How To Use The APA Format for A Research Paper: Example of A Citation

The APA writing style has a handful of very important rules about citing an authors name within an academic paper. There are also more rules for including sources that have been found using other means such as on the Internet or watching documentaries. It is a good idea for students to study the rules of APA format citation so that they know how to properly list their sources. This will help you avoid losing silly- grade points because you have not properly formatted your assignment.

How To Cite Authors, With Examples

The work of an author should be capitalized.


If you refer directly to the title of the material in the paper you should capitalize all words that have more than 5 letters and the first word in the title.

The History of Everything

*Note that in your sources cited list only the first word of the title need be capitalized

Any word following a colon must also be capitalized

The History of Everything: Things you Should Know

You should also underline the titles of long works, edited collections, movies, documentaries, TV series or music albums.

A Beautiful Mind

You can also use italics


You must also put quotation marks around the titles of articles, short stories, or songs

“How to Use The APA Format for A Research Paper: Examples of Citations”

When doing short quotations:

If you are quoting a piece of work you must include the author, year of publication, the page number for reference purpose.

The History of Everything (1987), “Everything has a history… (p. 112)

Long quotations

When doing long quotes of more than 40 words you must use freestanding lines and omit question marks. You should start your citation on a new paragraph line and indent away for the margin ½ inch. Here, you type the entire quotation and then indent the first line of the paragraph back to the regular margins. You do not need to include the cited sources title, only the publication’s date following the author’s name.

J.Smith (1987) when learning how to cite sources and compose quotations using the APA style, it is extremely important for students to learn the rules for proper formatting.

Summarizing or Paraphrasing

If you are simply summarizing an idea that you have read from another source you only have to reference the author and the year of publication in text. You can also include the page number if you choose.

J Smith (1987), stated that APA was complicated to learn because it has so many specific rules.

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