APA style, short for the American Psychological Association, is a style guide used widely for academic writing in the social sciences and humanities. The APA style guide addresses a wide variety of formatting issues in academic writing, regarding citations within the text of the work, and the references, endnotes and footnotes that credit its sources.
The following are the fundamental rules of APA formatting as applied to an academic research paper.
APA style calls for a "References" section (not a "Works Cited" page) at the end of the work. The references section should always begin on a new page rather than sharing one with the conclusion of the body.
The structure of an APA reference is as follows:
The following are examples of correct APA citation of a work in the "References" section. Reference lists should always be alphabetized.
Bennett, D. (2011). Strategies and Techniques in Teaching Reading. Boston: Goucher College.
Carroll, J.P. (1966). Some neglected relationships in reading and language. Elementary English, 43, 511-582.
Dickinson, D.K. & McCabe, A. (2001). Bringing it all together: The multiple origins, skills, and environmental supports of early literacy. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 16, 186-202.
Graves, M., Juel, C., Graves, B., & Dewitz, P. (2011). Teaching reading in the 21st century, motivating all learners. Boston, Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.
Mesmer, H.A.E. & Griffith, P.L. (2005). Everybody's selling it-But just what is explicit, systematic phonics instruction? International Reading Association, 366-376.
National Reading Panel. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching children to read. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Retrieved April 22, 2011 from https://dibels.uoregon.edu/resources/big_ideas/ phonemic_awareness.php
NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2000). The relation of child care to cognitive and language development. Child Development, 71, 960-980.
Pearson, P.D., Roehler, L.R., Dole, J.A., & Duffy, G.G. (1991). Developing expertise in reading comprehension. In J.S. Samuels & A.E. Farstrup (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction. (2nd ed., pp. 145-199). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Pressley, M. & Afflerbach, P. (1995). Verbal protocols of reading: The nature of constructively responsive reading. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Wasik, B.A., Bond, M.A., & Hindman, A. (2006). The Effects of a Language and Literacy Intervention on Head Start Children and Teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 63-74.
Whitehurst, G.J., Arnold, D.S., Epstein, J.N., Angell, A.L., Smith, M., & Fishel, J.E. (1994). A picture book reading intervention in day care and home for children from low-income families. Developmental Psychology, 30, 679-689.
Yopp, H. K. (1992). Developing Phonemic Awareness in Young Children. Reading Teacher, 45(9), 696-703.
YourDictionary includes many more tips for formatting in APA style. See articles such as APA Outline Format Examples and Writing Tips for APA-Style Research Papers for more assistance. If you're looking for even more detailed information about the APA style, you can go straight to the source with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.