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Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

Nursing: APA Citation Basics

APA Style: the Basics

The American Psychological Association (APA) Style is a set of rules for citing sources and formatting papers. The purpose of this guide is to serve as a ready reference tool for formatting your papers and citations in APA Style.

In general, APA Style is used in the Social Sciences.

Check with your professor to be sure you are using the correct Style.

APA Style Links

Getting Started with APA Style:

Additional resources:

Publication Manual of the APA

APA Style: Format Your Student Paper

General Format of Student Papers

Title Page

  • The following are all centered and double-spaced:
    • Title of paper in bold that describes the main thesis of your paper
    • Author name(s) 
    • Name of school (SUNY Ulster)
    • Course number: Course Name
    • Instructor name
    • Assignment due date (ex. January 25, 2021)
  • page number in upper right

Body of Paper

Follow these guidelines unless your instructor provides specific formatting:

  • Continue pagination from title page
  • Restate the title at the top of the page, bold and centered
  • Margin: One inch on all sides
  • Font size: 12 point
  • Typeface: Times New Roman
  • Spacing: Double-space throughout the entire paper
  • Alignment: Flush left, uneven on right
  • Paragraph Indentation: Half-inch
  • Section headings may be used as needed
  • Charts, tables and appendices as appropriate

Reference List

  • Start on a new page
  • Use the title References at the top, in bold and centered
  • Double-space all entries 
  • Use a hanging indent where first line of each entry is flush left and subsequent lines are indented .5 in.


To format your paper using Microsoft Word, see the guide below: