APA Style Guide

Villa Maria College Library

A note on formatting...

The APA style guidelines outlined here come from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

If using APA, it is recommended to follow these guidelines unless otherwise instructed by your professor.

Always follow your professor's guidelines.

Paper Formatting Basics

  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • Header should include a running head and page number (see example)
  • One space after periods
  • Indent first line of paragraphs using tab
  • Include a title page

Click on the image to the right to view an example first page.

Running Head

A running head is required in an APA style paper, which you can see in the example above.

The running head is a short version of you title's paper.


If your title looks like this:

"On the Origins of the Modern Superhero: Cultural Adaptation and the Evolution of Norse Folktales and Mythology"

Your running head might look like this on the first page:


And this on every page thereafter:


NOTE: Make sure you check the box for a different first page in the header options first (see image below)

In-Text Citations

Author-page style

When citing a source, use the author's last name and year of publication. If using a direct quote, you must use the page number if available. Do not repeat the authors name in the parenthetical citation if already stated in the sentence.

  • Scheub (2012) concludes that oral traditions provide the social resonance for "great poets to bring elements of tradition to bear on these significant and dangerous transitional periods" (p. 196).
  • Scheub (2012) concludes that orators would use oral traditions as allegory during watershed periods of history.
  • Oral traditions used as allegory provided significant social resonance during watershed periods of history (Scheub, 2012).

Multiple Authors:

  • The Brothers Grimm did not treat each version of a tale as similarly valid, instead qualitatively judging versions in terms of artistic integrity, detail and which "corresponded better to the moral codes" of the time (Calvin & McAra, 2011, p. 20).

No Author and Webpages:

If no author is given, use the title of the work. On a webpage where no page numbers are give, use the title of the work.

  • Between antiquity and post-antiquity, mythology was treated with fundamentally different attitudes where in the former there was a strong connection between daily and religious life, and the latter as a source of themes in art and literature ("About Greek and Roman Mythology," 2007).

Organization as an Author:

If the author is an organization or a government agency, use its title.

  • According to the American Folklore Society (2012), ...

For more details and examples, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Reference Page

Page Formatting

Your Works Cited page should be the last page of your paper.

The same basic rules apply:

  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • Header should include a running head and page number (see example)
  • One space after periods


  • The title References should be centered at the top of the page with no quotes, italics, underline, etc.
  • Citations should be listed alphabetically by first word of the citation (usually author's last name)
  • Hanging indent (first line of citation all the way to the left, following line indented by .5 inch)

Journal, Article and eBook Database Citation Tip

When using a databases such as Academic Search Premier from EBSCO or General OneFile from Gale, be sure to look for the citation option.

Remember, when using a machine-generated citation, you are still responsible for the accuracy of information and format! Always double check these citations before you finish your paper.

Remember: always follow your professor's guidelines!