How to write APA style paper for college


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The APA style is the official work design style used by the American Psychological Association (APA). It is usually used for quotes from sources — in psychology, education, and the social sciences. The foundations of this format were laid in 1929, in an article published in one of the psychological bulletins. These guidelines have been expanded in the American Psychological Association Manual. The requirements of the APA style may seem confusing and complex, but it will become easier for you when you become familiar with the basic rules.

General rules

The style dictates a number of specific design principles in the paper for college of citations and references. In almost all cases, citations that appear in the paper for college of your work should be noted in the section with the list of references.

Making quotes

In general, author quotes should be accompanied by a mark indicating the author and the date of publication, but options are possible. In the standard case, the resulting paper for college is:

… students demonstrate a clear understanding of terms and information (Jones, 2001).


Johns (2001) found that students demonstrate a clear understanding of terms and information.

If there are several authors (less than 7), all names are listed:

… more recent studies have found a similar effect (Ross and Hudson, 2004).

… the results of the study revealed a constant positive correlation between the two variables (Robsen, Hatchkins, Roux and Selanis, 1989).

In the case when there are more than seven authors, only one last name is indicated:

Smith et al. (2005) found that …

In addition, an organization or an Internet resource may be indicated as an author.

Link to electronic source

With the design of links to electronic sources often have problems. Now many magazines, databases, Internet resources have different requirements for the design of links. Therefore, try to clarify with your supervisor how it should be done in the work.

If there is no publication date on the site, you can try to write to the author – many people do just that. Of course, for electronic resources it is not always necessary to specify the date. But if your supervisor requires you to include them, feel free to ask.

Final step

After spending several weeks or even months studying, preparing, and editing your work, you may be tempted to simply type in her – they say, and that’s all. Such carelessness can haunt you later when it turns out that your work does not meet the requirements of the APA or the teacher. The supervisor will definitely pay attention to the formatting and links in your work and, most likely, will deduct points from the assessment if he finds blunders.

So try to find the time to carefully edit the work – check the grammar, spelling, structure and formatting.