publication

That is, they should be formatted using block quotations if they are less than 40 words. Unlike in the 6th edition, you won’t have to provide a reference or an in-text citation. Instead, you will have to indicate the quote comes from a participant.

How to write an in-text reference for authors sharing a surname

When writing an in-text citation, the most important author’s name is the surname. So, what happens when two authors happen to have a similar surname?

You will write each author(s) first name, initials, their surname, (Year). For example, M. Gloria & K.  Johnson (2005) argue that….

When using this rule, you should include the first name initials in your citations. The first author’s initials should be included, even when there is a difference in the year of publication.

How to write an in-text reference for works that have been republished, translated, reissued, or reprinted

It is usual for editions to undergo changes. Sometimes, work can be translated, reprinted, reissued, and translated. In such a case, you need to include the original year of publication or issues as well as the year the reference was changed. These two should be separated using a forward slash. You should always start by listing the first year.

For example; Johnson, (1882/ 2000)

Tips to Remember when using In-text referencing

  • Use one of the recommended font sizes
  • In-text citations only require the author’s last name and the sources year of publication
  • Never include any date or month, even if the information is readily available.
  • You can use in-text referencing in a sentence if written as a narrative. For example. Johnson argued that… (2017). Or you can write the citation as a reference in this way; the brain is an organ which you can manipulate to achieve success (Johnson, 2017)
  • An in-text reference can appear either in a sentence or mark the end of a sentence. If it is used after a sentence, the citation should always be before the period. Refer to the example above.
  • You should always include a page number when citing a direct quote. Add a comma after the year of publication. The abbreviation “p” should be used for a single page, and “pp” used for multiple pages.

For example, (Johnson, p.90) for a single page direct quote citation, and (Johnson pp.57-90) for multiple pages

  • You do not need to add a page number when paraphrasing a passage or an idea obtained from your source. Nonetheless, it is necessary to include it to help the reader quickly locate your reference.
  • In the event that there is no date or year of publication, use n.d. in place of the year. For example, write (Johnson, n.d.)
  • Lastly, if the work has not been published, write “in press” in place of the year of publication. For instance, (Johnson, in press).

APA 7th edition Citation Decision Tree

APA 7th Edition Website Citation

The 7th edition referencing rules are broadly similar to those of the 6th edition. If you can comfortably write citations according to the previous edition, writing under the 7th edition will be a smooth transition.

Most changes apply to electronic sources. Under the new edition, URLs and DOI (Digital Object Identifiers) can now be used as hyperlinks to represent electronic sources.

Nonetheless, you won’t have to use the title DOI. In the 6th edition, you were required to write “Retrieved from” before any URL or DOI. Under the 7th edition, you don’t have to add the phrase, not unless there is a retrieval date included in the citation.

  • Website URL Citations

For example, previously, when writing a website URL citation, it would appear like this:

David, J. (2018, August 17).  John Eliot told us he considers age a significant contribution to most diseases. Retrieved from Health conscious website: https://healthconscious.com/123/age-and-diseases

Now, you no longer need to add the “Retrieved from.” So, using the same example, your citation will now appear as:

David, J. (2018, August 17).  John Eliot told us he considers age a significant contribution to most diseases. Health conscious website: https://healthconscious.com/123/age-and-diseases

  • Ebooks

Under the 6th edition, you had to write down the type of ebook you used for reference. You would mention if the book were in the form of a kindle book, pdf, etc. This is no longer required under the 7th edition.

Previously, you would have written an ebook citation in this format;

Oliver, N. (2019). The reason behind many failed dreams. [PDF]. Retrieved from: (include the books URL source)


Writing the same citation under the 7th edition style, you will write it as follows;

Oliver, N. (2019). The reason behind many failed dreams. (Include the books URL source)

  • Journal DOIs

Most students confuse DOIs with URL citations. Let us discuss what a DOI is and how to write a DOI citation.

DOI is an abbreviation for Digital Object Identifier. It refers to a permanent identification number that will take you to the document in the internet when keyed in. However, it is used to refer to publications such as a book, report, or journal.

If you obtained your information from academic research databases such as CINAHI and EBSCO, you would only include a DOI if there is one. You will write the DOI as doi.org URL, rather than adding the “DOI” as a prefix.

Here is an example;

Previously, you would have written a journal DOI like this:

Daniels, J., & Brett, B. (2013). Here is why global warming has been neglected: Reduction in measures to save the environment. Environmental Issues, 8(4), 34. DOI: 9.12.1482/journal.e.issues.9786543.

Now, you will be required to omit the “DOI” and write the above citation as follows;

Daniels, J., & Brett, B. (2013). Here is why global warming has been neglected: Reduction in measures to save the environment. Environmental Issues, 8(4), 34. https://doi.org/ 9.12.1482/journal.e.issues.9786543.

The new guidelines now describe the correct way to use URLs and DOIs when adding website citations. For online sources, APA 7th edition only requires you to add the URL after the reference.

Note: A DOI will link to a specific record found on the publisher’s website. Therefore, it won’t always be the full text, even if the library could access the full document. As such, it is recommended to always go through the library’s database, e-journals, and catalog to check if the full text is available.

Other Web Sources

There are numerous web sources such as podcasts, blogs, YouTube, etc. which qualify to be used as a reference. If you happen to use these web sources, here is how to reference your work;

  • Podcast


Format Author’s last name, first name initials, (role), (year to year). Title in italics. Type of podcast]. Publisher. URL
In-text reference Johnson, 1998-present
Reference list Johnson, L.(Host). (1998-present). Power of the Mind. [Audio podcast]. Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation. https://www.kbc.net.ke/nationalradio/programs/powerofthemind/


  • Email


Format Emails are not added to the reference list
In-text reference M.M. Johnson, (personal communication, March 23, 2018)
Reference list N/A


  • Blog post


Format Author’s surname, first name initials. (Year, M, D). The Blog post’s title. Name of the blog in italics. Web address.
In-text reference Anderson (2017) argued that…
Reference list Anderson, M. (2017, November 3). Why it is easy to overcome addiction. Overcoming your greatest addiction. URL.


  • YouTube Video


Assuming you know the identity of the person who uploaded the video, this is how the in-text citation and reference should appear;


Format Author’s last name, first name initials. [YouTube username]. (Year, M, D). Video’s Title [length of the video]. Name of the site. Web or link to the video
In-text reference Beatrice (2018) believes that…
Reference list Beatrice, W. [Betty W]. (2018, September 14th). Intermittent Fasting- full video. Life Transforming habits. URL

APA 7th edition referencing guide

APA Referencing Style 7th Edition

In accordance with the new edition, all in-text references should be listed towards the end of your paper. The reference section should contain all the necessary information the reader may need when they decide to follow up on the sources you used. Therefore the most important thing when writing references is consistency.

When writing your references, you no longer need to add the publisher’s location. For instance, under the 6th edition referencing style, you would have written;

Maicons, S.D. (1998). The rise of a new world (pp 20-23) New Jersey: Longhorn Publishers.

The recent and correct way to write the reference is; Maicons, S.D. (1998). The rise of a new world (pp 20-23). Longhorn Publishers.


You can now include as many as 20 authors in your reference list before omitting the rest using an ellipsis. The 6th edition restricted the authors to a maximum of six, making this an excellent addition for the referencing section.

For instance, if you used a book with more than 20 authors, previously, you would have only included six authors using the 6th edition style. Your reference would be as follows;

Gloria, N., Mary, N., Maria, G., Monroe W., Frank, K., Lillian, J.,… Fox, N. (2018)Title…..

When using the 7th edition, your list will appear as follows;

Gloria, N., Mary, N., Maria, G., Monroe W., Frank, K., Lillian, J., Anne, W., Peter, M., Daisy, E., Jackeline, W. Evelyn N., Lucy, N., Benson N., Martin, M., Sane, K., Joy, K., Evans, S., Samson, N., Margaret, M., Simon, B., … Fox, N. (2018)Title…..

Since different books have different authors, here is a chat to make referencing easy for you.

One Author

  In-text Reference Reference List
Format Author’s last name, (Year) Author’s last name and first name initials, Year, Papers Title, Book Title, Publisher.
Example Johnson, (1997) argued that… Johnson, M. I.(1997). Effects of rapid weight-loss: Unknown effects of losing weight too fast. Longhorn Publishers.


Two authors

In-text reference Reference List
Format First author’s surname &  Second author’s surname, (Year) (First author’s last name, other names initials & Second author’s last name and other names initials. Year. Papers Title, Book Title, Publisher.
Example Johnson & Jason (2010) Johnson, M., & Jason N. (2010): Brain performance: The connection between healthy eating and optimal brain function. Harper Millenials.


Three – twenty authors

  In-text reference Reference list
Format Author’s first name et al., (Year) All authors surname, first name initials- last author’s name, first name initials. Year. Papers Title, Book Title, Publisher.
Example Joseph et al., (2018) Joseph, N., Mary, N., Maria, G., Monroe W., Frank, K., Lillian, J., Anne, W., Peter, M., Daisy, E., Jackeline, W. Evelyn N., Lucy, N., Benson N., Martin, M., Sane, K., Joy, K., Evans, S., Samson, N., Margaret, M., Simon, B., … Fox, N. (2018)Title

More than 21 authors

  In-text reference Reference list
Format The surname of the first author et al., (Year) Write down the surname., initials of 19 authors, then follow with a comma, three ellipses (…), and the last author’s name
Example Nathaniel et al., (1998) Gloria, N., Mary, N., Maria, G., Monroe W., Frank, K., Lillian, J., Anne, W., Peter, M., Daisy, E., Jackeline, W. Evelyn N., Lucy, N., Benson N., Martin, M., Sane, K., Joy, K., Evans, S., Samson, N., Margaret, M., Simon, B., … Fox, N. (2018)Title


Anonymous author

In-text reference
Format Anonymous named as author, (Year)
Example Anonymous named as author, (1987)


You should only use “Anonymous named as the author” when the author is listed by the source to be anonymous.

How to reference a journal article

When writing a journal article using APA format, your reference section should include;

  • The author (s) name, which should start with the surname, and first name initials
  • Its year of publication, which should be in round brackets
  • The title of the article
  • The title of the journal- in italics
  • The volume of the journal- in italics
  • Issue number of the journal
  • Page range for the entire journal
  • DOI- presented in the method we discussed earlier

Here is an example of what a reference for a journal article should be written;

Justin, W. (2018). Coffee: Weight loss and other health-related benefits. Primary Health Care Basics, 78(3), 35-39. https://doi.org/9.6637/phc.2018.e8967

Author    Publication Year       Article title

↑               ↑                                      ↑

Justin, W. (2018). Coffee: Weight loss and other health-related benefits. Primary Health Care Basics, 78(3), 35-39. https://doi.org/9.6637/phc.2018.e8967

↓                                ↓           ↓                                  ↓

Pages                          DOI

Journal title     Volume issue

How to reference a book

If you used books for your sources, here is the basic format on how to write the book in your reference section. Each reference should include;

  • Authors name, starting with the surname and then the first name initials
  • Year of the book’s publication
  • The title of the book written in italics
  • If the book is not the original edition, write its edition in round brackets
  • The publisher
  • DOI, which must be included for books with a DOI, including print books

Here is an example of how a book reference should appear;

Abraham, L. M. (2013). Effects of global warming (3rd ed.) Longhorn Publishers.

Book title                                              Publisher

↑                                                       ↑

Abraham, L. M. (2013). Effects of global warming (3rd ed.) Longhorn Publishers.

↓                  ↓                                                     ↓

Author            Year of publication                       Edition

Factors to consider when writing an APA reference list

  • The list should begin on a new page, with the word “References” centered on the page
  • Write down all your sources, in an alphabetical list A-Z. This should be done for all your references irrespective of their format, i.e., a journal, a book, etc.
  • The entries should be done alphabetically, considering the author’s surname.
  • Indent the second and the rest lines of every entry
  • Sources with no authors should be listed under the first most significant title word.
  • Use double spacing
  • Remember that each reference should end with a period unless it ends with either a DOI or URL

APA 7th Edition Paraphrasing Rules

 What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing refers to summarizing words or expressing an author(s) idea using your own words. When paraphrasing, you NEED to acknowledge the author or the source in your paper.

Therefore, you need to include the author’s name, beginning with the surname and the source’s year of publication. Both details should be inside a rounded bracket.

APA 7th Edition Generator

If you are new to writing using the APA writing style, you might need all the help you can get. Your score determines if you graduate and with what honors. As such, you should take advantage of any available resources that will help you score higher. One of the most helpful resources you can take advantage of is an APA 7th edition citation generator.

Are you hearing about a citation generator for the first?

An APA citation generator refers to a software which will automatically sort your citations using the APA style. The software will ask for the author’s name, title of the source, and the publish date to format your citations correctly.

After inputting these details, the software will fully output these details using the correct format, layout, and punctuation. It is recommended to use a citation generator that has been updated to use the most recent edition.

Once generated, you can copy the formatted citation and add it to the bibliography of your academic paper.

Who can use a citation generator?

College, undergraduate and post-graduate students can find a citation generator to be useful. APA is a standard writing style for these learning levels. Furthermore, these students have an eventful life and may have limited time to devote themselves to their papers fully. As such, it is necessary to make use of available resources.

Can I trust a citation generator?

Yes, you should. APA could be challenging to master with any other citation style, especially with the recent upgrade to a new edition. As such, you might take considerably long trying to format citations manually. Besides, you could easily make errors, which would cost you precious marks.

Using a citation generator makes your work easier and accurate. It also saves you a lot of time and ensures you score a high grade.

Remember, when it comes to essays, your bibliographies will be awarded marks based on their accuracy. So, it is essential for you as a student, to ensure your citations are formatted correctly.

How to use an APA generator

Most citation generator software is built considering ease of use, accuracy, and focus. To generate a reference, you will need to;

  • Sign in to the software (if it requires you to)
  • Search for the source you are looking to cite. You will find a search box located at the topmost part of the page.
  • The software will locate the information for you. If it misses any information, most software has an option where you can manually add information.
  • You will have the generated output, which you can add to your bibliography
  • Repeat the same process for each source you want to reference

APA 7th Edition PDF Free Download

Students new to the APA writing style need practical guidance on how to write their papers using the APA 7th edition writing style. As such, our guide has been inclusive of relevant examples for each change. To help you best, we also have free PDF samples of the new edition to guide you further. You can also find the APA formatting guidelines here.


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