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APA Style, 6th Edition

APA Style guide

Information about APA Changes

This guide reflects the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition, published in 2010. APA released an updated  APA Publication Manual, 7th edition, in October 2019. Please check with your instructor about which version of APA to use in your assignments.

Visit the Fitchburg State University Research Guide for APA, 7th Edition.

APA Style Manual


What is APA Style?

Always refer to the APA Manual for specific authorized examples of citations.

Some of the citation examples in this guide are from the manual and others are examples from the Amelia V. Galluci-Cirio Library Librarians.

This guide is an adaptation of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), not a substitute for it. 

For some sources, you may need to consult the APA Manual and interpret the rules to the best of your own ability. Copies of the manual are located at the Research Help desk.

APA Style is currently in its 6th edition.   It is a citation format established by the American Psychological Association. The format was developed to ensure consistency and to provide style rules for scientific writing.  For more information on APA style, click here.

This format is used mostly for:

  • Social Sciences (including Psychology, Education, Sociology, Economics, Criminal Justice, etc.)
  • Business

What does APA Style include?

  • the format & structure of your paper
  • how you cite other authors within the body of your paper
  • how you compile a references page at the end of your paper

          Top Five Reasons to Use APA Style:

  •  APA style is required for many classes.
  •  APA style helps you credit sources and distinguish your own ideas from others'.
  •  APA Style helps you avoid accidental plagiarism.
  •  APA Style communicates important information about your sources.
  •  APA Style looks professional and credible.


APA Resources

Bookmark these sites!

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): APA Style

Purdue University's OWL gives clear brief examples for almost every APA style question. Try it out!

Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style

A good place to find quick answers to questions such as: How do I format an entry for a book review in my Reference List? How do I cite a webpage that has no author? Not as complete as Purdue, but very easy to use.

APA Style Guide to Electronic References 

A supplement to the APA Manual, available in PDF form online for personal use only.  Provides detailed information for citing electronic resources, with examples and detailed explanations. 

APA Style Blog

When you can't find the answer any place else, check the APA Style Blog. This blog is written by a group of experts, and they publish weekly posts on writing and publishing using APA style. You can search the blog, explore posts by category, and view the most recent posts and comments. 

APA Corrections to Initial Printing of APA Manual 6th Edition

Corrections to the first printing of the 6th edition of the APA Style Guide (July 2009).

APA Style

Additional resources to frequently asked questions about APA formatting.

Citation Generators

Many different tools exist to assist you in the process of creating a citation entry. There are advantages and challenges to working with these tools. 

Common mistakes include:

  • Selecting the wrong type of information source
  • Inputting information incorrectly or leaving information out
  • Misplaced or incorrect punctuation
  • Improper capitalization

The biggest mistake is in completely trusting a citation generator to make no errors. Make sure you closely review all citations created in this way. You'll also still want to refer to your citation style guide to learn how to format your works cited/reference page.