How to Write an Academic Paper in APA Style 6th Edition

The technological development of information storage and organization require reorganization of the writing process. Computer technology changes constantly, requiring constant changing of the rules of writing and publishing written material. The latest 6th edition of the APA (American Psychological Association) style includes several changes to the formatting, quotation, referencing and inserting footnotes.

Following those new guidelines will ensure that you are in-tune with the writing world and that you will not have any problems with compatibility of your paper with today’s publishing and processing protocols.

The general recommendations for writing an academic paper along the guidelines of the APA style 6th edition are:


Your basic academic paper should consist of four main parts:

  • The title page where you uncover the name of your paper

  • The Abstract where you summarize and mirror the paper in a succinct fashion

  • The body where the main research and conclusion takes place

  • References where you set out the sources of your citations and other links to external sources


  • When directly quoting, apply quotation marks and mention page numbers encased in parentheses. When quoting from a secondary source, use quotation marks and reference the primary and the secondary source

  • When quoting indirectly, do not use quotation marks

  • When citing within text, use parentheses and include the author’s last name, or the key words of the title of an article

  • Use the author-date format

  • Page numbers and chapters are mentioned after the book title and the year is mentioned before it, after the author’s name and they are encased in ellipses

  • Inverted (last name, first name) author names

  • Full last name is followed by a first name initial

  • If a source has more than three authors, you should list all the authors the first time you are quoting that source.
  • The rest of the times, you only mention the name of the first author and write “et al.”

  • In a book that has two authors, put a comma and an & sign between the names

  • A reference list should be organized alphabetically by the last name of the first author of a source

  • Write every large word of journal titles in capital letters and only capitalize the first letters of the first words in the titles of books, articles, or chapters

  • Apply a hanging indent in reference lists
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